The United Nations General Assembly has declared September 21 as "International Day of Peace", a day devoted to strengthening the ideals of peace, both within and among all nations and peoples.
Sri Sathya Sai Baba has spoken frequently about peace. He has said peace is within you, and when peace is felt in the mind, when truth is spoken by the tongue, and when righteousness is put into action by the body, one’s actions will be motivated by love and result in nonviolence.
Pray for the peace and prosperity of the entire world
In this New Year, develop new and sacred feelings and make everybody happy. Do not strive for money; strive for love. Once you develop love, there will be no scope for evil qualities like anger, jealousy, etc. If your thoughts and actions are good, your future is bound to be good. Then the whole country, nay, the whole world will prosper. Pray for the peace and prosperity of the entire world. Peace can be attained only through practice of human values.
Only living human values brings peace
Like a fruit-bearing tree, all noble people are subjected to many ordeals and difficulties. But when one firmly adheres to truth, nothing can shake one. Let any number of people fight against truth; they can never win. Therefore, hold on to truth firmly, come what may. One who stands by truth is bound to be victorious. Therefore, never give up truth. Who is God? Truth is God. Truth is unshakable. " Satyan nasti paro dharmah" (There is no Dharma greater than adherence to truth). It is Dharma that leads man to peace. Without peace man cannot live. Saint Thyagaraja said, “One cannot have happiness without peace.” When you attain peace, you will experience love and bliss. Truth is the origin of bliss. Non-violence also emerges from truth. A man of love will not entertain even a thought of violence. Sathya (truth), Dharma (righteousness), Santhi (peace), Prema (love) and Ahimsa (non-violence) are like the five life-breaths of man. These are the prime qualities of a human being. The need of the hour is to develop these human values. Only when these values are developed can there be peace in the country.
The five values are the fundamental powers of human life
The Vedas call the life principle in man as ‘Sathyam’ (Truth). Without this power of Truth, man cannot exist. Our ancients could have the vision of Truth by proper investigation and experimentation. Truth is the direct manifestation of God for every human being. Our ancient sages and seers understood this Truth, had the vision of Truth and realized that it is present uniformly in every being. Truth is one and the same in all and That is God. Man is endowed with Pancha Pranas (five lifebreaths), namely, praana, apaana, vyaana, udaana and samaana. These are the divine powers latent in man. The human values, namely, Sathya (Truth), Dharma (Righteousness), Santhi (Peace), Prema (Love) and Ahimsa (Nonviolence) are nothing but the manifestations of these five lifebreaths. But man is wasting his human birth, as he is unable to recognise these subtle principles. When truth is put into practice, it becomes righteousness. Truth is expressed in words, while righteousness is expressed in action. On this basis, the Vedas taught, Sathyam Vada, Dharmam Chara (speak Truth, practice righteousness). Hence righteousness is based on truth. Without truth, there is no righteousness. That is why the Vedas say, Sathyaannasthi Paro Dharmaha (there is no dharma higher than adherence to Truth). Without the foundation of truth, the mansion of righteousness cannot be built. Sathyaacharana (practice of truth) is true dharma. This dharma is uniform for all human beings. Peace is the reflection of dharma. Man prays for peace and performs various spiritual practices aspiring for peace. But so long as he has desires, he can never attain peace, though he may undertake sacred rituals like yagnas and yagas. Mind is the basis for desires. So, one has to control the mind in order to attain peace. When the mind is controlled, it remains silent. Such a state of thoughtlessness is true peace. The fourth human value is love. It has originated from the principle of atma. Love is the manifestation of Truth. It is pure, steady, effulgent, attributeless, formless, ancient, eternal, immortal and nectarous. These are the nine qualities of Love. Love hates none, unites all. Ekatma Darshanam Prema (experience of non-dualism is love). Ahimsa shines as the undercurrent of the remaining four values, namely, truth, righteousness, love and peace. That which leads to violence cannot be truth, righteousness, love or peace. These five values are verily the five life-breaths of man. One who considers human values as his lifebreaths alone is a true human being. These five values are the fundamental powers of human life. Forgetting these fundamental powers, man relies more on worldly power. Our ancients realized that these five values were meant for the peace and prosperity of the world. Without understanding the significance of these values, one cannot understand humanness at all.
Sathya Sai School students reflect on Peace
"Peace begins with a smile." I absolutely agree! It is said that a smile can light up a room, so imagine what a world of smiles can do. If everyday, someone does something kind for someone, it will create a ripple effect. Think of when you drop a stone in a pond. It generates a small ripple at first, but after a while, that little ripple has spread throughout the entire pond. Now, think of world peace. If someone apologizes to someone else, and they do the same, imagine what we can achieve!
Yes, many people know its definition, but only a few understand. Peace is the mother of progress. Without peace, a nation cannot make any progress. So, peace is ever desirable.
Peace is the feeling that all is right with the world. How do I feel it? When everyone around me in my family, my circle of friends and my neighborhood are happy, eager to love, accept and relate... I feel at peace. Also, to me it means following what my heart says and sharing mutual trust and respect for people around me.
Peace starts with me, so I will end my speech by conveying that everyone should keep smiling. You know what they say, "PEACE BEGINS WITH A SMILE"
Essay by Keara, Sathya Sai School, Chatsworth, South Africa
Significance of Gayatri Mantra and downloadable attachments can be found HERE.
For next scheduled Akhand Gayathri see Events page.