PEACE IS LOOKING
ARE YOU LOOKING
The river, page 6
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.
There is only one person
in the whole world
who can make you happy.
Do you know who that is?
In you is a treasure, page 16
Addressing audiences worldwide, Prem Rawat, known also as Maharaji, delivers his message of peace to many different people - young and old, rich and poor, and those from cities and villages alike. The articles in ADI MAGAZINE are Prem Rawat's spoken words from these occasions. They have been edited for brevity and readability, but still maintain the flow of speech. 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 issue.
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: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Editor: Ole Grünbaum
Editorial staff: Mary Wishard and Sherry Weinstein
Editorial assistence: Jan Buchalter
Art direction: Rasmus Olesen
Photographer: Mehau Kulyk
HOTO work: Silas Hansen
ADI Magazine is printed on FSC-certified paper, from responsibly managed forests and verified recycled sources.
WHAT KIND OF PEACE
ADI MAGAZINE is dedicated to publishing edited versions of Prem Rawat's addresses around the world. For decades now, Prem Rawat has been talking about peace, and even though some of the aspects of what he is saying strike chords with what other people say, there is a certain uniqueness to Prem Rawat's message.
The quote on the front cover of this issue is, "Peace is lookingfir you. Are you looking firpeacer One may ask, What kind of peace is looking for you, for me? It is obviously not the peace that is made by a treaty between two or more governments. Neither is it the peace that one can enjoy when there is no traffic noise. Then what kind of peace is it?
It's a different peace, and Prem Rawat has also been talking about a different war: the war that is taking place inside each individual. He has been saying that when this inner war is ended and the inner peace is found, one can experience peace even in the midst of a battlefield. And the freedom that this gives can be enjoyed even by a person in a prison cell. These are truly powerful statements.
Prem Rawat often remarks that human society and technology have been changing drastically over the centuries, and even decades, but the human being has not changed. This is also a controversial statement. Many people are confident that we have changed. They simply cannot imagine that cave people ever felt like people feel today or that they asked some of the same questions that we ask.
Prem Rawat suggests that some questions are timeless —questions like, Who am I? What am I doing here in this life? What is possible to achieve in a lifetime? How do I fulfill my truest longing to be happy and content?
He also suggests that the peace which is looking for me, for you, is the answer to these questions.
THE RIVER PAGE 6
You ask people, "What is peace?" Some say, "Peace is when all the countries stop fighting." Others tell you, "Peace is when the neighbors don't make noise anymore." Let me tell you about a peace that is not bound by definitions, that is the same for every person on the face of this earth. That peace is not out there. Let me tell you about the joy that is the same for everybody. The real joy is not about what mountainyou have climbed. The real joy is discovering the peace that is within your own self. Discover what you haven't discovered for a long time. It doesn't matter how young you are, and it doesn't matter how old you are. The time has come to open the greatest gift of all.
IN YOU IS A TREASURE PAGE 16
Despite all the things that are wrong in this world, there are some things that are really, really good. There is something that is perfect. And that perfection is in you. There are people who like to point out all the problems. There should also be people who point out the good, the right, the beautiful, because this existence that you have is beautiful, is wonderful. And sometimes, caught up in our troubles, in our turmoil, in our ideas, we forget the importance of being alive. It is time to reach within and see and understand the good, to say yes to what you have ignored for so long, which is no one else but you! Socrates said, "Know thyself." Why did he say that? Because in you is a treasure.
THIS QUEST IS REAL PAGE 24
You acknowledge everybody around you, your friends, your wife, your husband, your sister, your brother, your uncle. You meet your friend, and you say, "Hello." You meet your boss, and you say, "Good morning, sir." I But how do you greet yourself? You don't. In your eyes, you don't need to greet yourself. And that is why the self is not valued in this world today. So many scriptures say that you must understand the self, but people say, "I don't know what that means." The good news is, what you are looking for is inside of you. The peace you want is within you. It dances in the hearts of all human beings —waiting, looking to be embraced, to be accepted, to be understood, to be discovered, to be found by us. So look for peace. Search for it.
YOUR HOME OF EXISTENCE PAGE 32
I was watching a TV documentary about the Gospel of Judas. It suggests that there was a lot more going on in early Christianity than what people have been led to believe. A professor talked about the Gnostics. He said, "These people believed in a knowledge that did not come from any book. They believed that in every human being dwells the spark of the same God and that they could feel it. They would sit down and achieve a tranquil state with their eyes closed." Amazing. Why? Because there were some people who understood something a long time ago, and that spark is not dead even today, when virtually everything else has changed. That we look for it and want to feel it today is no different than it was two thousand years ago. So, in this existence, find the spark of the divine and make that your companion.
Once there was a man who bought a house, but there was a shortage of water there. So he did a lot of research, and he found the place where he should dig a well. He bought a spade and started digging. It was hot, and it was hard. And one day, he reached his limit.
He had no more water; he had been working for days in the heat of the sun, digging the well. He was incredibly thirsty, and he knew that if he didn't get water very soon, he would die.
So he started yelling, 'Water, water, water." Somebody heard him and came over to him and said, "Come with me. I will take you to the water." The stranger took his hand and led him around the house. Not far away, a huge river was flowing with beautiful clear water.
When the man saw the river, he jumped in. He cooled himself, he drank the water, and he was content. As he came out, he thanked the person, went back to his house, picked up the spade, and continued digging his well.
