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Thursday, September 22, 2005

Absence of War = Peace?

Peace Means Much More than The Mere Absence of War
Discourse by Sadhguru Jaggi Vasudev

Peace is not understood only in terms of avoiding war; peace is to establish an active culture of living in peace in the world. Since ages people have been fighting for food, over boundaries, about faith, and belief systems. We have always found an excuse to fight.

The world is its people. If we do not work for individual transformation, talking about world peace is just one more form of entertainment. Without attending to individual human beings, trying to bring about any kind of change in the world, always leads to more problems.

If you look back on the great revolutions, what happened during these revolutions were much more horrible than the situations which existed before them. mostly, we replaced one tyrant with another set of tyrants. But, as far as individual human beings were concerned, there was no basic change in their experience of life. If there are no peaceful human beings, there is no peaceful world.

Today, the world's focus is on economics. Since the planet's resources are limited, and our lives driven by the engine of economics, war is inevitable. Unless subtler aspects of life become important, peace remains a dream.
In our pursuit of economic well being, the volume of violence we impose on every other creature on this planet is unspeakable. Any destruction of life, beyond the need for one's survival, is violence. Our lives are filled with enormous amounts of violence; our very existence is violence. It will take us a thousand years to understand that the violence we impose upon other creatures on the planet is going to impact our lives.

Almost everything today is becoming violent, including our music, dance and culture. You should not be surprised that it is spilling over onto the streets. You look at yourself as an individual and see, how many moments in a day you can't stand the person who is sitting next to you. You are trying to hold yourself back and this is going to work only for a certain period of time; somewhere it is bound to explode.

Reiligion and quarrelling cannot go together. Unfortunately, we have many quarrelling religions. We have become so devious that we can kill in the name of Rama, Jesus and Mohammed. Somewhere we have lost the basic sense of what religion is. True religion is an inward step. But today it has become only about belonging to this group or that group. This has only brought hatred, conflict and separation among people.

What the world needs is not more religions or more followers, but people committed to becoming peaceful themselves. Just one Jesus will not do; one Buddha will not do. Many are needed. If people just learned how to be absolutely still with great intensity, you would see all violence would simply evaporate from the planet. It is not slogans and statements that will bring peace to the world, but a lifelong striving to produce peaceful human beings. Peace is not in terms of just avoiding war, but establishing an active culture of living in peace in the world.

(Printed in The Times of India, Bangalore, on The International Day of Peace on the 21st of Sepetember, 2005)
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