PREM RAWAT SPOKEN WORDS
THAT A DROP
RESIDES IN THE
THAT THE OCEAN
RESIDES IN A DROP,
ONLY FEW KNOW.
ADI MEANS ANCIENT: BEING OLD IN WISDOM AND EXPERIENCE; DATING FROM A REMOTE PERIOD; OF GREAT AGE; HAVING THE QUALITIES ASSOCIATED WITH AGE, WISDOM, OR LONG USE; VENERABLE.
PREM RAWAT AND HIS MESSAGE OF PEACE
As an advocate for peace, Prem Rawat, widely known as Maharaji, has dedicated his life to helping people find peace within themselves — not as a utopian ideal or an absence of conflict, but as an immanent personal experience.
Born in 1957, he began his mission of peace and humanitarian outreach as a young child. By the age of 13, he started addressing global audiences in response to invitations to speak in London, Los Angeles, and other major cities around the world.
Over the course of his life, Prem Rawat has personally delivered his message of peace to over 12 million people in more than 50 countries. From small, informal gatherings to major international events, from university auditoriums to open-air stadiums seating hundreds of thousands, his message has been welcomed by people from all walks of life.
Currently, his award-winning television series, Words of Peace Global TV, reaches over 115 million households globally, with subtitles or translation in more than 20 languages.
In 2001 he founded The Prem Rawat Foundation (TPRF), a not-for-profit organization dedicated to bringing his message of peace to people around the world and providing vital food, water, and emergency aid to people most in need.
WELCOME TO ADI MAGAZINE
Adi means ancient in Hindi and was chosen as a name for this magazine by Prem Rawat. According to the dictionary, ancient is synonymous with being old in wisdom and experience; dating from a remote period; of great age; having the qualities associated with age, wisdom, or long use; venerable. The name is appropriate because these are also the qualities of Prem Rawat's message, which is the sole subject of ADI MAGAZINE.
In the case of Prem Rawat's message, one quality has to be added to the ones mentioned — timelessness or agelessness. Some phenomena are ancient because they existed a long time ago and exist no more, and then some phenomena are ancient because they are timeless. They have existed as long as there have been human beings, and they still exist today. And this is exactly what Prem Rawat brings to the table — an understanding of what it means to be alive. It is timeless because it deals with the fundamentals of human existence and not with the ever-changing circumstances of technology and society. And it is ageless, ever fresh and new.
Not only is Prem Rawat's message timeless, but the way he delivers it also withstands the shifting tides of time. He speaks from his feeling of the living moment, eye-to-eye with his listeners, never from a prepared script. In his talks, he often says that "many before me have said this." One can imagine that all the way back through history there have been those who have brought such a message to the people of their time.
Prem Rawat's words are living words to living people. They are not based upon what others have said. They are not a philosophy. They may not even be a teaching in the traditional sense. They come from an experience of being alive, and it is the essence that is ancient, not the vocabulary. The purpose is always to awaken people's hearts to the possibilities of their own existence, so the words are always directed to the individual and not society. Prem Rawat's words can hopefully be enjoyed in print with as intimate a feeling as a letter from a friend.
Are you free to understand?
Or are you the slave
of other people's ideas?
More beautiful than any fantasy, page 15
Prem Rawat's talks in ADI MAGAZINE have been edited for brevity and readability, but still maintain the flow of speech. They are what they are — spoken words in print. During a year of almost constant traveling, Prem Rawat talks to many different people — young and old, rich and poor, and those from cities and villages alike. The pictures of people in ADI MAGAZINE have all been taken at events where Prem Rawat spoke, but not necessarily the same events that are featured in this magazine.
If you would like to write your reflections on the content of ADI or share your thoughts about the magazine, e-mail the editor at: email@example.com.
Editor: Ole Grunbaum
Editorial staff: Mary Wishard and Sherry Weinstein
Art direction: Rasmus Olesen
Photo editor: Marie-Catherine Toulet
ADI Magazine is printed on FSC-certified paper, from responsibly managed forests and verified recycled sources.
THE REALITY OF EXISTENCE PAGE 6
There are many realities that manifest during a day. If bad news comes, that's a reality. If I have responsibilities to take care of, that's a reality. But for all the realities that are ever-changing, there is one reality that always remains exactly the same. And that reality addresses me.
MORE BEAUTIFUL THAN ANY FANTASY PAGE 15
Without knowing the value of life a person lives in total uncertainty. And either the person will do something about it, or make up a story about tomorrow. But a story does not remove the uncertainty. Yet, there is a reality, which is more beautiful than any imagined fantasy.
THINKING OUTSIDE THE HAT PAGE 27
We look at the world. There is good and there is bad. We want to get rid of the bad and, hopefully, retain the good. But sometimes, one has to think outside the hat to look at a situation. Some people say that a human being's nature is to fight. I disagree. Peace resides within the heart of all human beings.
WHAT IS THIS "I" PAGE 38
What is the breath? What is this life? When I have it, I have everything, and when I don't have it, I have nothing. Now, let me ask another question: Have you heard the call of your heart? Listen to the request because it is about peace, about joy, about being fulfilled. Not tomorrow. Not the day after tomorrow. Now.
THE REALITY OF EXISTENCE
The ancient news is: In this ever-changing and ever-revolving world, there is a reality that has been steadfast while everything has happened in our lives. And the reality that I am talking about is the reality of existence.
I talk about something very simple. Of course, people hope that they will hear something they haven't heard before, because somehow we have equated "new" and "different" to "exciting." But new and different have nothing to do with exciting. Exciting is exciting. It could be new, it could be old, it could be different, or it could be very familiar, and that wouldn't make any difference, because the excitement has to come from the inside.
I have been talking to people for four decades, and that's a long time. I started very young. I've traveled the world, and I've spoken to a lot of people in different places in their lives, from incredible sadness to incredible joy. From having the idea that "Everything is fine; I don't need anything more," to, "I have nothing." The variety and the space and the spectrum has been incredible.
For me, there are perhaps many realities that manifest during a day. If bad news comes, that's a reality. If I have responsibilities to take care of, that's a reality. But I also know that for all the realities that are ever-changing, there is one reality that always remains exactly the same. And that reality addresses me.
We get very confronted by these realities. We're prepared for so many things in our lives, but when a new one comes, it is totally unexpected. It drops in our lap like somebody is saying, "Handle this!" Because we're unprepared, we say, "Whoa. How am I going to take care of that?"
I remember so clearly this lady I passed on the freeway when I was in Boston. She was going off for the weekend in her SUV with skateboards and bicycles and coolers, as though she was going to have a party. Somehow the bicycle fell off, and there was a police officer standing there, looking at her as she was trying to put it back on the car. You didn't even have to see it. As you drove by her, you could feel the frustration.
It was just like — and this is the way the world would look at it — somebody had given her this thing: "Handle this. You're going to have a good time. Why wait until you get to your destination? Let's start having fun now. Let's get that bicycle off." Of course, something in her was saying, "I'm not ready to have fun yet. I've got to wait until Cape Cod. I've got to put this bike on."
All of these things happen. They move, they change. And the ancient news is: In this ever-changing and ever-revolving world, there is a reality that has been steadfast while everything else has happened in our lives. And the reality that I am talking about is the reality of existence.
WHO AM I?
I know how you look at yourself. You look at yourself in a totally different way than you actually are. This is not nice. It's okay, but it's not nice. Who am I? If I see one of my kids in front of me, I become a father. "Everything okay? How are you doing? What's up? Where are you going? When are you going to be back?" There is that part of me, and I become that. Then I walk into my office and I've got all this paperwork and things to do, and I become that. But who am I, really? People call me by a name. I associate that name with myself. But who am I? What am I? Am I the complicated one that I see? Is this life of mine really as complicated as I have made it?
