1971 - 2001: Maharaji 30 Years In the West

1971 - 2001: Maharaji 30 Years In the West


If it wasn't for the gift of what I call Knowledge -
a practical way to go inside and connect with the beauty within -
all my words would be empty.


An anniversary compendium of edited excerpts from talks given by Maharaji since his first arrival in the West, 17th June 1971.

Heathrow Airport Maharaji first arrived in the UK on 17th June, 1971, at the age of thirteen, after giving up his education to devote himself full-lime to showing people how to find fullfilment within themselves. After a month of speaking engagements, which included presentation in Paris, he flew to Los Angeles on 17th July 1971. In America he received an enthusiastic welcome and spent the summer speaking in various locations around the United States and Canada before returning to London and, in early November, to India.

During the following years he spent increasing amounts of time in the West, visiting more countries, including Australia, New Zealand and Japan - wherever he was invited by the growing numbers of people interested in his teachings. By 1974 he had settled permanently in the United States but continued to spend most of each year touring and speaking, a pattern which has continued to the present day.

His message has remained constant throughout this time, summed up in the phrase, "What you are looking for is already within you, and I can show you a way to get in touch with it." For those interested he reveals the techniques of 'Knowledge' which provide access to the inner fullfilment he speaks about.

During the first thirty years of his activity in the West, tens of thousands of people have 'received' his Knowledge and enjoy the benefit of practising it in their daily lives. They have recognized in him a Master whose guidance is invaluable on their path to self-understanding. Organizations in over fifty countries world-wide, established and run mainly by volunteers, help people have access to Maharaji's message and the Knowledge he offers.

Many of the edited excerpts reproduced here as a celebration of and expression of gratitude for, thirty years of inspiration and guidance are taken from addresses to people who have already been shown the techniques of Knowledge. Their content however is equally relevant for anyone with an interest in living fullfilled life.

Maharaji's words are sometimes humorous, sometimes serious. but they are always straight from one heart to another.

Maharaji 30 Years In the West

I believe this world is existing right now because of love.

Lima, 19th November 1976

1971 - 1981


Isaac Newton only discovered the law of gravity, he did not invent it. In the same way Knowledge is within you. I can only show you how to experience it for yourself, so that your heart can be satisfied. I can show you who you are and what is the purpose of your coming into this world.


A room and the main entrance are both one. What brings you into that room is the main entrance, and that room itself is attached. This is what Knowledge is. Through Knowledge you will gain the most precious thing in this world. What you want. What you are lacking.


Everything in this world is for me below the experience of Knowledge. When I see that there is pure water, that untouched water is coming from that source, why should I drink water from this source? I should go to that source where the water is absolutely pure.


Unless you go and follow the source of the river Nile, you can't prove that, "Yes, this is the source of the river Nile." But once you have found the source, you can say, "Yes, all the waters are flowing from here, so this is the source of the Nile." And the question is, how can we know that source that is within us?


What am I? I'm not my body: the body is nothing, just a case, just a covering. But there is a very precious thing inside. A precious diamond. How did we come to be human? We are not a toy. We have been provided with so many essential things in this beautiful body. God has made you the crown of nature. And I can show you a natural process to that natural thing that is within inside us. It is common to all. It doesn't matter what country someone is from or if there is a difference in their ideas; if you are alive that thing is within you.


To experience the thing that is within inside of us does not mean a change of' religion. You can be a Christian and still follow it. You can be a Hindu and still follow it. You can be anyone following any religion, of any class, creed, colour or nationality, coming from the north pole or the south pole, coming from Underwater, overwater, underland, overland, anywhere. If you are a human being, that's enough.


A Master doesn't take anything for himself I give you this Knowledge. It is precious. Those people who practise it know that it is precious. But I don't take anything. I don't want your money, so why am I doing it? I do it because I get great happiness. And happiness is the thing that makes love flow, which makes me love. And I want to love. That's why I consider myself one of the happiest people in the world. I give this Knowledge to people free of charge. When people get this Knowledge they feel great happiness, and that makes me happy too.


When I first came here to New Zealand and I was in the hotel, I looked down and for a moment I forgot where I was. But though I may have forgotten for a second that I was in New Zealand, the fact remains that I was in New Zealand. In the same way a person comes into this world and looks around. He sees many things. And then for one second he forgets. And that one second doesn't remain one second any more. It becomes completely his whole lifetime. At that point, he forgets what is the real fact of this life. But still there is a fact of this life, and that fact is what all the Masters come to reveal, because it is important for you to know it.


A man comes into town looking for a Superman comic. He looks and looks and looks. He goes to every bookstore but he cannot find the Superman comic he wants. He goes to every house in the town, but he can't find it.

He gets very frustrated, he is very tired and he doesn't know what to do. So he goes back to his hotel room and he is so mad, so frustrated, he feels he could do anything.

All of a sudden he hears a knock on the door, and says, "Oh brother. Who is disturbing me now?" He opens the door, looks straight ahead, and there is nobody there. Then he looks down and there is this little bitty kid, a humble little kid standing there with something under his T-shirt. The guy says, "What do you want? Why are you picking on me? Leave me alone. Go away!" The kid just looks at him and says, "You want a Superman comic, mister?" The man says, "Why are you teasing me? Forget it." And the kid says, "But I got it."

The guy gets even more furious and says, "Don't tease me. Go away!" Then the kid opens up his T-shirt and takes out this beautiful Superman comic. Just what the man wanted. And this is what happens to us, looking for that Knowledge. We search everywhere for that peace and can't find it. So we give up and become very frustrated. That's when the Master comes and says, "Do you want it? I've got it." And we say, "Forget it, man. What are you talking about? There is no peace in this world." But before you know it, the Master pulls it out, hands it to you, and what can you say?


Today we take great interest in finding out where we began, and the reason is because we have forgotten our beginnings, we have lost touch with our base. We don't know what the purpose of our existence really is, it has all become a big question for us. Our origin is in reality, we are a product of reality, but things have changed so much for us that the truth that is everywhere - that is omnipotent, omniscient and omnipresent - has become the object of a big search.

