People need peace. The world needs peace. To attest to this, there are many people all over the world who talk about peace. There are peace demonstrations, peace conferences, peace summit meetings, preaching of peace and many writings in the press and news reports on televisions talking about peace. The human mind appears to be obsessed with peace. Yet it has been illusive throughout the ages, and peace has not dawned in the hearts of humanity and in the world.

What is so illusive about peace? The nature of the soul is peace. Peace, indeed, is a divine gift, just as life is a divine gift. God could not be so uncaring as to put people into the world and then torment them with disturbed minds. All lack of peace in the world has been created by the mind of man. And what was the motivation behind the lack of peace? It is clear to see that the mind is full of ego, desires, frustrations, anger, hurt feelings, guilt, fear, vanity, revenge, hate, etc. Are any of these characteristics conducive to peace within the heart, or in the world? Obviously not!

In order to understand the foundations of peace it is important to understand what the soul is. Now, since no one has seen the soul, and which has no form or dimension, then how can one understand what the soul is? Just as in science you cannot see the electrify, but you can see its effects; you cannot see magnetism, but you can see its effects; you cannot see heat, but you can see its effects; just so, you cannot see the soul, but you can see its effects. Now, you may ask what are the effects of the soul? It is obvious that without the soul, which is the animating principle within, just as electricity is the animating principle in a computer, the soul allows us to have life, to have mind, to have a body, to have emotions and to have all the multifarious feelings and emotional states. The soul is the vehicle that God uses to produce consciousness, which must then translate into living beings to manifest consciousness. It is clear that consciousness cannot manifest in inert matter. So God, in His wisdom, created conscious beings, endowed with a soul and all attributes, or adjuncts, which enable the soul to function as a living organism.

Peace is illusive! Why? It is easy to see that the mind which is full of desires and cravings, as pointed out by Lord Buddha, must be a restless mind. A mind driven by anger and other negative emotions must be a restless mind. A mind driven by greed, fear, guilt, possessiveness, etc, must be a restless mind. A mind driven by egotistic tendencies must be a restless mind. The mind needs a centre or a foundation from which it can identify itself and perform its various functions. That foundation is the soul. But the mind is often too cunning or too foolish to understand that it has a basis for its own existence. The mind feels sophisticated and superior to admit that it is subservient to the Divinity of the soul that is within. Actually, in the hearts of most people, and in the preachings of various religions, the soul is often relegated to some infrequently used “store-house”. It is often spoken of, but rarely understood. In order to have peace one must constantly “dive” in the serenity of the soul. It is that serenity that is described as the “peace that passeth all understanding”. It must be realized that the peace of the soul is always present and available for the service of humanity. It is the source of harmony, happiness, contentment, love and the ultimate source of communion with God. Each one of us must remember that the mind is only a servant and that it can function in a negative direction, and be a source of bondage and distress, or it can function in a positive direction, and be a source of immense pleasure and happiness. But we have to choose how to use the mind, and we do this by using what is called vivek in Sanskrit, which means the use of spiritual discriminative knowledge. It simple words, it means to know the difference between good and bad; virtue and vice; righteous living vs. unrighteous living, Reality from unreality, etc. We must be able to tell what is the real from the unreal. We must identify that part of us that keeps us in touch with our Divine source, and that part of us which blinds us from our Divine source. Each one of us has the ability to delve into that lake of inner serenity, which is our birthright. It is a gift of God. Let us experience that peace for ourselves, and let us manifest it in our dealings with all people.


Dr. Jagessar Das


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