“My family didn’t have television until quite late on, and the radio stations would only broadcast for a few hours a day, but our home was full of storytellers… Both spoken and written stories kept everyone in our household entertained, but we also learned from them. Now, as a speaker, I share stories that have resonated with me over the years.”
– Prem Rawat, “Hear Yourself: How to Find Peace in a Noisy World”, p. 13-14
Prem Rawat is a master storyteller. Whether it’s a story he tells to a small group of people in Los Angeles or an audience of 400,000 in India, he has found a skillful way to deliver a timeless message of peace that is both meaningful and memorable. What follows is the retelling of a story Prem told many years ago about his father, Shri Hans Ji Maharaj – one that sheds light on his own teacher’s inspired perspective.
In the 1960’s, a small group of Shri Hans’ students, thrilled at the prospect that he was going to be visiting their village in a few months, made an extraordinary effort to get the word out. They handed out flyers, nailed posters to trees, organized introductory events, and did whatever else it took to alert as many people as possible. These were exciting times for these followers of Shri Hans, moved as they were by the all-too-rare opportunity to pave the way for his imminent arrival and the public event that would follow.
Months passed. They worked around the clock, focused on just one thing — inviting as many people as possible. Then the big day came. Everything was together — the tickets, the ushers, the seating, the sound, and the music. But much to their surprise, only one person showed up. Just one. Supremely disappointed and experiencing who knows how many other painful emotions, they approached Shri Hans, solemnly, to deliver the bad news.
Shri Hans sat there, listening, nodding his head. Then he smiled broadly.
“OK,” he said, “Very well! I understand. But do you realize how long this person has waited to hear my message?”