Events at Global Forums

  » United Nations Organization - HQ, San Francisco

Responding to an invitation from the United Nations 60th Anniversary Committee, Prem Rawat addressed a distinguished audience of diplomats, and government and civic leaders at an event held in celebration of the UN’s 60th anniversary at the historic Herbst Theater in San Francisco, where the UN Charter was signed sixty years ago.

Welcoming the attendees, Bill McCarthy, Administrator of the UN 60th Anniversary Committee, said: “We are here tonight to commemorate and celebrate the anniversary of a historic event and to hear distinguished speakers. Sixty years ago, in this same hall, the founding charter of the United

Prem Rawat Maharaji at United Nations Organization (UN), San Francisco

Nations was signed. President Truman addressed the delegates as they arrived and said: ‘I earnestly appeal to each and every one of you to rise above personal interests and adhere to those lofty principles which benefit all mankind. You are to be the architects of a better world. In your hands rests our future. If we do not want to die together in war, we must learn to live together in peace.’

“Since President Truman spoke these visionary words, a tremendous amount of human, financial, and economic efforts have been invested in trying to bring about peace. Have President Truman’s sincere hopes materialized? Unfortunately, not as much as we would like. While we enjoy the benefits of civilization, technology, and progress, the world we live in is filled with conflict. Even more sadly, many people have come to accept that peace is an impossible dream. Could it be that we’re missing something? Something important?

“‘Peace,’ says Prem Rawat, ‘is possible.’ His affirmation stands in contrast to commonly accepted beliefs. His message is controversial in the noble sense of the word. He presents a message of hope and peace that challenges the commonly negative views of the world; his message is visionary and yet practical, profound, and yet relatable.”

Nancy Peterson, President of the United Nations Association of San Francisco and President of the UN 60th Anniversary Committee, said: “How fortunate we all are to be here tonight in this historic place remembering these memories, which are so important to all of us and to our lives as citizens today.

“The founding of the United Nations is the reflection of an ancient dream of mankind, because if you look at the writings of the ancient Romans and Greeks, from time to time they would comment: Wouldn’t it be better if people could come together and talk about their differences and settle things by negotiations and words rather than resorting to war?”

Speaking of the day when the United Nations Charter was signed sixty years ago, Ms. Peterson said: “What a day this was for San Francisco. There are many people still living who remember with honor and pride their parts in it. And so it is a part of the heritage of our city to remember the founding of the United Nations.”

Welcoming Prem Rawat, Astrid Stromberg, President of the United Nations Association of Northern California, said: “It is in the spirit of celebration for the accomplishments of the United Nations and of many millions of unnamed people around the world who strive to let peace dwell within the human spirit that we are gathered here. It is also in the hope that the peace that has kept eluding this world will in our lifetime become a reality. Prem Rawat’s message is from the heart. While the peace that he speaks of is of universal relevance and value, his message is profound, personal, and practical—from heart to heart. Peace, he says, is our birthright. It is already within, waiting to be felt. Peace, he says, is possible.”

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  » United Nations Association (UNA) Of Malaysia

United Nations’ Secretary-General Kofi Annan sends best wishes for event with Prem Rawat.

Maharaji addressed a distinguished audience which included members of Royal families, ambassadors, cabinet ministers, and members of the Asian media. Welcoming the guests, Datuk Dr. Ian Chia, Secretary General of the United Nations Association of Malaysia, former President of the Malaysian Institute of Directors, and Vice-Chairman of the Malaysian Institute of Management, declared: “It is indeed an honor to introduce such a distinguished man. Prem Rawat speaks about peace from the heart. He inspires and guides people to find peace from within and offers a simple yet profound message of peace.”

Introducing Prem Rawat, Tengku Ahmad Rithauddeen, President of the United Nations Association of Malaysia, former Malaysian Minister of Foreign Affairs, Defense and Information, and currently Chairman of the Ethics Committee of the United Malays National Organization, Malaysia’s ruling party, said: “Prem Rawat is an international speaker acknowledged for his profound message of peace, particularly inner peace and self-fulfillment. We at the United Nations Association of Malaysia and the United Nations Development Programme see his message as a true reflection of the hopes, aspirations, and ideals of the United Nations, whose aim is international peace and security. All encouragement and support should be given to The Prem Rawat Foundation for its noble efforts to spread the message of Prem Rawat, as well as to bring peace and happiness to the needy. Let us support the message of Prem Rawat, empowering us to generate the hope of peace in this world of despair. The foremost concern of the international community is peace. Prem Rawat says, ‘Peace is possible.’ Let us listen to his message.”

Prem Rawat Maharaji at United Nations Association (UNA) of Malaysia

Prior to Prem Rawat’s address, Tengku Ahmad Rithauddeen read a special message sent by the United Nations’ Secretary General Kofi A. Annan to the organizers and participants of this special event with Prem Rawat. Kofi Annan’s message ended with: “Historic, fundamental progress is possible. But it will depend on the will of governments and on the engagement of groups and citizens such as you. In that spirit, I wish you all the best for a successful event.”

This event marked the beginning of a tour of the North Pacific in that season for Prem Rawat. Over the next weeks, he addressed audiences in Japan, Taiwan, Thailand, and Malaysia.

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  » United Nations Conference Center, Bangkok

Speaking at the United Nations Conference Center in Bangkok - Thailand, Maharaji addressed government officials, business and humanitarian leaders, and other dignitaries from various countries.
Words of Maharaji:
It’s a privilege and honor to be here this evening. And it’s a greater privilege and honor to address the issue of peace.
Peace begins with every single human being.

