Strong of heart


Wherever I go and I start talking about the subject of peace, most people wonder and ask me, “What about all these problems that we have? Why don’t we have peace? What happened?”

So I would like to tell you a story. There was a man and he had heard about elephants—that elephants were big; they were huge; they were powerful and they were mighty; they could lift a whole tree with their trunk. He wanted to see an elephant.

So he did some research; somebody told him, “You want to see an elephant, go to India!” So he found the village which is very famous, very popular for elephants, and he went there. And when he arrived at the village, he saw all these magnificent elephants standing there. And each one of the elephants had a very thin little rope tied to the leg, just very thin—and they were standing.

And the man was really surprised. He had never seen an elephant before, and he was very impressed by the power of the elephant. But he was also very confused. So he went to the village chief, and he said, “Chief, I have a question!”

He said, “This is the first time I’ve seen these elephants, and they’re strong, they’re mighty, they’re powerful. But you are tying them up by this little rope that is so fragile. Why don’t these elephants just run away? Why are they standing there? It’s not the rope that’s holding them, because they could easily break that.”

And the chief said, “Oh, that. Let me explain to you. When these elephants were really young, we tied them with these little ropes. Then they were not so strong, and the rope was enough to hold them. Now, they are definitely strong enough to break the rope, but they have forgotten their strength, and this little rope is enough to hold them.”

In a way, that is so sad. But that is our story too. That is our story too. We have forgotten our strength. We forget who we are. We forget the compassion in us. We forget the passion in us. We forget the kindness in us. We forget the joy in us. We forget what is a human being.

You cannot talk about peace without talking about the human being, because it is in the heart of that human being that the peace dances.

Right now, I know people say, “Oh, people are terrible. Look what they’re doing! They’re killing each other, terrorizing each other, putting fear in each other.” That’s not the nature of a human being.

There is a lot of good in this world; there is a lot of kindness in this world. There is a lot of generosity in this world. And this is the true nature of a human being; this is your true nature. To adore—to adore peace! To want peace. To be fulfilled! Need I say it? Indeed, to create a heaven right here on the face of this earth.

People talk about, when they die, will they go to heaven? There’s a small problem with that beautiful heaven. You have to die to get there. Why not create an experience, the heaven, whilst you’re alive? Whilst you are alive, whilst you are here?

People say, “Oh, look how many people go hungry.” Why? Have you ever thought of why people go hungry? Is it because there is shortage of food? No! Forty percent of the food that is actually farmed goes to waste. It’s thrown away. It’s unfit for consumption. There is more than plenty of food to feed everybody.

People say, “People don’t have clean water!” There’s plenty of water—believe me, there’s plenty of water. And who makes the water unclean? We do.

It’s up to us to understand our true nature, our power—that if we want the peace, we can have peace. We don’t have to be held back by a little rope of the elephant.

– Prem Rawat