It's like a mother who tells her child to hang onto her finger. As long as the child's holding on, everything is fine. He can wander around and lie doesn't even care, because there's so much security for him - so much understanding within him that his mother is there, his security is there. But suddenly he finds himself looking at one object that he likes very much, and he turns round to his mother and says, "Mama I want this." But to his surprise, mama isn't there. The security has gone. And that's the way we are. That's the way it has become for mankind. But where a baby or a small child will maybe start crying, a grown-up doesn't cry any more, but will continue to pursue that goal until he has it; and his pursuit is happiness.

But what we have forgotten in all our searching is a way, a method, of how to touch base, of how to make that contact. That, to me, is the most important thing, and this is why when we receive Knowledge there is such a change in people's lives, because we have been put in contact with a reality. And that's when the beauty begins, that's when the understanding begins. That's when the love begins.

Hans Rawat Father Of Prem Rawat A VERY SPECIAL, DAY

Today is a very special day, a wonderful day - the birthday of Shri Maharaji. Of course, today Shri Maharaji is no longer with us, yet we can quite clearly see the reason why he came in this world and why he went from place to place, spreading this very beautiful message to all of the people of the world. He had no reservations. He went to everybody, door to door, just telling them it is possible to realize the purpose of this human life, to realize the goal of this human life. It is possible to merge with that oneness, to merge with that incredible thing, to become one with that ultimate. He slept at railway stations, and maybe, if you are from America or from Italy, railway stations are very nice. They have lounges and so on and so forth, so it's not that bad. But in India at that time they were pretty terrible.

What you ended up with, basically, were these old benches. Very, very uncomfortable - hardly place to sleep. If you can't find a bench, you've got to sleep on the floor. Very, very uncomfortable. But he went, and he travelled everywhere he could. If all he found was bread and salt and water, he contented himself with that. And just for one very, very simple reason - to tell the world that there is that peace, that there is that one love, that there is that thing that we seek in our lives. Today, it's possible. Today, it's available. And this is why I think it's a very special day. It's always going to be a very special day because this is what we are all here for.


Why are we really here? Is it so we can rush, rush, rush every day? That's what people do, from the time they get up until the time they go to sleep. And they keep on doing it. They have no control over it. In the city, you see all these people driving around, very, very frustrated. It makes you think, where is this world going to?

When the Anglo-French jet was made, the Concorde, people thought, "This is it." It was almost presented that way "This is it!! This is going to be the answer to all our problems." But what happened? Was there peace everywhere? Did that tranquillity come that people were looking for? Was it the breakthrough for mankind? Was that what mankind had been waiting for?

Man has gone to the moon. It sounds incredible. But what has it brought? Yes, it has brought a few things - LED watches, for example, and the space blanket you might have heard about - that little thing that just folds up and you can carry it in your backpack. It has brought a lot of different things. But it hasn't brought the one thing that mankind is really looking for - and that is peace. Because whatever man is trying to do today, whatever things he is trying to accomplish today, he's really only trying to accomplish one thing. Peace.


The same creator that created us also makes this moth that lives for thirty minutes of our time. And as soon as this moth is born its sole purpose is to be able to mate so that another moth can come out, and then they die. The creator could have created us the same way That moth is very sophisticated in its own way. And yet he has not made us like that moth, or those turtles that live for years, or like caterpillars, or like dogs, or like cats. He has made us as human beings. And he has not put us in some rat-hole but he has put us in this incredible world. I mean, look at it! Somebody up there cares. We have beautiful blue skies, the rain, the sun, the moon, and the rainbow. We consider somebody a genius who discovers how all these things work. But what about that genius who not only figured it out, but put it all into action?

For ages and ages prehistoric humans couldn't figure out at all what the rain was, what an eclipse was. But now we're not 'pre-humans', we are humans, and we have figured out these things. But we haven't figured out the most important thing. "Why are we here?"


Look at all the people in the world. We look at graveyards. And there are some graveyards where there are thousands of people buried. What have they done in their lives? What have they accomplished? What have they gained? They came, and they lived their lives. What is there left to show for it except a headstone?

That's it? Is that our life, our destiny? If that's all that this is about, then the meaning of life doesn't exist. There is nothing to life. It has no purpose.

But that's not the way it is. There's a lot more to it. There's a lot more there. And this is what Knowledge can reveal to you. In your own heart.


Most people believe there is a creator. I'm not saying there isn't one. But what is the basis for it? People believe there is a creator, they think there is a creator, but what is the basis of the belief? Is it that everybody is like a flock of sheep? One sheep goes to one place and everybody follows. Do we really know for ourselves?

Everybody has a concept of heaven. They think, "Up there, there is heaven," Where? "In the blue skies there is this place with pearly gates. You knock at those gates and they open and there is a guy sitting there like a traffic cop. And he makes sure you've got all the right qualifications to enter."

And then there is hell, again something we imagine. But have we seen heaven? Have we seen hell? Have we seen God? Do we know God? So many people get up and talk about God. But why does God exist? And why are we alive? What is the purpose of our life? Why do we breathe?

You can go inside the body and take out any organ, and still live. There are people who even survive without a heart. They have a heart attack, their heart stops, but they stay alive. And after a few electric charges the heart goes again. But there is one thing without which, even if the heart, the kidneys, the lungs and every other organ in the body is functioning, everything falls apart.

Fulfilment is not that far away.

Fulfilment is right here. Always has been and will always be.

It is the true immortal monument.

No time - nothing will ever desecrate that one monument called fulfilment.


1981 - 1991


Here is our time, here is our moment, here is our opportunity to discover something really beautiful for ourselves, something we can always enjoy. Make that love permanent. Make this connection permanent. It is our hope. This is that answer. We know it. There's no doubt about that. When we see that, when we glimpse that fire, when we feel the warmth of that fire, those questions and doubts are not there. They don't have any place there, because the glory of that Knowledge can and does completely fulfil our heart. And when that happens, when it really becomes real, then truly love prevails. That's when love starts to become real. That's when love can be felt.

And whenever that happens in us, it's always just so warm - not our external concepts and not our external ideas, but it is the love that comes from Knowledge that's so warm. You can't hide it. You can't just say, "I can turn myself off from it." Because in any way, in any second, in any moment, you look in that direction, and it's there. It's just completely in that flame, in that eternal flame of love.


