Prem Rawat's Speech: Festival Of Knowledge, Brussels Belgium, December 10th 1989
A strange speech with many abrupt changes of direction, tone and volume. There is a lot of shouting with some "lyrical, poetic, spiritual" repetitious sections. He begins with a section that sounds like it is inspired by the final scenes in Blade Runner which veers towards the ludicrous due to Rawat's poor pronunciation of pedestal. Then there is the section on the indivual hair clipping on his moustache. What an a**-hole.
(Applause) I know you've heard so many people come out and say "I don't know what to say." You won't hear me saying that (applause) because already so much has been said and yet still there is so much left to be said. Of course we're wrapping up our event here and yet what have we learnt? What are we going to go back there? What's gonna happen and all the questions and all the different ideas and the fears that we have, sometimes so ingrained in us, there is one simple thing that comes to mind. Be a beggar. Be a beggar and you're in good shape. Personally for me I mean you've heard so many nice things said about me. This, Maharaji does this, Maharaji does that. I don't know, they happen, half the things somebody gets me upset, I get upset then sooner or later you have to bounce out of it so you bounce out of it and you don't know where I come from.
You see it's very, it's very different for me. I've been through it all more or less. I have sat on thrones that you can't even imagine how high they were. I have been placed in places where you can't even dream that anybody could be placed on a pedestal so high. I was a very young boy and there it was, it all began and yet I remember one thing that here I am my life I have to live it and I have to believe in what I need to believe in and I have to have commitments in my life to and I have to have commitments toward those things that I really do believe in, not the rest of it and for me, you know I mean talk about eulogizing somebody I mean it's like overdone, overdone, way overdone. I mean it's not even raw at that point it's really well done and then what has been important to me? Wha how do I see it?
How do I see being in this world, talking about Knowledge, doing what I like to do. Everything that I take a step towards, what is it, what is it like for me? First of all I'm very proud and honestly I do have pride, I'm very proud to be one of my Creator's subjects, I'm extremely proud as you should be. Top-notch priority. I don't have to put myself on a pedestal to talk about Knowledge, I don't have to have long gray hair, I don't have to have a mythical wall placed around me so that everybody who comes is a more or less stunned. I'm me and what I have to talk about is so human that it's more human than anything else except for the human beings themselves because of this Knowledge, this love, this expression of Knowledge is from one human to another human. That's the way it has to be.
Where does the trouble come? Trouble comes when you sit down and read a book that says what kind of car you should buy. You know if you sit down and read a book that which kind of car you should buy you'll be in a lotta trouble because you won't find one like that on the market. You just won't, one that's under so many dollars or pounds or francs or whatever, is it really safe well you get down to low money that's a tin can, it may look safe but mm forget it and this is what we do.
We, we sit down and we say "What should the teacher of a Knowledge be like?" It's disgusting, that's disgusting, to me it is disgusting. I mean are you admitting yourself that you are such an idiot that you won't recognize?
That's like you sitting down and reading a book how to identify the sun. You really wanna do something like that, just think about it. No, you have to realize that when you were a child you pointed to an object in the sky and maybe in broken words you said "Wha?" And your mother or your father "Moon, moon." I remember it with my kids, I remember them pointing to the moon saying "Wha?" But the sun they understood, it's just like nobody even had to point they must have heard talking about the sun "Sun, that's it." No questions about it, you know you may hear a story at night "and then in the morning sun shone and the birds started singing" the child will never ask the question "Mommy I hear the birds, where's the sun?" "Honey you don't worry about that, it's very present, it's right there."
You know I have my I mean this is one thing about me, I'm a very stubborn person, very, very stubborn. When I lock on to something, that's it. I it's for, it's just that's it for me that's it and I guess a lotta people might think that's a defect, I think it's really great because that's the way to do things. Once you lock onto something, do it and in my life I locked on to one thing and that was I need to feel, I need to feel that beauty, I need to feel that presence in my life and the rest is mediocrity. Today Shakespeare is taught in school but which Shakespeare did Shakespeare read to come up with the great works of Shakespeare. There were no Shakespeare before Shakespeare, oh there was his father I suppose but you know generally speaking. Marconi I guess there was his father but what he did ventured into a territory that everybody told him he was gonna, he is not gonna get it, it's not gonna happen and yet he proved it that it was possible. To me that open heart is a requirement not concepts and ideas.
