By Chandra Segaran
KUALA LUMPUR, June 30 – Exactly 50 years ago in June 1971, global Peace Ambassador, Prem Rawat landed at Heathrow Airport in London, armed with a simple desire. To bring the message of Peace and the gift of Self-Knowledge to the people of the West. It has never been done before. His lineage of teachers of self-Knowledge before him never went beyond the shores of India to spread the Knowledge that Prem Rawat speaks about today.
He was 13-years old and his arrival in England was apparently news worthy, if not a sensational event, as not only those who had invited him to bring his teachings to the west had turned up at the airport to welcome him, but there were newsmen as well in the crowd, wishing to interview the young man, who was promising world peace. Their curiosity was piqued.
Unfazed and cool, but basking both in the warm greetings from the long-haired men and woman who came to welcome him at the airport, and the newsmen with a steady stream of questions, Prem Rawat went on to answer with candour and simplicity the questions posed to him from the media.
Many titles were given to him in his early days of stay in the UK. Whether they were sceptical or adorative, it depended on who were giving them. The media described him as “a guru from India”, with a reasonable amount of scepticism while those who had invited him – whether they were looking for the truth, or simply peace in their lives or were just some anti-war youngsters of the 70s – to spread the message of peace in the west- called him a genuine teacher who had an important message to impart.
Fast forward 50 years, Prem Rawat who spoke at an event at the International Conference Centre in Birmingham on June 17th this year, was the same cool and collected orator that he was in his first public talk at the Conway Hall, in London in the summer of 1971.
His message that Peace is possible has withstood the test of time and today his Peace Education Programme, an innovative series of video-based workshops that help people discover their own inner strength and personal peace, is a huge success and runs in 70 countries. Available in 30 languages including Spanish, Mandarin, Hindi, Arab, Tamil, Bahasa Indonesia, the programme has been has been adopted as part of education in learning institutions, colleges, and social service in community centres.
It has been made available in over 650 prison programmes worldwide where it has had tremendous success with many prisons reporting improved wellbeing and reduced violence. In the state of Telangana, India, an academic study showed a huge reduction in re-offending and five prisons reportedly closed down due to the success of the programme there.
His LOCKDOWN live stream series that began as the world slowed down with the onslaught of the COVID-19 virus were caught by many people from different parts of the world.
From regular advice on wearing the masks, following other standard operating procedures (SOPs) and keeping safe during the pandemic to looking within for strength and hope, and recognising the nature of the self and its wisdom, Prem Rawat kept many of the live stream tuners engaged, motivated and inspired to get on with their lives despite the fears and uncertainties that the virus had created.
The Prem Rawat Foundation (TPRF) during the pandemic has been also working with partners to provide over $400,000 in crucial medical care, supplies, food, and other humanitarian aid to those suffering during the COVID-19 pandemic.
While the event in Birmingham to mark his 50th anniversary was limited to the local crowd, with all COVID-19 SOP in tow, audience from all over the world also tuned in to the live stream of the event.
He was in his element as he recalled his early days in the UK and the young “hippies”, many of them who were also guests at the latest event, minus their hippie hairstyles and live style, who had turned up to hear his talks and wanting to know about life, God and how a group of them had earlier travelled to India to invite him to UK.
“It has been an incredible journey.”
Of course there was a lot of sensationalism, as a 13-year old boy was promising peace “but this 13-year old was not shooting blank words”, he said.
“People had to feel peace. People had to feel the magic of being alive.”
“What was being said? That what you are looking for is inside of you. You will find it there. (Yet), so much of the focus was on so many other things (about him), are you a Prophet, are you a this or that and…I have said many times, ‘No, I am not a prophet’.”
The names were always there, from the time he was a child and they never really mattered, but what was important was the deed itself, Prem Rawat said, adding that he took satisfaction in knowing that his words had brought comfort to many people.
Prem Rawat spoke of the distinction of being a human being. “No human being is ordinary. Every human being is extraordinary.”
A question had been posed to him, implying that human beings were nothing.
“When do people see human being as nothing then?
“If a human being is not doing what the human being is made for, the human being then appears useless to you.”
Many of the things human beings do today in the world are not any good at all, he said, pointing out the poor records not only in the space race that has left garbage in the space from abandoned satellites to other debris, but the wipe out of many animal species from the planet and the poor sharing of resources that have left a huge divide between the rich and the poor.
“Human beings are only good when they experience peace, when they experience joy, when they work towards peace, when they work towards joy. When they work towards personal fulfilment. That is when human beings shine.”
Prem Rawat also spoke about the possibility that laid for a human being in his or her lifetime – to know with certainty who they really are and their potential for true fulfilment, despite the difficulties or what is happening externally.
Further information on the Peace Education Program and PEAK (Peace Education and Knowledge) is available at the Prem Rawat Foundation website: https://tprf.org/