Why do I tell this story? Because digging the well had become more important than finding the water. The river was not that far from his house. After he found it, he didn't need a well. He could just run a pipe or even fetch the water when he needed some. But he was so involved in digging the well —he had put so much research into it, had spent so much time and energy deciding the exact spot —that even after finding the river, he had to keep digging.
This is what happens to many of us. We get so involved in formulas for how to make everything happen that we actually forget what we are trying to accomplish.
WHO ARE WE?
So, what do you want in your life? What do I want in my life? What do we all want?
Who are we? What are we?
As I travel from country to country, I see the signs: "Welcome to India," "Welcome to Malaysia," 'Welcome to France." Welcome to all of these places.
Do those nations define who we are? Don't we all descend from those people who knew no nation, who had no sophistication, who only wanted to survive day by day and be content? Are we not a part of those people whose desire was not a cell phone or a computer but existence?
There was a civilization that believed in an afterlife. They built pyramids. Don't you think they looked at those pyramids in bewilderment and pride at the same time? "We did this!!!" And then, like a book, the page turned, and everything changed. A new chapter began.
So, here we are today. Who are we? What are we? What do we want? Once upon a time, when we were children, the resolve all of us had was to feel joy, to be content. The formulas didn't matter. The ideas didn't matter. The social justifications didn't matter. What mattered was being content. It is so innate. It is so fundamental.
Your life is like a circus that comes to town. It's exciting. They pitch the tents on a field and then create the environment. People buy their tickets, sit down, and watch the show. And one day, the show closes down, and all that is left is the field.
I'm not saying that's good, and I'm not saying that's bad. I pass no judgment on it. It is neither right nor wrong. And I don't tell you how to evade it, because you can't.
What I am saying is that the circus has come to town, and you are the circus. Enjoy. Enjoy this time that you have. Not in the sense of, "Look what I have!" but rather, "Look what I have discovered!" Discover that which already exists inside of you.
What I talk about comes from my own experience. And my experience says that if I have discovered the river, I don't need to dig the well.
I didn't create the river. I didn't even know that there was a river so close. Somebody helped me to discover it, and now I have access to the water.
You ask people, "What is peace?" Some say, "Peace is when all the countries stop fighting." Others tell you, "Peace is when the neighbors don't make noise anymore." Or, "Peace is early morning when nobody else is up, the birds are starting to sing, and the sun is rising."
Let me tell you about a peace that is not bound by definitions. Let me tell you about a peace that is the same for every person on the face of this earth. That peace is not out there.
Ask people, "What is your definition of joy?" Some will tell you, "Joy is winning the lottery." Others will tell you, "Joy is passing the exam that I didn't study for."
An amazing thing happens. Exam time comes, and suddenly everybody, at the last minute, is interested in studying. Actually, they're really not interested in studying; they're interested in passing the exam. And as soon as they pass the exam, they can forget everything they have studied.
The world teaches us
about our differences.
But we also have a similarity:
the thirst of the heart
that every one of us has.
It was like that for me when I went to school. What was my favorite thing to do? Play, play, play. What was my mother's favorite thing for me to do? Study, study, study. And the more she said, "Study," the more I wanted to play. Then when exam time came, her question was, "Will you pass? Will you pass? Will you pass?"
Let me tell you about the joy that is the same for everybody. The real joy is not about accomplishments. The real joy is not what mountain you have climbed. The real joy is discovering the peace that is within your own self. To find the river in you.
Now, people listen to this and say, "Hmm. How? I don't think there is anything inside of me —it's all outside." What about those people through the centuries who have been saying, "What you are looking for is inside of you"? What about those people who have been saying, "Know thyself'? Or the Chinese proverb I just saw when I was in Taiwan looking through a book: "It is intelligent to know your friends. It is wise to know yourself." I liked it.
Am I saying something that you don't already know? Big question. Have I said something so far —besides the story and the little proverb —that you didn't already know? Each year, hundreds of thousands of people come to hear me speak, and I tell them what they already know. And do you know what's really nice? They like it.
We need to be reminded about the fundamental things that we know. We need to be reminded again and again and again what is important. We forget. And what do we forget? We forget the most important things.
When people travel —and I see this all the time —they don't forget the useless things. Never. They've got those with them. But things like their passport? Missing. You see them at the airport looking for their passport and pulling out all their luggage, going through everything.
In this life, too, we forget our passport. The call of the heart, we forget. We forget because there are calls from everybody else screaming in our ears, "This is what's important; that is what's important." There was a time in your life when the only thing that was important to you was what you felt from within. Your mother said to you, "Be quiet." Were you? "Waaahhh." Your father said, "Shhh!" You still cried. You cried because you had a need. And when that need was fulfilled, you were fine.
Now, we have grown up. The world has changed; technology has changed. So we think we have changed, too. We fly in jet aircrafts, guided by the most incredibly modern global positioning system with three digital autopilots. So we have changed. Right? Not when we hit the first bump. Try telling yourself, "But you are the modern man. You are the modern woman. Fear not —three digital autopilots. Fear not —global
positioning system. Let go of the chair. It is nothing." Ha-ha. The pilot is doing exactly the same thing in the cockpit. He's got the yoke. He's turned pale. His knuckles are white. He's saying, "Agghghh!"
There's nothing modern about us. We pick up the cell phone and react to the conversation the same way we would if the person were standing in front of us. What a façade has been created, in the belief that we have changed. We have not changed.