All that I weigh and measure my life with, the good and the bad, is that really me? The person who's going through a crisis, the person who's going through a vacation, the person who's going through this, and the person who's going through that? Or am I something else?
You've heard, "Maharaji talks about peace." But what does peace have to do with this? Everything. Let me get to it.
What am I? If I could see that it is not the complicated, but it is indeed the simple that is within me — not the scales, not the weights, but an ocean of joy — then I would realize this is who I am. Simple. Beautiful. And with one simple thirst. The thirst to be content. The thirst to be in peace. The thirst to be in joy. The thirst to understand.
I've become very good at questioning, and I question everything. But my ability to question has not diminished my ability to understand, and I want to understand, not just keep questioning. I want answers, not just questions. How does that work?
I'll give you an analogy. A car is broken; all the rods are blown, and the pistons have big holes in them. The cam is broken, and the timing chain is destroyed. This engine is not going to start. So somebody brilliant comes along and says, "Aha. We can see that there is a problem here. The problem is that the car is rusted, the paint is peeling, the windows are shot, the tires are flat. So, let's help you fix this car. Let's repaint it."
Now this machine looks good. New windows, new polished chrome, new paint job. Nice brand-new tires. The car has been brought into incredible shape, and you say, "Oh, thank you very much for fixing it all up! Thanks!" But you still have a problem, don't you? It won't run. Before, you had an ugly car that didn't run. Now you have a beautiful car that still doesn't run. Why did you want the car in the first place? To be beautiful or ugly, or to go somewhere, which will obviously require that it runs?
What is the point of this analogy? The point is that all that we do is to be happy. We want to be happy. This includes going to the moon. It includes sending out signals to extraterrestrials, digging for oil — all the things we do.
We have many excuses for the things that we do, and fundamentally at the bottom of all these excuses is that if somehow, more joy could come our way, that would be very nice.
The attraction for peace, the need for peace, is not created; it is innate in every human being. As soon as you begin to understand that it is innate in human beings, you also begin to understand, "I better address this because it doesn't matter what I do. If I don't take care of that innate thirst in my life, nothing is going to seem like it's working." Even if it works, it's going to seem transient.
You hear a lot of things. You hear, "Good days come, bad days come." I use that. I call it "ups and downs." But there is a place inside of you that is neither up nor down. There's a place inside of you that is steady. There is the beautiful miracle, the beautiful symphony of existence taking place.
Peace is within you. The thirst for peace is within you. Good news! What does it mean? It means you don't have to go search for it. So many people used to come to me — and still do — and say, "I'm searching." And, of course, I say, "What are you searching for?" If you really are searching for peace, you won't find it. Why? Because you already have it. How do you find something you already have? How do you find something you never lost? How do you find something that has been tailing you every day of your life? It lies in the realm where breath comes and goes and brings the gift of existence to you. This, my friends, is the miracle of miracles.
THE TRUE MIRACLE
I was born in India, and in India, they have just as much a love affair with miracles as anywhere else. But what is the definition of a miracle? If milk starts to flow from a rock, that is a miracle. That boggles me. People don't consider it to be a miracle that a cow eats green grass and gives white milk. But if milk comes out of a rock, it's a miracle.
It's a fluke! And would you drink it? I wouldn't. If I'm driving along and suddenly milk starts to come out from the middle of the steering wheel, I will pull over. I'm not going to say, "Wow. A miracle!" and drink that milk.
We have a fascination with miracles, but we don't understand what a real miracle is because when it happens right under our noses, we don't know about it. The fact that you exist is a miracle. It is the grandest of all miracles. You exist. You. You are alive. You can feel. You can feel pain, but more importantly, you can feel joy. You can feel turmoil, but most importantly, you can feel peace. Think about it. You can feel peace. You have the ability to feel contentment. It is no accident that time after time, those people who have felt this have forwarded the message on very clearly: "What you are looking for is within you."
Thousands of years ago, Socrates made a little comment: "Know thyself." Nowadays it has become a question: "What do you think he meant by, 'Know thyself'?" He didn't say, "What do you think it means to know thyself?" He could have said, "What do you think would happen if you knew yourself?" He didn't say that, either. He didn't say, "Do you think it would be important if you knew thyself?" He simply said, "Know thyself."
You ask the leaders, "Do you
know where you are going?"
They'll say, "Of course we know
where we're going. Look at all
these people behind us."
Know yourself. Know what you are. This beautiful symphony that you are. This beautiful seed that you are. This beautiful poetry that you are. This beautiful story that you are. This beautiful drama that you are. Know this drama. Know this poetry. Know this song. Know this symphony.
CHANGE THE FILM
Knowing that which is within you in itself brings joy, brings peace. Of course, people have definitions of what peace is. People look at the world and say, "Stop the wars; that's peace." My analogy for that is the world you see out there is just a bunch of screens. Who's the projector? The world leaders? It really is a peculiar situation.
It's a bit like this: There's a whole bunch of people walking along. First, one person was walking on the road. And why was he walking? He was walking because he didn't know where he was going, but he wanted to find out where to go, so he was walking. The second person saw him walking on the road, so he got behind him. The third person saw two of them walking on the road, so that person got behind them. Pretty soon, you have a huge crowd. And who are the leaders in the very front? Do these people know where they're going? It depends who you ask. If you ask the people in the back, they will say, "Yes, of course we know where we are going, because the leaders in the front are taking us there." And if you ask the leaders, "Do you know where you are going?" they'll say, "Of course we know where we're going. Look at all these people behind us." Neither has anything to do with whether anybody really knows where they're going.
I know there are people who get very upset with this. If you do, go read history. It's documented. That's exactly what happens time after time. Has the time not come that we should stand on our own feet for peace? If you do not like what you see on the screen, don't blame the screen. Don't clean the screen. Don't polish the screen. It will only reflect what is being projected on it much better. If you do not like what you see on the screen, change the film, not the projector. This is a very important point, because this is exactly what is happening in the world. People are both saying to themselves and are being told, "You're no good; let's improve you. Let's change the projector. Let's tweak the projector."
Change the film. That is what is important. The miracle, the peace, the most beautiful film is waiting to be threaded onto this projector so that it can be shown. And it is not a story of desperation, trauma, drama, and what is lacking in the world. A lot of people look at what is lacking. Next time you see a forest, ask yourself, "What is that forest about?" It is about the seed that germinated, not the seed that did not germinate. No forest carries a little sign that says, "Here lies the seed that didn't come along." That's history. Life is about the seeds that germinated. You are about what works, not what doesn't work. Learn to measure this existence with what you have, not with what you don't have.
THE HEART SAYS GO FORWARD
You will begin to see that what you have is so much more powerful, so much more beautiful than what you don't have. Dreams are fulfilled. There is a peace dancing that is more beautiful, more tranquil, than you could have ever imagined. This is all inside of you. People say, "I'm too far away from all this." Too far away from that? One day you will be, that is true, but not right now. I'm not here to talk about what will happen to you after you die. Sorry. There are other ones who can tell you about that.
Fortunately, in this life, there is something called the heart, and it nudges you — not to back up but to go forward. So many of us would stand at the pinnacles of our life and do nothing but look back. And the heart says, "No. Turn around and go forward."
Do you want to know the
definition of success?
Look at yourself.
You are the success.
Follow the river of time. Don't oppose it; move with it. Learn to flow with it. It'll take you places. Places you have never been. Places that are simple. Places that you need to be familiar with. Go. Go with certainty.
