Sayings of Maharaji

(From video 'Life, the student and Knowledge')

Prem Rawat aka Maharaji 1980s"What does it mean to be happy?"

What does it mean to be happy? And I know that it's very easy to jump off and say, "Well, this makes me happy," or "that makes me happy," or "I'd rather be doing this or that." But what's really intriguing is that all of us have a desire to be happy. Even though we have different things that make us happy--or so we think. But, we all have the same desire to be happy.

It's like there are millions of cuisines. There are millions of dishes. But hunger is the same for everyone. And that's intriguing. That's fascinating.

"Life is much more than any one of us."

Life is much more than any one of us. And what I mean by that is how do we view life, what is our perspective of life?

For some of us, life: is something that just seems to happen to us. We're born therefore, we're alive. But I'd like to make a distinction that just the fact that we are alive is not what I mean when I say in terms of life--and life is not just a bunch of occurrences that happen in this period from birth to death.

There is something more-- more the life is offering us than just a bunch of experiences of "this thing is good," or "this thing is bad." Instead of a bunch

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of judgment calls that we tend to make, life is more than that.

And I suppose in one way, you have to back up all the way and take it right from the very beginning of: what does it mean? What does it mean that we can do things? What does it mean that we can feel things? What does it mean that we have thirst inside of us?

"Feeling good could be really simple."

Feeling good could be really simple. It skips us. So we make all these incredibly sophisticated keys. And more sophisticated the key is, why it's that much better. So, all these people running around and they make the keys all day long and then they have a party and they show their keys and they come to these big meeting and everybody trades their keys and say, "Look, look--look at mine, you know. This one will open anything. It's computerized." It's got, you know, maybe 90 feet long, the key is. And it's got every possible combination.

And yet, for me, I found the key on the treasure chest. Now, I can't say that that's the way it will be for everybody. But that's where I found mine. It was so simple.

"You really have to give life a chance."

You really, really have to give life a chance. You really have to. Boy, have we tried so many things in our lifetimes! And all wanting to be happy. Wanting--wanting to feel that one certain way that just feels good. And we give so many other things a chance. We try this, we try that. Each one somehow holding a little promise, being the thing that will make us feel that one certain way. That one special way. And ironically, the only thing that we really haven't given a chance is life itself.

So many ideas. So many ideas. Solutions, formulas. Everybody wanting a formula. "This will work." "I think this will work." It's like everybody having their own laboratory. Everybody doing their own little experiments. And all day long you hear these explosions, boomf.Boomf. And if somebody's keeping a log, you know, it's like, "Well, there goes another lab." And everybody wants to do their own experiment.

No, but that's understandable, too. Everybody wanting to

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do their own experiments because everybody wants to get their own key and it's almost like everybody knows. Somewhere, deep down inside, everybody knows that there is the treasure chest somewhere. And the treasure chest must be locked. Because the treasures inside are so valuable that it must be locked, so if we could just make a key, that will work, we can have the treasure.

So everybody's busy making keys. This key. But nobody's actually even seen the treasure chest. You know, it's quite possible that the key to the treasure chest might be in the lock, right there. And all you have to do is reach over, twist it, and open the box. It's completely possible. But that sounds like such a ridiculously simple possibility to the sophisticated human mind that it sometimes actually skips us.

"Life is an endless possibility."

Life is an endless possibility. And yet, not only is it a possibility, but it has some very specific guidelines. And the guidelines are not coming from the books and the guidelines are not coming from other people's ideas, but the guidelines exist inside of us as well. After all, that's where the thirst is coming from. And that thirst is for something very specific. The hunger is for something very specific. And when we can begin to see the life as this endless possiblity--because right now, we judge it in terms of good and bad. And we judge it in terms of "Well, I feel happy," or "I feel sad." You know, people like to ask the question, "How's your life?" Or, "How's life?" "Not too bad, not too this, not too that," but I don't look at life like that. I look at life really as an infinite possibility.


And if I can begin to understand what I am thirsting for, if I can begin to understand what my yearnings are for, then I can possibly go about the process of quenching them. Which then brings us to the issue of becoming a student. Because that's what the student is.

"A student is someone who has understood that there are many possibilities."

It's somebody -- someone who has understood that there are many possibilities. And somebody has brought this possibility

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to the student--who is the Teacher, who is the Master. But the student has accepted that there are many possibilities. And once we begin to accept that there are many possibilities, then, of course, the next question is, "Well, show me. Show me the possibilities." And when it comes to being shown, it becomes a process of learning. A process of unfolding. And to look at each one of those possibilities. Of being fullfieled. A feeling of contentment.

But before any of these processes can take place, we have to become a student. You know, you can categorize student in three ways. One, there are people .in this world, I'm sure, who say, "I know everything and I don't need to know any more." That's one extreme. Perhaps the other extreme is, "I don't know anything. I don't want to know anything. Don't disturb me." And maybe somewhere in the middle is a person who says, "I know what I know and I want to know more."

