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It truly is a great honor to be here and to take a moment and talk about peace. I have been coming to Rome for quite a long time. In fact, when I left India, when I was a teenager, the first stop outside of India that I had ever come to was Rome. [Paolo Masini: Welcome back.] And then, of course, the flight continued on to England.

But my challenge, in the few days that I had, which was a vacation, a summer vacation—and I came, really, to explore the possibility of what would happen: “How would people react to my message?” I didn’t know if the West was going to be open to the message of peace.

And this is where I would like to clarify—we use the word “peace.” Having talked about this subject for over forty-nine years, I can tell you that the word “peace” does not mean the same thing to everyone. To some people it’s absence of war; to some people it’s a place up on a mountain.

And I don’t care what people call it. You know, when you are really, really hungry and you’re dying of hunger and you come across food, you don’t say, “What is this called?” You eat. If you come across water and you’re dying of thirst, you don’t ask the person, “What do you call ‘water’ in your language?” You drink.

It doesn’t matter what we call peace. But away from the ideas of peace, there is an understanding of peace. In fact, yesterday this is what I was talking about to the students, that, “Let’s just forget about the word ‘peace,’ and let’s just try to understand what it is.”

A place from where a person flourishes, where a human being comes to their full potential as a human being. Fulfilled, not filled with doubts and questions, but with clarity—in an understanding deep within themselves that emanates from their heart.

– Prem Rawat