taken from www.wopg.org
Prem Rawat’s message has been officially recognized and appreciated for a number of years in the western part of Taiwan. On May 23, 2009, Prem Rawat was granted the key to the beautiful, ancient capital of Tainan. In a talk that focused on Tainan’s history — as a religious and cultural capital of Taiwan and the site of the historic Sino-Dutch peace treaty — the mayor of Tainan City, Tain Tsair Hsu, spoke of how honored he was to receive an Ambassador of Peace in his city. “The Peace Ambassador has finally arrived, and we have to work with him for peace and harmony,” said Mayor Hsu in a warm welcome to Prem Rawat. He then presented him with the Golden Key to the city as well as an emblem of the Sword Lion, a symbol of the cultural capital of Taiwan.
Prem, also called Maharaji, launched his 2010 world tour at the Santa Monica Civic Auditorium, where he was welcomed by an enthusiastic crowd of nearly 2,250. Although he was speaking to an audience of thousands, he began by making it clear that his words applied equally to each individual. “What is this message all about? Really, it goes back to what this life is all about, what this existence is all about,” he said. “Even more so, it goes back to this little story that is yours. Your story.”
His words profoundly touched many of his guests. Jennifer Edwards, actress and mother, commented, “I feel the utmost hope when I listen to him. I feel senses and nerve endings I never even knew I had. When I see him live, there’s a connection, an energy,” she said. “I’ve never been an unhappy person. I’ve been able to make myself happy on the outside, but I always knew something was lacking. When I first heard Maharaji, what he said made total sense to me. I thought, ‘Ah, that’s what I’ve been looking for.’”
Jennifer brought her 17-year-old daughter Hannah Schneider, who noted, “I feel a ton lighter right now coming out of that room. Prem Rawat's message has been an inspiration and guiding force in my mother's life. I have just recently been introduced to him. And I can say it has greatly affected mine as well.” She added that, “Although what Prem Rawat speaks of is so simple, we all need to be reminded of this miracle of breath we are given each second of every day. We have to be reminded that the peace we seek lies within us. It always has, and always will.”
Brandon Read, a 21-year-old hip-hop musician, said, “I had heard lots about Maharaji from his fans. So I was expecting nothing less than what I was told. But when he began to speak, I was amazed, because he was more than what I expected,” Brandon said.“It was great how he broke everything down so simply that I could understand completely and make that ‘connection’ within to create inner peace. When Maharaji left the stage, I felt like a whole new person with lots of positive thoughts going through my mind. As of now, I'm definitely a fan of Maharaji. He has really motivated me to start living a different life. I thank him for that great experience. And I’ll likely attend more events."
This event was a “first” for many, including newlyweds Kevin and Meghan Fremon. Kevin remarked, "I felt like I was finally home,” while Meghan added that she’s “never been in the presence of such an incredible person.” Elan Migdali, an Israeli gentleman, remained in his seat several minutes after the hall emptied. “I feel full of peace,” he whispered softly. “I don’t want to lose it by standing up and moving.” This event was the first time he’d ever seen Maharaji.
Near the end of his talk, Maharaji stated that in 2008 his worldwide tour, cable broadcasts, and satellite presentations reached about 400,000 people, while in 2009, his message reached nearly four million. This upcoming year will be the 44th that Maharaji has committed himself to such an extensive and surely exhausting tour schedule. One new guest stated with genuine appreciation, "When you see someone who can walk the walk and talk the talk, not just for himself, but for thousands, millions, I want to know that person.”
As the evening drew to a close, Maharaji advised his audience that “it is not impossible to be happy in this lifetime. Don’t take no for an answer. For that peace, for that joy, for that fulfillment, the answer is always yes,” he said. “Give a chance to all that you already know.”
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