When I was very young this is one thing that people really used to ask me "You're so young, how you gonna teach people?" I mean that's the most stupid question there is but to that person who asked it, it was the most logical question at least going to have to be 48 because all the other teachers are 48, you should be 48 too and I call that the baa-aa syndrome and everybody is caught up in this baa-aa syndrome and where one sheep goes the rest sheep have to follow, no question about it but if you truly are a subject, subject of this magnificent Creator who through mercy and love and kindness has done the most impeccable job of creating this planet earth then I ask you in which sense, in which way are you reflecting that perfection which so kindly has been bestowed upon you. Which way?
How have I learnt it? Very simple, be a beggar. Much better, much better to be a beggar and to beg and you'll receive and you know even beggars have priorities. Did you know that? You may not have known that but they have priorities. If they got a phone call they both spend talking on the phone, they'll go out and beg. Priority number one, they need to go and beg, they know that and we need to have a priority too, to be able to beg and you think it's easy to be able to beg? Oh no, I mean I can just smell it, I can just sense it through my antennae like over voltage coming in. Beggar, me a beggar? People sitting in there "I can't be a beggar. I work so hard not to be a beggar and he go tells me 'become a beggar'. What's he talking about? What's he talking about? Nice metaphor Maharaji. Nice metaphor. Get on with what it is you really want to say."
Now here we are you know, I was looking at a picture of one of the slides, had a moustache and uh we just started talking about it, I said to Marilyn "Should I grow it back again?" She didn't reply but I said one thing I have to say it used to be a real pain in the butt to try to keep this mustache took hours sometime trimming every single hair, just finding each one and getting it just the right way and getting the razor in the right place." One day I remember I was trimming it and trimming it and trimming it and I realized halfway through that I had cut half my moustache off and I got so into detail I had this magnifying mirror at one of the hotel and I got so into it. I just kept clicking closer and closer and closer and before you know 'boom' I looked at the regular mirror and it's like oops. Not so easy, not so easy to be a beggar. Here we are, we spend hours shaving and doing this and doing that you know fixing our hair and putting the lipstick.
Whatever we do let me remind you of something, I'm a realist the difference you know that you heard the difference between the optimist and the pessimist. Optimist says "Half half full of water" to the glass, the pessimist says "Half empty" and the realist says "You're both gonna die" because that's ultimately what's gonna happen. There will be a day and that day will be only your dentist will be able to recognize who you are and that's only if you've had dental x-rays. He will be the only person who will be able to recognise and I mean it. Don't you realize that this body, this existence you got it, you have it and you may find imperfections in it of course because you know you think that's your job down here. I think all human beings think that they have relatively been employed their job is to find imperfections in everything but this is it folks and with this there is consciousness in you and you can do, you can do things.
You can say things, you can express things and you can sing the glory of your Creator like it has never been sung before in this format you can feel contentment like it has never been felt before. In this format you can rise above the rest and witness with these very eyes the incredible wonders that that Creator has created for you. With these ears you can hear the softest, the subtlest, the most beautiful sounds that not only reside within you but around you and with this tongue you can taste the sweetness, with this nose you can smell the most delicate of the aromas and with this consciousness you can appreciate the most wonderful of things. Without it, you have nothing. People will say "Well, you know, we'll go up there." Don't you realize it's this that says up and down, without this there is no up and down. You know when you're alive somebody hangs you up and upside down you might say "Don't hang me upside down" if you're dead you won't care. God, look at us, it doesn't matter. Consciousness, your conscious being, consciousness, that, that life, the force, the juice, the battery, charisma, the magic and that's in you and only with this existence can you understand what it is like to be filled.
It's wonderful but filled buckets have to be emptied. Why? It's the law on the nature. I didn't make the law, you didn't make the law, filled buckets have to be emptied and then empty buckets can be filled and only empty buckets can be filled and those that are filled with something else only the empty space can be filled and the beggar is in the unique position, in the unique situation to be totally empty. I'm not talking about the beggar who stands on the street corner and begs for money. I'm talking about a very different kind of beggar, a beggar who begs to be fulfilled who realizes in his life that he would not want anything more than to beg for that for which within himself he feels the thirst for and yes the magic is there. Not in the, in the concepts of how everything works just a lotta questions, too many questions but in the satisfaction in the quenching there is a lot, a lot of answers, even answers that there are no questions to and become that.
I know people look at everything and they set their priorities. I have my job, I have my family, I have to have time for myself, I have to exercise, I have to do this, I have to do that, your problem not my problem, it's your job but let me tell you. It doesn't matter how many schedules you try to arrange or rearrange, you will never have the time for Knowledge. You won't, you really won't. Schedules don't make time for Knowledge, write down you know, 9 PM leave for work and then you calculate an hour for sitting down practicing Knowledge 7, 7:30, 6 clock wake up, 6 to 7 practice Knowledge. 7 to 8 get ready for the world and then from 9 to 5 burn, fry. 5 to 8 cool down, 8 to 6 try to sleep. Wonderful isn't it? "Oh yeah I can get Knowledge. I think I can work it out." Not by schedules my friend, it is the day you realize that it means something to you.