It's beautiful to come here to England and see snow fall. I've never seen snow fall in England before. There's always a first time and yesterday I saw it. Little flakes of snow falling all over the place. And again, that to me is just like the experience of Knowledge. Outside, it's so cold. The snowflakes get on your cheek and just freeze on your nose, or on your hair. But when you come inside and close your door, there's a warm fire going. And you look through your window and you can see all the snow falling, and yet you're not affected by it. You are in this warm place. It's warm. It's protected. It's safe. And that's the world of Knowledge in which we can be warm, safe and protected.


Scientists are learning incredible things about human beings. But then there have been other groups of people who were never called scientists. They didn't sit down in front of something, watch it for forty-eight hours and keep recording observations every two minutes. They didn't do that. But in their lifetime they had an experience. They experienced something and they called this thing 'life'. This was a long, long time ago. And they realized that life itself is so full of joy, so full of beauty, that it has no limits, that it has no bounds. That it is in itself everything you want, everything you need. And it is in fact the essence of your existence. Because without it, nothing happens.

Whether we believe in Darwin's theory or we believe in the theory of creativity is completely irrelevant. The question is, now we are here, what do we do?


Knowledge is just a bridge: no more and no less. But if one gets into speculation about the bridge, then we've got problems. Let me hypothetically try to paint a picture. Imagine a person wanting to cross this bridge. He speculates about it and says, "Well, how long is this bridge?" An answer doesn't come back. So he thinks, "Well, in case it's very long, I must take some food along with me." Then he thinks, "Well, what if it's really long? A cup of tea would be wonderful." So he brings his thermos along with a cup of tea in it. Then he says,

"Well, what if it's longer than that? What if I'm walking, and suddenly it's night-time. Then what'll I do?" So he says,"Well, if I have to sleep on the bridge I may as well bring my back-pack along, with a sleeping bag."

You see, everything is rational, everything is logical, but just see where this logic keeps taking you. Then - I mean, one can imagine the English weather, it's as unpredictable as anything - he says, "What if it starts raining? I must take an umbrella." Then he says, "Suppose I get hungry again. By then my sandwiches will be ruined, so I need to take some beans in a tin can. They'll be protected." But then lie needs a can-opener, and then of course he needs something to cook the beans with, so along comes a portable stove. And it goes on and on.

Then he thinks, "Suppose the bridge is so long that I meet someone and decide to get married along the way" So he packs up a wedding dress.

So now that he has everything packed, he has got this enormous back-pack. Huge. Gigantic. And he starts walking towards the bridge. He starts to enter the bridge OK, but then all of a sudden something stops him.

He tries again, and again can't go forward. So he looks behind him and he sees that the bridge is narrower than his back-pack. He can fit but his backpack can't. Now this person is faced with a more serious problem than before - what to get rid of? How is he going to choose what to leave behind?

Now, where could faith have possibly come in for this person? Having the faith that somebody who has invited him across the bridge will take care of him. It's like somebody has invited you to dinner and you bring your own dinner along just in case that person doesn't have anything for you. That's ludicrous. But that's the way we seem to function.

We need to have that little faith. Faith to enjoy the bridge, enjoy the ride, enjoy the experience Knowledge brings. We imagine, we hypothesize what this bridge is like and we have all these imaginations that we put forth. And yet, believe me, the bridge is utterly simple. It is meant to be simple. It is made to be simple. It is for you and me. And yet, you need to have some confidence, confidence in yourself, confidence in Knowledge, and confidence that yes, it can happen, that you can do it.


When you have to put it into the format of a word, it loses something. When I was in Taiwan I was told not to use the word happiness, because to Buddhists the word relates to the "triple-W" - wine, women and wealth. But that was OK. I adapted and said what I had to say without using the word 'happiness'. Because one thing everyone can relate to is feeling good. It doesn't matter what nationality you are. Everybody wants to feel good.


Yesterday I was taking a nap. I was very tired because I have been travelling every single day since this tour began. In fact, I have been doing an event every single day and some days two.

So yesterday I had set the alarm and when it went off I had no idea where I was. I had no idea what day it was. I had no idea if it was morning or evening. I had no idea what was happening. Everything was there but I couldn't relate to it. I was in a room, but where? Nothing clicks. Nothing makes sense, nothing has a meaning. You get up but you don't know where to go.

It's almost like two things haven't caught up to each other yet. And as soon as they do, then it all makes sense: "Oh right. It's the afternoon and I have to get up and get ready and go and see some people."

But even though I was completely disorientated, something was still keeping me alive. And that is the experience we need to focus on, to zero in on.


Imagine Socrates, the philosopher, talking to a few people maybe on some steps in the street in Athens, and saying, "Know thyself." There were slaves, merchants, traders, politicians - other philosophers too. He had a very simple message to give to people: "Know thyself." Why didn't he say, "You don't know yourself"? Isn't it the same thing? No, it's not. Because if he had said that, it would be a negative statement, and what would that mean to you? "OK, so I don't know myself. Big deal."

But he said, "Know thyself. You should know yourself." Why? Why should people know themselves? Weren't people happy in that time? It was a simple time; surely people didn't have all the things to worry about that we have today? No, man has had the greatest problems since the very beginning. The Greeks faced destruction too. There was a danger of their civilisation being completely eradicated. So those fears were there. People were ambitious too. Everything was the same. It was just a different time, a different era, a different civilization. And they needed to feel fulfilled, to feel content, too.


Isn't it natural for you to stand on the side of a road and see cars going up and down it? Of course, it's very natural. That's what the road is there for. But if, all of a sudden, all the cars were standing still and the road was moving, now that would be a dramatic sight, something to be concerned about. So things that change are changeable, That's why they're changing. And those are not the things to pursue. The thing to pursue is that which does not change. That's what we have to come towards. That's what we have to get down to. That's where we have to be.


I know that if we can have an understanding of how beautiful life is, moment by moment, regardless of everything else that goes on, then we will have the contentment and the fulfilment that we need. This world is a frustrating place, I know, and we have to put the frustration where it belongs, and then appreciate the beauty of what we really have.