Who are we? The world teaches us about our differences. But we also have a similarity. What is it? The similarity is the thirst of the heart that every one of us has.
The similarity is the coming and going of the breath. It is the same for every single person alive. It comes, and it brings life. It brings existence. And it goes, and it comes again. And in it is immeasurable joy. Immeasurable peace. Immeasurable satisfaction. Immeasurable tranquility. That is what is dancing on the stage of your heart.
Peace is looking for you. Are you looking for peace? Peace doesn't come about because some leaders get up and say, "Peace, peace, peace." Never. If we want peace, it doesn't begin with the world; it begins with us. I have traveled around the world many times, but I have never come across anything called the world. I have come across people. People, people, and more people. This is who we are.
Peace is looking for you …
You want to hear about a miracle? You are a miracle. You are this moving, dancing miracle of all miracles. The breath comes into you. Do you know from where? It's the kiss of the creator touching you, bringing you life. Do you know what life is? The very magic that allows you to see, to hear, to feel, to think, to smile, to be, to feel happiness, to feel joy, to feel peace —that is what life is.
The breath comes into you. It allows you to exist, so all these beautiful things can unfold for you. It's yours. You cannot give your breath to anyone. You cannot rent your breath to anyone. And no one can come and steal it from you.
IT'S NOT SELFISH
Some people say, "Isn't that selfish?" Is enjoying a sunrise selfish? Is happiness selfish? When the little baby smiles, is that selfish? Which grandmother, which mother, thinks it's selfish when their little baby comes waddling up to them to give them a big hug and a sloppy kiss? What father thinks that is selfish? That's not selfish.
You hug that baby. You don't say, "Go hug somebody else." No. It's quite the reverse. When that baby comes and hugs like that, the grandmother is on top of the universe. "Ah, he kissed me. He came to me!"
… Are you looking for peace?
The breath comes into you.
It's the kiss of the creator,
touching you, bringing you life.
It's the same way. This breath came into me. It came and touched me. And I hug it back I embrace it back. And I feel gratitude. What is gratitude? People don't know what gratitude is.
Gratitude is a feeling. When the heart is full, there is gratitude. Allow yourself to be filled with gratitude. Allow yourself to feel peace.
I offer a way to be able to go inside and feel the feeling that is within. People sometimes say, "Give it to me." Give you what? What you already have? What I am talking about is discovery. Open. Open what you haven't opened for a long time. Discover what you haven't discovered for a long time. It doesn't matter how young you are, and it doesn't matter how old you are. The time has come to open the greatest gift of all.
I have met so many people who say: "Life is terrible. You come into this world, you have a horrible experience, and then you die. And that's it." I'm not arguing with them. I don't need to. I don't want to. Maybe this is all they have seen. Maybe bitterness is all they know. They're digging the well, and they are hot. And all I am saying is, there is a river in their backyard.
Some people say, "River or no river, I'm going to dig this well, because I've done the research, and I have already spent all this time. Won't I look like an idiot if I stop digging now?" No, you won't. You will look like the smartest person, the one who found the river and realized, "There's no reason for me to dig the well."
So, this is my message: There is a wonderful possibility within you. Not in a book. Not in a building. Not on top of a mountain. Within you. In your life, in your existence, there is a beautiful possibility. Discover that possibility and be fulfilled. Enjoy this existence. Enjoy each kiss from the creator that comes and touches you.
No kiss is more precious than that kiss.
IN YOU IS A TREASURE
There was a man who was very poor. He wanted to buy a little farm and saved up as much money as he could. There was some land that nobody was using, so he went to the owner and asked, "Can I buy this farm from you?" The owner said, "Okay, you can have it." He took the money and sold him his farm.
The man worked really hard plowing the fields, and the landyielded beautiful crops. Slowly but surely, he became quite rich. He built himself a house, married, and had children. With most of his wealth, he bought gold. Then he put the gold in a trunk, and he buried the trunk on his land.
Time passed. The man got very old. He called his children to his bedside and said, "It's time for me to go. But please take care of the farm. Plow the fields." He didn't tell them that he had buried the treasure. He just said, "Plow the fields, and you will be rewarded beyond belief."
When he passed away, his children had a cremation ceremony … and then they lost all interest in the farm. Once again, it became unused land. One day, somebody came along and said, "Here is a little money. Would you please sell me your farm?" The sons weren't interested in the farm, so they sold it to him.
This man plowed the fields. One day while he was plowing, what do you suppose he came across? The buried treasure. Instantly, he was richer than he could have ever imagined.
THE BEAUTY IN YOU
That treasure is a metaphor for the peace that we are all seeking. I want to talk about this peace. I don't want to tell you what is right and what is wrong. I'm not trying to point out all the problems of the world, because there are too many. But, despite all those problems, despite all the things that are wrong in this world, there are some things that are really, really good. Despite all the ugliness in this world, there is something very, very beautiful. Despite all the mistakes that have been made, there is something that is perfect. And that perfection, that beauty, is in you. That is what I want to talk about.
There are people who like to point out all the problems. And, in a way, I'm glad they do. But I think there should also be people who point out the good, the right, the beautiful, because this existence that you have is beautiful, is wonderful. And sometimes, caught up in our troubles, in our turmoil, in our ideas, we forget the importance of being alive.
