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.”
Once upon this time there lives You.
ONE 2 ONE
WITH PREM RAWAT
Hello, everybody; I hope you’re all doing well. And so I’ve been traveling quite a bit, just got back from Greece. And I thought that, before I have to pack up all this stuff, (because ‘going to another country), I’d just take this time and talk to you about some of the things that I have been saying at different events.
And one of the things that I have been talking about, and I think it’s pretty powerful—it’s a very personal thing but it’s very powerful. And a lot of it just really comes from years and years of experience talking to people.
And it begins with this, you know, the story of Ramayan, even though…. Let me just put it in the context of that story, to begin with. And of course, that would be that there’s Ram—and there are two other people. And one is Ravan, who—he’s a demon; he’s a rakshas. He steals Ram’s wife. And ultimately, he has to fight Ram. And Ram wins and he dies.
On the other hand, there’s another character, another person—and that person is Hanuman. He is a monkey, but he’s very powerful; he’s very learned. And so is Ravan; Ravan is also very powerful and he’s also learned.
And what do these two chase? So, in a way, you being alive on the face of this earth, (your life, your existence), you are a person who has two possibilities. And this is what I want to talk about, and so I’m going to take it more or less out of the context of Ramayan.
That so many people that I met when I was a teenager—and they would ask me questions. And those questions were really all about wanting to be perfect.
So, in fact, that’s exactly what Ravan wants to be—he wants to be perfect. He wants to live forever. He doesn’t want to die. He wants to be victorious over whoever he fights. He wants to have knowledge of things in the future, things in the past, things in the present. And whatever he conjures up, that he has the power to make it a reality.
You know, however you look at it, it’s almost like today’s human being—that they want to fulfill their dreams, whatever their dreams may be. And everybody wants to be, in a way, perfect. I mean, when it comes to makeup, everybody wants to have perfect makeup on, perfect dress, perfect haircut, perfect lipstick, perfect eye shadow, perfect everything.
And for men, of course, you know, if they have a mustache it has to be perfectly groomed; if they have a beard it has to be perfectly groomed. Their haircut has to be perfect. And if they decide not to have the groomed look, it has to be perfect too—it has to be “non-groomed.”
So, that is very, very interesting to me, that there is this incredible desire that Ravan has to be perfect—and his city should be perfect; his town should be perfect; his country should be perfect—and of course, he should be perfect.
And then there is this other character, and that’s Hanuman. Of course, he’s very learned too. He’s very powerful. So what does he want?
And Hanuman, he doesn’t want to be perfect. Instead, he wants to embrace the perfect; he wants to experience the perfect. He wants to serve the perfect. So, both want to be associated with perfection—but entirely different ways. One wants to be perfect—and one wants to experience the perfect.
This is very interesting to me. Because there is a desire in us for that perfect family, for that perfect job, for that perfect reward, for that perfect house, for that perfect vacation, for that perfect wedding, for that perfect birthday, for the perfect-perfect-perfect, perfect, perfect, perfect!
And the issue is that for Ravan, certainly, in the pursuit of perfection, he decimates himself. He destroys himself. And every time he thinks he’s closer to perfection, he’s actually not closer to perfection; he’s actually further away from perfection.
One of the boons that he asks of Brahma is that no demon, no monster, no animal, you know, will be able to kill him. He does not for a minute think that human beings pose a challenge to him—so he doesn’t ask for “human beings” specifically, that they cannot kill him—he asks for everything else.
And that’s his downfall. Whatever is in his head is this idea—and so this is the second part of what I want to talk about, the idea of what is perfect. Because whatever this idea of perfection is, that’s what we pursue. That’s what we are pursuing. “What would the perfect society look like? What would the perfect justice system look like?”
And more we try to push ourselves towards that, for some strange reason, the further away we get from it. And this is exactly what is happening with Ravan.
Because you see, perfection isn’t something that you just concoct in your head. Perfection is far more dynamic than any one thing.
So you can take a video of a person; you can take a picture of a person; you can record the person’s audio. And none of those things will truly reflect who that person is—because that person in their real life is far more dynamic than any one of those reflections that has been captured.
Whether it is audio, whether it is video, whether it is a photograph—that a human being is far more dynamic. A lot more is going on; there’s a lot more…. To, the dimensions that you would see would limit the scope. So when we start, through our imagination—try to figure out what perfection is, that perfection is far from perfection. That has nothing to do with perfection.
And so we have set up a goal in the name of perfection. Because we create, concoct…. And that’s the best word to use here, “concoct.”