Prem Rawat Maharaji at United Nations Conference Center, Bangkok

It is not an issue of institutions. It is something that has to be felt. It is something that has to be experienced in the heart of every person.
We do so much in this world to try to make ourselves comfortable. We do so much in this world to make a better life.
Everyone who can, in his or her life, tries very hard to better themselves. And yet, we spend so little time understanding the dynamics of what causes this to happen.
What is it inside you and me, what is it inside every person in this whole world, that is pushing them, forcing them, to evolve into a better situation? To be more content, to be more joyous, to be more in peace?
Perhaps we need to understand the dynamics of this incredible thrust that comes from within, because I really feel that inside of every one of us-I'm not exempting anyone-peace is like a seed waiting in the desert to blossom.
It sees no distinction. It does not care if you are rich. It does not care if you are poor. It does not care what religion you belong to. It does not care if you are fat. It does not care if you are thin. And it does not care which country you live in.
But what it does care about is that water. Just like in the desert. All these seeds that are lying in wait. Waiting for that right time to come. Waiting for the opportunity when, indeed, water will come.
In your heart, in your heart also lies the seed, wanting and waiting for nothing else but to be fulfilled. To be fulfilled. For the thirst for peace to be quenched. To once again feel whole. And not segregated, not separated by all the other issues that penetrate our lives.

Breath comes, and each breath brings the possibility of being fulfilled.
To me, that breath coming into so many on the face of this earth, so quietly, so silently, is screaming a message so loud and clear. And what is that message? Now!! NOW!! In your life, be fulfilled. Now, in your life, find that peace. Now, in your life, find that joy. Joy! The joy that doesn't come from the catalysts outside, but that is triggered because one has found their fulfillment within. 'Cause that’s what peace is. It’s not on the outside. Peace is within the heart of each being.
Absence of war is not peace.

Because it is people, it is us - we're the ones who start the wars. When the differences become so great, and the intolerance - intolerance - reaches epic proportions, wars will happen. When I fail to see another being as I see myself, then wars will happen. When the causes and the reasons become greater than the sanctity of peace, wars will happen. When I fail to realize what is the value - the value - of being alive, wars will happen.
And believe me - believe me - ever that the war begins outside, it would have begun on the inside first. And the war on the inside is far more dangerous, because it is a fire that may never be quenched. And it can rage on and on and on and on. In the battle outside, at least you will hear a noise, but in the battle inside, you may not hear a peep. That battle outside may have strategies, but the battle inside may just be going on and on and on and on, and no one is even negotiating.
Hey! Stop! This is your time on the face of this earth. This is your opportunity to be alive.
For me, when peace begins within me, and has taken hold of me-when I have allowed it to blossom-then peace for me is also possible on the outside. Then peace for me is also possible-a reality-because I have felt it.

This is about appreciation. This is not about formulas. This is about waking up in the morning, and not because you have a label on some wall, going: "Be thankful for today!" You will read the label and you will go: "Ho. Hum. Right."
So, address the war here. Make peace here. And watch peace unfold.
Because, you know, of all the things we have tried in this world, there’s one thing that we've never given a chance, and the one thing that has not been tried in this world is peace.

Prem Rawat Maharaji at United Nations Conference Center, Bangkok - closeup

And I'm not going to say: "This is the time for peace." Because it is always time for peace. Always was, always is and, guess what, always will be. Peace is welcomed any time, because I am the seed lying dormant in the desert, and I am waiting, any second, any minute: Come rain, come. I am ready. If it doesn't happen in the morning, I have no agenda. I HAVE NO AGENDA. I am waiting for you. That is my agenda!!
Again, thankful is a feeling. Which one do you believe in? The feeling or the word? Because if you have the feeling, you don't need the word. Who cares? You feel!! And if you have the word, it doesn't mean you have the feeling. They have nothing to do with each other. That’s why people go around saying: "Peace, peace, peace, peace - peace" and nothing happens.

Trust and faith. We have the intelligence. I don't know how big an intelligence that little seed could possibly have. You would think with all the intelligence, we would know what trust means. But we don't. So, we need to go to the seed to learn trust.
Because this thing is sitting in the desert. And there’s only one evidence as far as it can see. No rain. Right? And guess what? That’s what it’s waiting for. Rain. And the only link there is is the trust. And it does. And somehow, the rain does come. It does.

I have a feeling that that seed knows more about that trust than I do. I've studied meteorology. I'm fascinated by it. I love that stuff. But I have a feeling that seed knows more abut the rain than I do. Because for me, it’s just a topic of interest. For that seed, it’s its whole life. For me, I'm just fascinated. For that seed, its existence depends on it.
So the seed is the expert, not me.
Like that seed, I want to learn too, about that rain of peace coming to my desert. Because ultimately, my life depends on it too.
And if I want to be an expert, maybe I should be an expert in peace. And if I want to study something, maybe I should be studying peace. And if I want to be fascinated by something, maybe I could be fascinated by peace. And have the trust in my heart, like as that rain does come, that peace will come in my life too.
That’s my message. That’s what I go around telling people: Look within you. And if you need help to look within, I can help. I can help. But the trust has to come from within you.
And yes, peace needs to be in everyone’s life.
So, thank you very much. And it’s been a great honor and a privilege to speak here to you tonight.
Thank you.

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  » United States Senate, Washington D.C.
Prem Rawat - Maharaji at United States Senate in Washington D.C.

32 years back, Prem Rawat then teenage, accepted invitation from US Citizen's Congress to address the members of United States Senate, admiral staff, House of representatives, members of Cabinet, and the distinguished audience.
In his concise message to the rulers of the Nation, Maharaji said:

This nation was conceived and borne by the dedication of individuals seeking the freedom to pursue life growth. America has grown for two centuries, but let us not forget that freedom and peace did not come without effort. In the beginning there were great difficulties for the young nation struggling for independence, and growth over the years has not always been tranquil and harmonious. Its always the grace of almighty - has guided the destiny of this nation along its path to greatness.

