Greetings and Salutations, oh Rambling Masses,

Here I am on a Saturday morn, having just seen my wife off in her 5:30 AM taxi to the airport. I am not tired, so I flick the teev on and see what it has to offer. After getting the latest blast of gangstas rapping about hoes and bling on early morning Rage, and wondering why in Australia we have this fascination with all of this American crap, I decide to flick through the stations and see what else is on.

Being in Sydney, I get the local independent station TVS (station 31). We often tune in just for a laugh at the sometimes amateurish content, but every now and then there is a diamond in the rough.

Prem Rawat is just such a diamond. For those who don't know him from a bar of soap, let me tell you a bit about him. Also known as Maharaji, he is a 50 year old Indian man who tours around the world talking about peace, love and understanding. He is not associated with any religious movements, and in my humble opinion, his philosophies are indeed a thing of beauty that should be heard by more people.

When you mention philosophy, people usually think about the egghead "If a tree falls in the forest and there's no-one there to hear it, does it still make a sound" stuff. However, philosophy is all this and much more. Philosophy is about investigating and defining our place in the world, and about the path towards better understanding of ourselves, others, and the universe at large. Prem Rawat's philosophical discourses are approachable, palatable and practical, and for that I applaud him and have the utmost respect for him.

Also, when he talks, he sounds like The Late Show's parody of Desmond Tutu - "What we neeeeeeeeed..."

I would like to share with you the transcript from the show that I caught. It is all about peace and happiness - things that we should all be striving for with all of our energy. It is not pie-in-the-sky stuff, but real and practical words of wisdom. For those who would like to know more about Prem Rawat and his lectures, you can visit his website. Without further ado, here is one of his lecture transcripts.

The Fundamental Need - by Prem Rawat

We talk about peace, but do we ever stop and wonder, "Where did this idea of peace come from?" Why do human beings across the face of this earth even want peace?

If peace is a luxury, then you can say, "Well, it would be nice to have peace." But it's an innate and fundamental desire, a need, a necessity that gets acknowledged in a human being. Something stirs from within and says, "Without peace, the whole equation is incomplete." Throughout the world's civilizations, peace has always been something that has been acknowledged.

The importance I am giving peace is that it is just as important as being able to breathe, just as important as being able to see, just as important as being able to exist. Something within each human being stirs every single day and says, "Let me feel, let me experience the state in which I am not burdened with conflict. It is important for me to feel that simplicity in my life."

Whether we live in what we call a free society or in prison, we need to feel something. What is so fundamental to us is not the boundaries of countries or even our ideals, for in the midst of the ideals, we have forgotten the fundamental human thing.

In this existence, we forget what the primary purpose is. What is the most important thing to you as a human being? To welcome that and not find it mysterious because it isn't mysterious, not to find it routine because it is not routine. To acknowledge that the life I have is an exquisite gift, and I need to make the most of it.

An empty pitcher, an empty well, cannot fill other vessels. A dry well? You can throw 10,000 buckets into it, and all that will come out is sand. And that's if you're lucky. For a lamp to light other lamps, that lamp has to be lit. For a candle to light other candles, that candle has to be lit. Peace is a noble objective; helping mankind is noble. But it has to begin with a lit lamp. First and foremost, peace has to be recognized in a person's own self.

Everybody's requirements are different when it comes to this world: somebody likes a blue car; somebody likes a green car; somebody likes a white car. I'm not passing judgment on that. That's fine. But there is one need that is the same for all. The name for water is different in different languages, but water in itself is not different. Its ability to quench thirst is not different.

We are free to understand the gift that we have been given. That is a freedom no one can take away from us - not another government, not a terrorist. There is a peace that resides equally in the heart of every human being. It is not a peace that somebody hands us on a platter, because that peace can be taken away some day. This is a peace that no one can take away from us.

This is a peace that can be felt even in a battlefield - the innate peace, fundamental to everyone. The fundamentals of every human being: freedom, understanding, peace, joy, happiness.

Feel that peace in your life. Feel that joy in your life. Feel that understanding in your life. Come from that place, and there will be no end to how much you can be filled with beautiful understanding and gratitude. Make it real, make it practical. Make it the way it is supposed to be - every life, everywhere touched because a lit lamp came by and was able to light the unlit lamps. This is the possibility for all of us, but first we need to be lit.

Is it asking for a lot? Probably. Is it impossible? Absolutely not. It is very, very possible. It will take a lot of effort, but then effort is one thing we can make. And it is up to us.

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