Download Free Books on Yoga, Religion & Philosophy
Online Bookstore
THE DIVINE LIFE SOCIETY HOME TEACHINGS MESSAGES RELIGIONS DISCOURSE SAINTS SWAMI SIVANANDA
FAQ ANNOUNCEMENTS SITE MAP BRANCHES MULTIMEDIA LINKS


View Archives

This article is a chapter from the book "Bliss Divine".

PEACE

By

SRI SWAMI SIVANANDA

Introduction
The Abode of Peace
Inner Peace
Peace Is Vital for Growth
Impact of Politics and Social Reform
Individual Reformation and Social Transformation
The Role of Religion
Sivananda on 'Peace' - A Summary

INTRODUCTION

Peace is a divine attribute. It is a quality of the soul. It cannot remain with greedy persons. It fills the pure heart. It desserts the lustful. It runs away from selfish people. It is an ornament of a Paramahamsa.

Peace is a state of quiet. It is freedom from disturbance, anxiety, agitation, riot of violence. It is harmony, silence, calm, repose, rest. Specifically, it is the absence or cessation of war.

Peace is the happy, natural state of man. It is his birthright. War is his disgrace.

Everybody wants peace and is clamouring for peace; but peace does not come easily. Even if it comes, it does not last for a long time.

THE ABODE OF PEACE

Peace is not in the heart of the carnal man. Peace is not in the hearts of ministers, advocates, businessmen, dictators, kings and emperors. Peace is in the hearts of Yogis, sages, saints and spiritual men. It is in the heart of a desireless man, who has controlled his senses and the mind. Greed, lust, jealousy, envy, anger, pride, and egoism are the enemies of peace. Slay these enemies by the sword of dispassion, discrimination, and non-attachment. You will enjoy perpetual peace.

Peace is not in money, estate, bungalows, and possessions. Peace does not dwell in outward things, but within the soul.

Money cannot give you peace. You can purchase many things, but you cannot purchase peace. You can buy soft beds, but you cannot buy sleep. You can buy good food, but you cannot buy good appetite. You can buy good tonics, but you cannot buy good health. You can buy good books, but you cannot buy wisdom.

Withdraw yourself from external objects. Meditate and rest in your soul. You will realize everlasting peace now.

Nothing can bring you peace, but yourself. Nothing can bring you peace, but the victory over your lower self, triumph over your senses and mind, desires and cravings. If you have no peace within yourself, it is vain to seek it in external objects and outward sources.

INNER PEACE

Perfect security and full peace cannot be had in this world, because this is a relative plane. All objects are conditioned in time, space, and causation. They are perishable. Where then can you look for full security and perfect peace ? You can find this in the immortal Self. he is an embodiment of peace. He is beyond time, space, and causation.

Real, deeper peace is independent of external conditions. Real, abiding peace is stupendous stillness of the Immortal Soul within. If you can rest in this ocean of peace, all the usual noises of the world can hardly affect you. If you enter the silence or the wonderful calm of divine peace by stilling the bubbling mind and restraining the thoughts and withdrawing the outgoing senses, all disturbing noises will die away. Motor-cars may roll on the streets; boys may shout at the pitch of their voices; railway trains may run in front of your house; several mills may be working in your neighbourhood - and yet, all these noises will not disturb you even a bit.

PEACE IS VITAL FOR GROWTH

Peace is the most covetable possession on the earth. It is the greatest treasure in all the universe. Peace is the most important and indispensable factor for all growth and development. It is in the tranquillity and quiet of the night that the seed slowly sprouts from under the soil. The bud opens in the depth of the most silent hours. So also, in a state of peace and love, people evolve, grow in their distinctive culture, and develop perfect civilization. In peace and calmness, spiritual evolution is also facilitated.

IMPACT OF POLITICS AND SOCIAL REFORM

The 'peace' that prevails today is the peace of fear and the peace of preparation. Ignoring the sincere advice of men of wisdom, the great nations of the world are intent upon demonstrating their destructive strength. That way lies war, not peace.

No political 'ism can ever solve the problem and bring about peace. All 'isms are only different hoods of the hydra-headed monster of selfishness-cum-egoism. When autocratic monarchs ruled over the nations, people thought that democracy would shower peace, plenty and prosperity upon earth. They dethroned the kings. Democracy also failed to yield the fruit of peace. Some people tried totalitarianism, socialism, communism - so many 'isms. Each man thought that his solution alone was best for the world ! And each new 'ism created only more problems and more quarrels.

Many are working today for the promotion of world peace, without having peace in themselves. Their loud propaganda, big talk, and lectures cause more confusion, conflict, and discord.

All over the world, great conferences are held for bringing about universal peace, universal brotherhood, and universal religion. It is the vanity of man that goads him to reform society without first reforming himself. Vanity rules the world. When two vain people meet, there is friction and quarrel.

So also is the case of social reform. Self-styled enlightened men started interfering with the customs and manners of people, in an effort to civilize them. The people lost their old moorings, and the reformers could not offer new, sound ones. Masses of people drifted away into chaos. How can blind men lead other blind men ? You must first acquire the Supreme Knowledge of the Reality. Then, and then alone, can you lead another in the right path.