As George Washington noted in his first message to congress “No people can be bound to acknowledge and adore the invisible hand which conducts the affairs of men more than those of the United States”

Certainly, the almighty has bountifully blessed this land upon which generations of Americans have strived to realize the ideal, which inspired the nation’s founding fathers.

As America enters its 3rd century, many of the frontiers of land and space, science & technology have already been crossed. Yet with end of frontiers of human experience ahead let us pray that the pioneering spirit that has allowed this nation to excel will not falter. And that as you go forward, you will continue to be blessed with the broad vision, temperance, and wisdom to allow America to lead civilization into a New Age, as the befitting sequel to this first nation of the new world. Thank you.

This event took place in February 1976 - three decades ago, yet his passion to reach to out to people and help them experience the true joy within them, only grows deeper with time.

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  » Universal Forum Of Cultures, Barcelona

Maharaji addressed an audience of more than 2,000 at an event endorsed by the Universal Forum of Cultures. The Forum, expected to attract 5 million visitors over 141 days, promotes three themes: cultural diversity, sustainable development, conditions for peace. The event was attended by many world leaders.
The Chief Executive of the Universal Forum of Cultures, Barcelona invited Maharaji to address the prestigious forum. He expressed that we understand peace from a political or socio-logical perspective, but Maharaji has a very unique perspective on peace. Brief Excerpt from the event:

"So many people are waiting for other people to do something to bring about peace. But peace needs a very different process. Each individual needs to understand their own responsibility for it because peace is felt in the heart of every human being. This is the palette where the manifestation of peace takes place, not on the outside.

Prem Rawat Maharaji at Universal Forum Of Cultures, Barcelona

So often peace is defined as the absence of war. There is war that happens between two countries. There is war that takes place between two people. There is war that doesn't even require two people; it takes place inside of a person. For a war on the outside, maybe a cease–fire can be negotiated. Between two people, maybe an understanding can be negotiated. But even in the absence of those kinds of wars, there is a war that takes place inside a human being—a much more ferocious war that devastates the very elements that are the foundation of a person. Which of these wars will become absent so that one day we can stand up and say, "Now there is peace"?

Those people who have talked about peace in earnest have said, "What you are looking for is within you. You are the source and you are the resource for peace on the face of this earth. This is the realization, the understanding, and the challenge of feeling peace in this life, of not being distracted by all our agendas, but accepting and understanding the agenda we have been given with the opportunity to be alive."

Generally, we measure ourselves on a negative scale. Before we set up what we want to accomplish, we look at what we do not have. People come and tell us what we do not know, what we have not accomplished, all the things we do not have. Every window of a shop dares to tell us what we don't have. If the objects displayed were the things we did have, the whole purpose would be defeated.

So in a world where everything is judged on a negative scale, how can we even begin to talk about peace when peace can only be judged on a positive scale? Peace is one of the things we do have. It is one of the things we can have. It is one of the things that is innate within every human being. Like a lamp lit on the darkest night, it is waiting to be discovered.

We need peace in this world as we are. We need peace in this world with all our problems. We need peace in this world with everything that goes on. We need peace in this world because our heart desires it. Something very fundamental wants that peace. There has been an attraction to that peace since time immemorial.

When it comes to peace in my life, it begins with being ready and able to stand on my own feet. It doesn't end there, but it begins there. For too long, we have looked to world leaders. They try, but succeeding is another story. The noblest gesture we can make is to recognize the possibility of peace in our life and to find ourselves to be the source and the resource."

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  » Parliament of Australia

Prem Rawat at Australia's Parliament House on United Nations’ International Day of Peace.

Prem Rawat delivered the keynote address at a special event at Parliament House in Canberra, Australia, on September 22, on the occasion of the United Nations’ International Day of Peace.

The event was emceed by Paul McDonald, Executive Director of the Committee for Economic Development of Australia. CEDA, Australia’s leading economic think tank, engages leaders from business, government, academia, and community organizations in emerging policy debates.

Prem Rawat Maharaji at Parliament of Australia

Welcoming the attendees, Helen Disney, President of the Capital Territory Chapter of the United Nations’ Association of Australia, said, “This International Day of Peace marks our individual and collective commitment and progress towards building cultures of peace above all interests and differences. Individuals and nations, acting in a peaceful manner, do make a difference in the quality of our lives, institutions, environment, and future on earth. Through peace, we have a possibility to manifest the essential spirit that unites us amid our diverse ways.”

David Purnell, National Administrator of the UNAA, a member of the National Consultative Committee on Peace and Disarmament and a recipient of the Order of Australia medal, told the attendees: “We are all working for a culture of peace in this world. Part of realizing that dream involves solid institutions that embody the vision of peace, as well as people embracing a culture of peace. UNAA helps inform, educate, and mobilize people around the development of a culture of peace.”

