September 21, was UN’s International Day of Peace. Since wee neither see nuclear warheads, nor have we suffered nuclear warfare, we’re blissfully unaware that we’re literally sitting on megatons of nuclear weapons capable of destroying planet Earth many times over.
Shanti ! Shalom! Paz ! Pace ! are peace greetings exchanged ceaselessly across creeds and countries. But do we savour peace ? For the ancient Greeks and Romans, peace was more important in theory than in practice. Hence, they deified the concept in the Goddess —— Pax / Eirene —- a young female holding in her left arm a horn of plenty, a CORNUCOPIA, and in her right hand the wealthy infant — Plutus.
Although politicians shrewdly theorise about peace they’d rather keep the fires of communal conflicts blazing, since it is easier to garner votes of frightened people. However, it is the common man who matters most in ensuring peace within himself / herself before embracing the world with peace.
In his book BEING PEACE, Buddhist Monk —– Thich Nhat Hanh writes : Without BEING PEACE, we cannot do anything for peace. How can we create peace, if there is no peace within ourselves ? Likewise, chapter 8 of the Chandogya Upanishad mentions the adjective “of peaceful heart” (santahridaya) seven times. Jesus said, “Blessed are the peace-makers for they shall be called children of God.” Peace requires “makers” for two reasons : first, it has many “breakers” and second, it does not rain from the skies automatically.
Although there are many peace-makers, there are many peace-breakers, who use Scriptures as WMDs. It’s our dharma to expose their adharma, disarm their diabolic use of Scripture, and evolve inter-religious initiatives for peace. GIVE PEACE A CHANCE.