I know people have come here, some people have come here who definitely do not practice, don't turn red it's okay. I'm not going to point you out but if you turn red your neighbour will see you. See I'm not this crusader you know, I'm really not this crusader "Oh everybody has to practice na na nah." No, my job is to point it out, if you don't do it no skin off my back. I ate, I don't mean that in any other sense except exactly what it means. Really, it doesn't bother me if you don't practice, it really doesn't. I am not here because somebody gave me a little note saying "Okay, you're it, draft number 44." You see that's not, that's not what it's all about. People say "Well how can you say all these wonderful things have been? Where do they come from?" Well they come from because I believe, I believe in something. When you believe in something you can really say wonderful things, it's really easy. When you sit there and wish wash you know, sit on top of the wall, all you can say is "Ouch, ouch, ouch. I don't know what to say today." Of course you don't know what to say today, you've been saying ouch and that's all you can say because the sharp part of the fence is penetrating various places in your body where it shouldn't be and the natural reaction of the body is pain and therefore your expression "Ouch." But kept off of it, either way, get off of it. Make a decision.
What would happen, people are gonna think this is sacrilegious, ha, what would happen if you decided you don't want to? Go ahead, you'll laugh, you'll cry, quote unquote you'll live a very normal life. You really will, you really will because you see it doesn't make any difference to the glass whether it's full or not, does it? It only matters to the person who's thirsty whether the glass is full or not. It doesn't make any difference to the water if somebody drinks it or somebody doesn't drink it, it only makes difference to the person who is thirsty whether he drinks it or not and ultimately the decision has to be yours. there is greater agony, greater agony in sitting on top of the fence going should I, shouldn't I, should I, shouldn't I, much greater agony, meant to go one way or the other way. Once you go one way you realize you wanna do it, you wanna put a commitment towards it then there is a very beautiful feeling that starts to emerge then all of a sudden you've got time, all of a sudden you understand, all of a sudden all beginnings are humble but have much potential, all paths, many paths but one that's the most important and the process begins.
People say "Well, you know, I've had Knowledge for eight years and nothing has happened." My suggestion is go, go, go in the bathroom, pull down your pants and see if you've got marks sitting on a fence and I guarantee you'll find 'em right across and if you don't find any marks you will also not find the person who's asking "Well I've had it for eight years, what do I do?"
Because Knowledge is, it is for us, the commitment towards this Knowledge is for us, this love, this fulfillment, the joy of that fulfillment is for us and to say "I do not know but I want to know." To take that first simple step, one step may sound insignificant to you but do you know that it is the first step that marks the journey's start. The journey has begin and no matter how many steps you had to take you have one less, one less than the second one, why, you're well on your way. It's a kind system, it's so kind, Knowledge is kind, acceptance is kind, the heartfelt wonder, the heartfelt beauty is so kind, contentment is so kind, the whole arena of Knowledge is so kind. It is so gentle, it is so beautiful that once we can begin with that commitment with that desire each step taken is that much shorter and shorter and shorter on a path that has no end. Let me throw that out too, that always sounds interesting. (end side a)
A journey you have once-we have taken one step so you have one last step to go on a journey that has no end, no destination. The journey of Knowledge is not to get to weatherproof one day I mean people the way they have their ideas about what Knowledge means, it's like one day it'll rain and you won't need an umbrella, it'll like kinda just the raindrop will come and 2 inches before it will hit you shall just go phweet pheet. Ask somebody "Why do you want Nirvana?" "Cause it sounds good." "Well, where did you read it?" You mean this guy who wrote about Nirvana achieved nirvana and came back to write a book. This guy was really an idiot for once you have achieved nirvana there's no pens there, you can't write a book. "He came back." "No he didn't." (inhales) The guy who wrote the book is just like you, a hell of a dreamer and constantly asleep and he wrote the book for you because you're asleep too and it's just from one dream to the other dream the book got passed. Read on cause all it is sweet lullabies but the day you'll wake up you'll have a very rude awakening and you know what it is you know when you it's really amazing.
When you having a nice dream and is really real and everything and you wake up and then you realize that you were just dreaming that the dream was so nice what the people do? They try to go back to sleep and suck and get it started and I mean it's like you're lying there awake with your eyes closed and it's like imagining the same thing trying to take place. Remember about dreams, that's the thing about dreams, dreams are really nice but you have to be asleep and what would you rather be asleep or awake.
