Wolston Correctional Centre
Wacol, Queensland, Australia
I have been to quite a few prisons—and I’m here, not to judge you; that’s already been done; that’s not my job. I’m here to point out something to you. And that something that I want to point out to you is you.
Because in this whole equation of life, sometimes we are not included. There are issues; there are governments; there’s this; there’s that—but what about you as a human being? What does it mean to you to be alive?
In life, it’s one thing. At the end of the day, (and that’s meaning, “end of life”), you can always look back—and say, “Oh, I could have done that differently. I could have done that better.” But what if you could do that at the beginning—and say, “How would I shape my existence? How would I be? What would I be?”
In India, (where, obviously, I was born), there is a story—and the story is a very fascinating story, because the story unfolds—and the result of the story is very clear. The result of the story is going to be that there will be a huge war, huge. Four million people will be involved in this war.
And it is playing out, how this war is going to happen. This war is for the good to win over the bad, the good to win over the evil. There is a princess involved in this story—and she is the reason, one of the reasons, in fact, why this war will be fought.
So, you can see that the war hasn’t happened yet but it’s going to; it’s imminent. And there are reasons for this war.
And one day, while she’s still quite young, she hears that a very wise man has come to her town. So everybody encourages her to go and see him, see if she can learn something from him. She goes to see this wise man—in fact, this wise man is the man who happens to be writing this story—very, very convoluted in that sense but very simple.
And he looks at her and he says, “I know who you are. You are the reason why there is going to be a calamity; you are the reason why there is going to be a war. And millions of people will be killed.” And she goes, “I don’t want that to happen. I don’t want to be the reason why so many people would die. Can’t I do something to change this?”
And he says, “Yes. There is.” (And this is why I am telling you this little story. This is what he says. This is how she can prevent this war from happening.) And he says, “One, don’t be offended. When somebody offends you, don’t be offended.” She goes, “That’s really easy; I can do that.”
“Don’t try to offend anybody else.” So, “One, don’t be offended yourself. And don’t offend other people. And if you are offended by other people, don’t think of revenge.” So, “Don’t get offended; don’t offend other people—and if you do get offended, don’t try to take revenge.” She goes, “Done. I can do this.”
Actually, what happened in the story—is she offended somebody. That person she offended, offended her. And when she got offended, she wanted nothing more than revenge—and that led to four million people losing their lives on that battlefield.
Why did I tell you this story? What has it got to do with you? This is it. The battlefield—the battlefield is you! Your life, your existence. And in this battlefield, either you come out as a victor or you will be slain.
And for this war not to happen, you cannot be offended; don’t offend anyone else. And if you are offended, don’t take revenge. Because that is the start of that war.
You are more than you realize. You are the gift. You have been told, “No, the gift will come from somewhere else. Somebody else is going to come and save you.”
You heard that—you didn’t question it; you agreed with it. You memorized it—and in your life, you went along, “Somebody is going to come and save me; somebody’s going to come and save me, come....” And in that time, more confused, and more confused, and more confused a human being becomes.
Because this is a battlefield—remember now, this is a battlefield. And what you are battling with is not only your ideas but other people’s ideas, not only your expectations but other people’s expectations of you.
We need to know ourselves. Why? And what does it mean to know yourself? Your name—no. Your likes, your dislikes, no. What you need to know about yourself is your strength: courage.
Have you heard about the heart—what the heart is, what does it mean? What is a heart? Then, heart is the place where the courage of a human being resides. Heart is the place where the clarity of the human being resides. Heart is the place, indeed, where the Divine resides—and I don’t mean that religiously.
That power that pulses through everything—is also pulsing through you. That which is making the earth suspend in this universe.... That has got this earth spinning—no poles, no nets, no fishing lines, no strings—suspended. With a universe that goes beyond ten billion light-years....
We don’t know the edge of the universe, and the reason why we don’t know the edge of the universe is because the light is still traveling, still coming.
There is no “up”; there is no “down.” It’s everywhere. Everywhere. And there, that same energy is pulsing through you. Life, that’s who you are. Your understanding, that’s who you are. And that’s about knowing yourself—your strengths. And that’s what constitutes this life.
What did you hear when you first came to this facility? (Not here. Between these two): “It’s over.” Who said it’s over? Where did that come from? From you?! You’re still alive! Not only are you alive, but hopefully, through Peace Education Program, you have learnt that you still have a life and you still get to forge it.
Is it the fences? Is it the wall? Or is it you? You are the player, not these fences. You are the player. The biggest fence that you have to overcome is not this one. This one is barbed—but this fence that is between here?—has killed many. Destroyed civilizations, destroyed lives.
You have life—you still have life. And you’re going to have it till that day when you don’t anymore. And till that day, you get to shape it; you get to change it, and what goes through this head is up to you.
Who’s ultimately responsible for making your life a pleasant experience? You are. And you always were. But who did you look for? You looked for friends. Friends were going to make it very enjoyable for you. Probably, for so many people, that’s where they pick up the wrong influence.
You are responsible. And that’s your courage. Walk the walk. Walk the walk that’ll take you to peace. Talk the talk that reflects wisdom.
You must remember one thing. If I take a lit candle—and I take an unlit candle.... Okay? So one candle is lit; one candle is unlit—and I take the unlit candle next to the lit candle; I touch the wick with that one. What do you think is going to happen? Will the unlit candle put out the lit candle?
Or the lit candle will turn on the unlit candle: “The law.” This is the law that has prevailed. This rule.... This rule, if you understand this rule—that a lit candle has the power to light an unlit candle—but an unlit candle does not have the power to put out a lit candle, (quite the reverse). Because it could be the other way, right? But it isn’t. This is how it is.
Learn to take advantage of that. Light the candle—and you will be able to light many unlit candles. But light the candle for yourself first. This is—it’s a great law! It’s it a great rule. This is—this is what gives you hope. That means that if you have a lit candle, you never have to be an unlit candle, ever. Ever. Ever.
Ever. But find the lit candle within you.
Somebody said to me when I was in Colombia, “Mr. Rawat, I feel really good; you’re here; everything is good. But you will leave and what will happen?” I said, “By the way, what you feel, good—is coming from you, not from me. That goodness, you always had in you. And learn to access that goodness 24/7, seven days a week, 365, and then for the rest of this life.”
You have everything you need. You have everything you need. Begin with your strength; begin with your clarity; begin with your courage. Fly.
I’m not here to entertain you. I’m talking about you finding in you, your peace, your joy. It’s possible; believe me, it’s possible—even regardless of the circumstance.
If there was a baby born here—a baby, born here, would it be affected by the fences, the bars? No. All it would need is the mama, the milk—and the baby would be quite happy. It’d happily be cooing and cawing, so far it is content.
Find that contentment in yourself. Don’t let anything distract you from who you are. This is what I tell everybody. This is nothing special that I’m telling you this.
This is what I tell everybody. A hundred and twenty million people in 2016 heard that message. This year, already it’s been over 120 million people, and hopefully, by the time the year has ended, maybe it’ll be around 240 million people who would have heard the message. But that’s what I tell everybody.
Don’t let that make you think you’re unfortunate. No, so far this breath is coming into you, you are fortunate; you are blessed, regardless of the circumstances.