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  » Parliament of Italy

Emilio Colombo former President of the European Parliament, former Italian Prime Minister & lifetime Senator welcomes Prem Rawat at the House of Parliament in Rome, Italy. President Colombo was also Finance Minister eleven times and Foreign Minister six times. He was one of the main negotiators for the Helsinki, Maastricht, and Camp David agreements.
Emilio declares that Maharaji looks at peace from a very individual perspective. The Parliament of Italy 'Parlamento Italiano' is the national parliament of Italy.
Brief Excerpt from the address:

Prem Rawat Maharaji at Parliament of Italy

In a world where so much is going on—where there are so many issues, ideas, inventions, and technology—why am I talking about peace? I talk about peace, not as an option in life, not as something that would be nice to have, but as a fundamental feeling that we all need to feel every day we awaken, every day we exist. When I say "we," what I'm talking about is each one of us despite our barriers or differences. We begin to believe our differences. Sometimes when I am piloting an airplane, I make an announcement, just for fun, that just below you can see the border between two countries. Amazingly enough, people start to look. The world teaches us differences and we begin to believe in them. "You are from this country and you are from that country; you speak this language and you speak that language; you like this and you like that." We forget that the fundamental thing that drives us all is the same. We forget that we may be speaking different languages, but what we are saying is exactly the same. "I am thirsty" can be said in many languages. It means exactly the same thing.

When the desire for peace is fundamental to each one of us, should it be such an alien thing? The question isn't whether we want peace. The question is: Do we feel the thirst for peace? The question isn't whether the treasure exists. The question is: Has it been discovered? Once the thirst for peace is understood in a human being's life, the person will look for water, for peace. They will look within.

I see thousands of labels in this world, and I don't know why they are there. Many labels were put on things way before I was born. People believe in them. Nobody questions these labels. When people hear that the definition of peace is the absence of war, they say, "Yes, that's true." There is a war that rages on inside of a human being that is far more ferocious than any war on the outside. This war continues way past the cease-fires. The outside war is the manifestation or the reflection of the inside war that we see. We have a sense of imbalance, but we don't recognize what is causing it.

I have to acknowledge what I need in my life. If I want peace, I have to acknowledge it. I have to say to myself, in the simplest of words, "Yes. I feel the thirst for peace." I can use fancy words to impress other people, but I cannot use fancy words to impress me. If I want to impress me, I have to speak the truth. Maybe to the world, truth is a scary word, but truth is what the heart wants to hear. That thirst needs to be quenched. Peace is what the heart needs to feel.

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  » European Parliament in Brussels

Prem Rawat was invited by Gianni Pittella, First Vice President of the European Union, to share his vision of peace at a special event called “Words of Peace for Europe,” held at the EU Parliament House in Brussels on June 29, 2010. Mr. Rawat spoke to a diverse audience of diplomats, local leaders, and other honored guests from many countries.

Prem Rawat Maharaji honored at European Parliament at Brussels

Mr. Rawat’s remarks offered a clear and challenging perspective. “If we have the power to make such a mess out of this earth, then certainly we have enough power to bring peace to this earth, too,” he said. “The question remains whether or not it is something that we want to do, because peace begins with every one of you. It is individual human beings who need peace; it is individual human beings in whom the desire resides; and it is on the individual human being’s stage that peace needs to dance.”

Concluding his address during which pin-drop silence was frequently interrupted by bursts of applause, Mr. Rawat declared, “Determination, understanding, and clarity have to be the fundamental foundations on which this peace will be built. Not exclusion, but inclusion. The day our measurements are based on our similarities and not our differences is the day we will begin to lay the foundation for peace in this world.”

At the end of the event, Mr. Pittella personally thanked Mr. Rawat for his insights, declaring that: "Today, peace is considered an irreplaceable factor in every effort for a society that is based on the dignity of the individual and on common welfare. However, any effort for peace made by institutions cannot fully succeed if the value of peace is not deeply rooted in every person's heart.”

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  » Italian Senate (2007)

Emilio Colombo hosted a ceremony again, during which Prem Rawat, made a contribution to Francesco Strippoli, Senior Advisor to the Executive Director of the ‘World Food Programme’, to help WFP in its effort to bring food aid to people in Indonesia.

Prem Rawat, known worldwide by the honorary title Maharaji, was guest of honor and speaker at a special celebration called “Peace, a Message without Boundaries,” held in Rome on April 26th, in Palazzo Gistiniani, one of the Italian Senate Houses. The celebration was held under the patronage of the President of the Italian Republic, the Council of Ministers, three cabinet Ministers, 11 Italian regions, and the Municipality of Rome. The distinguished audience included many Italian government and civic leaders.

Prem Rawat Maharaji at Italian Senate in Rome

A warm message from Franco Marini, the President of the Italian Senate, was read to the participants: “It is appropriate and timely to promote the value of peace, which is not only the cornerstone of the Italian Republic, but is also a necessary condition for the evolution of mankind. Peace is, in fact, a message that is above all ethnic, religious, or political distinctions. Prem Rawat is a fine interpreter of this universal character of peace. I send to you, the organizers, the speaker, and all the participants, my warmest greetings and my best wishes for the complete success of this initiative.”

As the celebration unfolded, messages of support from Giorgio Napolitano, the President of the Italian Republic, and from the Mayor of Rome were read to the attendees. Moving speeches were then given by an alderman from Rome and by two guest speakers, one from Lebanon and one from Israel. Both spoke about how it was possible for them to be an agent of peace while the conflict was raging in their respective countries. Emilio Colombo, Lifetime Member of the Italian Senate, former president of the European Parliament, and former prime minister of Italy, then introduced Prem Rawat.

In his address, Prem Rawat said: “We talk about peace, but the word peace has so many interpretations. The thirst for peace is within us, and we have to respect and understand what every moment that we are alive means. We have given away peace for prosperity, but the exact formula has always been: first peace, then prosperity. You are the first step: peace begins with you; the process of peace begins with you. In this world, there are many things that attract our focus, but there is one that we should never be distracted from: peace.

As the celebration drew to its conclusion, Prem Rawat was awarded three honorific recognitions: one from the President of the Basilicata region of Italy, one from the President of the regional board of Friuli Venezia Giulia region, and one from the Alderman for Peace of the Friuli Venezia Giulia region.