In this whole scenario, where is Knowledge, and where are we? Take the eye - an incredible piece of equipment. It can see in colour; it can adjust to light; it can see three-dimensionally; it can give you perspective. In fact, many other organs such as the legs, the head and the arms share the information that the eye gives to the brain. If I close my eyes and try to reach for the microphone, it would take me some time. But with my eyes open, I can place my hand right there. And yet, what is the most important part about seeing? The part we never think about, but which we use the most? I think it's appreciation. If we could see but not appreciate, what would it be like? If we could look at the most magnificent sunset and not feel anything, wouldn't that be a tragedy?

Ears - an incredible piece of equipment again. Sensitive; sophisticated. And yet if we could go and sit in a hall where the most beautiful symphony is being played, and listen to it but never appreciate it, what would it be like?

At the nucleus of all the crossroads, at the centre of all the crossroads, lies a thing called appreciation. In the heart of life itself lies appreciation. And where appreciation lies, so does Knowledge. Nowhere else. And that's where lies the joy, and that's where lies the tenderness, and that's where lies the beauty. Beauty is not in anything; it is only in appreciation.

To know how to appreciate Knowledge, you have to know how to appreciate life. There is a quality to this life which all you have to do is simply uncover. You don't have to do anything else. The diamond shall shine all by itself. All you have to do is take a brush and undust it. That's all you have to do.


People say, "Let's not be selfish, let's not take a look at ourselves." But to me, truly taking a look at your own self is the most unselfish thing you can do. I guess it is the word that is attached to it - the 'self' - which gives it the connotation of being selfish. But it is not being selfish, it is truly understanding and admiring what you have.

Recently I bought the record "USA for Africa". And then there was that whole festival. I was very moved by that. Now all that seems very much like unselfish action. But think about it. Who does it make feel really good? It's ourselves.

So I think that taking a look at ourselves, seeing our potential, seeing how beautiful one really is inside and admiring the gift that has been given, is about the most unselfish thing I can think of.


There is a road we all walk on - the road of life. And sometimes we have an idea - I'm not talking about heaven and hell here, just take the example for what it's worth - that at the end of this road there awaits an incredible hotel, and if we manage to keep walking, one day we'll make it there.

But wait a minute. What about the road itself? What kind of road is it? What's on each side? Is it not a road filled on each side with the most beautiful blossoms, the most beautiful sights and fountains? Just recently I was in Italy and I saw the statue of David by Michaelangelo. It used to be in a piazza but it was becoming run down and now it is in the wing of a museum. And every step of the way there are more and more beautiful things to see. But when you stand in front of David, you don't care for the rest - David steals the show.

And my questions is, am I walking through millions of these Davids, each more magnificent than the other, while my eyes are fixed to the ceiling? Am I too busy looking at the floor and wondering how many other people have walked this path, instead of looking at the beauty around me? If I am doing that, what am I missing?

And the most incredible thing that you can feel, better than David, better than Raphael's paintings, is you. Always has been, always will be. And all that's being offered by me is one simple thing - a way, a means, to be able to experience you, just you: a way to live this life consciously.


I am sure you have seen at least a few sunsets in your life. But to enjoy it properly, you cannot have a premeditated idea of what the sunset is going to be like. Concepts of what something is going to be like are like looking at something through a very narrow window. Knowledge is far beyond that. It already does exist. We are merely tapping into it. And having our preconceived ideas doesn't help us. What I recommend is to trust in that experience. With Knowledge you have to start with a completely open slate. You cannot just sit down to practise and say to yourself, "This is what's going to happen."


This is not the Macdonald's principle - you're a busy person so you need food you can eat on the go. This is for you to see the value of and take charge for yourself and give it the priority, the time it needs. Don't treat your life like a rented car, which you wouldn't wash or even put fuel in. Yours is not a rented life. This is yours, and it's the only one you have. So please don't make excuses. Because no excuses can be made. It is for us to take charge of our life with substance and say, "I want to practise." Some people think this is my fight. I have to make you, as individuals, practise Knowledge. No. This is not my fight. I offer you this. The value you have to understand for yourself. To help you, you have trust. Trust is one of the single most important elements. And another very important element is to have patience with ourselves, because enjoying life is a habit you have to get into until you die. It goes on to the very end.

Maybe you say, "But I have problems." What are Your problems? "I have a debt." No. You, as an individual, as a being, have a debt, but you the essence is never indebted. It can never be imprisoned. And that's really you. Everything else may leave you, but this is the only handle you have that you can truly hold onto to the end.

Do you remember the '60's, the big revolution? "Oh yes, we are going to give up everything. Businessmen are crazy, we want to be free." The Beatles came out with all those songs, and the world had all those problems because everything was fake? And do you think all those people who believed that don't have problems? They have plenty, and they are the same problems. What there needs to be is recognition within each individual of just themselves - the one thing that will be with you till the very last moment. That's a joy, and that's a beauty. And that's what Knowledge is allowing me to do.


Imagine you're in the desert and it's dry. And you are very thirsty. Your lips are chafed, your throat is dry, and all you're looking for is water. Maybe you see incredible mirages, but every time, you are disappointed. Yet, you keep on looking. And then, you start walking up this hill and you feel moisture, you just feel the little bit of dampness in the soil and you think, "Wow There is water around here." And you climb and you climb and eventually you come to this cave. And sure enough, you can smell the water. It's there. You can feel the humidity. And you go inside the cave and sure enough, you see that things are damp. Now you know. And in the back of the cave, there it is - water!

The water you've been looking for is there. But, it's just one drop at a time. No fountain, no waterfall, no river, no pond, no well. just one drop at a time. Drip. Drip. Drip. That's all there is. And what do you do? When you were thirsty, your imagination said, "There will be a pond. I will jump in it and I'll gulp the water and that will feel so good." But, there is no pond. Or you thought, "There will be a waterfall. I'll put my head underneath it and the water will gush into my throat and fill me." But there's no waterfall. It's just one drop at a time. And actually there's enough water there to fill you many times over, but it's only coming one drop at a time. And there's only one thing you can do - lie there, turn your face upwards and let it fall into your mouth. And guess what? As soon as that first drop falls in your mouth, there'll be relief.

