Asking the Right Question

Prem Rawat in New Delhi

Something from within tells us that joy is a possibility, happiness is a possibility, that being fulfilled is a possibility. But we want to invent a tool for that, not realizing that an incredible tool has already been given to make this possibility real. This tool is called life. Consider this: life is a tool to accomplish something. This life you have been given can make this possibility real.

Do you want to accept that possibility? The question is not, “Wouldn’t you like to be happy?” Everyone would say, “Sure.” But do you want to accept that this life is a tool and with it, you can accomplish the greatest of all joy, the greatest of all happiness?

Everything we do, we do to be content. But we don’t make the connection that what we do to be content doesn’t bring us contentment. All the things we do may be necessary for many reasons, but they are not going to accomplish the one objective called the real joy.

Every day, you are given an opportunity for that. Do you have the ability to look at every day anew? To recognize the value of a moment? To be content? Yes, you do. Do you? Are you?

We are perfectly satisfied being frustrated and expressing our frustration to other people. When something goes wrong, that’s what we talk about. No one wants to talk about all the good things that happen. It’s not interesting to talk about being alive.

You have the ability to recognize what is good. Do so. If life were a canvas with colors, would you paint? If life were a drum, would you play? Or would you say, “I don’t know how to paint. I don’t know how to play.” “I don’t know how” is an excuse. If you really don’t know how, you can find out. It takes searching and understanding. That’s the tool you have been given. It’s called life.

Learning is so far removed from us that we don’t understand what it means. We measure our existence by our accomplishments or failures. We live in a world where everything is fixed instantly. There’s a fix for everything. People think, “I want to be happy. No problem.” This is the message they have ultimately gotten. You don’t have to learn or understand anything; everything has a shortcut.

Prem Rawat :: Maharaji

In this world of instant fixes, I tell people, “You need to learn. You need to learn about what this life is.” That must come as a really odd message because they think they have come to watch another commercial. “Unhappy? No problem. Here, pop this pill.” But I’m saying, “Learn. Open your eyes.  See. Look around you. Everything you see and experience, one day you will not be able to see or experience. Understand, because there will be a time you will not be able to understand or know the joy of understanding.”

Somehow we want a license to be able to look into the future. You won’t get it. And what future do you want? The one you shape? Or a future like a kite that has come undone from the string? Flopping. Randomly, things are happening. What future would you like?

As you see it, the future is uncertain. But for you to be content in the uncertainty can be very certain because that is not sparked by this world. The source of that is within you. And this is what you should learn—the knowledge of the self, the self that you are. And for that, you need to understand that life is a tool.

If you could understand the possibility that exists in this moment, you wouldn’t have to look at the past or lament the past. We say, “This is how life is,” because somebody we thought was credible told us that, and we never questioned it. But did we ever ask, “How do I use this tool of life I’ve been given to accomplish what I want to accomplish?”

Some people will say that’s the wrong question. Your heart’s going to say that’s a wonderful question. Ask that question to somebody who knows. The heart knows when it receives the true answer. Everything that happens is meaningful—not meaningless—to further the accomplishment of being fulfilled every single day.

When our conversations are about all that is wrong, listening to news that is good can be difficult. But it is good. It is good that you are alive. It is good that you exist. It is good to be happy. It is good to be content. It is good to be clear. It is good to learn, to understand. It’s all about good. It has always been good news. And it always will be good news.

— Prem Rawat