Three days before this event, Prem Rawat concluded a series of events in Nepal and India, where more than one million people came to hear him in less than six weeks.
The Italian Senate ('Senate of the Republic') is the upper house of the Parliament of Italy. President Colombo was also Finance Minister eleven times and Foreign Minister six times. He was one of the main negotiators for the Helsinki, Maastricht, and Camp David agreements.

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  » Senate of the Argentine Republic
Maharaji was invited to speak at the Argentine Senate by Claudio Yacoy, president of the National Forum for Human Rights and Humanitarian Action, and Ambassador Oscar Laborde, vice president of the White Helmets, a UN-affiliated humanitarian aid and peacekeeping agency.

Prem Rawat Maharaji at Senate of the Argentine Republic

The Forum for Human Rights and the White Helmets have partnered with representatives of The Prem Rawat Foundation to roll out a pilot program where tapes from Prem Rawat’s message of peace, along with other materials, are made available to people in prisons in Argentina. Similar initiatives have taken place in other countries around the world, including Mexico, Colombia, and India, and have had considerable success in improving the self-worth and dignity of inmates and helping them to move forward and go on to live better lives.

For Linda Pascotto, president of The Prem Rawat Foundation, “We are honored by the recognition for the Foundation’s endeavors from these two respected organizations, which are doing so much to help people in Argentina and around the world. Prem Rawat’s message of peace has brought so much hope and dignity to prisoners in India and Mexico. I would like to thank Ambassador Laborde and Mr. Yacoy, and I am looking forward to the contribution this project can make in Argentina.”

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  » Parliament of New Zealand
Prem Rawat Maharaji at Parliament of New Zealand

The United Nations Association of New Zealand, the Hon. Marian Hobbs MP, and Prem Rawat, known widely by the honorary title Prem Rawat, gathered with a distinguished audience to celebrate the International Day of Peace on September 21 at the Parliament Buildings in Wellington.
Hon. Marian Hobbs MP recognized the contribution of Maharaji throughout the world and commended his effort.
Excerpt of the address:

Everybody wants peace, everywhere you go. Not long ago, I was talking to some prisoners, "Do you want peace?" "Of course!" You can speak to people in the Army, "Do you want peace?" "Yes, of course!" So everybody wants peace. And then, you ask, "What is peace?" And here, you get a surprising answer. Everybody has their own version of peace and everybody looks at it from a totally different angle.

The other day, I was talking to my niece, and she said, "Oh, I love that color." I said, "You love that color? Or you like that color?" She said, "What's the difference?" I said, "There's a very big difference. ‘Like' is really what you want to say, and you can emphasize that, ‘I like that very much,' but love is a little more interactive than that color can provide you."

And in the same way, when it is quiet, people say, "Oh, it is so peaceful." All it is, is quiet. People think the absence of war is peace. They have their ideas of peace. There are people who think peace is when everybody walks very slowly, wears flowing robes with flowers in their hair, and everybody is greeted by the peace symbol. You don't shake hands anymore. Perhaps you just touch two fingers and say, "Peace." Well there's no limit to it, is there?

Let me tell you a story. Once there was a queen, and she had a very beautiful necklace. One day, after her bath, she was on the balcony drying her hair. She took her necklace off and put it on a hook. A crow was flying by, saw the necklace shining in the sun, and flew off with it. But the crow dropped it in a tree, and it got caught on one of the branches.

Beneath the tree was a filthy dirty river. Now, when the queen reached for her necklace and found it missing, she threw a tantrum. "Who stole it?" She had everybody searching for it. Nobody could find it. She said to the king, "If I don't find my necklace, I'm never going to eat again." The king was very concerned and sent all his army and others looking for it—but nobody could find it. So the king finally made an announcement. "Whoever finds the necklace gets half of my kingdom." Then people started seriously looking.

One day, a general walked by the tree and saw the necklace in the river below it. He immediately jumped into the sewage-filled river because he wanted half the kingdom. The minister saw the general jumping in, and he, too, saw the necklace, and jumped in. The king saw his general and his minister looking for it, jumped in, and now all three were fishing for it. By then, more soldiers and the villagers had come, and they all jumped in.

Finally, somebody with a little wisdom said, "What are you doing? The necklace is not down there; it is up there. You're jumping after the reflection." And so the king said, "Since you found it, half of the kingdom is yours." And the wise man said, "I don't need your kingdom. You keep it."

Why did I tell this story? Because that's what we do, too. We just see the reflection of peace. It's nice when there are not wars, but that's a reflection of peace—that's not peace in itself. Peace begins with every single human being on the face of this earth. That's the necklace. Everything else is a reflection.

When the heart is full, when the human being is full, then automatically, the person is not in duality, is not in questions, but in answers. Not the complicated, but the simple—that we are. This is what we favor; this is who we need to be. This is our nature. When we are in that equilibrium where our hearts are full, our true nature shines. And the true nature that we have is beautiful. It's real. And that is the place of true peace. We look for it far away when it is so close to us. Even in the most hopeless of situations, there is hope. This is who we are. There is a resilience, there is an understanding, there is a strength to every human being. And that is the strength to march towards the gateways of inner peace.

