25.05.2016 ►The Question of Peace

Posted: 22.07.2016

Acharya Mahapragya Blog

The following post is based on Acharya Shree’s book shanti ka prashn

Peace is not somewhere in the sky. What is found in the graveyard, that is not considered as auspicious. There is no special meaning to it. Though peace in society, in the hearts and minds of people do have a value. Peace in a community is dependent on the interpersonal behaviour of its people. Peace procession and events of this nature, have a certain value and sequence of such events keep happening. The truth is that society is always in favour of peace. The ones wanting violence, are very few. The ones seeking power, sometimes, directly or indirectly create violence because of their desire to expand. People who want to impose their opinions on others also become mediums of violence/non-peace. In fact, today, the biggest disease is broadcasting one’s opinions.

The ones who believe in democracy, their efforts go in spreading democracy while the ones who believe in communism, their efforts go into spreading their belief. This way, everybody is divided into certain isms.

The ones creating violence are few in number while peace is a need of a majority of mankind. Power is in a few hands. America, Russia, and a few countries possess atomic power, hydrogen, and nitrogen bomb. Only a few people have ownership of these weapons. The problem is, that the ones who possess power do not understand the value of peace. Look at the war in Vietnam. Here, the war was employed for establishing peace. The firm belief of people in the balance of power has led to the belief that peace cannot exist without a balance of power. Teachers of war define peace as the preparation period between two wars. Thus, today, the word, peace sees a lot of deluded beliefs which have caused many problems. The root point is that unless humanity doesn’t evolve, the point of peace becomes clouded. According to me, humanity and peace are not two.

In ancient times, the question of who is a shastra (scripture) literate person, arose. The answer to this question came out to be that the one whose mind is at peace, is a shastra literate person. Scriptures have been created for the purpose of peace. A peaceful and balanced mind has been given a lot of importance. This is the reason why yoga and spiritual practices have been given due significance in India. Till the time the mind is at unrest, it will continue to be a cause of unrest to others as well. Therefore, every person must become a yogi, and thus, possess a stable mind. The medium to achieve this stability is dharma. That which makes one’s mind and sense organs at peace is dharma while doing that which disturbs the mind and senses, is not dharma.

Look at the situation in the world, today. The ones who are rich, their minds do not have an iota of peace. In fact, they have more of inertia and absence of awareness. What can be the reason? As far as I see, the point of view, that instils a feeling of oneness with humanity, has not been developed.

The Anuvrat movement has thought on this subject. I cannot say that a lot of effort has been put in this direction but a small effort has been put. A lot of small efforts together become a big unit of effort. The basis of anuvrat is- oneness with humanity and co-existence. A person who does not believe in human unity, coexistence and equality, that person cannot be an Anuvrati.

When the definition of Anuvrati was being decided upon, a question arose whether a person disbelieving in the existence of soul and life after death, can become an anuvrati? Acharya Shree Tulsi answered with a why not? Whether a upholder of human values, performs any worshipping rituals or not, he will be called an Anuvrati since the basis of the Anuvrat movement is a firm belief in humanity. Only he/she can be rightly called as a peace representative. People practicing colour and caste discrimination, are not believers of humanity. A particular belief system can also be a cause of violence. A rich man may think that since it is his karma, he is enjoying his riches and a poor man is suffering because of his karma. These concepts circumvent caste discrimination as well. This is the biggest root of violence and unrest. The Anuvrat movement has put in efforts to fight such discriminatory practices. This does not mean that I do not believe in karma. Karma and fate have their own place. But so has self-effort.

Where hatred disappears, the beliefs of karma and fate also shake. If foundations of such beliefs can shake like that, then they cannot exist for real. But casteism was originally based on a person’s potential and skillset. Until today, we have not been able to see sameness of people in terms of potential and skills.

There exist differences in intellects, thought processes, skills and bodies. These cannot be made same in all individuals. But can we not change external systems built by humans?

Even Tarkshastra holds this rule: whatever is a cause of karma or action can never be permanent. Only that, which is not a result of an action performed by humans, is permanent. Thus, all rituals, concepts, and beliefs are impermanent due to the fact that all of these are man-made.

Some people consider vedas as permanent. But vedas and other spiritual and religious texts can be spoken and expressed by us, then how can they be permanent?

We need a clear point of view. Clearer our point of view, clearer would be our road to peace. We face difficulties with an unclear viewpoint. For instance, we need to be clear about the fact that all sorts of discrimination among mankind, have had a basis of selfishness. It would be interesting to know that around a thousand years ago, Acharya Jinsen in Karnataka, declared that all humanity is one. There are only differences in conduct and behaviour. If these sentiments were internalised in the people of the past century, no war could have taken place. Violence is not born in a war field. A war is its final expression.

A family which sees fights among its members on a daily basis, can such a family contribute towards peace? A similar question can be raised on a shopkeeper or a businessman who behaves with cruelty towards his employees. A person harassing others does so because of his lack of sensitivity towards them. All his energy and efforts are towards the fulfilment of his selfish motives. I think if we ponder over solutions of personal peace, then a huge contribution towards world peace can be made.

In ancient times, small fights would take place, without affecting the lifestyles of people situated in a distant place. A problem in the South did not create any disturbing effect in the North. But today, the situation is different. Today, the whole world is like a family. A war in Vietnam can have an effect in distant countries. On the external, humans have never been as close to each other as they are today. This closeness has prompted people to ponder over the need for peace. Another point is the trend of production of weapons of mass destruction. This has created a fearful environment. Such an environment has naturally created a demand for peace among people.

If the few people possessing powers of destruction become obsessed with a desire to fight and win wars, then there will be no delay for the Earth’s doomsday. Thus, nobody can ignore the question of safety in today’s world.

Peace of individuals together creates world peace. The basis of such a phenomenon is individuals feeling oneness with the whole of humanity. Development of such a feeling would be the right step towards world peace.


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