A lot of people say to me, "How do you know you can give me peace?" Here's an analogy: Imagine you're going somewhere. You're in a new town, and you get lost. Of course, the first thing you do is resist acknowledging that you're lost. So you keep driving, hoping that you will come across something familiar in the instructions and everything will be okay. But that doesn't happen. All that happens is you get more and more lost. Finally, sanity kicks in, and you say, "Okay, I'm going to ask for directions." But this is how you go about it (and this is the cute part): You roll down your window and say, "Excuse me, sir. Do you know where such-and-such street is?" The man says, "Yeah. Just go down two blocks and make a right." And you say, "Okay, thank you," roll up your window, and off you go. How do you know this man knows where that street is? Maybe he is standing there waiting for somebody to give him directions, and yet you feel certain?
What we should question, we don't, and what we should not question, we do. But even if we question the things we shouldn't question, we will get an answer when we ask the right question.
Is it possible to turn confusion into clarity? Yes. Is it possible to turn the complicated into the simple? Yes. Is it possible to remove the darkness and replace it with light? Yes. Is it possible to have peace in this life? Yes. It is possible. And now.
Peace is within you. What do I have to do to "get it"? This is what people do. They say, "How do I get it?" I say, "Get what? Get it?" How can you get it? You've already got it. Get it? If you think you have to get it when you've already got it, you don't get it. And if you really want to get it, then understand that you have got it. Get it?
Everything in this life has been away from me, so I had to go get it. Everything in this life that I call an accomplishment, I had to go and get, whether it was a diploma, a certificate, a license — whatever. Our whole life has been get it, get it, get it. Then, all of a sudden, somebody comes along and says, "Oh, by the way, that which you really want to get, you got."
This is not like instant rice, where you get a container, throw it in the microwave, punch a few buttons, and you have "instant rice."
We used to have a farm where I grew up in India, and we grew our own basmati rice. When the rice cooked in our home, you could smell it four blocks away, and it smelled good. Instant rice? You may as well eat your sock. You may actually feel full
for a longer period of time, and it may be more nutritious and definitely low carb, and it is entirely possible it may actually have more flavor than instant rice. Who knows? It depends how long you've been wearing it.
We live in an instant world where we want everything now. But when it comes to something that you have always had in your life, there is no "instant."
Do you want to hear the whisper? And why is it a whisper? Because it has been left so far back. Turn down the volume. Something is whispering. Let it come. Beckon it to come closer and closer to you. Then, this voice, this whisper, this desire, this wish
Know yourself. Know this
beautiful story that you are.
Know this drama.
Know this song.
Know this symphony.
for peace and contentment will not be ignored but heard. That is the preparation you need to make. That is the simplest of things you need to do. I'm not talking about that weird voice of the great complicator that complicates everything. First, it leads you to fall in love with that thing in the window up until the point you buy it. After that, the climax just makes a ninety-degree turn and a forty-degree nosedive until you get it home and you have lost all interest in it. Then it goes in the great closet.
People love closet space because they know they're going to buy these things when the great complicator comes along and says, "Buy that. You need that."
You walk in, the price is high. "Oh, I'll think about it, okay?" Yes, you will. You will think, "I need that. I want it. I need to buy myself a treat; I haven't bought anything for myself for so long. It'll be a present, an early birthday present for myself." Excuses — a dime a dozen. And then, okay, you go and put it on the credit card. Now you have it, and you don't want it. It goes in the closet.
The voice inside has always asked you for one thing only, and that is peace, tranquility, and not another thing after that. Not a third, not a fourth, not a fifth.
Only one request. It has been there ever since you were a little child, and it will be there for as long as you are alive, asking you to be content.
This is the story of your life. Maybe it is nothing new. Actually, this is ancient, and, wow, is it exciting! Be excited to know that peace is within you and always will be within you. Be excited to know that this is your opportunity. Be excited to know that the greatest of all miracles has taken place. You are alive. Alive.
Change your scales. Do you want to know the definition of success? Success is opportunity observed — opportunity taken. Opportunity observed — opportunity not taken: that's failure. Success? Look at yourself. You are the success.
Every breath that comes into you is the great reminder. It's the beat of that drum, of that symphony: You are alive. You exist. It's the kindest, most gentle reminder one could possibly ever have. And in that is your peace.
I CAN HELP
The first priority is that you should have peace in your life. Period. That's it. Look for peace, search for peace, do whatever you have to do for peace. If you don't get peace, then come to me. I can help. What I offer I call Knowledge: a know-how, four techniques, to go inside.
I'm not selling anything. You need peace in your life. That's what I came to remind you of because you've got a big agenda now. You're an important person because of the big agenda. That's true. God forbid that big agenda becomes too small. You won't be so important. I'm here to tell you, "You are important regardless of that agenda because you are alive. It is the greatest miracle; it is the greatest gift. And it has been given to you." Given.
Don't say, "Who gave it to me?" Take it. It's given. If you want to be successful in your life, you have to be an opportunist. If you see this life as an opportunity for peace, then take it. If you see this existence as an opportunity to be content, then take it. That is success. The plaque on the wall of your office — that's not success. The plaque on the wall of your heart — that is success.
On the wall of your heart, frame this beautiful poetry that awakens you every day and inspires you to take in more of that opportunity of the beautiful peace that is possible in your life. That's what's important.
If you want peace, peace is possible. But begin turning the radio down, this radio that goes, "Yap, yap, yap." Turn that radio down and listen to the sweet voice that has always been there in your life — a voice calling out for you to be content. And be content.
MORE BEAUTIFUL THAN ANY FANTASY
Through logic, you cannot stop the feeling of wanting to know that which will make you truly content. Do you know that every moment in your life is unique? You will never have two alike. Never. This is the science of living — when you begin to appreciate every moment.
This is so beautiful. I know that the words alone are quite nice, but it's not about the words. It's about breaking
through the wall of words and into reality.
Life is always unfolding. Nothing is static. It's always changing. Always moving forward. And we have to learn to move forward with it. Otherwise, we will be left behind. When we look at the world, we see so many people who have been left behind trying to catch up every day, trying to do what is right, trying to be simple by becoming incredibly complicated. This is because we don't understand what simplicity really is. We think that if we give up everything, we will become simple. This is not true.
Some people go to great lengths to announce to the world, "I have renounced. I have given up so many things. And I want to show you that I have given up. I want to tell you that I have given up." But in trying to give up, they haven't given up what they should give up. So, what is simplicity?
If I leave my job, will I become simple? No. Because to understand simplicity, we have to understand what is making it complicated. And what is making it complicated? There's a beautiful couplet from an Indian poet from the fourteenth century. He said the infinite is not a topic of conversation. All you can do is feel it. Experience it. And then you will understand. Yet the whole world wants to talk about what is infinite, what is God, what is this breath. They want to talk about what is good. They want to talk about what is life.
ARE YOU RESTLESS?
Life needs to be felt. Do you feel alive? When I ask this, people immediately think,
"Of course, I am alive because of this and this." But these things are not what make you feel alive.
Somebody said that the drums of the breath beat day and night. A fool sleeps through it, and the one who is awakened is restless because of these drums playing day and night. Now, being restless can be negative — you can be restless if you are bored. Or you can be restless if you are excited and can't wait for something. And that's the point. Are you bored and therefore restless? Or are you excited and therefore restless? So restless you cannot wait for the next beat of this drum of breath, cannot wait to hear it again, for it to go through you again. Cannot wait to be mesmerized, to be elated. One more step. One more beat. To dance the dance of life. That is what feeling alive is all about.
Feeling. Understanding what is important in your existence every day. That's what simplicity is all about. Not wondering, "What is going to happen to me? When I die, am I going to heaven?"