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  » Guildhall, City of London
Prem Rawat Maharaji at Guildhall, City of London

At Mansion House, the residence of the Lord Mayor of the City of London, Prem Rawat, on behalf of The Prem Rawat Foundation (TPRF), made a significant contribution to Voluntary Service Overseas (VSO). VSO is a charitable organization and benefactor of the 2007 Lord Mayor’s appeal. The reception was attended by Alderman John Stuttard, Lord Mayor of London, and Sheriff Richard Regan.
At the closing of the event, Sheriff Richard Regan presented Prem Rawat, on behalf of the Lord Mayor, with an illuminated handwritten scroll that read:

This document is presented to Prem Rawat by the Sheriff of London, Richard Regan, as a record of Prem Rawat’s keynote address at the Giving from the Heart benefit event on behalf of the Lord Mayor’s appeal, held at the Great Hall of the Guildhall, in the City of London before 635 distinguished guests on this first day of June 2007; and upon which His Royal Highness, The Prince of Wales, conveyed his best wishes for the success of this event; and upon which The Prime Minister of the United Kingdom, The Right Honourable Tony Blair MP, imparted his good wishes for an enjoyable and successful event; In commemoration of, and with thanks for the generosity of The Prem Rawat Foundation in support of the Lord Mayor’s appeal and Voluntary Service Overseas. Signed, Alderman John Stuttard, the Right Honourable Lord Mayor of the City of London.

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  » UNIPAZ - International University for Peace, Brazil

Prem Rawat was made an Ambassador for Peace by Pierre Weil, the rector of the International University of Peace. Pierre Weil received the UNESCO Prize for Peace Education in 2000. He was nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize in 2003. He has authored the classic book The Art of Living in Peace.

Prem Rawat, known also as Maharaji, was invited to deliver a keynote address at the International Festival of Peace held at Unipaz, the International University of Peace, in Florianopolis, Brazil. Unipaz aims to build a culture of peace.

Prem Rawat Maharaji at UNIPAZ - International University for Peace, Brazil

Thanking Prem Rawat, Rector Pierre Weil said: “On behalf of the University of Peace, I grant you the title of Ambassador for Peace. You don’t need a certificate, because your mission is to help people find where peace is, to help open a spring of peace in their hearts. But many people need to know who the Ambassadors for Peace are, they need to know whom to look for, search for—that is why we are giving you the title of Ambassador for Peace.”

Welcoming Prem Rawat, Vice-Rector Roberto Crema said: “We welcome Prem Rawat’s presence as one of the greatest representatives of the peace movement in the world. More than his ideas, his actions are the concrete expression of a world of peace that we can know now.”

Unipaz is one of three universities of peace, along with the UN University in Tokyo and the University for Peace in Costa Rica. It was born in 1986, inspired by the UNESCO Charter that states that wars begin inside of human beings and that it is within people that the defenses for peace need to be built. It has campuses in 12 cities in Brazil, as well as branches in Portugal, France, Belgium, the UK, Argentina, and Ecuador. Unipaz has been honored for its original approach to peace education and for training leaders to have a new consciousness that allows them to serve with a global vision as well as care for local needs.

The activities of the six-day Festival of Peace were webcast internationally. More than 15,000 people watched the proceedings, and more than 1,000 attended the event in person each day.

One attendee said, “I appreciate his humanitarian efforts. I also understand that what he says about peace is of fundamental importance. I am glad that he could be with us in Florianopolis.”

A person in Venezuela who watched the broadcast said, “Thank you for the opportunity to watch Prem Rawat’s presentation in this expressive event in University of Peace. Listening to him was a gift.”

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  » Rotary International Convention Rotaract division
Prem Rawat Maharaji at Rotary International Convention, Sweden

Responding to an invitation from Carl-Wilhelm Stenhammar, President of Rotary International Worldwide, Prem Rawat delivered the keynote address at the Pre-Convention Meeting of Rotaract on June 9th. The event was attended by delegates from 40 countries, representing more than 184,000 members in 8,000 clubs in 139 countries.
For Dr. Charles Grant, Chairman of the Rotary International Rotaract Committee 2005-06, “Prem Rawat’s address was very interesting and informative. His universal message is applicable to all mankind.”
Timothy Arensbach, President of International Rotaract Club, Copenhagen, found Prem Rawat’s message “very exciting. He has really given me something to think about.”
Introducing Prem Rawat, June Webber, Chairman of Rotary International Rotaract Committee 2006-07, commented, “It is fitting today that he would address our audience. We live in a frenetic society. There is little time for silence. We are on communication overload. We need to go within. We need to find the peace that is there within ourselves.”
Excerpt from address of Prem Rawat:

When you were born—who were you? A doctor, perhaps? A lawyer? No. There was one little moment of time when you were born when everybody held their breath to see if you were taking yours. Until that breath had been taken, nobody cared if you were a boy or girl. Nobody cared about your aspirations. Nobody cared about anything but that breath.

Once we are born, we start understanding our responsibilities. We start understanding the good, the bad, the right, the wrong. I’m not here to discuss those things. That’s up to you. Those are the decisions you have to make. I’m here to remind you about that one simple thing called existence. Not what we do with existence, but existence itself.

We judge life by its external components, but is life just external components? Is life a bunch of happenstances in one’s existence? Or is life something greater? The sum of it is greater than all of those things put together. One life is greater than all the things that are happening in this world, because all the things in this world can be replicated again and again, but that one human being dancing on the face of this earth will never be replicated. I am here to talk about the importance of your existence.

You will do many things, and hopefully, you will do incredible things for humanity, and I commend you on that. I also want to help as much as I can. People in this world need some help. And those who can, should provide that help, because it is about us human beings—us. It isn’t about governments. I don’t see that it’s the responsibility of governments to bring peace on earth. It’s the responsibility of individuals because peace on earth begins with individuals.

Know who you are. Understand your nature. Understand that if you do not feel that peace, you may not be able to give it to anyone. If you want to quench the thirst of another, the least you need is water. The water of peace flows within you. The serenity of understanding flows through you—your life. If you want to understand what it is like to be alive, listen to what your request has been all along to be fulfilled.