You look at the desert, and it's so dry, but the time to see the desert is not in the summer. It is when it rains, because mysteriously even the desert holds within it the promise of beautiful life, of delicate, tender flowers. But it needs the rain. The water has come before in that desert and carved the shape of the riverbed. And that dry river waits and waits, patiently, for it to rain and for the water to flow through it once again. It is ready.
Who are we? What are we? Are we the sum of all the things that happen around us? Or is there something more than waking up in the morning and realizing one's responsibilities: "I have to do this. I have to do that"? Is there something inside each human being that wants to smile, that wants to be thankful, that wants to feel gratitude and joy?
Caught up in our troubles,
in our turmoil, in our ideas,
we forget the importance of being alive.
I speak from my own experience. I have responsibilities. There are good days. There are bad days. In the good days, I want to be happy. I want to feel peace. I want to feel connected to myself. I want to feel centered. I want to feel like one person, not split into two, three, four, or five. And then there are bad days. And you know what? Even in the bad days, I want to be happy.
I do not want to try to explain the concept of happiness. Nobody can explain it. But many people think that happiness is feeling happy about something. Your child graduates from college: "I am so happy." You win the lottery: "I am so happy." You get a promotion: "I am so happy." We think our happiness is associated with all the things in this world, that somehow they are going to make us happy.
But there is only one person in the whole world who can make you happy. Do you know who that is? It happens to be a person that you know very little about. Strange. This person who can make you happy, really happy, you don't know much about. You know a lot about your friends. You know a lot about other people, but you know very little about yourself, who you are. And you are the only person who can make you very happy.
Who are you? You were born. You were given the gift of breath. You don't think much about it. You will, but it'll be at the end of your life when it's getting hard to breathe. Then it will be breath, breath, breath. I see people driving on the highways, honking their horns, yelling, screaming. Somehow, I get the feeling that these people don't really think life is important. They just want to get to where they're going. That's what's important to them. I ask you to take a little time and understand that your life is incredibly important.
You're not a number. You're not a name. I always find it curious when I travel to a country and I have to show my passport. And they ask, "Who are you?" I just want to answer, "I'm me." Because I am more than the picture in the passport. I'm alive. I'm real. But, no, I need a piece of paper to prove I am me. Some countries even issue an identity card. Your picture is on it, but that's not the important part. Your name is on it, but that's not the important part. The important part is that there is a signature from somebody whom you have never met and whom you probably will never meet. This signature verifies that you are you. I know this person didn't even sign it —a machine did. It's just a copy of his or her signature.
I'm not criticizing identity cards and passports. We need those things. But you are more than that piece of plastic. You are more than the sum of all your goods and all your bads. You are more. So many people in this world live in fear. In certain places, it's probably a good idea. But there is a place inside of you that cannot have fear, because in this place you should be feeling freedom. I have a definition of freedom, and it comes from my experience: When somebody has to tell me I am free, then I'm not free. The freedom I am talking about is a freedom that a person can feel even when they are in prison.
We have formulas for freedom and formulas for happiness. But happiness has nothing to do with formulas. "This plus this, plus this, equals happiness." No. Either you feel happiness or you don't. Either you feel joy or you don't. Either you feel free or you don't. Either you feel peace or you don't.
Your life is the stage where peace will dance, where happiness will sing a song for you. This is what it is all about. The greatest achievement of man isn't going to the moon. That will be overshadowed by somebody going to Mars. And that will be overshadowed by somebody going even farther out, because somebody will always come along and break the record.
There will be technology in the future that'll be so incredible that they're going to look at us and laugh. They're going to say, "They flew in those things that made noise and belched out smoke. They used to fight about them, because every time one of them would fly overhead, they would make so much noise that people couldn't sleep. So they had to have curfews for them. And they had freeways. There were traffic jams and accidents. And everybody carried these little things that beeped all the time. It got so bad that they had to write etiquette for them: 'You must turn these off when you are at a restaurant or in public places like the library.'" They will laugh at us, just as we laugh at the people before us. That's the game of this world.
You build a house and say, "This is my home." Does the home say, "You are my owner"? After you are gone, somebody else will move in, and they will call it their home. And after they're gone, somebody else will call it their home.
What is yours? Do you know? This breath pounding into you —where does it come from? Where does it go? Every time it comes, it brings the gift of life. What is life? When you are conscious, this life holds promise after promise after promise for you, gift after gift after gift. Which gift have you accepted? If you are a stranger to your own self, then you came, you lived a while, and then you were gone.
You don't even have to make an appointment. It's going to happen. You have no control over it. But between birth and death, I can do something. Of all the things I can accomplish, let it be that I am fulfilled, that I know my self. And let it be that of
all the people I have tried to understand, I understand myself. Because this world is a desert, and I want the rain of peace and understanding to come. There are dry rivers here waiting to flow again. There are seeds that are waiting to sprout, to blossom.
SPRING HAS COME
It is so beautiful to watch spring come. Right outside my office in my home, there is a tree. Last winter, it shed every leaf, leaving only bare branches. Then slowly but surely, spring began to come. Not a day was wasted for those green shoots to start appearing. This I call dedication. This I call devotion. This I call life. This I call the grand miracle. But if that tree were human, it would say, "Why are we doing this? Winter's going to come again, and then I'm going to have to shed these leaves again. So forget about blooming; just hibernate."