Because we make up our definition; we don’t know what the definition is—like the definition of “peace.” So we make up this word called “peace”—there is a feeling of peace inside, but it’s a feeling. There’s an experience of peace, but it’s an experience. And it’s dynamic. It’s not static; it’s dynamic. And it is not dependent on outer circumstances.
But the concoction that we have created called “peace”—is very static. It’s “This, this, this has to be there. And if you have this much, this much and this much of this, then you are happy and because you’re happy, you are in peace.” Wrong, sorry. Sorry, but that’s not the way it works—that’s not the way it works.
It is like trying to get into the description…. When somebody says “I’m thirsty; can I have some water?”—and you say, “Yes, and water is this liquid which is, you know, H2O. And it is usually put in a glass, and then it is offered—and then you, when you drink it, it quenches your thirst.” Of course that person wants something more. That person actually wants water.
So, at what point do you actually look at these things that we concoct, that we create—the definitions: “The goal end of this is ‘When I get to this point, I am there’?” When do we start looking at these as arbitrary? That they’re not real.
The first effort has to be in your understanding—that you don’t want to be perfect, but you want to experience the perfect that is inside of you.
There is a perfect. And it is perfect not because of any thing that makes it perfect. It is. It was, it is, and it will be. And it, if it wants to evolve, it will evolve. If it doesn’t want to evolve, it won’t evolve. It is perfect in any state that it is in. It does not cater to anybody’s concept of what “perfect” is.
In this universe there is great light—and there’s great darkness! And both exist. And it’s very simple; where is the darkness? Where there isn’t light—there is darkness. And where is the light? Where there is the light. Where there is a body, a star that’s giving the light.
And so, you know, you could get very complicated—because we’re talking about life—but that’s it. We concoct all these ideas—and then we pursue these ideas.
And all our energy, instead of going and experiencing what the perfect is, embracing what the perfect is, (that is the way it is), and experiencing great joy because of feeling that perfect inside of you, feeling that feeling of peace that is inside of you, because you have embraced the perfect. Not by definition, but by feeling. Not by description, (definition/description), not by description, but by feeling.
Water, the process of drinking water and the thirst being quenched could be described—very easily, in fact. But that’s not going to quench your thirst. There is a process that you could go into description—or you could actually have the water and experience that water in your mouth, in your parched mouth, on your lips—and going down the throat, cool beautiful water, and quenching your thirst.
And feeling satisfied! Feeling satisfied. No amount of description…. And what I’m about to say is also very powerful—“No amount of description should satisfy you. The only thing that should take away your thirst is actually drinking the water.”
Now, people might go, “Yeah, you could have a soft drink; you could have a, you know, coffee; you could have tea.” Yeah, but that’s, they’re basically water. So that’s what’s quenching your thirst.
And again, if you could be satisfied by description alone, we’ve got a problem here. Truly, there’s a problem here. Because that’s not how we are.
So, to set up goals, and then to accomplish those goals: “I will do this; I will do this; I will do this; I will do this”—and none of those goals are about your existence, you embracing that perfection—then you’ve got an issue. Because now you can be satisfied just by a description.
You have your wife; you have your girlfriend. You have your husband; you have your boyfriend. Do you want to be with them—do you have your child? You want to be with them, or the description would be satisfactory?
So, is that how you work? I mean, then why would you ever need to take a vacation? Just get a description of a vacation. “You are now lying on the lounge chair and the sun is beating down upon you, and you’ve just put on some suntan lotion and everything is wonderful. And here comes your cool refreshing drink.” And that’s it.
But you know you will not be satisfied with that. That—and that description may actually cause you more to go on a vacation; this is possible. But to be satisfied and say “That’s enough,” that won’t happen. That’s not going to happen.
But somehow when it comes to peace, to the real joy in our lives—well, to the real situation of actually being alive…. And there’s a lot of people; I’m telling you, there’s a lot of people who are not happy. Because now, and especially with this coronavirus thing, it’s just like the boredom that has hit is unbelievable. Unbelievable.
But unbeknown to you—unbeknown to you—even before the coronavirus, something had been quarantined inside of you. That feeling of wanting to be free had been quarantined: “No. I am in the midst of pursuing my concept, my idea of what is perfect. Everything else, hang on.” The love, the simple love, love for peace. Your heart—your heart, quarantined, locked up: “Can’t go out.”
You know, some of the events that I have done—I mean, I always asked that I could look into people’s eyes. And then in one of the events I was looking at the audience—and that’s all you can see is the eyes, because the mouth and nose are covered. And so I was like, “Well, you asked for it. You asked to look into their eyes; now that’s all you can see!”
And I mean, when it really comes down to it, there’s the whole thing, the whole package of the nose, the mouth, the smile. The eyes—everything is precious, of us human beings. Our expression.
