What is heaven?

A king was going to attack his neighbor. So, all night long, you know, he’s thinking to himself, you know, “I’m going to go; I’m going to attack. I don’t know if I will survive. I might die. If I die, will I go to heaven? Will I go to hell? Will I go to heaven? Will I go to hell?” Then the question bounced in his head, “What is heaven? What is hell? What is heaven? What is hell? What is heaven? What is hell?”

So, the next morning he gets up; he gets ready in his shining armor, and he’s got his horse, and he’s got his army behind, and he’s marching—and up here he’s going, “What is heaven? What is hell? What is heaven? What is hell? What is heaven? What is hell?” And he sees a wise man coming the other way—takes his horse, goes over to the wise man—and he says, “Wise man, tell me, what is heaven? What is hell?”

The wise man said, “I don’t have time. I’m busy. I’m on my way, and I don’t have time to sit here and explain to you, ‘What is heaven, what is hell’” And the king became furious. “How dare you! Don’t you know who I am? I’m the king! How dare you tell me you don’t have time to explain to me a simple question that I have asked you, ‘What is heaven? What is hell?’”

The king is fuming—and the wise man says, “King, right now you’re in hell.” The king stops; starts to ponder: “Oh my God! It really is hell. And I don’t feel good; I’m fuming; I’m angry. I’m in hell. Wow!” He gets off his horse, gets on his knees: “Thank you so much for clarifying this. In a moment you have removed such a doubt from me. Thank you, thank you, thank you, thank you, thank you.” And the wise man said, “King, now you are in heaven.”

So, do you like that story? Good. Do you agree with the wise man? How many of you visit hell every day? Good lord! Why? On purpose? On purpose? Or you have no control? Which one is it? Or is it…or is it that you haven’t found anything really to be thankful for?

Challenging, huh? “Whoa! Yeah, yeah, I have a lot of things I’m thankful for!” But the problem is, sometimes they disappoint you! They disappoint you!

Is there something in your life that you’re truly, truly, unquestionably thankful for—day and night, in good times, in bad times, in riches, in poverty, in the days of plenty, and the days of rags, in the days when everything goes your way, and in the days when there’s nothing but frustration? On those days when the inner ocean is calm and in those days when the inner ocean is raging with fury, do you have something to be thankful for?

Unconditionally forever! Forever, till your last breath, without a question, without a doubt—do you? If you don’t, you’d better find it. And if you can’t find it, then understand how close it is to you.

Being alive is a blessing. This breath is a blessing. To have clarity in your life is a blessing.

– Prem Rawat