So in this existence, there's going to be—in your life, there's going to be many battles. But there is only going to be one war.
I don't know why, but as human beings, we are obsessed with winning the battles, and we are so obsessed with winning the battles that we forget everything about the war.
What is the objective? What is the final war? The final war, my friends, is to be content. That's the war. The battles you fight are your formulas of how you can be content. "I have to have this in my life; I want this in my life; it has to be this way in my life; this person should be this way; this person should be this way; this person should be this way; I want that to be there; I want that to be there; I want this to be this way; I want this person to talk to me like this." I mean all of these are battles. They are. And you are obsessed with them because you want to win the battle, win the battle, win the battle. And I'm here to tell you: don't care about the battles. If you win a few, good. If you lose a few, fine. Don't even think twice.
How many of you have witnessed, somebody said something wrong to somebody and that somebody got very upset? And that could be mother-father, husband-wife, daughter-mother, son-mother, son-father. Right? And they are not talking to each other, and they are mad at each other, and they're upset with each other and you are obsessed to make it right.
And when you obsess with the battles, you lose track of winning the war. Every day of your life you have to understand that you must win the war. Nothing in this world ultimately should be able to take away your serenity. Nobody should be able to take away your clarity. Nobody should be able to take away your peace. Nobody should be able to take away your understanding. Nobody should be able to take away your joy.
Regardless of what happens, then you are the victor and you have won the war. And to have won a few battles does not make you a victor. The war still goes on. You are the warrior. Do you know that? Do you know you are a warrior? And do you know, you have to fight? You have to. Because you have to claim what is rightfully yours. Do you know what is rightfully yours?
Peace is rightfully yours. Rightfully. Tranquility is rightfully yours; truth is rightfully yours; light is rightfully yours. Rightfully. Rightfully! Belongs to you! Rightfully. You are the heir, but you must fight.
In our lives, one of the things we do is we accept failure very easily, very quickly. Because there is one thing which is failing, and then there is the failure.
So, failing will happen.
There was a time in your life where failing didn’t mean anything. It was acceptable; it was normal. And the part of your life where this happened was when you were learning to walk. So there you were, coming from a place, from a time in which language didn’t mean a whole lot.
So, nobody indoctrinated you into this; nobody gave you a lecture about this; nobody —do you know—you didn’t go out and read some scripture, but you had an urge to walk. And this came from inside of you, and there was no question about it—you wanted to walk!
But you were extremely ill-equipped to walk. You had two legs, but the muscles in that leg that needed to carry you were not developed. You needed a sense of balance. And you didn’t really understand it. And so, a day came in which you made this attempt to get up. And anybody could have told you what was going to happen.
It was not a happening thing. You were going to fall—and you did! And you failed! You…you actually failed—because the first, first part is just getting up. But you kept going—and you would fail! And you would fail, and you would fail....
And finally you got to the point where you could actually get up. And as soon as you got up [demonstrating, wobbling] there was still going to be failure! You were going to fail again. Because now the whole sense of balance starts to kick in, and stabilization, and you know, the nerves are telling the muscles, “Do this, do....”
Because everything is an overreaction, underreaction. Nothing is used to anything—and you are doomed to failure.
But you weren’t a failure because you never accepted failure.
And so you took that one little step, and boomf! You failed—bam! And sometimes the kids even look at the mother, “Should I cry?” You know…you…you—they get to, right to that point of where their bottom lip is quivering and everything, and they’re like... And the mother looks like, “Oh, it’s okay, it’s okay”—it’s like, “Oh, it’s okay.” Brainwashing!
But you just kept failing and failing and failing and failing and failing and failing. Till one day, because you did not accept failure, you did the impossible, and you took that step. And then the next step. And all of a sudden the most incredible transformation took place. And what you just accomplished wasn’t walking. You unlocked the world to yourself. Krrrract! Now you could go wherever you wanted to go. You were free.
So, “fail” and “failure” meant two different things.
Then as you grew up, you started to associate the two; you merged the two. “Failure is always painful—demeaning and painful.” And all your life, your energy turned into “not failing.” So that no failing happens in your life, you would have to become non-human. Not going to happen! You’re human! But there is a way out of this pickle. And the way out is, “Don’t associate failure with failing.”
When you get angry.... Mmm, do you ever get angry? Only three or four people in Benin get angry? Wow! I’m moving here. I mean, come on! How many of you get angry? I’m raising my hand.
And when you get angry, where does it come from? Where does it come from? In you? Wow. So, that means.... Oh, do you get angry after you leave home, ever? Mmm? After you leave home, you can get angry? Yes or no? Yes? So that means you don’t leave an-ger at home.
That means, wherever you go, the anger goes with you. Wow! So next time you go in the bathroom and close the door and think it’s private, just remember, anger just came with you. Frustration came with you. Confusion came with you. Joy came with you. Clarity came with you. Understanding came with you. Kindness also came with you.
