Prem Rawat: “I just hope that when people read my book, that it has some impact on them, that they take the book to heart”

I just hope that when people read my book, that it has some impact on them, that they take the book to heart. That they give themselves the opportunity to contemplate, to think about it. That is the first step to making a change in anyone’s life. I don’t expect that this book is going to […]

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I just hope that when people read my book, that it has some impact on them, that they take the book to heart. That they give themselves the opportunity to contemplate, to think about it. That is the first step to making a change in anyone’s life.

I don’t expect that this book is going to do anything overnight. But I do hope that it brings some contemplation and thought to people.


As part of my series about “authors who are making an important social impact”, I had the pleasure of interviewing Prem Rawat.

Born in India in 1957, Prem Rawat gave his first public address on the subject of peace at the age of four. Addressing crowds of up to 10,000 people, what had begun as a school holiday, developed into a life-long journey inspiring people to discover peace. Today, Rawat has spent more than 50 years traveling the world, speaking in more than 250 cities, and addressing live audiences totaling hundreds of millions. He offers a practical way to experience the peace he talks about and shares his message with millions around the world through books, web content, media appearances, and above all, his live events and speaking engagements. Rawat just released his latest book “Hear Yourself; How to Find Peace in a Noisy World” in the U.S., UK and 34 other countries via HarperCollins. For more information, please visit: www.premrawat.com.


Thank you so much for joining us in this interview series! Before we dive into the main focus of our interview, our readers would love to “get to know you” a bit better. Can you tell us a bit about your childhood backstory?

It is a pleasure to have this opportunity to talk to you and your readers.

My childhood backstory actually begins when I was very young, at four years of age. It was the first time that I addressed an audience. Then I continued to address audiences across India. I would travel with my father. After that, at nine years of age when he passed away, I took over what he was doing, which is taking the message of peace to the people of India.

When you were younger, was there a book that you read that inspired you to take action or changed your life? Can you share a story about that?

Well, when I was young, I wasn’t really reading any books at that age of four years old. And, by the time I was reading books, I was so overwhelmed by all the books that I had to read for school, that it wasn’t something I had to go and chase.

Also, what really intrigued me was what my father was talking about. And so, I really didn’t have to go and read a book on that subject. Because what he was talking about was there, and it was very obvious, that what you are looking for is inside of you. So, that intrigued me, that what I am looking for, is inside of me.

Now, what is it that I am looking for? Because it isn’t like at a young age you have been in the turmoil of the world and you have had problems, and so you might be looking for peace because you are so distraught from this world. Actually, the world was a very nice place for me. I had my toys; I had my school. I had my friends, and things were not bad. So, it wasn’t like I was out searching for the ultimate quest. But it did have a significant impact on me, that what I was looking for is inside of me, and that peace is inside of me. So, I was very intrigued about ‘what is peace and even ‘what is God?’. Because, what is God?

There were so many definitions of God. I used to attend a Catholic school. So, there was that part of it, their version of it. Every single morning, there was the ABC of Moral’s class. We used to sing The Lord’s Prayer, every morning. So, there was a whole version that was coming from the teachers when attending the Catholic school.

The first kindergarten that I attended was called St Mary’s, and that too was Catholic. There was a lot that was discussed there. But to me, it was obvious that God cannot be this hidden thing. God cannot be this abstract thing that just lives somewhere and is unapproachable. Because God is too important to not be approachable. So, how do you approach God? How do you approach this power that has made me be alive on the face of this earth? And so that was a very interesting time for me.

Can you share the funniest or most interesting mistake that occurred to you in the course of your career? What lesson or take away did you learn from that?

I am sure that I have made many, many, many mistakes, and you know the thing about mistakes is that the older you get, you can laugh at them, but at that time when you make the mistakes, they are not very funny. And some mistakes make you feel suicidal and some leave scars on you, and some mistakes are just funny.

One mistake was when I was traveling in America. I had just come to San Francisco. At four o’clock in the morning, I was completely fast asleep and there was this really loud knock on the door, and I didn’t know what it was. I was in a house that I had not stayed in before. So, very scared I asked what’s wrong? what’s wrong? It turned out that I was supposed to be on television, on National TV in about fifteen minutes. So, boy, talk about a scramble at that point in time! I scrambled, and I got there, but when I arrived the studio was freezing cold. In those days they used to turn the studio temperature way down so when they brought on the lights, the temperature would kind of get even.

I was standing in one corner shaking because it was so cold, and the producer came and gave me a hot cup of coffee. That was my first experience with coffee. And I can tell you, I was going a hundred miles an hour after that! That was an interesting time.

Can you describe how you aim to make a significant social impact with your book?

I just hope that when people read my book, that it has some impact on them, that they take the book to heart. That they give themselves the opportunity to contemplate, to think about it. That is the first step to making a change in anyone’s life.

I don’t expect that this book is going to do anything overnight. But I do hope that it brings some contemplation and thought to people.

Can you share with us the most interesting story that you shared in your book?

Well, there are many stories in the book. And the most important part of any one of these stories is that we have an opportunity — the opportunity to do something that can truly make a difference in our lives. Not just some thought, not just some idea, not just some concept. Because polishing your car on the outside, it is not going to increase the performance of the car. By putting labels on the outside of the car, it is not going to change anything that’s on the inside. The performance is going to come from what’s on the inside of the car. It is not any different for human beings.

