WORLD PEACE --
"When there is righteousness in the heart, there is beauty
in the character;
When there is beauty in character, there is harmony in the
When there is harmony in the home there is order in the nation;
When there is order in the nation, there is peace in the world."
|A Secure Foundation
The problem of peace is much more complicated than the
problem of war, as it involves political economic, social,
cultural and religious problems of the diverse races and
nations of the world. Vedanta points out the original
cause of the disruption of world peace and proposes as
the only secure foundation for peace, the cure of the
When the dominant nations will abandon all ideas of aggression
and self-aggrandizement, when all fear, mistrust and bitterness
will leave the hearts of the subjugated peoples; and when
the various races and nations of the world will live united
by the bond of love, sympathy and co-operation in one
human family or society, then and only then will peace
reign upon the earth. When the diverse religious faiths
of the world will shake off bigotry, intolerance and fanaticism,
and live in complete harmony, as so many phases of the
one Universal Religion, then alone will the world have
No nation has the right to feed itself fat on another
nation. Holding a country in subjugation to enjoy economic
benefit it yields is a heinous crime. To defend a country
from one aggressor must not be made an excuse for its
enslavement by another.
Cementing Force of Moral Goodness
Unity of all nations and races would ensure world peace. No
world unity is possible without the cementing force of moral
Values Vs Moral Values
Though the leading nations often declare equity, truth and humanity
to be their guiding principles, their moral life, as a rule
is subordinated to their material interest resulting in their
inability to sacrifice their privileged positions even though
the exigency of the world situation demands it. They rate material
values above moral values. They scramble for power while avowedly
striving for peace. Moral life cannot be stabilized until moral
values are loved for their own sake. Moral ineptitude naturally
follows from the materialistic outlook on life.
Solid Foundation for World Peace
If a solid foundation for world peace is to be laid, a change
of outlook on life is imperative. To make moral life secure,
the worldly attitude must be replaced by a spiritual attitude.
Worldly attitude impairs the moral stamina of nations as well
as individuals and thereby undermines the foundation of world
peace. Education will not help much in this respect as long
as basic attitude to life remains materialistic. There cannot
be a sound system of education without a sound philosophy of
Attempting to secure permanent peace simply by military, political
and economic readjustments is like treating symptoms without
caring to eradicate the cause of a disease, and cannot therefore
produce the desired effects.
Ultimate Goal of Life
It is with the deepening of faith of spiritual realities that
moral life develops. We have forgotten our spiritual self and
think of ourselves wholly or primarily as physical beings. When
we cannot take impersonal views of things, our reason fails,
our will breaks down and we loose control of ourselves, fear
and worries harass us, and pride, greed, anger, hatred and jealousy
rule within us. Selfishness makes moral cripples of us.
Our true self is neither the body nor the mind but it is the
knower of both. The true self is our shining, pure, blissful,
birthless, deathless, changeless, free. Realization of the self
is the ultimate goal of life.
Worldly riches, pleasures and powers no longer seem the chief
objects of life but merely subsidiary means to the spiritual
end. Morality though indispensable to spiritual attainment,
is not so to worldly gain. That is why seeker of worldly success
may deliberately ignore moral principals, but a seeker of the
spiritual ideal cannot.
Attitude of sympathy and co-operation with our fellow beings,
if properly cultivated, will conduce to world peace to a certain
At this hour when man's power of destruction tremendously outbalances
his power of defense, the world needs moral and spiritual guidance
more than anything else.
Chief Source of Trouble in Life
Man's real problem is not in the physical world but in his psychological
world. Peace is a state of mind. The lack of inner goodness
and understanding is the chief source of trouble in both private
and public life. Wealth, position, practical efficiency, beauty,
power, learning - singly or jointly - cannot ensure peace if
human nature is debased.
Mark of Progress
There cannot be better world unless there are at the same time
better individuals, better societies and better nations. The
world must progress as a whole. All developments, however glamorous,
should not be construed as even a mark of progress unless human
relationship improves correspondingly.
The seekers of peace and progress must, therefore, above all,
direct their efforts to establishment of a cordial relationship
between men. This will be possible only by means of moral goodness
supported by spiritual outlook on life.
Most Important Peace Program
To awaken the moral and spiritual consciousness of men is obviously
the only sure way to lay the foundation of world peace. Whoever
of you is convinced of this should start to work at once. First
try to improve your own character, and then in the spirit of
serving the highest and best in others, help them to do the
same. Do not force your ideas on any one. Do not give attention
to who joins or leaves you. Before long you will find yourself
surrounded by some who will share your views and co-operate
The most important of the peace program is clearly to develop
man's moral and spiritual consciousness. That being done the
rest will be easy.
(Excerpted from "World Peace - How?" by Swami
Satprakashananda, courtesy The Vedanta Society of St. Louis,