All these go wherever you go. Do you know that? Wherever you go! This is all... This is you. See, it’s not just you. You look at yourself in the mirror and you go, “That’s me.” No, no, no, no, there’s a lot more going on. There are other ones. There’s another one of you. It’s an anger. You don’t see it in the mirror, but it’s there.
And there is one that has joy, clarity, understanding, and beauty, and kindness, and all these things. And the opposites of all of them go wherever you go. Now, the question is, what do you practice the most? Do you know what that means?
What do you practice? Every day, what do you practice? How long does it take you to get angry? Oh, so you must...you’re good at it.
You’re good at getting angry. So, if you’re good at getting angry, what does that mean? You practice anger? Oh, how long does it take for you to get afraid? How long does it take for you to get afraid? Not very long. Oh, so you practice fear?
That’s why you’re good at it. How long does it take you to lie? Did I ask a personal ques-tion? How does it take you to lie? Not very much, does it? It can just flow right away.
At home, you don’t even say “bonjour” to anybody—your wife, your friends, your chil-dren. You go outside? And it’s “Bonjour.” That’s what you practice, telling lies? You have become good at it.
So I say to you, if you start practicing courage, you will get good at it. If you start practicing kindness, you will get good at it. If you start practicing understanding, you will get good at it. If you start practicing clarity, you will get good at it. And if this is what you want in your life, that’s all you have to do. Practice what you want.
If you practice knowing yourself, you will become good at it. If you practice peace in your life, you will become good at it. That’s the magic formula. That’s how you do it.
– Prem Rawat
The challenge that faces us is a very different one, my friends, than we generally accept or understand. It is not about rich countries; it is not about good economics! It’s not!
Our effectiveness lies in not, solutions to our problems, but doing the right thing—and the right thing is peace. Not on earth! Because that sounds so good, right? “Peace on earth”—I mean, I’m, I’m called the “Peace Ambassador,” so I shouldn’t, I should not be saying, “No. Not peace on earth.” I should be saying, “Oh yeah, peace on earth, peace on earth. Peace, peace, peace on earth, peace on earth, peace on earth,” right?
I’ve traveled the earth. And I have found only one thing that is making no peace on earth. And you know what that is? That is the human being. If there is no peace on this earth, it’s not because of the crows; it’s not because of the alligators; it’s not because of anything else but human beings.
They are the ones polluting... "What about hunger?” People ask me this. “What about hunger?” And what about hunger? Do you think there’s a shortage of food? Forty percent of the food that is grown is wasted!
Because it is our shortfall in our own understanding... It is the shortfall in our own understanding; it is the shortfall of us not understanding our potential that we have!
Do you know...? Then, the example I’m about to give is for everyone sitting here. Do you know that once upon a time, you did something—all of you have done this. And this one act that you did require phenomenal courage, incredible drive, and hundreds of failures.
You know what I’m talking about, right? Walking—when you learned how to walk. Your legs were not strong enough to let you walk. Your muscles had to be strengthened—and you were going to do it.
Oh, by the way, how many books did you read on the subject of walking? None! How many classes did you attend? [Ind.: None.] None! How many tutorials did you get? None! There you were, all by yourself, learning to walk. you failed—but you never accepted failure. That was the only difference. Now when you fail, you accept failure. You got up and you fell! And you failed! Right? You failed!
What is the difference between then and now? Only one. Because you still get challenges like that. But there is one difference. Then, you failed but you never accepted failure.
That’s the only difference. The challenges that you face. They require phenomenal courage; they require phenomenal strength! You may not even have the tools with you! But you fail, and you accept the failure.
Same thing with peace! Same thing with peace! Peace is not a one-day event. Peace has to be nurtured every day. Every day, there has to be an introspection! Every day there has to be learning; every day there has to be growth—and every day there has to be understanding. And every day, the courage has to be exercised.
To be motivated, not by me or someone else—but to be motivated by you to move forward. To find your strength, not your weakness! To understand your self—you! Don’t you, don’t you remember what Socrates said? “Know thy self.” Know you! Do you know you? Do you make an investment in knowing the self? Or is it all about, “I want to know my friend; I want to know this; I want to know that”—but not the self.
So, is peace crucial to our societies, to our countries, to our existence, to our civilization? Unquestionably!
It is 7.5 billion people just like you and me that constitute the population of this earth. And if something has to change, the change has to happen from and to the individual.
You know, we have tried everything. We have tried so many things, over the past centuries—but one thing that has never been tried is peace on an individual level. I propose... You don’t have to be Sherlock Holmes to play detective here. I propose—everything else has been tried—this is the only one remaining... Well, let’s try this one. What have we got to lose? Nothing.
- Prem Rawat
MC and host: [Sara Powell]
I just want to get straight stuck in if I may. Something that we’ve had a couple of questions about, and something that really spoke to me from what you said, was “the noise”—that chatter that is constantly there. And I wondered, “What’s the best strategy for coping with it? How do we quieten it down, the noise?”
