Ven. Horowpothane Sathindriya Thera, Samadhi Buddhist Meditation Centre, Campbellfield – Victoria, Australia.
VESAK: All over the world people talk about peace. It is a burning issue in our society.
Though most people prefer to live in a peaceful atmosphere and an untroubled environment, some unwise and uncivilized citizens, leaders, politicians and their henchmen create terrible fear and danger within our global society.
Even though innumerable peace efforts have been made forums, conferences, meetings and endless negotiations, there are no signs or gestures to console or comfort ourselves by achieving this so called peace.
Nuclear and Bio chemical weapons, weapons of mass destruction and many other sophisticated armaments have become a major topic and an issue globally for several decades. Both openly and secretively, some countries deal with certain other countries and certain groups to destroy human beings.
Due to this, the value of mankind has become worthless, respect for humanity has trivially been disappearing, human inner qualities, ethics and virtues have been dramatically undermining and eroding for money and power in our human society today.
These changes have transformed our society into violence and conflict. The culture of violence catastrophically escalates, multiplies and intensifies while culture of peace pessimistically and hopelessly disappears.
It is disgraceful and contemptible that in the name of peace, hypocritical and insincere members of our human family incite and encourage unacceptable anarchy to achieve their own personal hidden agendas.
Honesty, sincerity and veracity should be present in one’s mind to achieve true peace. The Supreme teacher the Buddha, 2551 years ago very precisely emphasized the way and the perfect path to practice to achieve lasting peace in many discourses, during his forty five years ministry.
Once the Buddha said: “Hatred is never appeased by hatred in this world; by non-hatred alone is hatred appeased. This is an eternal Law.”
According to these words of the Blessed One, we can understand the key reason and main cause of never ending and irresolvable violence and conflict which have been destroying many innocent lives and shelters for many years.
Negotiations and so called peace talks have not yet contributed any element or ingredient to reduce violence and achieve peace. They have all become lip services. Greed for power and money are the foremost hidden agendas and aspirations in the minds of most envoys, delegates and politicians in our global society, today.
While preaching soothing words for the unwise by paraphrasing the Buddha’s and other religious Masters’ words, those who claim to be as Buddhists, Christians and so on, the power and money hungry people openly and blatantly violate the basic principles and guidelines, which the Blessed One and foundering fathers of other religions compassionately advised us to follow and practise to achieve peace, harmony and unity in this life.
The Buddha clearly described the advantages of cultivating wholesome qualities and the disadvantages of practising unwholesome qualities.
As a virtuous and righteous person, one should reflect on one’s conduct and behaviour to ensure whether it is beneficial for oneself and for others. It is important to note, certain deeds, although may be beneficial for oneself, could be detrimental to others and therefore, should be avoided, if this remarkable advice of the Buddha is followed no one will suffer in the name of violence and conflict.
Lack of sublime qualities such as loving kindness, compassion, sympathetic – joy and equanimity in some humans, have caused cruel activities and violence to worsen and intensify.
Though many religionists boast of their own dogmas and credos the dearth of their spiritual practice along with their followers has resulted in the decline of spiritual advancement. Inability to manage one’s anger, incapability to share resources with others, violation of human rights and craving for equal opportunities are visible and ostensible facts which result from lack of sublime qualities.
As a true peacemaker who achieved the incomparable and remarkable innermost peace called Nibbana, The Buddha has tremendously emphasised the way to practise metta (loving kindness) to attain inner peace, as well as creating a fearless environment for others.
The Blessed One has clearly taught us that the paramount cause and the driving force is craving which builds and fosters turmoil and chaos within oneself that could explode verbally and physically.
In the Dhammapada, the Buddha profoundly explains thus:
“Mind precedes all mental states. Mind is their chief; they are all mind-wrought. If with an impure mind a person speaks or acts, suffering follows him like the wheel that follows the foot of the ox.”
Even though these sterling words are more than 2550 years old, they are greatly accepted and followed by the wise and are practical and realistic, even today.
In His profound teachings, the Four Sublime qualities – (Brahma Viharas) are the key factors which one should cultivate and develop within oneself and spread throughout our global society to achieve inner peace and tranquillity.
The Four Sublime qualities (Brahma viharas) are:
Metta – Universal friendliness or loving kindness.
Karuna – Compassion.
Mudita – Sympathetic-joy or rejoicing for others welfare, prosperity, success and progress.
Upekkha – Indiscrimination, equanimity, impartiality and see things as they are with unshaken mind.
If whoever is aware of and accepts the Law of Kamma, he will never allow for any unwholesome thought to implant and perpetrate into words and deeds.
The Blessed One discovered and established an incomparable and unsurpassed path of purification which can be tread, experienced and attained by the wise; those who are able to train and tame their mind by observing and investigating their own hidden tendencies and ulterior motives are called wise.
This is the only way to eradicate violence and to achieve true peace. Once the first Prime Minister of India Pandit Shri Jawaharlal Nehru said: “Peace is not a relationship of nation. It is condition of mind brought about by a serenity of soul. Peace is not merely the absence of war. It is also a state of mind. Lasting peace can come only to peaceful people.”
Pandit Shri Jawaharlal Nehru has modestly asserted and proudly stated that the only path to achieve peace is the Buddha’s path of purification many times during his tenure as a Prime Minister.
Let me quote the words of Pandit Nehru again.
“If we follow the principles
Enunciated by the Buddha
We will ultimately win
Peace and tranquillity for the world.”
It is also commendable that A. T. Ariyaratne, well renowned leader of Sarvodaya Movement, has been guiding and persuading people to approach and achieve peace by cultivating and practising metta – loving kindness.
He is a good living example to everyone who teaches how to achieve real inner peace, not only by preaching but also by cultivating and practising. This is always admired and highly appreciated by the wise.
According to Buddha Dhamma, what you sow you may reap. Every time one gets angry at anyone under any circumstance, that person creates unwholesome kamma and definitely consequences will be dangerous and he will create unhappiness among others too. But, on the other hand, if one concentrates on putting his own mind at peace by cultivating patience he will experience peace then and there and in future too.
This is the only way how we can spread peace. First one has to develop ones own mind and cultivate good deeds and act accordingly and then only we can generate peace and spread peace to the whole world. When you plant the seeds of war, you get war; if you plant the seeds of peace, you get peace.
“He is truly virtuous, wise and righteous, who neither for his own sake nor for the sake of another (does any wrong), who does crave for sons, wealth, or kingdom, and does not desire his own success by unjust means.”
(By the Supreme Master – The Buddha)
May all beings be well and happy!
May all beings be free from violence!
May all beings be at peace!