No. It is not logical. It is something that transcends logic. Love is not logical. But even though it is not logical, it doesn't lose its importance. These little shoots wait and wait, and in that waiting, they cannot forecast the weather. They don't say, "Hey, I know these two days are warm, but then the next two days it's going to be raining again, so just wait." No, no, no. Instead they say, "Here it is. The warmth has come. The sun is shining. The temperature is right. Let's go." As tender and delicate as those shoots are, even with the two days of cold and rain, they say, "We will bear it and keep going, keep going, keep going." They take a chance, a calculated risk. This scene plays out for thousands upon millions upon billions of trees and branches on the face of this earth every year.
For you, too, spring has come. It is time to reach within and let the hope for peace resurface in your life, to see the good, to understand the good, to know once again and say yes to what you have ignored for so long, which is no one else but you! Socrates said, "Know thyself." Why did he say that? Because in you is a treasure. And like the man who plowed the fields, you can find that treasure.
If you are a stranger
to your own self,
then you came,
you lived a while,
and then you were gone.
THIS QUEST IS REAL
For me, if there is any meaning to the word civilization, it lies in the understanding that, of all things I do, I do not turn against another human being. Regardless of the reason, regardless of the excuses that countries make, regardless of the ideals of today, civilization, to me, means to be civilized. To be civil.
And so, I talk about the possibility of peace. I am sure some people wonder, "How is peace possible?" Let me make my case: Peace is possible. Because peace begins with every single human being on the face of this earth.
In your eyes,
you don't need to greet yourself.
That is why the self is not valued
in this world today.
Many people think that peace is the absence of war. I agree and I disagree. Which war are we talking about? The one out there, in the world? Or the one in here, in me? People think that the absence of hunger will bring peace to this earth. Which hunger are we talking about? The one in my stomach? Or the one in my heart? My heart has a hunger, too. I, as a human being, have a quest.
WHAT IS PEACE?
My quest is to be content. And contentment doesn't come from having everything —but that's what so many people think You see, the problem that I face when I say words like peace and contentment is that I don't know if we're talking about the same thing, because everybody has their own versions.
What is peace? If you want to know the answer to this question, let me suggest something. The answer is not going to come from a book, and it is not going to come from outside. It is going to come from within you. Because within you is the thirst for peace, and within you is the water that will quench that thirst.
You have learned to ask questions. You're brilliant at asking questions; you can ask amazing questions. But are you also brilliant at recognizing the answers? Why do I ask you this? Because, with all the questions that have come from within you, you have always had the answers within you as well. But did you ever look at them? Did you acknowledge them?
YOU DON'T GREET YOURSELF
You acknowledge everybody around you. You acknowledge your friends, your wife, your husband, your sister, your brother, your uncle. When you get up in the morning, your husband or wife may not say, "Hi" or "Hello," but they have a way of looking at you that means "Hello." You meet your friend, and you say, "Hello." You meet your boss, and you say, "Good morning, sir."
But how do you greet yourself? You don't. You never figured out a way to greet yourself. Because in your eyes, you don't need to greet yourself. That is why the self is not valued in this world today. So many scriptures say that you must understand the
self, but people say, "I don't know what that means." When people read scriptures, they don't read the lines anymore. They only read between the lines. If you only read the lines, you don't need any interpretation. If you read between the lines you will, because there's nothing there. And "nothing" needs a lot of interpretation. So, there is no shortage of people who are interpreting.
Can you imagine people doing that with their food? There you are. You are very hungry and you are waiting to have your food served, and the cook says, "I made amazing things for you. I made you fifty dishes. I made you the best dessert." Your mouth is watering, your stomach is growling, "Food, food, food." So you say, "Great. Bring it!" And the person says, "No, no. Let me first talk to you about it. Let me describe what I made. Let me tell you how wonderful it will be when you taste this dessert."
It wouldn't work for you, would it? Hunger has to be satisfied. Thirst has to be satisfied. Why not the quest of your heart? What is the difference?
You say, "If I don't eat and drink, I will die." I say, "If you don't fulfill the quest of your heart, you are dead." And that is why today, human beings don't recognize the value of other human beings. Dead people do not say hello to each other.
What does it mean to you to be alive? I know you have responsibilities. But right now, you think taking care of your responsibilities is the only responsibility you have. I say that fulfilling this quest is also your responsibility. Many people give this excuse: "If I want to fulfill the quest of my heart, I will have to leave my family. I will have to leave my job. I will have to leave everything I have." Why? Your family is on the outside. Your heart is on the inside.
The day I accepted and understood that I wanted to make the journey toward peace, I took the first step toward getting closer to myself. The truest understanding of the self begins with that first step. To acknowledge the thirst. To acknowledge that the quest you have had your whole life is not a frivolous quest but a real quest that you can fulfill.
What will happen to me, to you? I have no illusions. This body is dirt. Most of the elements that make up this earth are dirt, and one day, the dirt will go back to being dirt.
ARE YOU FREE?
There's a beautiful saying: "When you came into this world, you cried, and the world laughed. Do something so that when you die, you laugh and the world cries." Do something that is real —and there is nothing more real than experiencing the peace that dances inside of you.
That peace is not far away. It dances in the hearts of all human beings —waiting, looking to be embraced, to be accepted, to be understood, to be discovered, to be found. By us. The expression of that peace brings a smile unparalleled. The expression of that peace dancing on a face makes it look beautiful. The expression of that peace fulfills the desire of the heart.