Many people expect to find a waterfall. But for those who can just lie there and open their mouth and let that one drop at a time just happen, it will be sweet and cool and wonderful. It will fill you, no question about it, but one drop at a time. And that's the way Knowledge is. That's the way fulfilment happens in this life. And if you have the patience and, indeed, the courage, that it takes to accept each drop then yes, you will be filled. Beyond your imagination. And each drop is more satisfying than the last.


How beautifully the creator made this little creation. It's a true feat of genius: from nowhere there was something. Something kept growing and then -boom! - there was life. Then that creator took all those various essences of nature and created a body, with this incredible, indescribable everything, which appears to be nothing: the breath, the energy, that thing called life.

The creator put inquisitiveness in this being so that it could know. The creator put love in this being so that it could love. The creator put ignorance in this being so that it could be filled. In this being, the creator put understanding so that it could understand; longing, so that it could aspire; the question, so that it could seek the answer: all wonderful qualities. In this being the creator put so many wonderful things.

Not my idea to have the beautiful scent of magnolia in a magnolia flower. Not my idea to have this one plant, which we used to call 'night queen', which in the evenings would give out such a compelling aroma. Not my idea. But I like it. It was somebody else's idea and that somebody had to be pretty decent. This is the way I looked at it. I would look out and I would see the moon, I would see the stars. I didn't understand what they were. It took me the longest time even to grasp the fact that the earth was round. Couldn't understand that, because if the earth was round, how could you park your bicycle? It would slide off. It wouldn't stay on the stand.

But one thing that got more and more confirmed in my own head was that this creator was very kind. I could find the clues to the creator's kindness, to the creator's love, everywhere.


Why did the Egyptians build those huge structures? As a testimonial to themselves. And from the day they built them right until today, that element called time has been deteriorating this testimonial. And left long enough, these structures will be reduced to sand.

Is somebody trying to tell us something - that no matter how huge our ambitions, they will all disappear sooner or later, and then what will be left? What still exists today that is not in the realm of time? Where are the Mayans who built those incredible cities, who built these incredible roads, who were so organized. Where are they? Not a trace. But what is still left? That's what's important. Because what is left and always has been left is that desire, that thirst, to be fulfilled.

There are two kinds of monuments. One was built by Shah Jahan - the Taj Mahal. It's beautiful, but it's deteriorating. And it will, of course, because it's the law of nature. And then there was another monument. And this was built by Kabir. But the monument that Kabir built was in people's hearts, while the monument that Shah Jahan built was on the banks of a river. Both built monuments, but the difference is that today the Taj Mahal does not look as beautiful as it did when it was first erected, while Kabir's monument still brings tears to people's eyes, enlightenment to those who are seeking it, and delight and a smile to those who see through his eyes what he built. Had Shah Jahan really achieved immortality? I don't know. Has Kabir?

Of course. Because his monument will always be in those people's hearts who want the fulfilment that he talked about. And this monument can never be decimated by the power of time. In fact, it only gets better. It improves.

What kind of ending would you like on your life story? It's up to you. The ending is not written yet.

It doesn't matter what's been written so far.

Maybe it's good, maybe it's bad, but the ending isn't written yet.

Your pages are still blank. That's cool, because it means you can shape it. You can shape it so you live happily ever after

That would be a very nice story.


1991 - 2001


We have a whole sphere of life, but we only have been living half of it. We only know what has so far been presented to us. We only know, "This is the world. This is Toulouse, this is France. There is a little channel and then there is England, then there is Scotland, then there is Iceland off to the .side. If you go a little bit further west, there is Newfoundland. Then, the Maritimes, and they blend into Canada. Then there is the United States and there is Mexico, then there is Central America. And so on." This is the world.

But the other half of the sphere has little to do with this world. And what it has to do with is just our inner self Just our inner being. And what do we know of our own selves? What do we know of this territory inside? In this territory inside, there are no countries. There are no continents. There are no books. There are no magazines. There are no atlases. There is nobody who has gone into this world of the inside and left a map behind. The only description that is remotely available of what it is like inside this world is that it's nice. That is the extent of any information that has leaked out.


Our logic is a little bit like this: this is a Chinese story. A few wise Chinese men got together to decide which one was more important - the sun or the moon. So, they had a big conference, they argued and they came up with all their ideas. And after days and days of deliberating, this is the conclusion that they reached. The moon was far more important because at night-time, the moon gave light. But who needed the sun at day-time? It was already light.

A little understanding missing, wouldn't you say? The understanding that the reason why there is light in the day-time is because of the sun and the reason the moon shines is also because of the sun.

So, my point again is, can we become that child again? Can we look at something and appreciate it without analyzing? Because what's happened over the period of our years is that appreciation has gone and analysis has overtaken it. Analysis is necessary - I'm not saying you should not analyze - but if you do not know when to analyze and when not to analyze, then you've got a problem.


This is the love that is immortal. This is the love that is not tied to a body. This is the love that is not tied to actions. And to be privy to that, to have the privilege, to have that connection, to have that triangle in your life -how incredible.

All of us have experienced bits and pieces of that triangle in different ways. And what would happen if you take away one thing from that triangle? If you take away the student, what have you got? You have got the world's biggest secret. Nobody to find out, nobody would know. Put back the student, take away Knowledge. Just have the student and the Master and what have you got? You've got the world's greatest philosophy. All the students come, they sit, the Master comes, he talks, they listen, he says, "Yes," they say, "Yes," he says, "No," they say, "No". They feel a bit bewildered, he feels a bit bewildered, and everybody is happy.

And then if you put the student and Knowledge back in there and take away the Master, what have you got? Well, you've got the world's finest religion. And in all aspects, that's what happens. When the Master is there, it can never become a religion. You know why? Because the Master would say, "No way". But as soon as the Master is gone - "Let's reminisce. Let's say he said this. Let's say things that will bewilder people for ages to come."

