Hello, everyone. Prem Rawat here. So, you know, the whole idea of these videos is really to just help you out in any which way I can. Because of the coronavirus lockdowns virtually all over the world, I thought it would be a great opportunity just to exchange some ideas, some thoughts that I have had.
And when you look at the situation—I mean, to say that it’s a calamity, I don’t think that would be too far-fetched. It is kind of a calamity. And this coronavirus just rising and rising and rising and rising—well, where it started from in China, they’ve got it more or less under control. But in the other places, it’s still making a beeline for its peak. And where that is going to be, nobody knows.
So, what can I say, you know? In a sense, what can I say that would help? So, I was thinking about it last night—and the only thing that comes to mind, (at first, anyway), is that this isn’t the first time. And calamities have hit mankind before. And when you think about it, things have happened that are just amazingly bad, but somehow we gather our strength.
And so, this is the point that I want to make. It is not what we are faced with, but how we handle it that makes the difference—whether it is something good that we are given as a gift or it’s something terrible like now, with this coronavirus.
So, in a way, you’ve got two things happening. One is your life, your existence—and that’s a gift that you have been given. And of course, the second thing is, (whatever, why-ever, I’m not going to get into that), but you’ve got this virus that, you know, whatever people say about it and however they put it, it really scares people. And in a way, it’s justified that yes, they are scared.
But it’s not what you have in front of you, but “how do you react to it, how do you handle it?” So, just off the top of my head comes this story of Ram. And on the day of his coronation.... And everybody is very excited; he’s excited; his wife is excited; his father is excited; his mother is excited—and there’s going to be this coronation.
And all the citizens of Ayodhya, (this place in India), they’re all extremely excited that Ram is going to be the king. He’s going to be a just king; he is very learned; he’s young—he’s got everything!
And that very day that he is going to be crowned the king, his second mother, his stepmother, who had gotten some boons that she hadn’t used—she, (more or less; I’m paraphrasing this), goes over to the king and says, “Look, remember those boons I had asked you for? Well, what I want to do is I want you to stop this coronation. I want you to have, not Ram be the king, but my son, Baharat, be the king. And I want you to exile Ram for fourteen years in the jungle—just exile him!”
And you can just imagine, you know, everybody’s so excited; everybody’s so like, “Yes, this is going to happen”—and then all of a sudden, instead of all that excitement and all that anticipation, something totally different is going to take place.
And the father didn’t take it well because he really wanted Ram to be the king. Ram’s mother didn’t take it very well. But how did Ram take it? How did Sita take it? How did Lakshman take it? That was another brother from the third wife; there were Lakshman and Shatrughan, the twins, Bharat from Kaykeyi, and then Ram, who was the eldest son.
So, Lakshman just told Ram; he said, “Look, you know, we’re inseparable. I’m coming with you whether you like it or not.” Sita said, “I’m your wife. I don’t care, you know, my place is with you, not particularly in a palace. I didn’t marry a palace; I married you so I’m coming with you.”
And just for even a minute, if you can think like, “Oh my God, you know, here is everybody so excited about something so wonderful”—and then this entire calamity happens, this really weird thing happens.
So, the king calls Ram and says, “Look, you know, this is what you’ve got to do.” And Ram says, “No problem. I mean, not an issue. It’s okay. I was going to be king because you wanted me to be king. And now you want me to go to exile and not be king, fine! I’ll be okay, you know, whatever you want.”
So, without getting into the nitty-gritty of the story, (because the story is very beautiful), the whole issue really becomes not what you’re handed but “How you take it; what do you do with it?” What do you do with your life? What do you do with this human existence that you have?
What do you do with this earth that you have; what do you do with the trees; what do you do with the rivers; what do you do with the oceans; what do you do with the air; what do you do with nature; what do you do with all that we have access to, that we have been given—what do we do with it?
We can destroy it—we can destroy our time. Because, you know, one of the big things becomes the boredom! And the boredom of not—you know, people who are so into socializing and this and that and “go out there and party and do all that,” now you can’t do that. And you can’t go out and you’re basically in your room, in your apartment, in your house, wherever you live.
So, a long time ago I used to talk about solitary confinement—and I used to say, you know, “Why is that like the worst punishment you can have?” Because people really don’t know themselves. You know, here is this incredible opportunity. And this is what I talk about, the three things that we need to do—and of the three things that we need to do, the first one is “Know yourself.”