The infinite is not a topic of
conversation. All you can do is
feel it. Experience it.
And then you will understand.
People say, "We are here to suffer. And if we suffer enough, then when we die, we will go to heaven." There are incredible ways of suffering on planet Earth: One, live in the desert in the summer without air conditioning. Two, make your home in the North Pole in the winter with no heat in your house. You will suffer.
Because of explanations, we lose the focus of what life is all about. I'm not talking about referring to a book. I'm talking about you referring to yourself. About you asking yourself — nobody else — What is it that I want in this existence?
This is your life. You have been given this opportunity to be alive. In you beats the drum of breath. You have consciousness. You have awareness — or at least the possibility of awareness. You have the possibility to remember, and you have the possibility to forget. You have the good; you have the bad. You have the right; you have the wrong.
Ugliness and beauty are not very far away from you. How far? The thickness of a hair. That's a pretty fine line.
My analogy is this: You are in a restaurant. The waiter is coming toward you with an incredible dish. It looks beautiful, and your mouth is watering. You cannot wait to eat it. Then it is in front of you, and just as you pick up your knife and fork, you see there is a hair in the food. Now you don't want it anymore. "Take it back!" you say, because you don't know whose hair it is. This could be a hair from a person who hasn't taken a shower for the last six months. The thickness of a hair. That's how close ugliness and beauty can be for you.
KNOW THE VALUE
In this life, all the possibilities are within you. There are no limits. What do you want? The answer must come from your heart, from that one place in you that is sincere. The answer must come from that same place, whatever you call it, that has been calling out to you, asking, "What is it that you want?"
You think your house belongs to you; it doesn't. The house knows that after you're gone, somebody else will live there. What can you call your own in this world? What is really your own? This breath is your own. It just came and went. It comes again, and it goes. And it comes again. That is your miracle; that is the grace in your life.
How many times have you sat in a room and said, "God, if you're real, I want to see you"? And God came as the breath and blessed you. That is the truest blessing of all.
And he came in no uncertain terms. Not as a face and not as an eye; not as a mouth and not as a tooth. We need eyes so we can see. That power does not need eyes to see. We need a nose to breathe. That power does not need a nose, but we give it a face.
What are you looking for? What do you want? What do you need? You know you have needs, but do you know how many of your needs have already been fulfilled?
A person who does not know the value of diamonds should not be sent to purchase diamonds. A person who does not know how to cook should not be sent to the market to choose the vegetables. It's very simple. A person who hates fruit should not be sent to pick out the fruit. A person who knows nothing about houses should not go shopping for houses. If the person doesn't know the value, there is no understanding.
Without knowing the value of life, you live in a world of total uncertainty. In ignorance, a human being struggles because he is living in uncertainty. He is not certain about tomorrow. And when a human being is not certain about something, one of two things happens. Either the human being accepts that and says, "I am going to do something about it," or, like most people, the human being makes up a
We know about our
differences. We do not know
about our similarity.
Every human being wants to
feel peace. Every human being
wants to feel joy.
story about tomorrow. And once the story has been made up, a human being will do anything to believe in that story, whatever it takes. But it's a story. And a story does not remove uncertainty.
Knowledge. Knowing. Understanding. These are the only things that can remove uncertainty so that I can begin to welcome what tomorrow is. Not what tomorrow brings, but what tomorrow is. Because it is the beating of the drum of breath. And I want to be restless to feel it again, to hear it again. And again and again in my life.
That's my truest wish. That's my sincerest wish. On one hand, I have a long list of all the things on the outside: "Yes, this would be nice, this would be nice, and this would be nice." And all those things that I think would be nice may or may not happen. So my success and failure cannot be dependent upon those things. My success is my restlessness to listen to the drum of my breath.
My yearning. My truest want to feel alive. To feel this existence. To feel the blessing of my God come and touch me. I've been given that blessing. And I want to be blessed again and again and again. I want to be dazzled by that miracle. I want to witness that miracle. In no uncertain terms, existence is an incredible miracle. To us, the miracle is when milk comes out of a wall. This is funny. It really is, as long as the wall doesn't belong to you. If it's your living room and milk is coming out of the wall, there's a problem. You call an exorcist because then it is not a miracle. But when the wall is somebody else's, then it's a miracle.
We think we know how to tell miracles. But when a miracle takes place right under our nose, we have no idea. People like to make up stories and believe in those stories so, somehow, they can forget about what is happening now. Anything to forget what is happening now. We say, "I'm young, I'm old, I'm poor, I'm rich." Another Indian poet says a simple, beautiful thing: Inside, each one of us is the same, just as the light of a lamp will be the same whether the lamp is lit in the house of a beggar, the house of a king, or the house of a saint. It gives the same light.
KNOW YOUR NATURE
We know about our differences. We do not know about our similarity. Every human being wants to feel peace. Every human being wants to feel joy. It doesn't matter what they call it. Don't get caught in semantics. Every human being wants to feel love. Why? Because this is our nature. When we get tired of standing, we like to sit down. And if we can't find a chair, a bench will be fine. A rock, fine. Grass, fine. Asphalt, fine. Sand, fine. A piece of wood, fine. People get caught up in thinking, "He's not really sitting, because he's sitting on grass. Sitting should be in a chair, so he's not really sitting." But sitting is sitting.
When we get tired, we like to close our eyes and go to sleep. Why? Because this is our nature. I have seen it in cockpits, going mach decibel 85 — 85 percent the speed
of sound — thundering away. There you are over the North Atlantic where so many airplanes and so many lives have been lost. But I have seen the best of them sitting there — quiet, at 45,000 feet with the engines humming and nobody to talk to —nodding off. I have also seen them wake up after doing that, look around, and pretend they're fine. I don't fault them. I just say, "Why don't you go back and take a nap? Ten minutes, fifteen minutes, you'll be fresh. I'll watch the airplane. No problem."
Through logic, you cannot stop the feeling of wanting to know that which will make you truly content, not fairy-tale content. Because until that happens, you will have everything but satisfaction. You will have everything but peace. You will have everything but love. You will have everything but understanding. And those are the things you need. Every day.
When you are hungry, you like to eat. When you are thirsty, you like to drink. It's your nature. Is conquering your nature the solution? No. But that's what a lot of people think: "I will conquer my nature. I will change it." No. How could you?
I watched a documentary on TV that said if the creation of Earth happened twenty-four hours ago, human beings have only been on earth for fifteen seconds. And you want to change? We are a little too young to change. We invented the device called a chair probably not even one second ago, and we are already fighting with it. We can't sit too long. Why? Because we have a tailbone at the end of the spine. Why? Because we used to have a tail.
Now we have cell phones, and we think that because we have cell phones, we never had a tail. Ask your chiropractor. Your cell phone has nothing to do with your tail. Your tailbone is still there. We see all these advances, and we get excited: "Oh, we are so different now." No, you're not. What do you talk about on the cell phone? Anything new? Anything different? No. It's always, "Hello? Hello? Hello?!"
Somebody gives us a piece of paper that says, "Now you are Dr. So-and-So or Captain So-and-So." So now I think that's who I am.
In India, I was interviewed on a national TV show. The host said to me, "So who are you? What's your real name?" And I said, "Me." He said, "No, no, no. What's your real name?" I said, "Me. Me." He said, "No, no, no. What is written in your passport?"
Here is the analogy I gave: Imagine you're in a house. Everything is fine. Your name is So-and-So. Then there is an earthquake, and the house falls down. Now you are buried in the rubble, but you're alive. You hear a rescue party outside. What are you going to say? "Help Mr. So-and-So"? No. Just, "Help me." It's uncanny. All of a sudden, all the names disappear — they don't matter.