And this, this has been locked away, thrown away. Our need to be fulfilled from our heart—“No, just to be satisfied with when the mind says ‘You are satisfied’”—which it never does! Never has, never will, never can.
So, Hanuman wants to embrace perfection. Hanuman wants to experience perfection. Ravan wants to be perfection; he wants to be perfect. And the way the story goes, (hah-hah!), Ravan is no more. He’s slayed on the battlefield. He’s killed on the battlefield.
And when he’s lying there, Ram says to his brother Lakshman—he says, “Go and get some good advice from Ravan. He is, after all, very knowledgeable. And he’s a good king, and when we go back, we will be, you know—I’ll be the king and so it’d be really great.”
And Lakshman goes over to Ravan, stands by his head and he goes, “Hey, Ravan! You know, before you die or kind of like, kick the bucket, ah, tell me, tell me some good pointers.” And Ravan says nothing! He’s lying there dying—he says nothing.
And so he goes back to Ram and says—his brother goes back to Ram and says “The rope has burned but the twists in the rope are still there.” (So, this guy is dead, he’s dying—but his ego is not dead; he won’t answer me.) And Ram said, “Well, how did you ask him?” And so he explained to him. He says, “No, no, no, no, no, Lakshman, that’s not the way you ask.”
So Ram goes and sits by the feet of Ravan—and he folds both of his hands. And he praises him for who he is. He praises him. And Ravan is delighted to answer. And he says, “I always had these great ideas; I wanted to make all the water in the ocean sweet. But I put it off till tomorrow. What is good, don’t put it off till tomorrow.” That’s one of his advices.
And I mean—okay, so, you know, I’m not going to get into the semantics of “did this story happen or this story didn’t happen,” but when somebody sits down and writes a story like that, there’s so much incredible knowledge to be gained from what this story is all about.
That in your life, in my life, embracing—embracing the perfect, embracing that joy, embracing that peace, that is what it is all about. Not trying to become perfect. You can become the champion; you can win a race. Tomorrow, somebody will break your record—happens every time. Somebody will do a little better.
So, it is not so much of all the accomplishments, but what you accomplish within you, your strength. Not chasing little dream-clouds that you create through your imagination—but the reality that is ever-present, that was, is, and will be—to embrace that, to embrace peace, to embrace that perfection in your life. This is what it needs to be about! This is what it needs to be about.
I have so many wonderful things to talk to you about. I mean, I know that I talked about empathy—and how important empathy is—and in one of my broadcasts, I’ll talk about empathy.
So, as simple as it can be—is there something wrong in being Ravan? And you can say “no.” But at the end of the day, he gets nothing. He gets nothing! His Lanka, his city, the capital city, (made out of gold, supposedly), is burnt down. He cannot take his wives with him; he cannot take his money with him.
And emptyhanded he had come, and emptyhanded he is leaving. Even though he has had so many boons granted to him; he’s so powerful—so incredibly strong. But as he lies on that battlefield, he’s nobody. He’s nobody. And ultimately, a funeral pyre is made and all the, all his soldiers and all of those people are put together and boomf, they’re burnt, and that’s it.
Hanuman, on the other hand, is having a great time. He loves it! And he—he gets to experience bliss, joy, peace, every day, every single day. Because he wants to embrace it, wants to hug it. He wants to accept it.
He is not curious. He knows; he’s certain. The step after curiosity is certainty. And if you never get to certainty in your life and stay stuck with curiosity, it has its disadvantages. You’ll be curious about everything—and certain about nothing.
There are certain things you need to be certain about—the coming and going of this breath, you need to be certain about how beautiful it is. That the peace resides in your heart, you need to be certain about that. You need to experience that. And that’s what Hanuman does. And—very happy, very much in peace, very much in joy—because he wants to accept that perfection.
So, you know, you may not believe in this story; you may believe in this story, whatever. But at least, take away the knowledge—and the knowledge that Valmiki put forth. And there are so many renditions of Ramayana, so many Ramanayas; there, the stories have changed a little bit, and changed a little bit, and changed a little bit, and changed a little bit.
But it is about the two—one, wanting to be perfect, (and I say “wanting”). And the other one just embracing that perfection, embracing that peace, embracing that joy. Certainly, something incredible to think about—something very beautiful to think about.
Yes, I would like to talk about the empathy—because that’s so important. And then there is another little story when Bharat asks Hanuman “Why do you follow Ram?” The answer is so elegant, so simple, so incredible—and Hanuman says, “Because he makes me a better person.” So I’d like to talk about that at some point in time.
So, anyways, I hope you continue to take care of yourselves; feel good—and I will see you soon, I hope.
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