Stories for Life
Author Event, Munich, Germany
All stories begin with “once upon a time.” The story that I really want to tell you also begins like this, but there is a small difference—and the difference is, “Once upon this time, there lives you.”
You have a story that you have been writing since you were born, but you haven’t read it. You are part of this story that is incredible, unbelievable. For you to be alive today means something—and it is greater than the sum of all the things you have accomplished; it is greater than your ambitions, and yet somehow we’re not even aware of what this possibility is.
To find out, to know this possibility, has to be the greatest story ever told, so far you are concerned.
Is this a story about sadness? Only if you decide to write it so. Because it is destined to be a story about success, if you let it play out. When we look back, millions and millions and millions and millions and millions of species contributed to this story.
Over billions of years of transformation, from that algae from the ocean, to making it possible to come to land, and going through all the problems of being on dry land, not being in water—we actually encompass that in this being. The position of the eyes, the position of the ears, the way our skin is, where our heart is, how the body could be—and all of this has come together to allow a story to take place.
We share nothing in common with each other except for one thing—like all stories, (like all stories, like every story), this story too has a beginning and an end. But no story is about the beginning and no story is about the end. The story is what happens from the beginning to the end.
And today we look at the world and we say, “Oh, look, look at this problem; these people are fighting.” Yes, there are people fighting. But there are a lot more people who are? Not fighting.
The rule of predators—you know the rule of predators? The rule of predators are, (or is), there don’t get to be that many predators—and very few. They get to be predators; they get to be on top of the food chain—but there are a lot more wildebeest than there are lions. There are a lot more wildebeest than there are alligators.
End of the day? Wildebeest will go on. And they will cross that river like they have, many, many times. It will happen again and again and again.
And us. Somebody asked me once—it was about three years ago, “What will happen? What will happen?” And she was a politician; she just said, “What, what will happen?” I said, “People will win.”
Because there is a lot of goodness in this world—that’s why you are here, interested in peace. People say, “We have been fighting—and fighting and fighting and fighting for a long time”—actually that is not true.
Some of the recent discoveries that have been made—most people actually opted for peace. And assimilation, when they had plenty, (to eat)—when they had plenty to eat, assimilating different societies, different people who were hungry was not a problem. We welcomed them, “Come on in.” And that’s why these cities went “Powkh!”
It’s only when the river would start to change its course, or the water became very difficult to have, where you couldn’t have irrigation, this is when people would have the wars. This is when people would have the fights.
So, when things were good, it is the nature of human beings to welcome. Because we do. Look, this is how we are. So, yes, we can know so much in our lives, but do we understand who we are? Do we understand what is the meaning of this breath?
I say this. Just recently I was in Delhi, (just before Pune, I was in Delhi)—and I did an event and there were 200,000 people at that event. And then last year, I had done an event; there were four hundred thousand people at that event. And I said to them; I said, “Do you know the meaning of this breath?” It was beautiful, just hush, shhh....
So, when you were born—when you were born in that room, as you had come out.... I know you don’t think of yourself as that, you know—there are people here I see who shave; there are people here who have a beard; who trim their beard. It takes a little bit of doing every day; they’re looking good; they’re looking smart—you all look good; you all look smart—ladies included, you know?
So, there you were, totally naked, slimy, wet—and everybody’s focus was on one thing. Not if you were a boy or you were a girl, only on one thing: “Are you breathing or not?”
Then the doctor will take a pump syringe and put it in your mouth, suck out the water—“Are you breathing—or not?” Then if that doesn’t do it, hold you upside down and “Whack.”
Now that whack is not to teach you a lesson. That whack is to jostle you into “cry.” You cry; you need to breathe. And obviously, you took that breath. You are here.
Had you not taken that breath—and if you were born in a hospital—if you had not taken that breath, guess what? You were not going home. You got to go home, courtesy...?
And the first one is amazing; it always comes in—has to. It comes in.
And all the time you’re going to be alive, that breath is going to come in, and it’s going to go out, and it’s going to come in, and it’s going to go out, and it’s going to come in. And you won’t even know how many times. And you will fall asleep and it’ll be happening. And you will do all your entertaining and it’ll be happening. And you will do your thinking and it’ll be happening.
And you will be crying and it will be happening, and you will be laughing; it will be happening—and it’ll be happening and it’ll be happening. Like a good friend, through good times and bad times, it’ll be there with you, bringing you, every step of the way, the gift of life every day.
And then?—like a good story, it will have an ending. Then there will be that time—and then the last breath you will take will not be breath in, but it’ll be the breath out.
So, somehow you share a story—and the story begins with that breath coming in, and it ends with that breath going out. And in between is the saga that you get to write every single day.
Do you want to explore of what you are all about? Then let me tell you, you have in you, the ocean of answers. And why should you know that you have this beautiful ocean of answers in you—is because, on those days when things are hot and you are tired, you can turn within and feel the cool breeze and see the clear waters of understanding of the self.
Because there will be those times; there will be those times when things are not going right. There will be those times when things are not going according to your plan; there will be those days when you don’t have enough meat—and reaching into tomorrow seems elusive. And all that you try to do, it doesn’t really look like the road you have taken goes anywhere—there will be those days.
We need to know who we are. Who we are, what this breath is, what this possibility is. To know that even though we experience our problems within us, the solutions to our problems are also within us. These, my friends, are not empty words; I stand behind them.
This book represents a small effort to convey to you again and again and again.... There are people who have never come here and ever listened to me live. And one of these gentlemen told me that he keeps my book, (I know him), keeps my book right next to his night bed stand. Something is bothering him; he just picks it up and finds an appropriate story, reads it—and it gives him some solace, gives him some comfort.
I hope that you find that comfort in this book—because in this navigation of life, on this journey of life, it’s important to live this life comfortably inside, feeling good inside, because this life deserves nothing less.