But to be living is so random. It's like the stars in the sky. Scattered. You can't ever say, "I wonder why that one's there? It should be moved over there." Because it's random. The colours of the sky, the waves on an ocean. The way the snow falls. Every snowflake. The raindrops. The way the clouds are formed. It's all so living and so random and so consistent and so beautiful. The wind blows and that's the way it's blowing. You cannot do a thing about it. There is a penalty to pay, but what a penalty, indeed. Because what does it do? It does not allow you to be dead, that's what it does. Even if you try to die - I mean, just become locked - it comes along and moves you. You are a part of what is happening. You are not away from it. What's happening includes you, too. And what's going to happen tomorrow includes you.


In our world, everything is topsy-turvy. But this is the world we live in and this is the world that we try to identify ourselves with. And one day, inevitably, as we go on, our world will collapse with us. However, those who have started to identify with the real world, the reality within, they are the ones who will continue to seek joy, the ones who will continue to seek that happiness, the ones who will have recognized the greatest blessing ever endowed upon any being.

The only thing I can say is, "God, for the next model of mankind, please, if possible, just raise the understanding limit a little bit." This incredible ability to pretend to be so knowledgeable when we are totally ignorant: it's unbelievable. It's as if, instead of having a mirror, we've hung a picture of Clark Gable and when we get dressed, we look at that and go, "Geez, you look good."


This little distance between birth and death is our tape, and it's playing.

People like to see differences. I have even heard what I would consider a very intelligent person saying, "Well, it is the differences that make us so special." But I think it is the similarity that makes us so special, not the differences. No matter where we live, what we do, how rich we are, how poor we are, how religious we are, how un-religious we are, we have exactly the same needs. We are the same. And we ultimately share the same fate, the fate of coming onto this earth and then, one day, leaving. All of this drama that we go through is being made possible, is being sponsored, by this little distance between birth and death. That's our tape. And it is being played for all of us.

It is so simple and yet, so profound. Nobody is exempted. There is nothing anybody can do to be exempted from the drama of these two incredible occasions. And yet, what is happening in the middle of these two things? That is what should be of primary concern. People say, "Well, you know, there has to be a next lifetime," and I have stood there and pounded my fist and said, "You don't know that." It's a gamble. It's a speculation. And what difference does it make? How many lifetimes would you throw away before you say, "Okay, this is the one I'm going to live consciously"? You want to believe in what you want to believe in, that's okay. But that doesn't make any difference to the bottom line.

How conscious are we of our own existence? We know our neighbour better than we know ourselves. We know the guy who packs the groceries at the grocery store better. There are people whose behaviour we can predict much more precisely than our own. And I wonder, "How much investment have I made in me? How much understanding have I allowed for me?"


The most unselfish thing in my opinion that a human being can do is to accept the gift of the creator, for a minute to become a beggar, and to say, "Okay. I accept. I accept the gift that you have given me." And to feel thankful, not in arrogance, but to feel gratitude for the gift that you have been given. Then the heart fills and the heart overflows. Then it becomes so beautifully real, and you will begin to hear the language of the heart. It will tell you to feel that contentment, to feel that real feeling, every day - it will tell you to waste not a moment.

What are moments? Have you ever seen a person taking their last breath? Then, moments become extremely precious. Then, there is not a moment to be lost. This incredible force inside of you that automatically allows you to breathe has suddenly gone. You're driving, you're sleeping, you're walking, you're laughing, and all of a sudden, something says, "Done." The body lies there and that which the vessel embodied in it has been taken.

People cry, people call, but there is no response. The same person to whom, fifteen minutes before, you would go and they would throw their arms around you and hug you, is now gone. From the same person who loved to listen to what you were saying there is now no response. Who were you in love with? What was making that lovely response? What was really saying, "I love you"? Was it the lips? The vocal chords? The tongue? Maybe all of those things moving together in a synchronized way? They are still there. But that one thing that you loved to hear, "I love you," now no longer resonates.

What really loved and what really happened - the answers to this are in your heart. They are in you. And you are the one who has so much to benefit from listening to what is within you.


What do you have in your possession? There is one thing that is still as fresh as the day you were born. Everything else has changed, but one thing has not changed. What is it? And it's one thing that is timeless. When I am in that place, time stops. When I am in that place, all of a sudden, it is as though I am five years old again, six years old again, seven years old again. Something so fresh. Something so real, something so unchangeable. What is it? On one hand, you have the incredible passage of time, on one hand, you have incredible responsibilities, on one hand, you've got this shell, this body.

But what doesn't change? What doesn't change is the immortal in me. After all, this is the marriage of the mortal and the immortal. This is what the magic is all about. The two most unlikely things have come together. Two most diametrically opposed things are existing at the same time.

The finite and the infinite. The one that is bound by time and one that is timeless. They have been fused - fused -together and you exist.

Try to understand the world and you will be more confused every second. Because how do you play a game of chess in which the pieces constantly keep changing? How do you play a deck of cards in which the cards constantly keep changing to whatever they feel like? Have you ever when you were little tried to grab mercury on a plate and it just runs away? It looks so solid, it looks so grab-able and then all of a sudden, there is nothing there.

And then, something happens. Can't explain it. By great grace, for some reason, somebody happens to come by who ignites a candle in the most wonderful place. A thirst is uncovered, and a journey begins - a journey of quenching, a journey of actually putting cool water on parched lips, a journey of satisfaction, a journey that takes a being within. There are people who have interesting things to say. But there is nothing so interesting to me than when somebody talks about this journey inside. When somebody says something and you know there is no doubt. When something can't come along and say, "Yeah, but it could be different." Where you know what is being talked about. You know. Not from your head, but from somewhere else. And you feel the existence of an entire world within inside.


Why don't we accept the simple gift of being aware, of feeling, every day? Why do we not embrace being conscious, embrace the joy that exists within us? Because that is embraceable. It's not an idea that can be debated nor can it be shared. It can only be embraced by a human being.

But people don't look at it that way. They think joy lives somewhere else and it has to be forced from there into us. They think love is in something else. They think awareness lives somewhere else. They think realization lives somewhere else. They think goodness lives somewhere else. This is not true. They live within us.