Well, these are the questions you have sent—I mean, over 200 questions came in—and some of you who have, probably, cell phones that are from different countries, probably are still coming in through, you know, because they go round robin, yeah....
Yeah, you’ll be getting them till Wednesday, yeah!
And, yeah, exactly. So, the question is, where does this noise come from? I mean, who is the perpetuator of this noise; who is the generator of this noise, and where is the stage that it ultimately plays out on?
So, the stage where it ultimately plays out on is you! But where does it come from? Well, it is something that started a long, long time ago, right from your parents.
Because, whose voices are there? They are included too, and the friends are included, and the boss, and the friends, and the friends of the friends, and the, everybody who has two-cents-worth of advice, and it just gets recorded,
But then the question becomes, “Why did it get recorded? Who had the record button pushed in?” Right? And we allow this to happen. We don’t think we have a choice. Because we don’t live our lives by that tactile feel.
I was watching a show where they were showing this person who was challenged with the sight. And as he moved around the room, he had to feel everything—and where it was and how it was—and there were no assumptions.
And we, the ones who have eyes, are most likely to have that chair pulled out from underneath us or even miss the chair. But not this man, because he knows he has to have that feel. Every step that he takes in his life is taken deliberately. Not just, “Uh, let me see what’s over there.” Do we live our lives like that?
You know, and maybe the noise is a consequence of living a very unconscious life. That if there was a conscious life, then you would say, “Okay! Since I have a tape recorder....” Don’t fault the tape recorder, by the way. That’s really good that you have a tape recorder. It’s the content of the tape recorder that’s bad.
“So, can I put in nice stuff? If I’m going to have noise, let me have some really lovely noise, something that inspires me, something that gives me courage....” Because we all need courage. That’s why courage is there—hmm—because we need it!
Because in life, the mountains that you have to sometimes cross, that we have created for ourselves, are no ordinary hills. Mind you, they are indeed mountains of extraordinary proportions, and it requires nothing shy of courage to even take on the challenge to do so.
So, you know, this is, in a way, what I do. Because, you look at the Peace Education Program—and when it goes to the prisons, their voice, their tape recorder is going, “I am here, and it’s the fault of that person, and that person, and that person, and that person.”
And they go through the Peace Education Program, and they start to realize, “Hey, look at yourself.” And when they do, then they realize that they are standing at a threshold where they can change.
And it is no mistake or an accident that people who go through the Peace Education Program—at least, the inmates who go through the Peace Education Program—have the lowest rate of return back into the prisons.
So, we’re not inmates, are we? I mean, we’re not in a prison system, are we? The prison system you are currently in.... The other prison system, they’ll get out after two years, three years, four years, five years. The prison system you are in, you don’t get to get out till you die—sorry. Huh! You’re in for life.
Folks, it’s really time to start creating your heaven, because there are no options here. The wall is there—and there are no options! And getting rid of that noise and putting the nice noise on is up to you. It truly is—because you’re the one who is doing it: who’s buying into this noise and keeps: “Ah, push play again, please.” And, you know, and has it on “repeat,” so it just keeps repeating and repeating and repeating and repeating.
Life has the possibility of creating your own playlist—your playlist that you like. Do you want to accept that challenge? You know, the issue isn’t just the noise. We can replace it with something beautiful, something wonderful, something you like. Not what I like—you like! Because I want to create my playlist of something I like. You create your playlist, something you like.
- Prem Rawat
You have a mind ... and you have a heart. You’re balanced! You’re balanced. If you learn how to use both of them equally ... not only will you be in peace, but you will prosper ... in this world.
Most people only know how to use one. The heart, they don’t understand. I say “the heart” ... and people go, “What is a heart? What are you talking about?” I’ll tell you what a heart is.
Heart ... is the place ... where the human courage resides. Heart is the home of your clarity. Heart ... is the place where the Divine in you belongs and exists. Heart is the place from where you seek the truest gratitude of your existence. Heart is the place where the love, because of reasons—no reason, that love resides.
Heart is the place ... where, in you, the thirst to be fulfilled ... is. That place ... that contains all this that is good ... is called “the heart.” That’s what a heart is. The courage ... the courage ... to seek clarity in the midst of confusion. When every thing is going wrong ... the courage ... to say, “No. No. I want ... clarity. I want ... to be fulfilled.”
Have you ... experienced this courage? Have you felt this courage? Have you understood this courage? Because ... this is your power! It’s your power! It’s your power ... to thrive in this world ... to thrive! To shine! To be! Not the stupid little road maps ... that you have created.
“Oh, yes, please-please-please-please, give me a promotion.” You want a promotion? Work hard for a promotion.
You have something to say to the Divine? Then make it real. And what is it? Only one thing: “Thank you.”