21st of September every year is the World Day of Peace, as established in 1981 by the United Nations General Assembly. This year, the theme for International Day of Peace is Shaping Peace Together. The Coronavirus has placed many challenges before every nation to work together for a solution. Peace is found outside, when there is peace on the inside. Hence, inner peace and self-satisfaction are important for inner peace and world peace.
The coronavirus disease has added a new dimension to International Day of Peace. For the first time in history, people all over the world are having the same concerns about how we rebuild the world beyond the pandemic.
This year, it has been clearer than ever that we are not each other’s enemies. Rather, our common enemy is a tireless virus that threatens our health, security and very way of life. COVID-19 has thrown our world into turmoil and forcibly reminded us that what happens in one part of the planet can impact people everywhere.
The International Day of Peace was established in 1981 by the United Nations General Assembly. Two decades later, in 2001, the General Assembly unanimously voted to designate the Day as a period of non-violence and cease-fire.
The United Nations invites all nations and people to honour a cessation of hostilities during the Day, and to otherwise commemorate the Day through education and public awareness on issues related to peace.
Peace Inside, Peace Outside
The practice of spirituality is – essentially – the inner work of creating a life of peace, with yourself, your family and friends, and your environment, be it work, in the community and in your service for community. The teaching is the seen reflects the seer, iti drishti iti. What is seen in this world by the seer, is a reflection of what is within the seer. Everything is reflection, reaction, resound. Whatever we put out, comes back to us. And this includes whatever we put out by way of feeling, emotion. For us to experience a world of peace, we need to be peaceful, ourselves.
Activities and attitudes that are peaceful and inclusive are calmness, concentration, endurance, purity, self-discipline and self-respect.
We may say that self-satisfaction within reflects peace inside and outside. Self satisfaction corresponds to learning to live together, and we become emancipated from dependence on others for our values, our support, our guidance. Self-satisfaction is also seen in intrapersonal and interpersonal social relations, and social competence. If we are not at war nor discomforted by what we find within ourselves, then we are not going to be discomforted nor at war with what we find and experience in others. Nonetheless, the inner guide, the conscience, which is nearest to the Soul (atma) and gains over 80% of its illumination from the Soul, remains the guide to practice of dharma, right conduct, in relationships. We may experience a sense of belonging, a unity of faiths and an enhanced social conscience.
Flying hither and thither, higher and higher, the bird has at last to perch on a tree for rest. So too, even the richest and the most powerful man seeks rest, peace. Peace can be got only in one shop, in inner reality. The senses will drag you along into a mire, which submerges you deeper and deeper in alternate joy and grief, that is to say prolonged discontent. Only the contemplation of unity can remove fear, rivalry, envy, greed, desire – all the feelings that prompt discontent. Every other avenue can give only pseudo-contentment; a day will come when you will throw away all these play-things and toys and cry, “Lord! grant Me unruffled peace”.
Just stop for a moment and examine your own experience; whether you are happier when you grow richer and whether you get more peace as and when your wants are satisfied. Then you will bear witness to the truth that an improved standard of living is no guarantee of happiness. Nor is education or the mastery of information and the acquisition of skills any guarantee of mental equanimity. As a matter of fact, you find the educated man everywhere more discontented and more competitive than the uneducated.
The educated have no iota of the peace that the uneducated have! They live in greater discontent and misery and are tossed about without a rudder in a sea of troubles. They do not know anything about the source of Peace and bliss that they carry about within themselves; they allow the Inner Consciousness to go dry by neglect; they are not aware of the means to irrigate it with the waters of Love and grow therein the fruits of containing the highest peace. They read books but do not correct their modes of thinking and living. The shelves of the dispensary are full of drugs but how can your illness be cured if you simply learn the catalogue by heart, or even the pharmacopoeia? You have to select the drug you need, drink it, imbibe it, assimilate it and counteract the cause of illness.
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