One day, there was a man who had never seen an elephant; he had never seen an elephant. So, he decided that he wanted to go see an elephant; so he inquired. And he was told that there is a village in Africa where they have big elephants. So the man made his journey to Africa. He went, and he saw a very big elephant.
And never having seen the elephants, he was really surprised. And then he looked, and he saw that the elephants were tied with a very small thin rope around their feet—and that was it. So, he was surprised. Such a big elephant, only being held in place by a small little rope? So he went to the chief, and he said, “Chief, these elephants, they’re strong, aren’t they?”
And the chief said, “Oh, yes. They’re very, very strong.” He said, “Chief, I have a question. How can such a big animal, so strong, so powerful, be held back with just this tiny little rope?” And the chief said, “Oh-ho! Let me explain. When they were babies, we used to tie them with this rope. And they tried to move, but they couldn’t move! And we kept them like that.
“And now that they have grown big and strong, they stopped trying. And they think that this tiny rope should still hold them in place. Of course, if they tried, this rope cannot hold back such a powerful animal. But the elephants have given up trying."
So, why did I tell this story? Because in a way, this is what is happening. Who we are, who you are is much bigger than the sum of your problems. But these problems come, and they’re holding you back. And you do not realize your own power. You don’t realize your own strength!—that as a human being, you have the strength in you to go beyond these barriers.
- Prem Rawat
I’m not the first one to ever say, “What you are looking for is inside of you.” So, if you are looking for peace, that’s inside of you; if you are looking for hope, that is inside of you; if you’re looking for clarity, that is inside of you. If you’re looking for joy, that is inside of you.
And the question is, “Why is it easier said than done?” Because we don’t know ourselves. We don’t know what our strengths are. We don’t know what our strengths are. You are stronger than you realize. Even in the face of calamity, you are stronger than you realize. But because you don’t know yourself, you’re ready to surrender to the calamity—and you do!
You are worried about all those things you don’t know. And in the list of all the things you don’t know, you also don’t know yourself.
We look for strength, but not in us—in other people. People come to me, and people ask this question, “So, when you have a problem, what do you do?” They think I’m strong.
I’m only strong when I’m connected to the strength inside of me. Otherwise I am weak too. I’m a human being, and I have to remember, there is an incredible strength inside of me. When I don’t tap into that strength, nothing is strong. When I do, I am strong too. Same thing for you.
It’s simple! It’s not complicated. We can make it complicated, but it’s not complicated. It’s very, very simple.
- Prem Rawat
What is important for you as a human being? One, “Know thyself.” Absolutely. You cannot afford to be a stranger to you. You can afford to be a stranger to other people who do not know you, but you cannot afford to be a stranger to you: “Know thyself.”
Secondly, you need to have a heart full of gratitude. Be thankful—thankful for what? For very simple things, very simple things—like being alive. So, could you begin by being thankful for being alive? Could you—in your moments of frustration could you be thankful for this breath? It’s still coming. Do you know that when you are angry, the root of your anger is fear? To remove the anger, you have to remove the fear and to remove the fear, you have to have courage. So, courage is what will get rid of the anger!
So, can you have gratitude? Only those people who have that courage, who have that strength can have gratitude—“Thank you. Thank you.”
People—I say to people; I said, “Be thankful,” and they go “to whom?” Then you don’t know how to be thankful. Just be thankful. Not to whom.
When you look at a beautiful rose, do you go up to it and say, “Are you beautiful for me?” No. That rose is beautiful even if nobody’s looking at it. And that rose is beautiful if it’s a criminal looking at it. And the rose is beautiful if a saint is looking at it. And the rose is beautiful if you’re looking at it.
Gratitude: number two. Number three? Noise. So, have you heard this saying? It goes, “You don’t need wings to fly. You don’t need wings to fly. All you need to do is cut the ropes that hold you back.” Have you heard this? So, where are the ropes? The ropes that hold me back are in my head.
And what do they look like? They look like noise. What is the noise? “You should do this; you should do that.” Words that are not yours—other people’s words that echo in your head... . “Oh, yeah, but if you do this, you will go to hell!” “Oh, but you want to go to heaven... . You want to go to heaven... .” Do you know what heaven looks like? If you didn’t recognize the heaven here? How will you know you are in heaven when you are in heaven?
The question isn’t, you are flying, my friends—the question isn’t, you are flying—the question is, are you on the right airplane? So, do you know what heaven feels like? Because heaven is here. And if you don’t recognize it here, you’re not going to recognize it anywhere else.
So far you are here, your heaven is here; your hell is here. What is heaven? Heaven is the place where you are fulfilled. What is hell? When you are not in heaven. Simple! What does heaven feel like? It feels heavenly. It’s in you; it’s in you; it’s in you; it’s in you.
Fourth thing. The last thing. You can fail, but don’t accept failure. So, you’re going, “What does that mean?” Right? When you were a baby, and you were learning how to walk, did you fail? Every time you fell you failed. Right? But did you accept failure?
You never—you failed, but you never accepted failure; you got right back up. “Ha-ha-ha-ha.” Right? Till one day you learned how to walk—that’s how you learned how to walk. You failed, but you did not accept failure. Now, look at you. A little failure, “Huh...”
So, you can fail, but don’t accept failure. Do those four things in your life, please. Do those four things: “Know yourself”—you want to know yourself? I can help you. I can help you. “Be thankful for this life; be thankful for the breath.” And then, “Cut the ropes of noise.” "Fail, no problem. But don't accept failure." Do those things and you will see a big difference in your life.
- 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
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
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.”