You think you are free. But are you? Or are you enslaved? Do you think about the things that you want to think about? Or do you think about the things you don't want to think about? People get up in the morning, and they start thinking, "Oh, I have to do this, and I have to do that. What's going to happen to my business?" We think we are free. We are not. But I am talking about a freedom, a peace, that people can experience even if they are in prison. I am sure many people wonder, "How is that possible? You can't experience freedom in a prison!" Yes, you can.
When people come to hear me speak, the first thing many of them say is, "Okay, give me the magic formula."
I say, "But I have given you the magic formula. Peace is inside of you."
"So how do I get to it?" they ask.
"If you want to get to it, stop trying, because you already have it."
A REAL THIRST
When you don't know where or what you are looking for, it is only by a divine act of randomness that you will find it, if you are lucky. But if you know that peace is inside of you, stop wasting your time: You won't find it in books. Next time you are hungry or thirsty, read a book. It doesn't work, does it?
When you came into this world,
you cried, and the world laughed.
Do something so that, when you die,
you laugh and the world cries.
Hunger is real. It requires food —not theory or philosophy. You can read and write as many recipe books as you want, but don't forget to eat. And maybe that is as simple as my message is: Don't forget the real thing in your life. Your time is limited.
You think you're going to live forever, especially when you're young. That is not true. The time comes when everything begins to fade. You don't have the stamina anymore. You don't see as well, so you need glasses. Hearing starts to fade: "Huh?" Maybe all of these things are trying to tell you something. Instead of listening to other people, listen to something within you. Instead of looking at all the other people, like you've been doing all your life, maybe the time has come to look at you. All your life, you've been running, running, running. Going here, going there. When you get old, it becomes a little difficult.
Maybe it's trying to tell you, "Hey. Stop running around. Settle down. And look at the most magnificent thing that is happening to you."
Feel it. Feel the coming and going of this incredible blessing called breath. Wonder no more. Understand that the miracle of all miracles is taking place.
Nobody pays attention to this miracle of breath until it is too late. When it starts to leave, then everybody says, "Just one more, and one more, and one more" —until it is no more.
This is a fate we all share. You don't have to make an appointment. It will happen. It is more guaranteed than anything else in your life. And yet, in the moments that you have while you are alive, what is your focus, what is your goal, what is your aim? Which bucket are you filling?
LIGHTING THE WORLD
How much water can you put in a bucket that has a hole in it? If your bucket has a hole in the bottom, you can pour in the water from all the oceans, but it will not hold a single drop. It is doomed to be empty. As soon as that hole was created, whatever water was in the bucket drained out. And from then on, it doesn't matter what you do: It is doomed to be empty.
If you have a hole of confusion, of delusion, of questions and no answers, of anger, of doubt, then your bucket will also remain empty. Don't worry about the water. Worry about plugging up the holes. Because if there are no holes in the bucket, then, believe me, even if you just leave it outside and a little dew falls in, the bucket will hold it. Water will come and fill it. You don't have to worry —if there are no holes.
You have felt many joys.
But there is another joy
that you need to feel:
the joy of being alive.
In this world, I see so many holes, and nobody is filling them. To light a football field takes many lamps, which are actually quite small, but together they can light the whole field. We human beings are the lamps of this world. And unless we are lit, there is not going to be light. We are the ones who need the light, and when that light in our hearts is lit, then and only then will there be some illumination in this very dark night.
It begins with us. The good news is, what you are looking for is inside of you. The peace you want is within you. I offer a mirror so that you can see yourself —you. Not the ideas about you, not how you should be, but how magnificently you have been created.
THE JOURNEY BEGINS
Truly, the journey of a lifetime begins with your heart, with you. That's how simple it is. That's how real it is. And when you take that first step, you feel the joy. You have felt many joys, but there is another joy that you need to feel —not once, but every day of your life. And that is the joy of being alive.
Then a heart full of gratitude says, "Thank you. Thank you for this breath, for this time, for this life, for this fulfillment." Is this possible? Yes, it is. Is it real? Yes, it is. All that is between you and this possibility of peace is a simple veil. When the veil is lifted, you will be able to see, understand, and appreciate the magnificence of life.
I go from place to place and talk about peace. Do I make a difference? I don't know. But something has made a difference in my life, and I will keep trying. Some people ask me, "Is this practical? Can you really do it?" Well, the fulfillment of ambitions doesn't belong to "the practical people." It has always, historically, belonged to those who have tried, because their heart told them to try.
So look for peace. Search for it. Whatever you have to do, find peace in your life. If you don't find it, come look me up. I can help.
Don't forget the real thing in your life.
Your time is limited.
You think you're going to live forever,
especially when you're young.
That is not true.
The time comes when everything begins to fade.
You don't have the stamina anymore.
You don't see as well, so you need glasses.
Hearing starts to fade: "Huh?"
Maybe all of these things are trying
to tell you something.
Instead of listening to other people,
listen to something within you.
Instead of looking at all the other people,
like you've been doing all your life,
maybe the time has come to look at you.
All your life, you've been running.
Going here, going there.
When you get old, it becomes a little difficult.
Maybe it's trying to tell you,
"Hey. Stop running around.
And look at the most magnificent thing
that is happening to you."
Feel the coming and going
of this incredible blessing called breath.
Wonder no more.
Understand that the miracle of all miracles
is taking place.
YOUR HOME OF EXISTENCE
This is an analogy I thought about when I was coming back home from a tour. What is a home? We've all heard sayings like "Home sweet home" and "Welcome home." But what is a home?
