Interview with Prem Rawat - Radio2000 - South Africa

Audio

Radio 2000:
“Stay in the know with Radio 2000 podcast. Drop in at the Weekend Flavor. For now, back at, hey, weekends, six to nine a.m.”

Irma G:
We’ll be chatting to Prem Rawat, who’s an international Peace Ambassador born in India, 1957.

He gave his first public address on the subject of peace at the age of four. Went on to tour India with his father, spoke to thousands of people, and in 1971, at the age of thirteen, he made his first visit to the West, arriving in London, where he spoke at the world-renowned Glastonbury Music Festival.

Continued to the U.S. in that same year, where he eventually settled, addressing crowds of up to 10,000 people. What had begun as a school holiday developed into a lifelong journey inspiring people to discover and to practice peace.

Today, Prem has spent over fifty years traveling the world, speaking in more than 250 cities, and addressing live audiences totaling hundreds of millions. And now we get an opportunity to check in with Prem, and to just find out exactly why he’s in South Africa this time around, and more importantly, why he keeps coming back to our beautiful country.

Prem, good morning and thank you so very much for having this conversation with us, and taking the time out in your morning.

Prem Rawat:
Good morning, and it’s a pleasure to be with you and your audience.

Irma G:
Thank you very much, Prem. Welcome back to South Africa. You keep coming back. [Prem: Yes.] I think the only question that needs to be asked is “Why? What is it about South Africa that you absolutely love?”

Prem Rawat:
Well, forty-nine years ago when I came to South Africa. I was fourteen years old. And I was very touched by what was happening here. And it had a personal effect on me that I don’t think I have been able to shake off to this date. Forty-nine years ago, something happened. And it was magical.

Irma G:
Wow.

Prem Rawat:
Oh, I saw that there was such a division amongst people, so much hatred, so much everything. And yet I saw that there was such a desire for people to be happy, to go forward, to really be resilient. And that was just remarkable for me to witness at that age.

Irma G:
Now, Prem, I want to ask you about the Peace Education Program, and what impact does it have on those who use it?

Prem Rawat:
Oh, it has been just absolutely amazing. For people who have been through the Peace Education Program, it has literally transformed their lives.

Because it comes from such a deep place from inside. It’s not “how you should be”; it is not an acting class; it’s not “This should be this way and that should be that way,” but it is something to allow you to transform you as a human being. To start to see your hopes. Not the hopes that other people bring to you, but the hope that you carry within you, and go forward with that.

And so that’s been so transformative for people in their lives. Because this is what we need; we need to know ourselves. We don’t know who we are; we know everything else. We, through technology, know everybody else; we know everything else. And you can go on a computer; you can type in a few words and you can find out anything about anyone else. [Irma G: And yet....]

But that will not tell you anything about who you are. And unless you know who you are, what difference does it make if you know everything else?

Irma G:
That’s very important. That’s such a great concept to truly unpack, because we all want something different; we all know that we need something different as a people, as a human race, as South Africans. But we are, most of us are expecting somebody else to give us the answer. And nine times out of ten, we could be the answer to the problem?

Prem Rawat:
We are the answer to all the problems. Because we are the creator of the problem, and we can be the solution to the problem. The thought right now is that “Something has to come from outside that is going to help us.” But it really is us that is going to help us at the end of the day.

Irma G:
I understand that one hundred percent. Now, this is your fiftieth anniversary of traveling the world and spreading your message of peace. What would you say have been some of your most memorable moments?

Prem Rawat:
Well, one memorable moment, of course, was coming to South Africa and seeing the differences, and seeing how—that there was a hope. And everywhere that I have been, this is what I have acknowledged and this is what I see, that there is always hope. That regardless of how desperate the situation gets, and how dark it may seem, and how impossible it may seem, there is always a hope to go forward. 

And that may be a narrow door; that may be a narrow window. But that is not the point of it. It is to go forward. And there is a power in us that wants us to move forward. But we have to get in touch with it. This is why it is so important to know who you are.

Irma G:
I hear you loud and clear. Now, Prem, in a time when the world is filled with unemployment, anxiety, (and this pandemic is doing the most to also amplify that), what message would you like to share with our listeners?

Prem Rawat:
I would like to share this one particular message, and my message would be that “You are bigger than the sum of your problems. [Irma G: Wow.] You are bigger than this little virus; you are bigger than unemployment; you are bigger than all the tragedies that happen.”

Because we dig ourselves into a hole because we go, “Oh, yeah, what’s going to happen to me; what’s going to happen to me?” We see our weakness, but we don’t see our strength. Our strength is bigger, greater than the sum of all these problems that are out there.

And I know that when you are surrounded by the problems, it’s very, very difficult to see what would help you, how you could go forward. But you have to, even in that moment, remember that you carry something so big and powerful in you, that all these problems are dwarfed by the strength that is inside of you.

Irma G:
I hear you loud and clear. If you’ve just joined us, we’re chatting to Prem Rawat, who’s an international Peace Ambassador, and has been doing this since the age of four.

Prem, my producer and I were just having this conversation saying, “At four, man, we were probably doing nothing! And you were speaking about peace.” I mean, has this, since that moment, been a journey for you that you simply couldn’t stop? Is it something that you absolutely had to continue in life, like your life’s work? Is this everything? Do you think, Prem, that there’s still more that you could do?

Prem Rawat:
Oh, I will try to do as much as I can do. Because there is no stopping it. Bringing a smile to people’s faces, bringing peace to the heart that really deserves it, bringing joy to those people who have never experienced that joy is a gift that, I tell you, there is no comparison. There is absolutely no comparison.

And once you have witnessed that, once you have seen that you can play a little role in it, that you can play a little part in it, and that you can make this happen for a life is absolutely remarkable. It’s genuinely life-changing.

Irma G:
I love that. Prem, thank you so very much for taking your time out this morning to have this conversation with us. In closing, is there any way we can get in touch with you if our listeners want to follow a little bit more about your journey over the past fifty years, find out more about the Peace Education Program? How can we go about doing that?

Prem Rawat:
Well, I don’t have the local number because I travel so much. [Irma G: Sure.] But you know, there are ways to be able to get hold of me and hold of this message, and really have a wonderful time with it.

Irma G:
Fantastic. I will definitely go and scour all the information I possibly can, type in those few little words and Google it. As you say, I’ll, probably will find all the information and then some. But thank you so very much, once again, for taking your time out this morning, and I hope you have a beautiful rest of your day.

Prem Rawat:
Okay, you too, and thank you very much for having me, and I wish you all the best and your audience all the best.

Irma G:
Thank you very much; I appreciate it.

Prem Rawat:
Thank you; bye-bye.

Irma G:
International Peace Ambassador, Prem Rawat. That is the craziest thing, right? That is the craziest thing. You, you can know as much as you want to about the world out there. But you need to find out about you, because you could be the difference that the world needs. (Haah! Mind blown!)