Be in peace, the peace that is within—not a manufactured peace. The peace that is inherent to every single human being on the face of this earth regardless of their circumstances. The peace that can be felt in the middle of a battlefield. That kind of peace.

A discontented person cannot bring contentment to another. An incomplete person cannot bring completeness to another. And a person void of happiness cannot bring happiness to another.

The desire for peace is noble in nature, and an effort towards that peace is also noble in nature. Discover what already exists inside of you. Within you is an infinite ocean of peace. Within you is an infinite ocean of joy. Within you is an infinite ocean of the potential to succeed—the ocean of success.

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  » Rotary International at National Chambers for Performing Arts

Maharaji was invited by Rotary International for an event at The National Centre for the Performing Arts (NCPA), in Mumbai, India. Maharaji addressed by civic, government and business leaders from India.

Rotary International is an organization of service clubs known as Rotary Clubs located all over the world. It is a secular organization open to all persons regardless of race, color, creed or political preference. There are more than 32,000 clubs and over 1.2 million members world-wide. The National Centre for the Performing Arts (NCPA), in Mumbai, India was established to disseminate knowledge, promote appreciation, provide training and sponsor or undertake scientific research in these fields with the objective of further development by encouragement of innovation within India and by interaction with the arts of other countries.

Prem Rawat Maharaji at Rotary International NCPA, Mumbai

Maharaji spoke about peace as not just an absence of conflict, but as a state of being. He suggests that although people look different on the outside, everyone is searching for the same thing. He says that one can feel peace every day, and the way to find it is to turn within.

Excerpt of the Event:
There is a basic need of every human being, and that is to be fulfilled. Regardless of who we are- whether we live in a poor village or a seventy-story building- we want to be happy. We want to be content. We want to be fulfilled. It doesn't matter what we call it- we have the same purpose.

We came from the same place and landed on the same dock - earth. Then we got caught in the web of what we should be doing. The wind of this world scattered us- and we see our differences, not our similarities.

What is our heart saying? Once again, we need to hear and identify the call, the voice, the want, the need of our fundamental being. Not formulas or ideas. We need to feel. That's how we are made.

It comes down to very simple fundamentals. The voice of our heart is saying, 'Be fulfilled.' When the heart is full, there is enjoyment. When doubt is replaced by clarity, when questions have been traded for answers, when duality has been replaced by singularity, then there is the most content heart. Then there is joy. Then there is a human being on incredible journey of life.

In the middle of adversity, the human being seeks peace. In the middle of questions, the human being seeks answers. In the middle of doubt, the human being seeks clarity. This is the nature of the human being. This is the need to fulfill.

The happiness that we are looking for is inside of us. Something needs to be felt within. Peace happens to be one of those things. Joy happens to be one of those things- not a joy that comes and goes, but a joy that permanently resides inside. Not a happiness that comes and goes, connected to the outer world, but a happiness that is always there. Even in the darkest moment, that joy resides within me. There is a solid feeling of peace when we go within and find that place.

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  » India Habitat Centre
Prem Rawat Maharaji at India Habitat Centre

At India Habitat Centre, In a hall filled to capacity, Maharaji addressed a group of distinguished members of the diplomatic corps, representatives of the international media and government and business leaders.

The India Habitat Centre was conceived to provide a physical environment which would serve as a catalyst for a synergetic relationship between individuals and institutions working in diverse habitat related areas and therefore, maximize their total effectiveness. To facilitate this interaction, the Centre provides a range of facilities.

It aims to cooperate and collaborate with other national and international institutions in furtherance of the objectives of the Centre, and also Inculcate better awareness and sensitivity in regard to all aspects of creative human activity including the significance of art in habitat.

Maharaji said:
People ask me "Give the Knowledge to me". I say, No. First, recognize your thirst. Because if you are not thirsty, water doesn't mean anything. There is nothing to sell here, and nothing to buy. Knowledge is not for sale. It is not for sale. Not a penny! Not because it is very cheap, but because its priceless. Because there is not enough money in this world to buy it. Knowledge a mirror-
Knowledge is a way to go inside. To see, to feel, to experience.

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  » Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FICCI)

Maharaji was invited by Young Leaders Forum of the Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FICCI) to address more than 1,850 young leaders at Sirifort Auditorium, New Delhi's premier conference center.

The Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FICCI) is an association of business organizations in India, headquartered in the national capital New Delhi. FICCI is one of the main organizations to fund and support many governmental and non-governmental educational institutes. It was founded by GD Birla and Purushottam Takkur in 1927, on the advice of Mahatma Gandhi.

Prem Rawat Maharaji at Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FICCI)- Sirifort Auditorium

Maharaji talks about the one-year-old that is still within us with the same request and wish it always had, to be fulfilled. "True success is to understand the value of each breath that comes into us", he says. "We can recreate a business. We cannot recreate a breath."

Excerpt of the Event:
Wars happen when intolerance reaches epic proportions, when the reasons for war become greater than the sanctity of peace. Wars happen when we fail to realize the value of being alive. World leaders try to bring peace, but it is not an issue of institutions. It is human beings who start wars. Before a war begins outside, it starts inside.

The war on the inside is more dangerous because it is a fire that may never be put out. Wars are being fought because peace is not being found within, because it is not being allowed to unfold.

We are all searching for something, we may call it success, peace, love, or tranquillity. It is the same thing. What we are looking for has many names because we do not know what we need.

To find what we need, we look around us. To know where to find what we are looking for, we first need to ask ourselves where we can find it.