What was the “aha moment” or series of events that made you decide to bring your message to the greater world? Can you share a story about that?

Well, actually that is a very interesting story in itself. Because, I was just on my summer holidays, and an invitation came. Would you like to go to the West? Please come and bring your message. I was feeling, well, this would be a good time and I am not doing anything, and it was pretty hot in India, and so, I said yes! I will go and at least it will give me some sense of whether people will actually accept this message of peace.

So, I came to the West. At the time this was a great experiment, and I would see what would happen.

You have to understand that in India people were poor, and so, you could say in a sense that because people were poor, they would listen, they would listen more intently, and be much more interested in peace. Whilst in the Western world, where there was significantly more money and everything else, would people even think about peace? Would people even be interested in peace? So, that is one thing that did happen.

Without sharing specific names, can you tell us a story about a particular individual who was impacted or helped by your cause?

Well, I can definitely. I do remember one person who later became a very close friend of mine. He was in the Army. He was a very devout Hindu who had read the Gita. His attitude was everything that we need to know is in the Gita, in the book. No living person can top that. No living person can talk to you. No living person can do anything. And there is nothing more.

So, one day, he heard about me — a nine-year-old who talks about peace, and who says that he can help people attain peace. So, immediately what came to his mind was, this has got to be an absolute hoax. This cannot be, and he is just cheating people. This is some kind of a show and a scam. So, he decided he was going to take it down.

Well, as soon as he arrived at my house, he started arguing with everybody. How can this be? How can this be? How can this be? I was in the backroom doing my homework, and somebody came to me and said that there is a man here and he is arguing with everybody, and he wants to talk to you.

So, I came out into the living room, and I started listening to what he was saying. People were arguing, and the argument was just being perpetuated more and more. So, I just stepped out and I said “You know, there is something really incredible inside of you and I can put you in touch with that.” The man asked, ‘what could that be? And how could you do that?’ And I said ‘look, that’s my claim. I can put you in touch with that beauty that is inside of you. What is the harm if you let me put you in touch with that beauty that is inside of you?’ And that floored him. I mean, here is an adult, and there is a child that is talking to him and saying that I can put you in touch with something that is inside of you. He stopped arguing. He said okay, and over a period of few weeks, he was able to tap into the beauty within himself, and since then, we have been very close friends.

Are there three things the community/society/politicians can do to help you address the root of the problem you are trying to solve?

Well, I am not really trying to solve a problem. But there is something that needs to happen, and three things will not cover it by any stretch of the imagination. It is only ONE. The route of all the problems that we have today, in my opinion is because humans are no longer human beings. They are not acting as human beings. They are not thinking as human beings, and they are not being human to each other.

Greed has taken over. Agendas have taken over and everything else has taken over. What I am trying to do is tell people to just be human. And if we can be human, I think there would be a significant difference in this world.

How do you define “Leadership”? Can you explain what you mean or give an example?

Well, I think that this word “leader” and “ship” are two things that are very, very confusing for everybody. Because there are people who consider themselves leaders. There is joke about this that I read a long time ago. It’s says “when the leaders were asked, where are you taking all the people behind you? They said, oh, I thought they were pushing us to where they want to go, and so we are in the front.”

But it is really the people in the back, all the world’s citizens are looking towards the ‘leaders’ and the ‘leaders’ don’t know where to go and all are going to end up in a shipwreck. So, “leadership” is truly a ship that is bound to get wrecked. As you can see already it has been wrecked so many times and it is going the same way again.

So, I don’t believe in leaderships. I think everybody is a human being and should not pretend to be a leader, but should focus on being human. Because then you don’t have to pretend.

What are your “5 things I wish someone told me when I first started” and why. Please share a story or example for each.

Well, either the list will be more than five things, or there will be none. Because, for me, it is not just a question of counting your mistakes, counting this problem, counting that problem, but just flowing with life. You have to flow with life. When you flow with life, the trees that have learned to sway in the wind don’t break. Those trees that have not learned to sway in the wind, break. So, it isn’t a question of five things, it’s a question of are you flexible enough to make those turns, to make those swings, to make those things happen as life unfolds?

Can you please give us your favorite “Life Lesson Quote”? Can you share how that was relevant to you in your life?

“Flow, just flow.” Life is a river, it started as a drop, and one day it is going to end. You are in this process called ‘life’ that is continuously unfolding. That is what is relevant to you. That is what you have to understand. Life is not a static thing. Neither the likes, the wants and all the things in this life are static. Everything is going to change. You have to allow all that to manifest, to just flow. That is the life lesson you must learn.

Is there a person in the world, or in the US with whom you would like to have a private breakfast or lunch with, and why? He/she might just see this, especially if we tag them. 🙂

Well, I want everybody to enjoy their lunch, and I want everybody to enjoy their breakfast. I don’t think that talking about peace, and talking about joy, breakfast, lunch, or dinner is the appropriate time. The appropriate time is when there is a thirst inside for life, for peace, when there is a thirst inside for joy, when there is a thirst inside for clarity, when there is a thirst inside for that understanding. For that, breakfast isn’t necessary, lunch isn’t necessary. It can be under a tree, it can be over a tree, it can be anywhere, and it will suffice.

How can our readers further follow your work online?

People can go to Premrawat.com and hearyourselfbook.com

This was very meaningful, thank you so much. We wish you only continued success on your great work!

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