You know, the understanding of, well, who the self is—a lot of people think that this is a very Eastern idea—understanding the self. It’s not. It’s a human idea—understanding the self.
“Who are you? What are you?” Everybody on the face of this earth, soon or later, will ask the question, “Who am I?” Above and beyond everything that we get involved in—“Who am I? What is it to be a human being?”
You come in this world—and I was thinking today, “For me, everywhere I go, it’s like passing through.” So I go home, and I’m just passing through. I’m not there too long; I’m passing through. And I go to one country, and I’m passing through—and go to another country, and just passing through.
And before you know, life is the same way—just passing through. And this is what we do. And in one way all the complexities of being on earth—our relationships, our ideas, our wishes, our dreams—trying to realize those dreams…
Trying to wonder why things happen to us the way they do; why things are good; why things are bad; why things are right; why things are wrong … all these complexities—and we want to understand them!
But we never focus on understanding, “Who am I?” And unless you know who you are, what is your reference? Unless you know what a human being is, how would you know what a human being is supposed to be?
But, what is a human being? Of course, these are physical traits—but what is a human being? And what is the importance then, of understanding what a human being is?
Because, in our aspirations, what do we want? There is a state of being, and in this state of being a person becomes desireless—desireless. You can call that state “contentment”; you can call that state “happiness”; you can call that state “bliss”; you can call that state “peace”—and I don’t really care, because these are just words.
What I do care about is that state. I don’t care about the words. Ah, but the world’s caught up in the words: “Talk to me about peace. You’re Ambassador of Peace.” What? Peace is inside every human being. And peace is something that really cannot be talked about. It needs to be felt.
So, the question then becomes, “In this process of feeling the self, understanding the self, do you feel that state? Are you in that state, in that state of equilibrium?”
Now, you may say, “What are you talking about?” Well, this is how your body works—your physical body works like this: if there is something wrong, it’ll tell you. But if there’s nothing wrong, it shuts up!
Feeling of well-being is… some people call it “peace.” Because there, no more, no less, nothing being weighed; nothing being measured. “Go on. Be. Exist.” And filled with the feeling of well-being, glad to be alive, content—content—this is the nature of the self. This is the nature.
– Prem Rawat
Somebody once asked me a question in one of the interviews: “You’ve been traveling for fifty years; you have met a lot of world leaders, a lot of important people. Could you tell us about who made the most impact on you?” So I said, “Certainly.” So I told them what happened to me once.
I said I was driving in India, and they had packed a lunch for me, but forgotten to pack any water. So of course, I had lunch, and after lunch I got very thirsty. So as we were driving along, we saw a man, a very poor man, pulling water from a well.
But he’s standing there; he’s pulling water from the well, and we said, “Sir, could you please give us some water? We’re thirsty.” And he said, “Oh, sure, sure, sure!” And he dumped the water he had pulled, and he went in there and got the freshest water from the well that he could, and he brought it up and we had water!
And then, we had our fill, and we thanked him. And then he said, “Listen, I have a little hut, not too far from here. I have last night’s bread and some pickles. I would be honored if you came to my hut and accepted that.” So, of course, we said, “No, we have had lunch. Thank you, and thank you so much for…for this water.” It was his pleasure, he said.
So, of course, the interviewer was looking at me like, am I nuts? I mean, the world leaders I have met, and all these important people I have met, and this is the person I remember? I can’t forget. I cannot forget his generosity. He had nothing to offer, but he offered all that he had. And in that, he has made himself immortal.
He would have never imagined leaving India, but he did, here. Here, he left India, and he has traveled around the world. And I don’t even know his name. I never did ask him his name. But his generosity touched me.
And I’m here to tell you that, regardless of what the report card of the world is, generosity will never go away. It is there…it is there inside each one of you! And this is your blessing. Kindness is your blessing.
There’s no monopoly on compassion. This is the beauty. Compassion can be exercised by a person who is poor or who is rich. Compassion can be exercised by a person who is illiterate or a professor with the most degrees possible. Anybody—whoever wants to exercise this compassion—can exercise compassion because that is right.
– Prem Rawat
Many people in their lives, they see things not going their way; they start losing hope, and the next thing you know, calamity. But it takes courage to have hope; it takes courage to have clarity. And when there is that courage....
This is what’s beautiful. If you get angry, you know what you will be rewarded by? Anger. Just think about it, right? You get angry; you’ll be rewarded by anger. What is the reward of anger? Either you will get more angry.... Maybe, maybe you begin by being angry with your friend, and the next thing you know, you’re also angry with yourself—for being angry at your friend.
Anger rewards anger; anger begets anger. Fear rewards fear. You get afraid of being afraid—and that’s when it really sets in. It’s more than the boogeyman in the closet. Now, you’re afraid to be in the room; you’re afraid to be alive. “Oh my God....”