Have we considered looking within? Living is not an easy task, especially if we want the best of it. We have to mine for it. Mining is not easy. We have to take out what we need and leave the rest. If we want to mine for peace, then we have to seek what is precious and discard what is not.

The thing that we are searching for is not outside of us. It is within us. It always has been and always will be. Contentment feels good, and it is not an accident. It is not an accident that peace feels good. Peace is already here, and it resides in the hearts of all human beings.

Peace is something that has to be felt. One of the most incredible powers we have is that we can feel. When we place peace in front of that power to feel, we feel peace. We are here to be filled with gratitude, love and understanding.

We carry a lamp within so bright that even in the darkest night, it can fill our world with light. This light is waiting to be found. Peace makes no distinctions. It does not care if we are rich, if we are poor, or what religion we belong to. It does not care which country we live in. Peace is waiting to be found. Waiting to once again feel whole, not separated by all the issues that divide our lives. Maharaji Prem Rawat at FICCI- Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry at Siri Fort Auditorium, New Delhi, India

Peace is when the heart is no longer in duality, when the struggle within has been resolved. When peace comes to the heart, serenity follows. Love comes flooding in, uncontrolled. Joy cannot be held back. It bursts through because it is right. That is peace.

Peace needs to be felt, love needs to be felt, truth needs to be felt. As long as we are alive, the yearning to feel good, to feel joy, will always be there, and as long as it is there, there will be a need for it to be discovered.

Life is a journey. We are passengers in a train called life, and we are alive in the moment called now. The journey of life is so beautiful that it needs no destination.

On this journey, we have been given a compass. The compass is the thirst to be fulfilled. The true journey of life begins the day we begin to seek to quench our thirst. This quest is the most noble one.

For many centuries, a voice has been calling out: "What you are looking for is within you. Your truth is within you, your peace is within you, your joy is within you." In our hearts, peace is like a seed waiting in the desert to grow, to blossom. When we allow this seed to blossom inside, then peace is possible outside. We have to give peace a chance.

Will we give peace a chance?

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  » United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) HQ, New York
Prem Rawat Maharaji awarded at United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) Head Quarter, New York

Prem Rawat Receives Humanitarian Award at the United Nations in New York.
Prem Rawat was presented with the Distinguished International Humanitarian Achievement Award after delivering the keynote address at a special event at the United Nations in New York.

The event was held in honor of the support provided by TPRF to the United Nations Development Programme’s Community Water Initiative in Ghana and The National Council of Women of the United States’ Water Well Project in Ghana. Mary Singletary, president of the National Council of Women in the United States, presented the award. “This award is given to you, Prem Rawat,” she said, “in recognition of outstanding leadership, profound commitment, and exceptional contributions to the quality of life for women, children, and families, and for the inspirational global influence of your message: peace comes when we begin to look within. We thank you for your humanitarian efforts and your financial support of the Water Well Initiative in Ghana, West Africa.
Words of Maharaji:

It is a privilege to talk about something that may be a little different, but very familiar. For me, this is a personal quest—the importance of peace. A peace, not of consequences, but a personal peace, an individual peace for every human being. People want to stop wars and conflicts, but nobody addresses the individual with whom peace has to begin before one can even dream of stopping the wars and conflicts that exist in this world.

We live on planet Earth. We have an opportunity to do something so unique that it cannot even be imagined. We have the most incredible planet. And yet, it is so sad to see that people don’t have clean water when that’s what rains down.

Nature, in its infinite wisdom, says, “You need clean water. You need food. You need the sun. You need air to breathe.” These are things everyone needs. They are obvious, but placed in the heart of every human being is also a want, a wish to be content, to be in peace. Food is important, water is important, clean air is important—all the basic necessities—but so is peace. Without peace, whatever structures are built, they crumble.

The fighting decimates. These conflicts are a disease. And like any disease, they affect anyone involved with them. The solution does not come from words, ideas, debates. The solution comes from within the heart of each human being. This is our humanity. There is a cry from within every single person that has been there since time immemorial, wanting to reach out and say, “Let there be peace.” Personal peace. Individual peace. The peace that is for everyone. The peace that can be felt on a battlefield or in a prison.

Prem Rawat Maharaji speaks at United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) Head Quarter, New York

Relationships change, but there is a relationship that you need to have with yourself, a relationship of reality built on fact, not fiction. Built on bricks that you can hold in your hand, not dreams and imaginations in midair. And that is called experience. When a thirsty person tastes good clean water, it is automatically sweet—without sugar. The experience of peace also has a very sweet taste.

We try to resolve all our problems. But when the baby cries, it doesn’t matter how many times the mother says, “Don’t cry,” the baby will keep crying till the problem has been resolved. And then the baby will start cooing. Let’s for a minute think of cooing as peace—people feeling something real within them, not created, but something inherent to every human being.

You are here, and that means something. Of all that you can accomplish, there is one more, and that has something to do with you. Generations down the road will scrutinize us, looking at our wars, our failures, and our successes. They will say, “Oh, they were so excited when they got to the moon.” Will they say, “One of the most important things they pursued was peace”?

The face of peace has not changed. It has nothing to do with technology. It was talked about by the Greeks, the Romans, the Indians—the idea of people being in a state where they feel real joy. The expression of peace, of joy, is distinctly different from the expression of anger, frustration, conflict. Self-conflict is a war that rages. Only one thing can bring it to an end, and that is the individual peace, felt and understood.

Personal peace. The time has come to do it. It is incumbent upon our generation and generations that follow to pick up this banner and bring peace to this world.

This is a subject that is very, very close to me. Three years old, standing in front of people and speaking: Be happy. Be content. Be in joy. I am so fortunate that, 40 years later, I am still saying that: Be happy, be in joy.

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