Awake in which you can be, awake, in that waking there is a joy, in that waking there is a consciousness, in that waking there is a reality, reality so real, reality so beautiful and yet somehow we present a case to ourselves "I do not want to take a look at the mirror because I might be ugly." A very strange explanation to me anyways. Hey if you're ugly, you're ugly. That doesn't mean if you don't look in the mirror you'll become beautiful so put your best foot forward and look at yourself but if you've known all but I'm afraid because you might be really ugly. You mean you are willing to live because looking in the mirror presents you with one slight chance that you may not actually be ugly that you may actually be very beautiful. Without that, there is this uncertainty and people are willing to accept the uncertainty and say "Why, of course I would rather accept that and kind of in my dreams now I can imagine that I am really beautiful, that everything is really okay but I don't want it verified" and the and this person, this person comes along and says "I have a mirror for you, take a look in it" and people resist people say "No no no. What are you talking about? No mirrors please. This is not good. This can't be." And the teacher says "No. Look. Look at it, see what you see, you tell me." Because so much conditioning. Beauty. Beauty inside looking for beauty outside but that thing that is looking for beauty is beautiful itself. It does not need to have a mask. It does not need to have a façade and to me you know that story about Don Quixote that Marilyn was telling you. Yeah, I read it. I read that book.
You know to me I, I, I this is the way it is sometimes I remember when we first got our refrigerator, this is in Dehra Dun it was a fascinating thing I was really fascinated and of course I don't know why we got the refrigerator but we got one. I was very young then it was you know mother's decision, get a refrigerator. I had nothing to do with it I just was fascinated. The guy came set it up, there it was this white refrigerator, not very high and it was, it was one of those really old kind you know rounded tops and it had more like a car handle on the front and, and inside there were baby blue, bulb in the back. Me, young so I used to open it and look at it inside, it was empty I mean that thing ran empty for ages because it was like once we got the refrigerator nobody told us what we should put in it. A 20,000 rupiah refrigerator my God you simply do not put one rupee of vegetables in it, that's ludicrous and milk in India the way they have a really good system worked out. They take the milk, they use what they use and then whatever they don't use they just turn it into yogurt and then butter and so on and really it works really well. Plus who cares we used to have our own cows so why save the milk anyway so that was out and it was kind of strange but, but to me I was really fascinated by it I was very young, really fascinated by this refrigerator and the thing that really fascinated me and this is a question I had does the light stay on after the door has been closed?
I really used to I mean I would try all of the stuff to see inside and I used to tinker with everything I mean I that was it I'd get a toy and I'd take it apart. That that that instead of playing with a toy it was more fun to take the toy apart. That was playing with the toy get some screwdrivers and open it up. In just one day I it jelled and I was able to put the toy back together, I was really happy. Before that the toys would just be taken apart and then I'd try to put 'em back together but always ended up with a handful of screws. Where do they go? I mean I even remember one time I just took the screws and put it inside you know like jammed 'em.
There they are so what I did was very naughty, very naughty I uh took out the shelves and I climbed in the refrigerator and I closed the door and I found out that the light does not stay on and I was really lucky too because somebody came along and opened the refrigerator door right away. I could've been stuck in it, refrigerated but then I figured it out cause there was a it was a really you havta you have to take a chance and you know finally I anyways the stoot when the the refrigerator story we finally figured out that one of the things we could put in the refrigerator was water because we weren't used to cold water so we had cold water and we would just come and drink cold water, cold water, I mean it was like cold water, cold water. We would just drink cold water even when we weren't thirsty, cold water I mean it was a novelty and we had I mean we would have cold water when it was freezing outside we would have cold water, there it is and to me it's like
I take a, take a look at this story of Don Quixote and I can say it two ways Sancho Panchez or Pancho Sanchez either one both'll work but you know this comical little fella really believed because Don Quixote he had been written off, he was crazy. Sancho Panchez, he this guy is sane and he would ride his little pony you know and he would believe in this, in this person, he believed. It doesn't matter what he believed, he took a chance, he believed and Don Quixote would get ready and it's like I'm going on my invasion and Sancho Panchez would say "Ha ha I'm not coming with you, you're crazy" and you you know know Don Quixote would take off ha ha and here comes the little Sancho you know "I'm coming, I'm coming, I'm coming. Wait for me" and it's such a touching feeling, to the logical brain it's like "Well that's idiotic, I don't want to be like that plus I don't have a donkey." You don't have to have a donkey.