FREE TO UNDERSTAND
You may have a place where you stay, but do you think you are free because you can
come and go as you like?
Last year, I visited a prison to talk to some of the inmates. It was beautiful. Beautiful people. Because they're people. They've done something wrong, obviously — that's why they're in prison. But I was not there to judge them. The judge already did that. I didn't go there to free them from the prison, either. It wasn't a jailbreak. I went there to show them the freedom inside of them because they still had it. The drum of breath was still beating, and they should hear it; they should listen to it, and they should awaken to it. That's how it should be because that's the possibility.
It truly is about knowing the freedom inside. That's real freedom. Freedom to understand.
Are you free to understand? Or are you slave to other people's ideas that prohibit you from understanding anything else? If you're not free to understand, then you're not free.
Are you free to understand? Are you free to know? Are you part of a story, a fairy tale that doesn't exist, or are you part of a story in which there is no limit to appreciation? If you don't know how to cook, then it's all about the cooking. But when you know about cooking, the first thing you understand is it's about how to make the food taste wonderful, how to bring out the flavors of the dish. It's totally different. When you don't know about painting, it's all about painting. But when you know about painting, it's not about painting. It's about something else. It is about the dance of life. It's about the color, the subtlety, how it plays with your eyes: "What can I put on this piece of canvas, and what emotion will it spark?"
When you don't know how to appreciate, then you say, "Oh, appreciate life every day." When you really know about appreciation, it is about enjoying the uniqueness of every moment. Do you know that every moment in your life is unique? You will never have two alike. Never. This is the science of living — when you begin to appreciate every moment. Not sitting there saying, "Oh, there goes a moment, there goes a moment, there goes a moment," but to be ready for the moment before the moment comes. To have a heart so open, an understanding so beautiful, and a yearning for appreciation so complete that when that moment comes, you see exactly what it is. That is the only thing that is real.
Couples always say, "Do you love me?" The protocol is the other person says, "I love you," and you're supposed to say, "I love you, too." At that moment, your mind might be completely filled with something else, but what comes out of your mouth? "Oh, I love you, too." This is the fantasy.
You do not need to take
your clues from a dream.
You need only to close
your eyes so that they can
open to the land within.
We say, "I love," without understanding. We say, "I understand," without understanding and "I know" without knowing. And the subject of the infinite is dealt with by theories and lectures when it should only be the subject of feeling, not words. You do not need to live in a dream. That's what's beautiful about living. You do not need to take your clues from a dream. You need only to close your eyes so that they can open to the land within.
To rest in the most profound way. To come home for real, not in fantasy. To feel alive, not because somebody gave you permission to, but because you feel alive yourself. Not to borrow somebody else's understanding but for you to understand. To understand that this breath is a blessing because you have felt it — not because I said so. This is so beautiful. I know that the words alone are quite nice, but it's not about the words. It's about breaking through the wall of words and into reality.
A DANGEROUS FANTASY
There is a beautiful couplet by Kabir: "That a drop resides in the ocean, everyone
knows. But that the ocean resides in a drop, only a few know."
Think about it: That a drop resides in the ocean, everyone knows. But that the ocean resides in the drop, only a very few know. I want you to be the very few who know. Who is the drop? And what is the ocean? You're the drop. Me, you, we're the drops. And within us resides the ocean. Not words. When you can feel that ocean inside of you, you will know and understand. Then it's clear and all is as it should be. You feel alive. You don't have to wait for spring to come. Even in the dead of winter, even in poverty, you feel alive.
Somebody asked me a question: "I'm poor, I'm uneducated, and I am old. Do you think I can feel this peace?" In the fairy tale, if you are poor, you are no one. Who came up with that story? "I'm uneducated. I have no possibilities. And I'm old. I'm weak." When the question was first asked to me, I said, "Sure, you can feel this."
Later, I was thinking more about it: "Oh, my God. This man has been reading the wrong story!"
But do you know what's dangerous? It's the same story that was told to us, too. We fear the same three things this man does. We don't want to get old. We don't want to be perceived as uneducated. We dread being poor. And we thought this man was so different from us? No. He was told the story and he bought it; we were told the same story and we bought it. It's a fantasy.
What hope does a person who lives in prison have? Every day that this person accepts the gift of life, his whole life is filled with hope. It's not about a story. It's about reality. You are not about a story. You are alive. Feel that blessing come in your life. Listen to the drum of that breath and dance to it. Be excited because you're alive today. Inside, understand.
THE SPRING OF LIFE
This is not about conquering frustration. Some people think that if a person has inner peace, you can go right up to them and say, "Your flight is not going to leave," and they're going to stay completely composed. It's not like that. Tell a dog, "Your flight's not going to take off," and what will the dog do? Wag its tail and be perfectly happy. You think that's what it's about? So you can be just like that dog?
That's not the point of existence. Neither is it to become Superman. The point of existence is to view this beautiful painting God has created, called you and me, in the most beautiful way. Only when that is happening in your existence can you even remotely begin to say that you are alive.
The seasons pass through every year. The seasons of life come but once. So spring is going to come in your life but once. Are you going to let that spring bloom? To bloom with certainty, with reality, with opportunity? Not as a thought of tomorrow, but a yearning: "Tomorrow I can be fulfilled again as I am today. As I am now. Not with my faults but with my strength. Not by what I don't know but by what I do know."
There is a fire in the air. That's good. Let the good things happen. Let people awaken. When people can find that reality within them, joy is the reward. Joy is the gift. So, no fantasy, but a reality. The reality is more beautiful than any imagined fantasy.
"That a drop resides in
the ocean, everyone knows.
But that the ocean resides in a
drop, only a few know."
Think about it.
Me, you, we're the drops.
And within us resides
the ocean. Not words.
When you can feel that ocean
inside of you, you will
know and understand.
You don't have to wait for
spring to come. Even in the
dead of winter, you feel alive.
THINKING OUTSIDE THE HAT
We want people to be kind and t have a little consideration for each other. These are good values. There are times when this is automatic for us. When we feel good inside, we become kind. Nobody has to tell us.
The issue, then, is not how the world should behave, but knowing the fundamental thing that, when it is there, automatically and naturally causes people to be the way they truly are.
You have all come to hear about a topic that is both fascinating and — from my experience of talking to people — very elusive.
We look at the world and see its problems. There is good and there is bad. Of course, being who we are, we want to get rid of the bad and, hopefully, retain the good. But sometimes, one has to think outside the hat to look at a situation. I will present you with a very simple scenario, because I know there are certain values that we want society to have.
We want people to be kind and to have a little consideration for each other. These are good values. And this is me thinking outside the hat. Consider this: There are times when this is automatic for us. When is that time? When we feel content. When we feel good inside — not on the outside, but good inside — we become kind. Nobody has to teach us. Nobody has to tell us.
I know that if I am standing in line at a cinema waiting for tickets and somebody wants to cut in, if I am feeling good inside, I don't have a problem. I'll say, "Go ahead." If I am feeling frustrated or at odds with myself, I'll say, "No! No!" The same thing happens on a highway or in a parking lot. When I am feeling good and somebody wants to cut in front of me, I let them. When I feel frustrated, I honk and move even closer to the car ahead of me.
A shorter version of this speech was published in the book Peace Is Possible: 27
The Lift and Message of Prem Rawat, by Andrea Cagan, Mighty River Press, 2007
It seems — and this is, again, thinking outside the hat — that there are certain traits innate to every human being and that these traits are our truest nature. Some people may say that a human being's nature is to fight because we do it so much. I disagree. No soldier wants to go to war. For every soldier who is out there, there is a wife waiting at home, praying every day that he returns. There is a child waiting for a father, a family waiting for a son, a brother, an uncle. And this family at home cannot stop the war. Maybe the only thing they can do is pray for the safe return of the soldier.