You can elevate others only if you have elevated yourself. This world can be saved only by those who have already saved themselves. A prisoner cannot liberate other prisoners. One realized sage can do more for the promotion of peace than a thousand missionaries preaching and disputing, day in and day out.

Politics has its basis in sociology; sociology has its basis in individual personal development; individual personal development is governed by the philosophy and the religion that each man follows. The philosophy of the East considers man as the unit. Man is asked to perfect himself.

INDIVIDUAL REFORMATION AND SOCIAL TRANSFORMATION

Reform yourself. Society will reform itself. Get worldliness out of your heart. The world will take care of itself. Remove the world out of your mind. The world will be peaceful. This is the only solution. This is not pessimism. This is glorious optimism. This is not escapism. It is the only way to face the situation. If each man tries to work out his own salvation, there will be nobody to create the problems ! If each man strives heart and soul to practice religion, to do Sadhana, and to attain God-realization, he will have very little time to create quarrels. Automatically there will be peace on earth.

THE ROLE OF RELIGION

A Christian thinks, "There will be peace if all people embrace Christianity". A Muslim thinks, "There will be peace if all people embrace Islam". This is an erroneous notion. Why do people in the world fight ? Why do Catholics and Protestants fight ? Why do Saivites and Vaishnavites fight ? Why do brothers fight among themselves ? The heart must change. Greed and selfishness must perish. Then alone there will be peace in the world.

People merely talk of religion. They are not interested in practicing it, in living it. If Christians lived by the Sermon On The Mount, if the Buddhists followed the Noble Eightfold Path, if the Muslims truly followed the teachings of the Prophet, and the Hindus shaped their life in accordance with the teachings of the Lord, of saints and sages, there will be peace everywhere.

Peace, to be lasting and constructive, must be achieved through God. There can be no peace without the Lord or God. God is Peace. Root yourself in Peace or God. Now you are fit to radiate peace.

SIVANANDA ON 'PEACE'--A SUMMARY

  1. Many are working today for the promotion of world peace without having peace in themselves. Their loud propaganda, big talk and lectures cause more confusion, conflict and discord.
  2. A proper understanding of the essential unity of religions is the most effective and powerful factor in bringing about peace in this world. It will remove all superficial differences and conflicts, which create restlessness, discord and quarrels.
  3. If everyone turns to the Supreme peace within, there will be peace everywhere. A glorious new era of peace, amity, love and prosperity can be ushered in, only if the youth of the day is educated in the methods of self-culture. Educate the moral conscience of the public. This will bring lasting world-peace.
  4. You can elevate others only if you have elevated yourself. This world can be saved only by those who have already saved themselves. A prisoner cannot liberate other prisoners. One realized sage can do more for the promotion of peace than a thousand missionaries preaching and disputing, day in and day out.
  5. There will be no war, if all people practice truthfulness, universal love, purity, mercy, contentment, self-sacrifice, self-restraint and tolerance. Ahimsa (Non-violence) is the key to peace.
  6. Peace is the happy, natural state of man. It is his birthright. War is his disgrace.
  7. Peace is a state of quiet. It is freedom from disturbance, anxiety, agitation, riot or violence. It is harmony, silence, calm, repose, rest. Specifically, it is the absence or cessation of war.
  8. All over the world, great conferences are held for bringing about universal peace, universal brotherhood, and universal religion. It is the vanity of man that goads him to reform society without first reforming himself. Vanity rules the world. When two vain people meet, there is friction and quarrel.
    In the case of social reform, self-styled enlightened men started interfering with the customs and manners of people, in an effort to civilize them. The people lost their old moorings, and the reformers could not offer new, sound ones. Masses of people drifted away into chaos. How can blind men lead other blind men ?
  9. No piece of paper called a treaty can establish peace in this world. The way of peace is very simple and straight; it is the way of Love and Truth.
  10. Money cannot give you peace. You can purchase many things, but you cannot purchase peace. You can buy soft beds, but you cannot buy sleep. You can buy good food, but you cannot buy good appetite. You can buy good tonics, but you cannot buy good health. You can buy good books, but you cannot buy wisdom.
  11. Perfect peace cannot be promoted by anybody who does not have perfect peace in himself. No political 'ism' can ever solve the problem and bring about real peace. Each new 'ism' creates only more problems and more quarrels.
  12. Love alone can bring peace to the world. Therefore love all. Only if everyone practices the religion of love, can there be peace in the world.
  13. Ethics should be put into practice by all. This alone will contribute to peace, universal love, unity, proper understanding, world harmony and brotherhood of mankind.
  14. Everlasting Peace can be found only within your own Atman or Self, or God.
  15. World-peace is possible when all the people of the world wake up to the facts governing universal life and when there is a heart-to-heart feeling of goodness, love and oneness among the inhabitants of the world.
  16. Peace, to be lasting and constructive, must be achieved through God. There can be no peace without the Lord or God. God is Peace. Root yourself in Peace or God. Now you are fit to radiate peace.

Last Updated: Sunday, 17-Oct-2004 09:35:28 EDT
Mail Questions, Comments & Suggestions to :