The simple, uncomplicated love that people want lives within us. I'm not talking about candlelight dinners. That love is very relative. If all the four candles fell onto the tablecloth and it caught fire, it would be a terrible evening. So, the way I look at a candlelight dinner, so far as the candles stay in the candle holders, everything is fine. I can take care of that. That's not a problem.

And yet, what about the real love? The love that dwells in each human's heart and is not made for someone else, but made for you. It is placed inside each human being. Dig into that because that's where it resides. Not somewhere else, not up on a mountainor in someone's concept. But within you, where you don't have to constantly try to prove anything, but the mere act of taking each breath is proof enough. That's simplicity. To take that breath in appreciation. Not to look at it as something that happens, but to look at it as the most magnificent miracle of this life.


You think this is your formula; that if you could get rid of all your problems, you would be happy But there is a problem with this formula. It is the other formula, and this one says, "As soon as your problems are reduced, they shall be proportionally increased, so as soon as you take care of one problem, the next one is all ready to come." Do you know for how long human beings have had problems? You have all heard about Caesar. He had problems, and because he had problems, everybody had problems. Even people who did not know Caesar had problems. Have you heard of Genghis Khan? He invaded continents, and created problems for people that people couldn't even comprehend.

People have been trying to solve their problems for an extremely long time. The rich have their problems; the poor have their problems. Venice has a problem: it's sinking. The water levels are rising. La Paz, way up on top of a mountain, is not sinking. Water isn't the problem, but it still has problems. Problems are everywhere. Everybody has them. And human beings think, "if I become better at solving my problems, I will become happy" Such is not the case.


Of all the things we could know, of all the things we could discover, this is the one we need to know. If it wasn't for the gift of what I call Knowledge - a practical way to be able to go inside and connect with that feeling - all my words would be empty. They would mean nothing. As it is the nature of all the things around you to change, it is your nature to seek the beautiful which is within you. So acknowledge it. Accept it. And enjoy your life. Enjoy your existence. Be able to say, "Thank you for this life," not because you just won the lottery, but because you feel fulfilled. That's how it should be, and that's how it can be. just as a rose blooms and puts out its fragrance whether somebody comes to smell it or not, our life, too, needs to be that rose that blooms to its fullness, not for others' sake, but for the sake of this heart, because this is who we are.


How precious is it for me to be fulfilled? I don't want to have to sit there and figure out the formulas for my fulfilment, but I want the feeling of being fulfilled.

That I can be fulfilled is, to me, more profound than anything else. I don't have to sit there and say, "I have a desire to be fulfilled, but I don't know how to achieve it."

The search for the joy that I have inherently inside of me does not need to be in vain. The joy that I seek is within me and I can have it. I can possess the simplest, most profound, and most beautiful thing in my life. My life isn't about the things that I think my life is all about -relationships or relatives, how to make more money, or how many plaques you can have on the wall. Life isn't about sitting up in the Himalayas. Life isn't about sacrifice, pain or confusion.

Life is about being fulfilled. But you have to seek that. You have to want that. It's possible. And you have to make that possibility real. In my life, I know that if I didn't have the want, what good would it have been when the Master gave me this gift? Because I remember one of the questions he asked me was, "Do you want this? " And the answer was, "Yes." That was my commitment. That was me saying, "Yes". Me. I said, "Yes". The Master asks the question, "Do you want this? Do you want this door opened? Are you ready to walk? "

And I said, "Yes".


I need to accept the gift of my Master in my life. And what is the gift of the Master? When I didn't know of anything, the Master reminded me about a promise that I had made to myself a long, long time ago. I was the one who made the promise, and I was the one who forgot it; but he knew about the promise. And it was a promise that was made to the heart.

And the Master comes into my life, and reminds me of the promise that I made to myself. He says, "Don't forget that." And if that's a gift, then I need that gift.

Somebody comes and reminds me that I should listen to my heart - I knew that. I know that. I have always known that. And that's the thing that I forgot. If somebody comes and says to me, "Be fulfilled," then it's, "Yes. I knew that. I knew that! Thank you for reminding me because that's the very thing that I forgot."


This is about being in the joy of life itself Issues will come and go. Problems will come and go. They are like waves, they keep coming. But even in the middle of all those waves, there is a beautiful calmness. And that is where my home needs to be. Not anywhere else.

Let me not build my house on the beach where the waves will come and destroy it. Let me not build my house on top of a mountain where the volcanoes will come and erase it. Let me not build my house next to a river where the floods will come and demolish it. Let me build my house where it will be safe. Where it can stay, where it will prosper, where it will grow, and where I can enjoy being in my home.


I am this temple through which the most glorious of all things that can ever happen to human beings, this gift of breath, flows. I want my temple, I want my house, to be clean. Not contaminated by all my confusion, by all my doubts. I want it to be clear so I can enjoy that which is being given to me. That which has been given to me. That which is presented to me every second of the day.

Can I prepare for that acceptance? When I become this instrument through which I can feel - that is an acceptance unparalleled. Where I use my wisdom to know, to differentiate, between what is real and what is unreal; when I use my wisdom not to close my eyes, but to see; to admire, not to hate; this is what I can use my wisdom for. Anger comes, and I can use my wisdom like a broom to say, "Not now." Love comes and I can use my wisdom to say, "Here. Come here. I welcome you in my life." This is what I want to welcome in my life. Hate comes and I need to use the broom of my wisdom to sweep it away. And when joy comes in my life, I need to say, "Come. Come. I welcome you."


What the Master actually wishes for you is incredible. Think about it. A life free of doubt so you can have clarity? Not one day - the rest of your life. Not one hour. Not one instance, but for the rest of your existence. To usher out the darkness so there can be light - light in your life, for the rest of your life. Clarity, simplicity. Enjoying.

Remember that story of Cinderella. She's been turned into a princess who needs to get to the party.

Because at midnight, the carriage will become but a pumpkin. This is not the time to stand in front of the mirror and say, "How do I look?" The most incredible miracle has taken place. This is not the time to figure out, "Who made my dress? Is it Chanel?" This is not the time to barter for the shoes. "Can I try another model?" It isn't.