PEACE, THEN PROSPERITY
In times of trouble, we do not hesitate to lend a hand to someone when we feel contentment inside of us. The issue, then, is not how the world should behave, but knowing the fundamental thing that, when it is there, automatically and naturally causes people to be the way they truly are. So let's talk about your nature, my nature.
What is our nature? Peace does not belong to any religion. Peace does not belong to any country or society. The address for peace has been given again and again throughout history. Peace resides within the heart of human beings, within you and me.
A long time ago, the bar was set for mankind that peace is important. A formula was given: peace, then prosperity. We have forgotten about peace and remembered prosperity. The formula is not going to work without peace. We've gone to the moon, but we have been unsuccessful in establishing peace on this earth. We have developed weapons of mass destruction. Creating them has become an art form, with billions of dollars spent on research. But when it comes to peace, we just wave our hands and say, "Peace. Peace. Peace." We need to try to understand what peace is and where it can be found.
Is peace when the neighbors stop fighting? Then build a house where there are no neighbors. If the family is not fighting, is that peace? Then surely all the bachelors must be in peace. Is peace in a monastery? On top of a mountain? At the bottom of the ocean? No. Peace is within every human being. That's where you will find peace.
Human beings are like unlit lamps that need to be lit. If you want world peace, it does not begin with the world; it begins with every individual. It is people who need peace. Not the crows, not the monkeys, not the giraffes. We are the ones who hunger for peace. We are the ones who need peace in our lives.
But peace remains elusive. Why can't we get it by doing what we do in this world? If you try to start a car and it won't start, how long are you going to keep trying? A day? Two days? Five days? The battery is dead. This car is not going to start. The engine may not even be there, so are you going to keep sitting there trying to start it?
This is what people are doing — they're working on formulas that haven't worked for thousands of years. We keep thinking, "This will fix it. No, this will fix it." But none of these things are going to fix it. The only thing that is going to fix it is the clue Socrates gave so long ago: Know thyself. Look within you for the answers you want. Look within you for what you think is missing. If peace is missing in your life, look no further than yourself for that peace. Do not be alienated from yourself. Ask who you are, what your nature is.
WE ARE LIONS
Here is a little story to think about. One day, as a shepherd was coming out of the jungle, he saw a baby lion cub that had lost its mother. So he took it home, nursed it, and then put it in the barn with his sheep.
Every day, the sheep would go out to graze, and the cub would go out with them. The cub was raised with the sheep. One day, a big lion came out of the jungle and roared at the sheep. All the sheep went to hide and so did the little lion.
Without having known
your truest nature, you may
know other people, but you
will be an alien to your
When the big lion saw the little lion trying to hide, he walked over to him and said,
"What are you doing?"
"Why are you hiding?"
"I am hiding because I don't want you to eat me."
The lion said, "I'm not going to eat you. Don't you know who you are?"
"No, but whatever you do, don't eat me."
So the lion said, "I'm not going to eat you. You have forgotten who you are. Come
with me. Let me show you."
He took him to a pond and said, "Now, look at your reflection."
And when the little lion looked at his reflection, he said, "I'm not a sheep. I'm like you! I'm a lion."
We, too, need to look in the mirror of our hearts to see who we truly are. Having been raised with sheep, we think we are sheep, too. But we are lions. We think peace will come from someplace out there. We think it will come on a certain date. We never look in our own hearts where peace is dancing every single day.
This is who we are. This is our true nature. Of all the things that we do in our lives, how much time do we actually spend with ourselves? Do you know what is considered the worst form of punishment? It is solitary confinement, where the only person you are allowed to be with is you. This is how far we have come. Young people say, "This is not the time for me to be looking for peace. I am young. This is the time to party. This is the time to do this; this is the time to do that." I say to you, "Who came up with that plan? You? Because, believe me, there is another department up there that has its own set of plans. And it doesn't care about your youth. It doesn't care if your house is new. It doesn't care about the old. It does whatever it wants to do." People are shocked when a young person dies. "Oh, my God. He was so young!"
The time to look for peace is not a matter of beingyoung or old. As long as you are alive, search for peace. Have peace in your life because that is what is most important.
You might ask, "If peace is within me, how do I get to it?" First, truly understand that it is within you, because all this time, one thing you have been trying to avoid is accepting the possibility of peace being inside of you. When you want to cross a bridge that is made out of rope, what do you do? First you put your foot on it and make sure that it will hold your weight. You don't just bounce on it. The search for peace is no different. It begins with understanding that what I am looking for is truly within me. And then — and then alone — can I embark on the process of accepting peace in my life.
If we keep believing that peace is somewhere else — that we don't know what we are looking for — then we will never find it. It has been within you; it will be within you. And, yes, peace is possible. Why is it possible? Because that elusive element that you have been searching for has been within you all this time.
WHO CAN BE HAPPY?
We become distracted. So many issues come up. Yet the peace I am talking about is so innate that it can even be felt in the middle of war. It is the freedom that can be felt by a prisoner inside of a jail. Nobody can take it away from you. It is dependent only on you, not on outside circumstances. You carry that peace within you wherever you go, whatever those circumstances may be. That's the peace I'm talking about, the fundamental peace. That is the peace that you must feel every day.
There is a lamp that is lit in
the heart of every single
human being. Light the lamp
and remove the darkness.
Peace is not something to feel once and then say, "Okay, that's it." Peace needs to be felt every single day, every single moment, if possible. And you have to be the judge of whether you feel it. Nobody else can tell you, "Now you are peaceful; it's okay." No definitions.
People think you must be happy because you earn a good living, have a wonderful family, a good job, great prospects. But the innate happiness within every human being does not see caste or color or riches. A poor person can be happy, and a rich person can be happy.
When I travel, people come to me wanting to find happiness in their lives. Once a farmer asked me, "I am uneducated and I am old. Do you think I can be happy?" A few days later, a wealthy industrialist asked me the same thing. "Do you think I can be happy?" He was young, very well educated, and wealthy. But he asked me the same question.
There is the happiness of having a good family and the happiness of having a good job. But there is another kind of happiness. And that's the happiness I am talking
about. So my answer to both of them was, "Yes, you can be happy, because the happiness, the peace you are looking for, is inside of you."
This is not a concept. It is reality. You are alive. You exist, and your existence is the miracle of all miracles. Three major things happen in your life: One, you are born. Two, you are alive. And you know what that third one is. One has happened, one is happening, one will happen — not might, will.
A long time ago, a formula was
given: peace, then prosperity.
We have forgotten about peace and
remembered prosperity. The formula
is not going to work without peace.
It's not about what has happened — it's happened. And it's not about what will happen, because it will happen. It is about what is happening. What is happening is that you are alive. And the potential that being alive brings is always there. Tap into it.
LEARN WHO YOU ARE
Some people want to become a "better" person. I say to them, "Forget about being a
better person. You are the best."
A watch made in Switzerland is considered good. Guess where you're made? Designed by whom? By the Creator Himself. And every person is unique. Life is about the uniqueness, not the repetition. People ask me, "Will I have another life?" I say, "I don't know. Why don't we trade e-mails? If you go first and find out there is another one, e-mail me. If I go first and I find out, I'll e-mail you." If you go to a bank and say, "Give me a loan. I'll pay it back in my next lifetime," you're not going to get that loan. You will be kicked out of the bank. You may be thinking, "It's okay. I can waste my time because I'll have another lifetime." This is not what life is about.
