Searching for peace

When I first went to the West, I was only a teenager. In fact, it was my first year of being a teenager—thirteen. And all these people would come—much older than me, much more educated than me. And they would sit down, and they were very proud of the fact that they were searching for peace.

And I would say to them, “Why are you searching for peace? Why are you searching for peace when peace is inside of you?” Search not for peace, but search for the way to be able to get in touch with what is already inside of you.

And so the question becomes, “Well, you already have peace, right?” Do you? Or don’t you?

Because nothing is missing. There is nothing missing from the equation. You have in you—this is the way you are made—all that you need you have, and you have been made to take advantage of it.

Maybe you don’t have a temple for it. Maybe you don’t have a song for it. Maybe you don’t have a garland for it. Maybe you don’t have a light for it. Maybe you don’t have a location for it. But it is here, in you.

And if you are unaware, then you’re unaware of something fundamental. And this is ignorance. What is ignorance? It’s a play of words in English, but “ignorance”—where does ignorance come from?

Generally, when somebody does something bad—a little child or something—we say, “Oh, it’s okay. He was ignorant.” ‘Ignorant’ generally is considered to be an excuse to forgive the person, because “they were ignorant.”

But that’s not where the word comes from. The word actually comes from “ignore.” “Ignorance”—ignorant comes from the word “ignore,” which has to be done on purpose.

See, we say ignorant. “Oh, he’s ignorant; it’s okay.” But “ignorant” actually comes from the word “ignore,” which has to be on purpose—that you ignore something.

Ignorance in this world…we think, “Oh, people are ignorant.” No! If they are ignorant, that means they’re, on purpose, ignoring that which is real. Not a fluke! Not a fluke.

And people go, “But I don’t see it!” You’d talk about the Divine, “But I don’t see the Divine!” So, do you see gravity? Do you see the earth spinning? Does that mean it’s not?

You cannot, in this life, merely live in tangled beliefs. Yes, this is the first time I’m using this, “tangled beliefs.” Because beliefs will get tangled. It is their nature because they are so open to interpretation. But knowing is not open to interpretation.

The Divine, in the same way, is everywhere, and by “everywhere” meaning, also in you. To me, when I hear the word “everywhere”—when I hear the word “omnipresent,” it doesn’t mean just omnipresent. It means “in me as well.”

And if that reality is knocking in me, if that reality is residing in me, what am I doing in my life to feel it, to acknowledge it, to understand it? Because if you want peace in your life, that’s the only way you’re going to get it.

– Prem Rawat