Vijai R. Subramaniyam
What is peace? Although the world persists when a man
is in deep sleep, does he have any cares concerning
it? His mind is tranquil and refreshed. Should his mind
be in the same degree calm and refreshed even when he
is face to face with the world and is active therein,
then there is peace.
Can the mind remain so even when the world confronts
us? It depends upon our estimate of the world. The mind
is more excited when one's own property is plundered
than when another's property is similarly plundered.
Of one's own things, the loss of one thing causes greater
concern than those of another. Why? Because our estimate
of the things is the cause of the degree of the delight
or anxiety concerning them. Therefore, should one learn
to regard all equally, the mind will be extremely peaceful.
Or should all things be considered as our own and highly
prized, then too there is no cause for pain. Why? What
will a man regret? The mind which knows that universal
concern is beyond its capacity, must needs become tranquil.
Also when one feels that one has no claim on anything
or that everything is perishable, the mind will remain
cool. Thus there will be lasting peace if one looks
on all as of the same value. Peace is dependent upon
one's intellectual appraisals.
I shall now illustrate this. A man wakes up from a dream.
His mind is happy or troubled according to his opinion
of the things seen in the dream. But on waking, his
mind remains unaffected by all the happenings in the
dream; it remains the same. Why? Because, only now his
mind has learned to value all the matters of the dream
equally. He is not sorry for the cessation of the dream.
Why? He is convinced that the dream is not everlasting
and must end on waking. In the same manner, should a
man be convinced that he cannot but wake up sometime
from the long dream of the world, his mind will be unchanging.
It is the state of freshness. This is the state of Peace.
This is not to say that his relation with the world
will cease. Now only peace and freshness of the mind
are his. His actions cannot but vary according to circumstances.
The only change in him after the mind has become peaceful
is this: his mind has known the truth and become unattached;
therefore, it rests in peace. His actions though changeful
will always be impartial. But the actions of others
are changing and cannot be impartial. Thus, the coolness
of the mind produces enormous good not only to himself
but also to the world at large. Peace shows the way
to right conduct.
A man walks with a lighted lamp in his hand. Can there
be any hostility between the light and the ups and downs
on the way? There cannot be. But light and darkness
cannot be together. The light chases away darkness,
it discloses the ups and downs on the way and makes
the man walk carefully, whether he moves up, down, or
sideways. It removes the cause of vain complaints, such
as, "That snag hurt my foot" or "This hollow made me
slip." Similarly, after peace is gained, the state of
peace makes the man neither hate nor antagonize the
world. Rather it dispels the darkness which conceals
from our view the true nature of the world and its snags.
In the absence of the light of Peace which enables people
to adjust themselves to varying circumstances, they
condemn the world as full of misery, as they would complain
of the snags on the road. Therefore a man who has gained
the utmost peace after knowing the whole world as a
complicated dream, should not be considered either unrelated
to the world or unconcerned with its activities; he
alone stands in effective concord with it; only he is
competent to be a man of action. Thus Peace is that
which regulates one's duties.
The concern of a man of Peace in the actions of the
world lies in rectifying them. Should he feel fear before
this world, what hope of reformation can there be, especially
from those who esteem it and want to possess it? They
are in the grip of selfishness, blind to impartiality.
To guide the blind on the way or treat the blindness
of the eye, one's eyesight must itself be good. Similarly,
it is for him to reform the world who has already discerned
his unchanging nature from the changeful nature of the
world and become peaceful. These cannot help serving
the world. Why? Can anyone be so hard hearted as not
to lift up a child when it slips and falls? So also
for the wise ones who can rightly appraise the troubles
of the world and help the people. Because he has already
withdrawn himself from the mind and body the sage feels
no concern under the strain of service to the world,
just as the life principle does not suffer even when
loaded carts pass over the corpse it has left behind
(by itself). He will not shrink from work or trouble.
Only truly realized peace can bestow such courage and
To all appearances. Peace will look poor and quite weak.
But in effect, it beats all. In tenacity and courage,
it surpasses all. After all, success depends on these
qualities. Even if Mount Meru should topple over, the
incident will hardly produce a gentle smile in the man
of peace, or it will leave him unmoved. This state is
helpful both for worldly and spiritual matters. True
happiness in the world is his, and that happiness comes
out of release from bondage. Peace means doing good
to any one in any manner.
The obstacles to peace are several. They are meant to
prove the man. When they confront us we should be wide
awake and keep the delicate flower of the mind distant
from even their shadows. If the flower of the mind be
crushed, it will lose its fragrance, freshness and color;
it will neither be useful to you, nor can it be presented
to others, nor offered to God. Know that your mind is
more delicate than even a blossom. By means of a peaceful
mind, all your duties to yourself, to others and to
God must be discharged. Let it release the same freshness
throughout. All blessings for the mind are contained
Unremittingly worship the God of your Self with the
flower of your mind. Let the children of the mental
modes watch this worship. Gradually they will learn
to cast away their childish pranks and desire to delight
like yourself. As they watch your Peace, they will themselves
recoil from their vagaries. Continue the worship patiently.
Be not led away by the vagaries of the mind. On the
contrary, they should become peaceful by your peace.
All must get peace.
I shall finish in one word: The essence of all the Vedas
page was published on May 20, 2000.