This is the time to get to the party because at midnight, everything will resume as normal. The carriage will become a pumpkin. And do you understand what they say? Dust to dust. That's your midnight stroke. Dust to dust. So, when you look at yourself, and you don't see dust, I think that's a good clue. It's time to go. This is your opportunity

I come to remind. That's all I have to do. I remind those who have no knowledge of Knowledge, that there is a heart. And they know what I'm talking about. And when they are reminded of that heart, they go, "Ali, I remember that." And those who are aspiring to receive the gift of Knowledge, I remind them of that beautiful process of discovery, and they understand what I am talking about, because they have been through that. And those who already have the gift of Knowledge, I remind them of how precious this is. And they remember, because they know how precious it is.

And what a beautiful opportunity this is.


You are a traveller, and even if you don't want to be a traveller, there's nothing you can do about it. You will travel. Your journey has begun. And with the kindest intentions, and the kindest heart, that creator has packed for you everything you will ever need in your journey Use it. The magic of Knowledge has been unfolding for so many years in my life, and it still continues to unfold. It's the only thing that touches the human hearts the same way - from Japan to Australia to India, it doesn't matter. The heart gets touched and you dance from within. Not the outside band, not the outside drum, but the drum beats from within, and the heart dances.

Maybe to somebody, there is no difference, but the rulers have changed. It's a different kingdom now. Here the heart rules supreme. In my kingdom, every day spring should come because I have chosen my heart to lead me. And spring will come, it is here. Open your windows and look. It brings comfort to the tormented minds. It brings comfort in the face of all the problems. It is divinity in action. It is kindness at its finest. And you have it.


In India at one point, a trend started - I don't know how - about some idols which were drinking milk. They're made out of clay, they're dry: people stick some milk in front of them, and they'll drink it. People were amazed. "Well, look at this. This is a miracle. They're drinking milk." What would this prove? God finally saying milk is good for you? "No, no, it's a miracle." "Look. A rock moved! It's a miracle." But what does this miracle prove to me as a human being? Rocks move. Okay, I'll stay out of their way. I knew that before - now I know it better. Before, when driving in a car, I'd give them maybe six inches. Now I'll give them twelve feet. Brilliant.

And to whom is it a miracle that the breath comes? To whom is it a miracle - a true miracle - that you get up in the morning and you exist? That's about as good as a miracle gets.

Would I be willing to learn about that? Surely, there must be something I can learn about my reality. About my ultimate. That one thing that is causing me to be alive. That one thing that when I get in touch with it, the consequence is joy, the consequence is happiness.


People catch flights to go to different countries. They take their cameras and go sight-seeing, seeing this and seeing that. And I am a tourist, by the way. In this vast wonderland, I am a tourist. And I have the power to be amazed and I have been amazed at too many things. But I'm such a dumb tourist that I am going to end up wasting all my film taking pictures of the ticket booth. I am in awe of the ticket booth. I have been taking pictures of the sign to the Taj Mahal. "Taj Mahal - eleven miles," click. "Taj Mahal - ten miles," click. "Let me get out, let me touch this sign. Wow! This is beautiful, this is incredible."

I'm the kind of tourist who on the way to the Eiffel Tower, stops at the tourist shop. And I am so blissed out that I was able to buy one of the Eiffel Towers. Of course, I didn't know, one, that they were for sale, and, two, there were so many. And of course, all the shopkeepers are very bewildered at my behaviour as I have taken pictures of all the Eiffel Towers they have at their shop.

And it is not at just one shop. I'm the talk of the town. Because at every shop that they sell little Eiffel Towers, I've been taking pictures. And in), story is, "Wait till I get home. Wait till I tell them that not only did I see one Eiffel Tower, I saw hundreds of Eiffel Towers, and not only did I see hundreds of Eiffel Towers, I brought one home with me. And not only did I bring one home with me, here, Uncle George, I brought one home for you, too. You don't need to go to Paris. Here. Here is one for you."

I am the kind of tourist who walks up to Buckingham Palace, sees the guard and says, "Your Majesty, how are you today? May I have a picture with you?"

It sounds funny. But humour always carries a little bit of truth. And does anything of what we are doing with our lives, in this tourist wonderland, seem remotely sane? We have no clue what the real treasures are.

A long time ago when I was in Egypt, I went to see the pyramids. They have this whole show The voice comes up over the PA and it says, "These are timeless." All I could think was, "This is an old recording." Had this guy who wrote this script looked at these things recently? If they had handed that as a finished product to the pharaoh, they would have been beheaded.

But there is a timeless. And that timeless is within. There is a wonder. And that wonder is within. And yes, you, as a tourist, should be intrigued, and you should see this sight. Because it is truly marvellous. And those who have seen these sights have stated so. They have said, "Yes, I have seen a wonder. More real than anything I could have dreamt of." And it is no accident that you have been given this film. Every human being coming to this earth is given a roll of film. "Here. Go shoot the pictures." Unfortunately, the roll of film is time. When you run out of that film, you run out of everything else, too.

So, use this time that you've been given. Don't be a dumb tourist. There are wonders. Go to them. Don't take pictures of the milestones. Because, life, existence, is truly magnificent. There is nothing more magnificent than this existence.


I don't know if you have seen a wild horse. A wild horse has a spirit about it. True, it's not rideable, but it has a spirit about it. And it runs, but not for you, and it stops, but not for you. Its mane flows in the wind, but not for you. Maybe nobody has come to that horse and told him, "You are so pretty, you are so beautiful." But it knows anyway. And it bucks and it kicks, and it's free. Then human beings come and they take that horse and the first thing they have to do is to break its spirit. And yes, he trots and he walks, and his mane still flows in the wind, but his spirit is not there.

Every human being on the face of the earth is born free and runs free like that wild horse, and then everybody else and everything else tries to break its spirit. And, you know, the horse won't let anybody ride him, no way. It bucks and kicks and bucks and kicks till its spirit is broken, and once the spirit is broken it has no problem. It stands there, somebody throws a saddle on its back, gets on top and the horse obeys the commands. Maybe one of the reasons a Master is never understood properly by the world is because he takes this horse back to the wild and tries to mend the broken spirit, so that it will dance, it will walk, and it will run again, as this beautiful creature was meant to do.