Because if you don’t know yourself, don’t understand who you are, what you are about, all the other trappings that you get used to, you know, “to go out there and do this and do that and my job and my this and my that,” and, you know, the everyday grind—and all of a sudden it’s like, well, you get a holiday in a way. You get a holiday—but it’s with yourself!
Now, can you take that? Can you actually say, “Hey, I can actually enjoy this—because I do know who I am. And what a wonderful time for me to really get in touch with me, with who I am—try to understand, try to have sympathy for myself, empathy for myself, understanding of myself....”
So, one thing you’ve got to do is know yourself. Without knowing yourself, basically, you are a stranger because you don’t know who you are.
And then all of a sudden, some virus from somewhere comes and along and it’s affecting the world. I mean, this is like, you know, a horror movie in a way. And then, the next thing you know, it’s really affecting the whole world and the governments are coming down, saying, “Well, you’ve got to isolate; you’ve got to lock down and you can’t go out and you can’t do all this....”
And when you look at all the lists of everything you cannot do, amazingly enough, in that list there is one thing you can do—and that is that you end up with yourself—and you can get in touch with yourself; you can know yourself a little bit better; you can understand yourself. Because those are the basics!
And there are other things I’d like to talk about, (the two other things I’d like to talk about in future videos). And since we are in a lockdown, I may as well talk about that in great detail! But here is the one about you.
And so, given this situation, given this set of circumstances in which, there you are and you have to be with yourself, what are you going to do with it; how are you going to spend that time? Are you going to be frustrated; are you going to be saying, “Oh, this is terrible,” and blame somebody, play the blame game? You know, that’s what people love to do, play the blame game.
You know, the thing is that on one side, the internet is a wonderful thing—can be. But on the other side, there’s so much misinformation out there. So, a lot of people are just like, “Well, should we do this; should we do this; should we do this; should we do this?”
So, these are very, very interesting times. But you could definitely make it worth your while by trying to understand yourself, by trying to say, “Okay, it’s not the situation; it’s what I do with it.” Do I come with courage? Do I come with clarity?
You know, because, when you read the Ramayana—or when you hear Ramayana, you know, everything is like, perfect! The day that has been chosen for him to be crowned, it’s like the perfect day—and all the stars all line up and everything else. And there’s quite a bit of talk about that.
And to me, well, you know, I was listening to this. It was just like, “Well, the stars said that this was great, but it didn’t quite pan out that way,” because on that very day that he was supposed to be crowned, he’s being exiled for—not for one year or two years or three years. This is fourteen years he’s going to be out.
He’s not going to be a prince; he’s not going to be, you know, someone that somebody looks up to but he is going to be in the jungle! He is in exile. He is eating whatever he can find! It’s not like he’s got a chef and he just says, “Okay, I want this for dinner tonight.” Very difficult!
And he’s got a wife, (he’s got a beautiful wife), and he’s just gotten married to her—and this is a killer. He realizes he can’t have sex with her. Because if he does and she gets pregnant, there they are for fourteen years; he’s going to take that baby and the baby will also be in exile for fourteen years. So, it wouldn’t be in a very comfortable situation. And it would be so much more difficult for Sita.
So, there they are; they love each other—but they haven’t consummated their marriage. And it’s like, unbelievable. But what does he do with it? He comes with courage; he goes forward—and he actually ends up slaying so many people that are bad, that interfere. And he goes forward and he protects Sita; he protects the good.
And of course, he is the incarnation of Vishnu, so in that sense, he’s there for a purpose. And in one way or the other way, of course, you can legitimize everything and say, “Well, yeah, this happened; this was preordained; this is this way; this is this way.”
But not so much, that, but to look at him as a human being, because he is. He’s got a wife; he has a brother that dearly loves him. And he loves his father and he is very much duty-bound to whatever his father wants.
So, anyways, this is what I thought would be worth thinking about, at least, for a day—and not think about your calamity, not thinking about your problem, but how you are going to react to the problem.
So, I hope this helps in some way—and I will see you again. Have a good day—have a good evening; have a good night; have a good day. And again, whatever you can do to make it worth your while, do it.