And if we can place ourselves in that middle position. Not to disregard everything that we know, but to say, "I want to know more. Maybe I know about everything else--but I don't know about this possibility that you are introducing me to. Maybe I know about cars and airplanes and bicycles and motorcycles and I know how to make a house and I know how to, you know, go under the ocean and I know all of these things that maybe not everybody knows, but maybe I don't know about the possibility that you are talking about--so teach me." It's a very simple thing.

"Once we accept that we want to learn, that's when we begin to be a student."

And once we accept that we want to be taught--that we want to learn, that's when we begin to be a student. Now, there are other things involved in student when I say student. I don't mean the kind of student that we have always been. The kind of kid who goes to school everyday. I know that I've been in school and there are all these kids just before the school starts and they're mingling and if you were to just drive by any school, it would sure look like, "Well, all these kids really want to be here today, but I know better." And when the school bell rings and everybody takes their

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bags and walks inside the school, you could really say, "Geeze, these are a dedicated bunch of students, and they really want to be here and they really want to go inside," but it's really quite different. They have to do it so they do it.

And yet, a student who is going to learn about life and its possibilities can't be a student like that. This student is different in nature because the subject is so different in nature.

"You are not going to be taught anything new. You are going to discover."

You are not going to be taught anything new. You are going to discover. And so, there are no textbooks. No classrooms. No new material. And the interaction with the teacher is also very different because the teacher is there not to introduce anything new, but to start a process of self exploration. Discovery within. And it's so different. And so different than anything that we have experienced.

And to become that student, we have to be willing to endure uncertainty. Because it's not all going to be laid out n the table. In fact, we very well know when we join a class in a college and they say, "Well, this is for mechanics." We know what to expect at the end. "I'm going to be--if I stick to it, if I study religiously or whatever--I'll walk out of here with a certificate saying I'm a certified mechanic. But, as a student of life, it's very different. You don't know. You don't know what kind of certificate you are going to get, if any. You don't even know what you are going to get. Except that there is a possibility in life and if you so wish, you may explore it.

How about testimonials? There is a lot of testimonials. A lot of people saying, "Well, it's really wonderful." But, you know, that's like asking somebody, "How does sugar taste?" You can have a lot of descriptions, but unless you have tasted it yourself, it doesn't really make much sense. And so somewhere it has to be beyond theory. We have to stop saying, "Well, isn't that wonderful that this guy over there--he discovered his possibility?" If he discovered his possibility, all we can say is, "Congratulations." But that doesn't help me. I have to discover my possibilities. It's really wonderful that this guy did his, but I have to dis

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cover my own.

"For every person, it has to be their own discovery."

And so for every one--for every person--it has to be their own discovery. So,the student? Very different kind. The subject being learned? Something completely different. And how can you be a student of something like that? Well, it takes a lot of commitment. And people don't, of course, like the word "commitment." Because we--if we can get away without committing to anything, you know, let it be so. But, you see, life is something that really does take a commitment. And if you want to explore the possibilities of life, then that really takes a commitment. But it's wonderful commitment. It's a commitment to your own self. It's not a commitment to somebody else, but it's a commitment to your own self that you are going to stick with it. That you are going to explore. That you are going to discover. And you are going to discover something wonderful. But I can't really say what it is because you have to discover it for yourself.

And when there is that commitment. When there is that clarity. Not the kind of attitude--and when there is a different attitude. Not the kind of attitude like, "Here's my cranium, fill it. " Not the kind of attitude like, "Well, you know--I don't. So teach me. Just do--you know, just do whatever it takes." But when you become a student of life, you have to be there every step of the way.

"If you want to be a student of life, you have to be excited about life."

If you want to be a student of life, you definitely have to be excited about life. You have to be as excited about life as the Teacher. As the Master. Otherwise, it doesn't work. You know, it's very easy to say, "Well, geezer you know, this guy over here has discovered some potential in his life. That is why he's here. That's why he's talking about it." But it doesn't work like that.

Even though you may not have discovered the potential--you know, it's the example that comes to mind, it's like an archeological site. All you see is dirt. Now, there's a possibility that there might be the capital of this incredible civilization there, and so everybody comes out and

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they've got these little shovels and picks and they're shovelling and everybody is passing, you know, controlled piece of dirt, through a controlled seive and then everybody is looking at pieces of rocks and you wonder, "What are they doing?" And when you think about it, they know that a possibility exists. And that the rock that they may accidentally be throwing away be part of that incredible statue that lies buried under the mound. And so everything is looked at. Everything is examined. Because the possibility exists. To even dig piece by piece. So much patience, you know. So much--oh, it takes so much commitment. Because you are there. You are digging for hours and hours and hours. And you find a little fragment.