You have to have a little conviction, you have to have a little trust and you have to be able to say and it's such a good feeling, it's such a good feeling to have made that decision and you only realize this afterwards not before but it's such a good feeling to have made that decision and say "Wait for me, I'm coming, I'm coming." (applause) Before that there is turmoil, there is logic, there is ideals, there is ideas, there is society, there is people, your friends, what are they gonna say "My God oh tada tada tada" and for that lady her husband. What the husband gonna say if I get too happy? What about the dog, let's throw them in too. The dog may only wag his tail from middle to left and back not. Gees if you get any more happy, if you really take a look in that mirror the dog might go Grrr next time you come. You know but there's very few, very few come around and you hear the voice, you hear the voice "Wait for me, I'm coming, I'm coming" and what a conviction, what a beauty, belief, belief. What do you believe in? I bet you don't even believe in your cat. It's hard to believe in your cat, every time the window is left open the cat runs away. I bet it's hard to believe in your dog, dog runs away too.
What are you gonna believe in? Friends, they come and go. People don't like me when I talk about friends. They're one of the things somebody was telling me "Ah Maharaji and after the program is over we can have a little party and you can invite your friends." I said "Well that's going to be really tough." He said "Why?" I said "You'll have to invite everybody, everybody." (applause) You know my cars are in really good shape, you know why? I don't have friends. If I had friends they'd ask to "Can I drive your car?" And then boom! You bring back "Thank you." "What about the car?" "Well you can drive mine." "But you don't have a car." "But when I get it" and you know so far you have a car, why should your friend get a car when you have a one and he gets to drive it every time. Next morning the same thing. You'll have to invite everybody I said and that's going to be really tough because to me a long time ago I looked at it and I realized that in my life everybody is my friend even the guy I get upset at because he honked at me. After I get over it he's still my friend. It's okay cause that's the way it is and to me in that I find a lot of joy. Says it's good you know you have so many friends they don't ask you for your car and you can really maintain your cars well in that way but more than that, more than anything else live this life, see that vision, feel that grace in your life, you have it.
I know there are some people here who don't have this Knowledge and you've heard a lot about this Knowledge I mean this thing is called the Festival of Knowledge but believe me, you do have that grace, (scattered applause) God that Creator loves you as much as anybody else. It's hard to say about politicians but that's just I guess He likes them too but you have it all. The only difference is that some of us have taken a step forward, received a gift that allows us to see a beauty inside. That doesn't mean you don't have that beauty inside, you have it to, you just don't have a way of seeing it and with this gift it's possible to admire, to see, to feel that beauty. So don't, don't, don't be depressed. You don't have to walk out of here and say "Well I don't have Knowledge" that you have everything else, everything and in that delight, delight that someone is very kinds, delight that someone cares and has cared for a very long time. It's gonna, it's fascinating you know the last program of the 80s, 90s are coming up and what's gonna happen?
There's only one thing I can say, it only gets better. (applause) and I know that there'll be a program in 1990 and you will know that it's the best and even after having walked away from the best program ever to be able to turn around and say "It only gets better" (applause) and it does, it really, really, really, really does get better (applause) so rejoice, rejoice that you're alive, be happy that you're alive, rejoice that you have Knowledge, rejoice that you're interested in Knowledge, rejoice that you are an aspirant and rejoice that you have heard some words that may inspire you to remain an aspirant for the rest of your life (scattered clapping) and rejoice someone really does care. I mean there are times it really doesn't seem like it and I know it's very hard to even in those darkest of times remember this one and I know you'll forget but you know, habit, maybe one day you'll remember it that it really it's okay someone does care through thick and thin it all takes place and that's the way it's been going for a very, very, very long time and pray that in your life you have that wissdom that you will continue to witness and continue to see and make that effort towards feeling that joy and rejoicing for the rest of your life.
So, anyways, I think it's been one of the most beautiful programs that I have ever been to, (applause) the Festival of Knowledge, the Festival of Knowledge people have given me too much credit for it. I had very little to do with it, really I had I mean there's all the guys back there you know they back there and up there and over there and over there that really came together, try to put it together, all I did was "Nah, we shouldn't do it that way, nah, we shouldn't do it that way, nah, we shouldn't do it that way." That's, that's all I ended up doing and then once in a while making a suggestion "Yes we should do it that way, my way, whatever." But here we are and I really hope that a page has been turned and a new page is waiting to be read from the beginning, from the start. So I don't know, I don't know what the next program is going to be like but it's going to be better, it's going to be better than this one so take care, be thankful and enjoy yourselves. Thank you very much. I hope I'll see you in the 90's. (applause)
Oasis Of Love