International Day of Peace
I am the witness of my Inner Self – ‘The Real Peace’
The real name of Atman (Our Soul) is ‘Shantam’ – our real nature is Peace (Mandukya Upanishad)
“Each one has to find his peace from within. And peace to be real must be unaffected by outside influences” – Mahatma Gandhi
“We can never obtain peace in the outer world until we make peace with ourselves” – The Current Dalai Lama (14th)
Each year the International Day of Peace is observed around the world on 21st September. The General Assembly of the United Nations has declared this as a day devoted to strengthening the ideals of peace, both within and among all nations and people. The theme for 2021 is “Recovering Better for an Equitable and Sustainable World”. In 2021, as we heal from the COVID-19 pandemic, we are inspired to think creatively and collectively about how to help everyone recover better, how to build resilience, and how to transform our world into one that is more equal, more just, equitable, inclusive, sustainable, and healthier.
So, how do we attain ‘World Peace’?
We all want to be happy. Nobody wants to suffer. But as we grow older, we realize the importance of an established ‘inner peace’. In our eternal quest for peace, often, we forget that the start, the inception of peace is from within. When we are at peace with ourselves, we can clearly see why there is suffering around us ~ and we can also learn how to deal with this suffering ~ be it our own suffering or of those around us!
Within us, in our consciousness, there is an ever-existing state of perfect peace. But when we think, we are our body and mind, we separate ourselves from everybody else and that is the beginning of sufferings and of no peace. This separateness creates insecurity in our heart. To remove the insecurity, we go ahead to get more, more and more of money, possessions, name, and other material positions. This desire and fear disturb our minds and obscure the peace that already exists within. To reach for our peace within, despite all our external distractions and disturbing thought patterns, one needs to be still, to reflect and recognize that our innermost state is that of pure bliss, consciousness, or pure happiness. Know your ideal self, first, by reaching out to that inner perfection within each one of you. Practice truth, purity, and patience, first with yourself, and then with the rest of the world.
Action Plans. Coming straight to the point of actions, what we could do is to follow six simple steps ~ include in our daily practices:
- Unselfish rather than selfish, the more peace I shall get by thinking of ~ Others before self. See yourself in others. Dignity within every object you touch in your day-to-day life. See that, in every action, in every thought and word, you smile and show dignity to others ~ without any opposing thoughts. Know, you are on the right track.
- A lot of ‘Universal love’ ~ a general feeling of universal love for everyone – for the whole of humanity, for everyone around you!
- Mindfulness in meditation ~ shut it all down ~ ‘In solitude, in quietness in deep silence’. However great the project may be. However great a concept you may be working on ~ just shut it all down and be “Silent’!
- Practice of ‘Inquiry’ ~ promises a tremendous depth within you. Read your inner mind, study good books, listen to other knowledgeable people. Reflect on what you have heard, ask questions ~ challenge in the process of finding the truth.
- Truth ~ Establish the ‘Truth’ in every action and in every occupation. Peace and silence of harmony shall always be around you and surround you. Mandukya Upanishad ~ states and as is so inscribed in India’s Ashoka Stambha “Satya Meva Jayate ~ “Truth Alone Shall Win”.
- Purity in ALL Actions ~ Be a ‘Gentleman’ ~ Live with, walk with Purity! May sound too dramatized! Or like a ‘lecture’ Those who follow – ‘Purity and Truth’ in life ~ finds not only ‘Peace and Joy’ but also all those material attractions do get fulfilled and quite effortlessly too. As if the ‘Nature’s Power’ provides, by following a ‘Law of Life’
Few Reflections: Rich Heritage of Humanity Is What We Have Inherited:
Ordinary life is like a pendulum, ceaselessly swinging back and forth, says Paramahansa Yogananda, “The peaceful person remains calm until he is ready to work, then s/he swings into action. As soon as s/he is through, swings back to the centre of calmness. Practice with an inner awareness to always be calm, like the pendulum that is still, but ready to swing into study action whenever world around needs it. For which, we are required to keep this body and mind in perfect calmness and yet is ready to coil up like a coiled up spring in action?”
Once someone asked Swami Vivekananda’s vision for peace and his blessings. Swamiji replied, “Do not ask for ‘Peace’. Ask blessings for ‘Strength’. Strength alone shall grant you, not just peace, but everything else, which leads to peace. You have forgotten that ~ ‘you are peace itself”.
Years later Federico Mayor, the Director-General for over 12 years ~ (1987-99) of the UNESCO, mentioned three remarkable similarities between the message of Vivekananda and the Missions ~ which Swamiji had laid down in 1897 ~ for the Ramakrishna Mission. The objectives of UNESCO ~ formed in 1945 had similar: Such are the visions of India “First, his commitment towards universalism and tolerance. Second, his concern for the poor and destitute. The mission that he established in India, and which has now spread all over the world is working to reduce poverty and eliminate discrimination among the different segments of society. He said: “The upliftment of the women, the awakening of the masses must come first and only then can any real good come about.’ Third, his preoccupation for human development with education, science and culture as instruments for such development.
“I am indeed struck by the similarity of the constitution of the Ramakrishna Mission which Vivekananda established as early as 1897, with that of UNESC0 drawn up in 1945. Both place the human being at the center of their efforts aimed at development. Both place tolerance at the top of the agenda for building peace and democracy.”
The UN Secretary General Dag Hjalmar Carl The U.N. General Assembly ~ voted 57-1-1 on 7 April 1953 – The only posthumous recipient of the Nobel Peace Prize. He is considered one of the two best UN secretaries-general, and the youngest till date, to be ever selected to be The UN Secretary General. Dag Hjalmar Carl, recollecting the forces of the combined nations of the world says, “Greater than dealing with the policies of the world, peace, the world economy and conflicts across the continents and in the midst of all, if a person can love “ONE” ~ with all that s/he has in heart and with sincerity, that I consider as greater and more powerful!”
A Western States Man, chosen to be one of the greatest in the political world till date, continues to say, ‘Self-surrender’ had been the way to self-realization, and who in ‘singleness of mind’ and ‘inwardness’ had found strength to say yes to every demand which the needs of their neighbours made them face, and to say yes also to every fate life had in store for them when they followed the call of duty as they understood it ~ would not just find peace, but will establish “Peace in the heart of all around”.
Dag Hjalmar Carl continues to say: “We are not permitted to choose the frame of our destiny. But what we put into it is ours. He who wills adventure will experience this “Truth and Purity” – according to the measure of courage. S/He ~ who wills sacrifice will be guided to attain – according to the measure of his purity of heart.”
In our age, the road to peace also to holiness, necessarily passes Always through the world of ‘Action’.
- Inner Peace ~ Sri Sri Paramahansa Yogananda
- Wikipedia : Dag Hammarskjöld