The Need for Peace
Volunteer Peace Corps
Prem Rawat addresses RELA, the Volunteer Peace Corps organization which has over 3 million members in Malaysia.
As a human being, I have a need—and the need is a need to be in peace. So when we forget our fundamentals, what happens? We become out of balance. I will give you a little story. (Stories are nice….)
So, there was an incredibly powerful magician, a sorcerer. And he had no children of his own, and his wife always asked him, “You know, somehow we could have a little child, it would be really nice.” But it didn’t happen.
One day the sorcerer was walking down the road, and he came across a little mouse. And this little mouse had been hurt. So he picked up the little mouse and he put it in his hand. Evoking his powers he turned the little mouse into a beautiful little girl.
And he took the little girl to his wife and said, “You know you keep asking me to have a, ‘bring a baby, bring a baby’—well, today I have. And here is this beautiful baby girl for you.”
She fell in love with the baby girl; he fell in love with the baby girl. And with great due diligence, they raised this daughter, taking care, giving her incredible education—and she was incredibly gifted. When she had grown up, she was not only very pretty but very wise, very educated, very beautifully-natured.
So, one day the sorcerer turned to her and said, “My dear, you have reached the age of getting married. Who would you like to get married to?” She thought about it and she said, “Well, what are the possibilities?” So the sorcerer said, “Okay, I will go and take the proposal to different people and whatever they say, I’ll tell you.”
So he went to the mighty mountain. And he said to the mighty mountain, “Would you like to marry my daughter?” And the mighty mountain said, “Oh my God, I have been watching her; she’s so beautiful; she’s so smart; she’s so kind; she’s so wonderful. I would love to have her as my wife.”
So he brought the proposal to the daughter: “Daughter dear, the mountain would love to marry you—and he’s powerful; he’s strong. Would you like that?” And she said, “Nooo, not really.”
Went to the ocean; proposed to the ocean, and the ocean went, “Oh, yes, I have seen her; she’s gorgeous. I would love to marry her.” Brought back the proposal to the daughter: “No, I don’t want to marry the ocean.”
Went to the king. And the king said, “Oh! I see; I have heard of her beauty; I would love to marry her.” “Would you like to marry the king? You will live like a princess for the rest of your life.” She said, “Nooo, I don’t want to marry the king.” “The prince,” “the emperor,” all these proposals were brought but she said, “No. No. No. No. No.”
So now the sorcerer was like, “Well, who, you know—I have brought you these proposals; they’re incredible proposals. And you have rejected all of them. So, is there anyone, anyone you want to marry?” And just then a little mouse happened to run by. And she looked at him and says, “Yeah, that!”
And the sorcerer realized that she, who she was…. Even though he had changed her into a human being and educated her and everything, but she hadn’t forgotten who she was; her nature was still the same. Through all the different things, the nature did not change.
And when she saw the handsome little mouse, that was far more attractive to her than the mountain and the king and the prince and emperor and the ocean and everything else. Because that was in her nature.
So, the point of the story is, we live in this world—technology has changed; so many things have changed—but we are still human beings. We are still human beings. And the issue here is, “What is a human being?”
When I ask this question around the world, you would think every human being would tell you exactly what a human being is, right? That’s not true. Human beings have forgotten who they are. And not only have they forgotten who they are, but what are their true needs? What is it?
You have to understand the difference between “need” and “want.” Need is something without which you cannot exist. That’s your need. (You need air; you need warmth; you need food; you need water.)
Television is your want. Without air you will die. If you don’t watch television, you won’t die. But, but, in our society…. In our society, we mentally have changed so much that we think, “If I don’t get to see TV, I will die.”
And I will give them all the value; I will give them all the importance, as the world gives importance to all that we do—but we do not give importance to what we truly understand.
So, when somebody like me comes and wants to talk about peace, I think it’s really sad. Because I shouldn’t be talking about peace. That should be already known to people—that peace is a necessity, and without peace, you cannot have happiness, and without that happiness, (and health, and money), you cannot have prosperity. Prosperity isn’t just one thing.
And for us on the face of this earth, the challenge is to get in touch with what we fundamentally are. Not of who we want to be. Because this is what we have gotten lost in.
And it’s the same thing with peace. People think they have to bring peace from somewhere else. People say to me, “I am searching for peace”—and I say, “Then you won’t find it.” [Individual: Yeah, you’re right about that.] Why won’t you find it if you’re searching for peace? Because you already have it.
You can search wherever you want to search. Because the assumption is, “Peace is not in you.” And that’s what inspires the search. But the assumption is wrong because peace is in you.
The good is in you; the bad is in you. The right is in you; the wrong is in you. People say—people say, “There is so much bad going on in this world. How is that possible?” I say, “Yes. There is bad going on in this world. But in every human being, there is the good too—and that has not been nurtured; that has not been watered; that has not been taken care of.”
So that’s the situation with the world—but what about you? We are human beings. And we are not all about money—but we are about kindness; we are about generosity; we are about love; we are about feeling; we are about understanding. And these are the gifts that you can give, not only to yourself, not only to your fellow human beings, but to your family and to anyone you want.
And the beautiful thing about the gift of generosity, the gift of love, the gift of kindness, the gift of understanding is, the more you give, the more you can give because it’ll only increase, not decrease.
Money is not like that. More money you give, less it’ll be for you. So that’s why everybody tries to keep it. But the gift of understanding, the gift of love, the more you share, the more you will have.
Peace begins with you. Simple as that, peace begins with you—you understanding who you are. It is no mistake what Socrates said, “Know thyself.” To know who you are.
So, this is all I wanted to really say because there’s going to be question and answers too.
I suspect that there is a relationship between all these problems that we’re talking about and peace. And maybe you can tell us how they affect each other?
Well, unfortunately, the sun doesn’t know about the night. Darkness doesn’t know about the light; light doesn’t know about the darkness. If peace was related to these problems, peace would have had no chance. But it rides above these problems. And it has nothing to do with these problems—because these problems will come and go. They will come and they will go.
People have problems—people have problems, they forgot to charge their cell phone. Three hundred years ago, people didn’t have that problem. So, we don’t understand, every time we solve a problem we create a new one.
But to me, thank God, problems are on one level and peace is on another level. And the peace doesn’t, isn’t going to touch our problems, and the—thank God that these problems are not going to touch peace. It’ll be. It’ll preserve its purity. It will preserve its purity.
This is like water. You can make water really, really dirty—but it’ll find a way to purify itself. This is the quality of water. It cannot be burnt! You try to burn water? It will evaporate—become steam, gone. Into the air, adiabatic cooling—you’ll see a cloud. The cloud will turn into a thunderstorm; it’ll purify the water and it will rain. It can purify itself. That’s its quality.
And if you knew yourself, you would realize that you don’t have to be in the cesspool of problems—that you are not your problems. You are somebody else; you are something else—and your problems are on a totally different level.
Unconsciousness will bring problems. Consciousness will remove problems. And peace will be dancing in the heart of every human being, waiting to be invited to show—because peace will be mankind’s finest achievement—not going to the moon or Mars. But peace will be the finest achievement of mankind.