If you are lucky, that is where you will take your last breath —if you don't get mowed down by a truck or fall out of an airplane into the heart of the Amazon jungle or in the middle of an ocean.
Home is a place where sometimes there is turmoil, and yet there is also incredible comfort to be had. This is where, hopefully, you have cultivated a happy environment where you can thrive, where you're not inundated with problems. It is truly a place of comfort —not only physical comfort, but also mental comfort and the comfort of knowing that you are at home.
How can this home be a home? You have to work on it. I am not referring to deciding which direction the door faces or how fancy it is. I have seen happiness and comfort in a hut. It might be built out of mud, with a dry, thatched roof and a little door that doesn't even have locks on it, but the people who live there are comfortable. When you see this, you understand that, for them, it is not a matter of which way their door faces. They live there, and that is what is important to them.
YOUR 15 MINUTES
So, why am I talking about home? Because this existence is your home. And it is incumbent upon you to make this home as comfortable as possible, as peaceful as possible, as beautiful as possible, as real as possible. Because this home of existence is where the truest nurturing takes place. In this home of existence, good things happen and bad things happen, but you have to make sure that the good things happen by nurturing them, by bringing forward the true joy that this home can offer.
There will be nothing like this home of existence ever again. It is hard to believe, isn't it? It is hard to believe that you will be allowed only 15 minutes on this most magnificent stage, and then the curtains will close, you will be asked to leave, and somebody else will come. And there will be another and another and another.
For most people, it is extremely hard to believe that there is no more. I say to people who have lost someone close to them, "It's okay. They've not gone anywhere; they're still with you. They live in your memories. You, being alive, can see them; you can feel them; you can think about them. They dance with you. They are with you. And the companionship may not be the same, but it continues to unfold. Nurture that. Understand that. Because in that, there is no shame, and there is no agony. It is the nature of things."
It's like when water flows —this is when water is happy. It can once again begin to play with life. It can once again harbor other life forms. When the water is static, it dies.
Do you know how water dies? It's amazing. On one hand, you have fresh water. If it becomes landlocked, it becomes saltier and saltier, until everything in it begins to die. On the other hand, you have an incredible ocean, and it is salty, but in it, life flourishes. And all that the sweet, fresh water wants is to go back into the ocean and become salty again. That is its best chance of becoming pure and clean once again. That's its best chance to purge itself of every impurity. It has no other way. And so it babbles, and it rushes to return once again to where it came from.
Understand that your nature is like that water; don't fight it. Don't ask, "Why?" Because your 'Why?" will never be answered. Ever. You try to reason, but what you use to reason is the most unreasonable, because it cannot understand.
People make discoveries. And they say, "Wow! We discovered this!" Do you understand how foolish that must look to Nature? Nature must think, "I knew about this before you were even a glint in your parents' eyes." We reason with the unreasonable. We try to understand that which cannot be understood. And we define the indefinable.
We, the living, act like the dead —impervious to all that is happening around us, impervious to the most magnificent thing that is happening within us. This breath, this gift, this gentleness comes to us; life unfolds effortlessly for us. We don't have to pull on a rope. We don't have to push a button. It unfolds.
And in this time that you have, this consciousness, this opportunity to know —what have you come to know? What have you understood?
This existence is your home.
Make it as comfortable as possible,
as peaceful as possible,
as beautiful as possible,
as real as possible.
The challenge before us is to understand the obvious. How do you understand the obvious? Listen to what the heart has to say. It is not a big philosophy. It is not a big drum. It is a very short statement that says, "Be content."
Could there be a miracle in just acceptance —that I simply accept my existence and something great will happen? Yes, that's what I'm talking about. That's the obvious. It's right there. Accept the breath that you have been given.
I was watching a TV documentary. It was about the Gospel of Judas. It talks a little
bit about Judas, and then it suggests that there was a lot more going on in early
Christianity than what people have been led to believe. A professor talked about the Nag Hammadi scrolls from the Gnostics and explained what they are about.
He said, "These people believed in a knowledge that did not come from any book. They believed that in every human being dwells the spark of the same God and that they could feel it. They would sit down and achieve a tranquil state with their eyes closed." Amazing. Why? Because there were some people who understood something a long time ago, and that spark is not dead even today, when virtually everything else has changed.
What people want to believe in, how they want to believe in it, and so many other things have changed. But one thing has not changed: the quest for the spark of the divine that dwells in the heart of every human being. That we look for it and want to feel it today is no different than it was two thousand years ago.
So it's important to make this home of existence as beautiful as you can. And you really have to work on it. Garbage must go out. Begin with getting the garbage out and resolving not to bring more garbage in.
Both have to happen simultaneously. Because if you make the resolution to throw out the garbage and don't resolve to not bring it back in, you're going to throw it out and bring it back in, throw it out and bring it back in. This is what we all do. This is why we don't learn. We make mistakes, and we swear up and down, "I have learned my lesson." But the only lesson you have learned is how to forget the lessons you have learned.
So things creep along, and you forget, thinking, "Ha-ha. Everything is wonderful. I'm the king; I'm the boss; this is my little world." Hey. We're talking about home. Your home. We're not talking about the world. But you think, "Everything is fine now. Everything is great. I did this; I have to do that. I'm important." This is what you want to know —that the world thinks the world of you. How many times have you been through this cycle, where you feel so important, and then you come to understand that the world really doesn't care about you or think the world of you? It doesn't even know you exist.
Even if somebody takes you
and puts you in prison,
you get to bring your home along.