Learn who you are. Understand that peace is possible and that peace is within you. Celebrate that you exist. Don't wait for your birthday. Celebrate every breath that comes into you, every day you are given. Find peace in your life.
IGNORANCE IS NOT BLISS
Search for it. Wherever you find it, good. If you don't find it, I can help. I have a way to go inside. People say, "Why don't you tell us what it is?" This is what I do, but first you have to connect the dots — one, that peace exists inside of you, and two, that it is possible. Without knowing those two things, you will search and search, but you will not find it. When you know that those two factors exist in your life, you can begin to look. Then you can be serious about what peace is.
Wherever you go, however lonely you become, or however many friends you are with, peace is always inside of you. That is where it resides. Whenever you feel like not being a sheep and want to see your true face, look in the heart's mirror and you will see who you truly are.
Without having known your truest nature, you may know other people, but you will be an alien to your very existence. You cannot be an alien to yourself. You must know.
And what Socrates said is 100 percent correct. Know yourself. Because what you're looking for is within you. It always was and always will be.
This is a message of passion. To feel — not the responsibilities, because we feel enough of those — but to also take the responsibility to feel alive every single day. Because this is what is given to you.
We need to know what is really, really important to us. Important to you. You are alive. You are a human being, no different from anybody else. I have been around the world many, many times. Human beings — we're all the same. We have the same aspirations, we have the same thirst, and we have the same wants.
We may say water in ten different languages, but we mean exactly the same thing. We are on this planet. That is a gift that is being poured into us every day. Understand what it means before it is too late. Understand the preciousness of each breath before it is too late. When you do, you begin to live. Then you begin to see what you have never seen before. Understand what you have never understood before — about yourself. You will not find faults. There is a lamp in your heart. Light the lamp and remove the darkness.
Ignorance is mankind's biggest failure. We love to plead ignorance. The saying goes, "Ignorance is bliss." It's not bliss. Be enlightened in this lifetime. Whatever it takes. This is your potential, and you should fulfill it.
This is my message. This is what I go and tell people: You are blessed beyond what you know. It is time to discover every blessing you have been given so you can be thankful, so you can be fulfilled.
Peace does not
belong to any religion.
Peace does not
belong to any country.
Peace resides within
the heart of
within you and me.
A lot of people have
come here today to
listen to what
I have to say.
I thank you very much
for coming because you
also have the possibility
of having your life
WHAT IS THIS "I"?
The question that arises is, Who is this person saying "me"? Who is this "I"? To answer that, we have to begin to understand what our existence is all about.
Most of what we hear in our lives is either about how things were or how they could be. My message doesn't address either of these. In our lives, especially when we get older, we think about how it used to be when we were young. On many occasions, I have heard people actually say, "Oh, when I was young, I used to do this and I used to do that, and when we were young, we used to go here and we used to go there."
So much memory, so much thought is dedicated to what was. Where do we derive our hopes and aspirations from? They come from what might be. That's what we work for. We look to the future, and in the future, we try to see what would be good and how it could come to be. We take our dreams, our aspirations, our ideas, and we say, "I will work hard. I will do this. I will acquire that. And then one day, someday in the future, I'll be happy. I'll be content."
I am here to talk to you about another dimension, another time. This time is not in the past, and it is not in the future. The time that I am here to talk about is now. In this moment, in this very second, the breath that comes into you is heralding the possibility of immeasurable joy. This is what is so interesting: in this moment called now, all my wants and my wishes are being fulfilled.
The question that arises is, Who is this person saying "my," saying "me"? Who is this "I"? To answer that, we have to begin to understand what our existence is all about.
THE FUNDAMENTAL UNDERSTANDING
Let's think of a man. His job is to make frames. People bring him their paintings —beautiful paintings — and he makes frames. This is all he does. He makes frames, and he frames pictures. And he's very good. As his popularity spreads, more people bring him their pictures, and he is busy day and night, framing, framing, framing. All these paintings that come to him are magnificent, but, alas, he has no time to look at them and admire them because he is too busy framing. When a picture comes, he doesn't look at it. He measures the width, and he measures the height; he cuts the frame, and with his hammer and nails, he frames the picture. And he says, "Next" and "Next" and "Next." When, after hours of framing, he is tired, he says, "Now I must rest."
He leaves his workshop, goes outside, looks all around, and says, "Oh, I'm so tired." So he takes his tea or coffee break. Then he looks at his watch and goes back. And what does he do? "Next." Measures it, frames it. "Next." Measures it, frames it. And that's what happens.
That's what all of us do. Because the concern is — and this is a statement made by so many people — 'What will I do with my time?" Let's look at that. Forget about "what" for a minute, forget about "will," and forget about "do." "I" and "my time" — that's what's important. That is what it is all about.
I hear people saying, "I love the color blue." Somebody else says, "I love orange," or "I love green." The main thing in these statements is not the color. It is the "I," because without the "I," you can have all the colors you want, but nobody to say, "I love." It is this "I" that allows you to be a father, a mother, a wife, a teacher, a pilot, a doctor, a lawyer, or whoever you are. Whatever you are, it is this "I" that allowed you to have a job, to be a child, to play; it is this "I" that allowed you — and will allow you — to retire. One day the "I" will be no more, and then … I don't have to say it. You know. When the "I" is finished, none of it matters any longer.
What does matter, though, is whether you recognized the "I" in the "L" Did you recognize the "I" that allows you to be everything you are and will allow you to be everything you will be? What is that "I"?
What is the breath? What is this life? What is this existence? When I have it, I have everything, and when I don't have it, I have nothing — and not even nothing. I don't have to work for it. I don't have to earn it. I have it. What do I have?
It begins with the understanding of this "I" — this you! And the fundamental understanding of you is all about understanding what you have. The world always tells you what you could have. Every advertisement is about what you could have. Not what you need. What you could have.
The world tells you what you must do to be happy, but it never shows you a person who did all of that and was happy. The formula the world gives you has no equal sign at the end. It's just a formula. What does it equal? What does it produce? What does it do? Nobody knows. "Do all of this, do all of that…." I'm not criticizing anything. I am saying the key ingredient missing in all that is happening in the world is you. I am saying it because, in your life, you have all your responsibilities, but you also have the responsibility of recognizing what you have been given.
You have ears. And I am sure that so many of you have listened to beautiful concerts and enjoyed them very much. Beautiful symphonies. Beautiful violins, harps, pianos. And you said, "Wow! This is beautiful." I'm sure you have heard a lot of lectures,
and you have thought about them and discussed them over a cup of coffee, asking, "What did you think of this? What did you think of that?"
Now, let me ask you another question: Have you heard the call of your heart? No poetry was ever written as sweet as the call of the heart. If there was ever a perfect lecture, it is the lecture of the heart. And if there is a voice that is sweet, then it is the voice of the heart. Listen to it. Pay attention because something so sweet is manifesting in your life. Listen to the request because it is about peace, it is about joy, it is about being fulfilled. Not tomorrow. Not the day after tomorrow. Now. To be complete now.
Yesterday I was speaking at a university, and one of the things I was talking about was "almost complete." Not complete, almost complete.
I talk about another
dimension, another time.
This time is not in the past,
and it is not in the future.
The time I talk about
When I come and speak, I don't have a prewritten speech. So when I said what I said yesterday, it was as much of a surprise to me as it was to the audience. And afterward I was thinking about "almost complete." The painting that is almost complete does not express what it could. Its potential has not been realized. The song that is almost complete does not express what the writer wants to express.
In our lives, we, too, are almost complete. It's like the bridge that is magnificent but has another eight feet to go. Nobody can use it because it's not complete. It's almost complete. It's like a jacket or dress that is missing the sleeves. You can't wear it. Or the pasta that is almost complete. You can't eat it.