But...but what is the reward of hope? It brings you more hope. What is the reward of joy? It brings you more joy. What is the reward of happiness? It brings you more happiness. What is the reward of knowledge? It brings you more knowledge. What is the reward of being content? It brings you more contentment. What is the reward of knowing? It brings you more knowing.
This is how it is. This is how it’s always been.
– Prem Rawat
You are alive! There is nothing more interesting than being alive. There is nothing more juicy than being alive! There is nothing more profound than being alive!
Because you are alive, all the potential, all the hope, all the clarity, all the light, all the understanding is available to you. When you are dead, this is not possible.
I mean, people get into this whole thing, “Nearly dead, near death.” Problem with death is, it’s absolute. There’s no, like, almost. Kkkhk, you’re done! No response. And one thing? You don’t come back. (That’s why it’s called “death.”)
Is it going to happen? Yes. Should you be concerned? No. What should you be concerned then with? How to extract the potential of every moment that you are alive. That should…that should be your biggest worry when you wake up in the morning. “Now, geez, I got twenty-four hours here. How do I make the most of today?”
This life is a gift. This life is a gift. And the confusion is, “Who gave it to me?” What? You want to know the address? You want your money back? I mean, well, what…well, why?
No! Here it is—here it is! Accept—or reject. Things don’t change. You can feel empty for the rest of your life, or you can feel full for the rest of your life; you choose. That’s what you get to do. You get to choose.
When the sun is shining and you close your eyes, do you think the sun just goes, “Wschooo! He doesn’t want to see. Whshoop!” No, sun just keeps shining. It has nothing to do with that. It is, “What...how, which direction are you looking at?”
So, the question to me was, “Why is it so alluring?” Because I know one thing: on one side of the coin is confusion and the other side of the coin is clarity. On one side of the coin is darkness and one side of the coin is light. On one side of the coin is the question; the other side of the coin is the answer.
I know that. Then why is it we keep choosing that side...that’s the doubt, that’s the confusion?
So, I finally got my answer. (I worked it out.) Confusion is sugar-coated. Clarity isn’t. Clarity doesn’t have to sugar-coat itself. It is what it is.
Truth does not sugar-coat. Lies are sugar-coated. So now, the question becomes (if you even minor-ly agree with me on this sugar-coating business), “Why are you addicted to sugar?”
And ultimately it comes down to the same thing—it feels good! It tastes great. But that’s what the truth does too! That’s what clarity does too—without the harmful effects of the sugar.
But have you made that space in your being, acquired the taste of clarity? Acquired the taste of understanding? Acquired the taste for being alive? Acquired the taste for seeing things how they are? Acquired the taste for being fulfilled?
– Prem Rawat
Millions and millions of years in the making for you to be alive today—for you, you! I mean…I mean, you. I mean, you … as a…that person.
I mean, what is absolutely fascinating—that you are identical to the person sitting next to you, and you’re not. You’re made out of the same elements that the person sitting next to you is—oxygen, hydrogen, carbon, calcium, nitrogen, and phosphorus; 99.9 percent of you, this is what you’re made out of.
“So, what if the person sitting next to you is a woman? Surely they’re made out of something different, right?”
For those of you who have always thought this, I have some bad news. They’re not! They’re identical. The basic elements are identical.
And yet, how you think is entirely different from the person sitting next to you. How you smile is totally different; how you laugh is totally different; what makes you sad is totally different, and in fact, what makes you happy is totally different. Totally different.
So, I have never seen such a similarity, and such a difference—but the difference is not in what you are made of. The difference is how you react, how you express, how you take in, how you synthesize.
And what it means to you to be alive!
– Prem Rawat
Don’t worry—I am not a politician. I’m not going to be in…I’m not in politics; I’m not going to run for politics; politics is not my thing. I want to bring people together; I don’t want to divide them.
And that’s why I don’t put any labels…I don’t want to use any labels. People would love to give me a label. I don’t want any labels.
People say, “Oh, you are Ambassador of Peace.” I want everybody to be Ambassador of Peace—everyone! Because that’s what your possibility is; that’s what your potential is. This is what you can achieve in this life. You should be an Ambassador of Peace. You should be.
One little…one little act of kindness goes a long way—one little act of kindness. But what do we believe in? “Thank you.” So, this is what the mother teaches the little boy: “Say thank you.”
He doesn’t know what ‘thank you’ means—so he looks up and he goes, “Thank you.” And what are you teaching that little kid? Do you know what you’re teaching that little kid? “Say something you don’t understand.”
Instead of teaching the kid, “Did you feel good when somebody gave you this? Did you like it?” The child will say, “Yes!” “Then, take that liking that you have, and share a little bit of it back.” That’s what gratitude is. That’s all gratitude is.
If somebody did something for you, and it felt good, then give them a little bit of that goodness back.
– Prem Rawat