And I've actually seen these folks doing this. And getting excited over a little broken piece of pottery that--even the guy who owned it, threw it away. I mean, he didn't like it. He threw it away. He trashed it. And these guys are getting excited about trash. And yet, the possibility exists. And somehow going through that dirt--and somehow because of that patience, they find all the little fragments and there is a full vessel. And that's exciting. And that's exciting to everyone who looks at it. What a beautiful piece of work this is.

And not unlike that is how we have to approach life's possibility. Maybe it's buried under a mound of our ideas. Ideas that we thought were pretty good. Ideas and--all the things that we have learned all throughout our lives. We thought, "what--these are just great things." And all of a sudden, it's like, "No. All this has to be unveiled. Everything has to be unveiled." And that's a tedious process. But the possibility exists that once it's unveiled, there will be something incredible there. And all you can say is, "I really hope so". I really hope so. Because there are no guarantees. There are no guarantees. Of course not. But possibly. That's what a possibility is all about.

"We have to become a student willing to deal with uncertainty."

So, we have to become a student like we have never been before. Willing to deal with uncertainty. Not being the person who just says,"Well, you know it, I don't. So, do your trick." But be there. Present. In every part.

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To listen. To question. To ponder. Nobody is going to give you a multiplication table to learn, which you didn't understand what it meant, but you learned it anyway. Now you do, but then you didn't. No. No. It's not a learning like that at all. It's completely different..

To ponder upon everything that is said. To question it. And then to digest it. To accept it once you are satisfied. Everything. Every step of the way has to be examined. No stone. No rock is thrown without first being looked at. And that is the kind of student we need to be. And the real fun of discovery is when we can be a student like that. That's when it's fun. Otherwise,.it's not fun. It's "Well, I have to go to school because I read this book that said it's good to go to school. Now, I don't like to go to school because I paid my five bucks for the book and I don't want to be proven wrong that I bought a bad book. But, I mean, that's no fun. It has to be something really real. Every step of the way.

And then when you can be excited about life and be excited about being a student as much as life is excited about you--if you can be as excited about life as life is excited about you, because you have the possibility to unlock those possibilities–and you can be as excited as a student as the Teacher is excited--as the Master is excited, then you can come to the threshold of what Knowledge is. And be as excited about Knowledge as you have been about life, being a student and as the Teacher is.


"Knowledge is the key that allows us to unfold the most incredible possibility."

Knowledge is the key, the key, that allows us to unfold the most incredible possibility within us. And that's the only time Knowledge makes sense. Then there is the excitement. It's very easy for people to say, "Well, you have Knowledge. You're excited. So, you have a perfect reason to be excited, so that's good. You be excited and just rub off some of the excitement to us." Well, you know, I've been talking about Knowledge for a very long time. And yes, I am very excited about Knowledge. But I also see that every one who wants Knowledge and who has Knowledge has to be as excited about Knowledge as I am. And then and only then will it make sense. Because this is a living process. Knowl-

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edge is not a dead thing. It's very much connected to being alive and life. Because you are alive. Because you have life. Because you have this potential called life, you can unlock something. There is a treasure chest.

And so even though it is possible to say that all the valuables are in the chest, therefore the key is insignificant because the key itself maybe is only worth a few bucks, a few--whatever. Monies. That's not true. That key is as precious .as the treasure in the chest. Because without that key, you can't get to the.treasure. And you will value it. You will safeguard it as though--as if you were safeguarding that very treasure. And so, the value, the excitement has to be there across the board. Then--why not? Why not be excited.

"It's such a step to say, it isn't that sophisticated."

It's such a step to say, it isn't that sophisticated. You see, if I was to tell everybody, "Geeze, you know--feeling that way, feeling good is really complicated. And, you know, you have to do this and this and this--and then may be you'll feel good." People would buy that. Like, "Yeaah. You're right. You're right. That is correct because that checks out with my experiences in life of things the way they have been." But to actually say completely something different.

Backwards of everything. "No, no, no. It's really simple. It's for everybody."

As simple as -- the two things, you know, that we all have in us, is the thirst and 'then that feeling of being quenched. We all have that. And I know that there is, you lcnow, an extremely sophisticated way of doing it. Of quenching the thirst. Machines. Multibillion-dollar industry. Robotically pouring this fluid down bottles. Being capped. Being sold, being distributed. Oh, all of this stuff. And yet water. Nature's own storage tanks. Up on the mountains, where all the water is deposited and then it's melted. And slowly and slowly, as it melts, it is distributed. That's so simple. I mean, it's so simple water is so simple. And guess what? It can quench the thirst.

I mean, it's like a person who, the only way they know is -- to quench their thirst--is to go to a machine, deposit a quarter or whatever it is and get something and then you, open this can and you drink something out of it and that's supposed to quench your thirst. And yet, as simple as just simple water. That just flows. And you put your hand in it. Scoop out a little water, start drinking it. And that can quench your thirst. Hard to believe. But, it's true.

"Knowledge, life and being a student are really quite simple things if we are willing to give them a chance."

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