How do you become complete? What does it take to complete this existence? It's so simple. Recognize what you have been given. Recognize! That's all you have to do. After that, what will happen is automatic. The farmer can only sow the seed. He cannot squeeze the seed and make it sprout. If he starts doing that, he will kill everything. All he can do is sow it. All I can do is recognize. And then the unfolding begins. This is what knowledge of the self is all about.
KNOWLEDGE OF YOURSELF
People ask, "What is so important about self-knowledge?" Here is a good analogy: You live in Madrid, and you know a lot of addresses — you know the café, the movie theater, the office building, the supermarket, and the airport. Of all those addresses, which one is the most important? Where you live is the most important address. You may go to the supermarket one day and not go another day, but you want to be home every day.
It doesn't matter where you go in the world; you want to come back home. You really do. Think about it. Let's say you have worked really hard, and you have bought a ticket for your holiday. What are you doing at home? You're doing all the preparation so you can go and have your vacation. But — most importantly — you want to come back home. If somebody said, "You can go, but you can't come back," you would say, "I'm not leaving. I'm staying home."
Home is me. I may acquire a lot of knowledge, and much of it I may never need. Things will change. But as long as I am me, I will need to have knowledge of my own self. Me. As long as breath comes into this body and this instrument plays the sweet song of life, I want to be there to listen. I want to be there to dance to that rhythm, that tune, that joy, that breath, that understanding.
A lot of people have a mantra: "Smile, smile, smile." People are told, "Look good. Smile." And they have to remember, "Smile, smile, smile." It is hard if there is nothing to smile about. Sooner or later, you will forget the mantra, and as soon as you forget the mantra, you go back to frowning. The smile is gone. So people write it everywhere, "Smile, smile, smile." But sooner or later, your eyesight will be gone. "What's written on the wall? I don't know. I forgot." See what I am saying?
There is something that is variable by nature, and it will stay variable. So much is changing around me all the time. My eyesight? Not as good as it used to be. My hearing? Not as good as it used to be. Smell? I think it's still very good, but it is changing, and it will change and change. But do you know what has not changed?
The breath coming into me and the call of my heart have always been the same. Not a single beat has been missed. The call of the heart has always been, "Be fulfilled. In every moment, be fulfilled."
People say to me, "That's very hard." The question isn't whether it is easy or hard. Just know that in every breath lies the possibility of being fulfilled. Whether you accept it or not is not the point. The point is that the possibility is there.
A lot of people have come here today to listen to what I have to say, and I thankyou very much for coming because you also have the possibility of having your life fulfilled.
Now, a lot of you are going to walk away from here and say, "I did not understand a word he said. I feel pretty fulfilled." How do you know you're fulfilled? I will tell you. The day that call of the heart changes from, "Be fulfilled" to "Thank you" is the day you will know you are fulfilled.
Last night I was thirsty. The room was dark, and I could not see. So I'm looking for the flashlight. I turn on the flashlight. I see the bottle of water, open it, and drink, drink, drink; then I stopped because my thirst was quenched.
Let's change this example: The room is dark. I know there is a flashlight, and I'm looking for it so I can turn it on and see where the bottle of water is. The point is to find the water. I'm only looking for the flashlight so I can see the water. Next thing I know, I turn on the room light. Now I can see the bottle of water, but I'm still looking for the flashlight. Why am I still looking for the flashlight? Because I forgot that the reason I was looking for the flashlight was to see the water. Now an even bigger light
has gone on, and I'm still looking for the flashlight. I can't find the flashlight, so I'm not drinking the water, and I am still thirsty. Does that sound familiar?
Why have we created what we have created? To be fulfilled. Is it fulfilling us? No. Are we still chasing it? Yes. And how long are we going to chase it? So, in the simplest of terms, what I am saying is that what you are looking for, what you have been looking for, and what you will be looking for are all within you.
Where does it all begin? First, listen to the call of your heart. Be quiet. Stop talking.
The world tells you what
you must do to be happy,
but it never shows you
a person who did all of
that and was happy.
You've been talking, talking, talking. Saying what? "I think I have everything, I think I have everything, I think I have everything." God forbid a day should ever come when you say, "I thought I had everything." But you must know. Know.
Because it is possible in this life to be fulfilled. Walk in certainty. That's what it takes. That's what life requires, that's what life demands. Walk in certainty. Not in uncertainty. Your whole life will change.
You will begin to ask not the value of tomorrow, but the value of today. Your life will change. That's what it takes. It's so close. There is not much of a difference between tomorrow and today. There really isn't. Technically speaking, it's only one second difference, but it makes all the difference in the world because tomorrow is speculation; today is certainty. Walk in certainty. Walk with that thirst. Walk toward the well in your life that will quench the thirst. And if you don't know where the well is, then look within you, not outside. Look within you. You have looked outside for too long. I'm not saying you haven't found many things outside, but remember, you haven't found that one thing you were looking for, that one element that started the search of a lifetime. What is that one element? I'm not going to say it. You already know.
The beating of the
drum of breath.
I want to hear it
again and again
You are the one who is searching. Some people say, "I don't think I am searching." Yes, you are. When you are attracted by a sign on the side of the road, you are searching. When you look at a shop and say, "Mmm," you are searching. When that flashy motorcycle goes by and you look, you are searching. Of course you are searching. When the beautiful full moon shines in the sky and you look at it, you are searching. You are searching, and you will be searching until you have found it.
This is how simple it is. To some people, it's very complicated. Some people ask me, "What about my religion?" Follow your religion. This has nothing to do with your religion. This has to do with you. Just you in your journey of life.
Will it make you a better person? I don't know. Will it make you more successful in your business? I don't know. Will it make you more popular with women? With men? I don't know. This much, I do know: It will make you very popular with your heart. It will make you very attracted to your heart. That's how simple it is.
YOUR BOOK OF LIFE
Is there a book I preach from? No. Because all you need to read is written in the chapters of your heart. In your heart is a book that has been written, that will be written. There is a book that is being written. And it's your book. Is it interesting? Nobody will know except you because only you get to read your book. Nobody else can read it. So, is it interesting? Well, it depends. Did you pay attention when you were writing it?
I get such a kick out of it. Sometimes, I write a note to myself very fast. And then two days later, I read it and say, "What did I write?" I know I wrote that, but I wasn't paying attention. Now I can't read it. It was something important; that's why I wrote it. I say to myself, "Should have paid more attention. Write slowly, write clearly." What have you written in the book of your life? Are you having a hard time reading it?
Is that why so many people won't talk about this? They say, "It's okay. There's nothing there." No. Every day, take a little time because the book is being written. It is the book of life; every page is being written. Write it clearly because you're going to have to read it. You're going to want to read it. And, hopefully, it'll be joyful to read because it is your words that will be written. This is the possibility I am talking about.
This is all about joy. It's true joy, joy of the heart. Come from that simple place and you, too, can understand. Because it is the simplest things in life that carry the greatest meaning. It is the things that we forget about, the things that we start to assume, that bring us pain. When was the last time you told those you really love that you love them?
In this world, fathers forget to tell their children they love them; children forget to tell their fathers they love them. Husbands forget to tell their wives they love them; wives forget to tell their husbands they love them. This forgetting has gone so far that we forget to tell all those we love that we love them. We forget.
So, now is the time to start remembering the possibility that I have talked about. After the thirst has become clear, the purpose of the water also becomes very clear. Until then, without the thirst, it's only speculation. Don't live this life in speculation. Don't live this life in uncertainty. Every step, every breath, should be taken in certainty.