Believe me, the people who show up at your funeral do not show up because of you. You know that, right? They actually show up because of everybody else who is still around. You'll be gone. You won't even know who showed up.
How do I know they come because of other people and not you? Because when the button is pushed and you are buried, they go have a party, and you will not be invited. And if you showed up at that party, they'd freak out! That's how it is. They're going to talk about you until they're halfway through the first drink. Then, as alcohol is absorbed into the bloodstream, you may come up once in a while in the midst of the conversation, but it's mostly going to be about, "So, what do you do?"
We live in a world that is full of hypocrisy. And that's not the worst part. The worst part is, we're all members of that group. We actually help perpetuate that stuff. Begin to understand the reality of this home of existence. It is so unbelievably fragile. I can't even tell you how fragile it is. And yet, it is the very place that will protect you from the storms, from the lightning, from the hurricanes, from the hail. It is so delicate and yet so strong that it is almost unbelievable.
A HAPPY HOME
And you think all you have to do is decorate it to make it look good? No. Decoration is okay, but first make sure it is a happy home. Because if a home is happy, it doesn't matter if it is decorated. If it is, good; but first, it has to be a happy home.
So what have you done lately to make your home a happy home? And what do you plan to do tomorrow? What music will play there? What lights will illuminate it? Will clean water flow through and around this home? Will fresh air come through it? How simple will this home be?
When was the last time you really opened the windows to this home without being fearful of what might come in? When did you last feel safe to leave the door open? When did you last turn on the lights and look around? When did you last sit down and admire this home and feel thankful for having a home?
How does that saying go? "Be it ever so humble, there's no place like home." Of course, good days will come and bad days will come. That's why you need to make sure your home is in good shape. Because this home is yours. No mortgage. No liens. No loans. This one is yours. And it is yours in such a beautiful way —nobody can take it away from you till the very last breath.
Even if somebody takes you and puts you in prison, you get to bring your home along. If you have never taken care of this home, then you will be homeless. Even if you have everything, you will not have a home. The day you find your home, you will realize you can live without a lot of things, because you have a home.
In this home of existence,
find the spark of the divine
and make that your companion.
There are all these tragedies and problems in the world. I know it's hard. But they are not about you. This home is about you. And your home should be the most beautiful home, not in comparison to others, but the best for you, so you have no qualms living in this home, and when you are there, you really feel at home. You feel fortunate to have such a home.
HERE I AM
In this home of existence, find the spark of the divine and make that your companion. It is a great blessing when you begin to see the good. The good. The beauty of something as it is meant to be. You understand the perfection of how things are. You understand why the water is in such a rush. The next time you see a flowing river, smile. Next time you see a waterfall, smile, because you just understood where the water is headed.
The day you begin to truly pursue understanding, in that one second when you see that water relentlessly flowing day and night —you have just read a scripture. And you have not only read a scripture, you have understood it! You got it without 15,000 people trying to explain to you what it really means.
When a flower starts to bloom in January, a lot of people call it a "false start." It isn't really. The flower is not looking at the calendar; it is not looking at a clock. It's just being there. There is something it has waited for and waited for and waited for. And now the time has come. Its relationship is not with the calendar. Its relationship is with temperature. When the right temperature comes, it says, "Here I am."
Your life is a story that begins with "Here I am." And why are you here? You are here because the spark of the divine is in you, and the blessing of breath comes in and goes out. That is the core. And there is a way to go inside and feel the magnificence of it without ideas and concepts and mysteries.
What is it? Just a very simple know-how to be able to reach that beautiful place inside. Why is it a beautiful place? Well, wherever the spark of the divine is, it's going to be the most beautiful place.
To survive the crises of this world, you're going to need your home, and you're going to need your feet. You're going to have to learn how to stand on your own feet. It may be painful, but it's a good thing. At least it will be your feet you will be standing on, not somebody else's.
You will also need strength, and it will have to be inner strength, not the outer one. That's not going to help you. It might help you push shopping carts, but the one you need is inner strength.
SOMETHING IS AFOOT
Awakening is a very gentle, beautiful process, not jarring like a thunderstorm. Awakening is not like getting shocked with one of those resuscitators on your chest that bring you back from death. That's what people think awakening is. You've got a 200,000-volt thing going, "Grrrrrr! Grrrrr!" and your body is screaming, "I'm awake!" That's not what awakening is. Awakening is a very gentle, beautiful process. It's like grass that comes up through the earth and grows just a little at a time. You can't tell when it happened, but the next thing you know, it's there. A flower, a seed. Sprouting.
Have you ever looked at waves? You look out at the ocean, and there's nothing there; it all looks flat. Then a wave starts to come closer and closer, building and building, until the next thing you know, white water hits the shore.
And then you look out a few thousand feet behind the waves, and nothing is happening there. Where are they coming from? Ah! Something is afoot way out there.
Maybe the only place you get to see it is right at the shoreline, but this process has been afoot for thousands of miles. This wave that you just saw breaking in front of you didn't just start here. It's been traveling, traveling, traveling. The next time you see a wave, understand that. This little thing started way out there.
You, too, are a traveler. Where are you going? "I'm just going. I'm bound by that nature." Understand that. Don't question it. Are you pointless? Are you going to bang against that shore and disappear? Ah! But it's okay. Because in that, something very beautiful will happen.
This home is yours.
No mortgage. No loans.
ABOUT PREM RAWAT
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.