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The Peace Within
By Sri Swami Chidananda Maharaj
From “Ponder these truths” by Swami Chidananda
Published by The Divine Life Society, 2001
Blessed Immortal Atman! Beloved devotees of the Lord! Today, before the sun sets, it will be the solar New Year. Therefore, let us join together at this auspicious moment and pray for the unfolding of peace in the hearts and minds of people all over the world-in India, in nearby countries, in all countries. May people all over the world have peaceful thoughts, may they have peaceful feelings towards others, and as a consequence may they act peacefully towards each other and towards all beings.
The peace of the Supreme Being is within every human individual. This peace that passeth understanding, this peace that is supreme, higher than which there is nothing, which is profound peace, perennial peace, is the truth about your inner Self. It is the one real thing within amidst a thousand miscellaneous thoughts being allowed to flit and fill the mind, being allowed to agitate and disperse the mind. These fragmentary and fleeting
thoughts have no basic reality. They are temporary and momentary appearances of the antahkarana (inner being) in its different modes. It is its nature to put on innumerable appearances, and it is constantly generating what are known as vtittis or thought-waves.
But the wise person who wishes to establish peace in the mind, to remain integrated, not dispersed, creates centres which he can adhere to and abide in; and one such centre is the peace within. People call it variously.
In the Islamic tradition it is called the Light of Allah or the Radiance of Allah. Christian mystics refer to it as the Kingdom of God within or the Kingdom of Heaven within. And in the Vedic tradition of the Hindus it is referred to in all these ways and many others as well – ‘jyotisham api tad jyotis… hridi sarvasya vishthitam -That Light of lights abides in the hearts of all.” They also say, “One Divinity indwells in the hearts of all – “eko devah sarvabhuteshu gudhah.” “Isvarah sarvabhutanam hriddese ‘rjuna tishthati – God dwells in the hearts of all beings.”
In these various ways, and many more ways as well, they bring out this great wonderful truth, that divine peace ever abides in you as your permanent inner background, as your real state. That divine principle or essence that ever dwells within you as peace, joy, perfection, great silence, is ultimately the source of your being. You are a little part of it. It is your origin, source, your stay, support, your eternal ground and your pristine home. That peace is therefore the one reality within you which ever abides and never diminishes. It is always available, it is your birthright, and greater than that there is no other thing-this profound, perennial peace.
You are that peace if you establish your identity with that peace instead of with the numerous other fancies and thoughts that come into your mind. Be as you are. And this peace overcomes time. For this peace there is no past, there is no present, there is no future. It is always. It is here, now, and it is for all times. It is beyond time-this peace which is your truth.
It being a fact that the world is plunged in violence, hatred, destruction, clashes and conflicts, and negative relationships of enmity, how do we understand the prevalence of such conditions in the light of this great truth? It is obvious that man has turned away or rejected this inner peace, or is ignorant of it, or, if he has a glimmering of knowledge, he has neglected it due to being fascinated by other things. As long as we give value to this external world of appearance – it has a reality, but the peace within is the greater reality – and individually as well as collectively opt for the lesser reality instead of the greater reality, we deprive ourselves of this peace. Due to this wrong behaviour of the mind we say, “I have no peace; where is that peace?”
Happiness cannot be had from temporary, limited, finite objects, limited by time and space. We have neglected the greatest treasure which is within; we have turned away from it. Once again, if we shall but affirm this great truth and determine to abide in that peace, be fully filled with that peace, and express that peace every day in our thought, word and deed, then the realm of outer actions can undergo a change.
For anything and everything that is happening is the outward expression of the inner condition of man’s mind and heart, which are the source of all actions. Actions are but the manifestation of what we think, feel, desire and determine. The seeds, the source, the origin of all human life, actions, behaviour, and its inevitable results, are in the mind of man. And if the mind of man is aware of the divinity within and tries to turn to that side and absorb that divinity, that peace, that compassion, that kindness, that goodness, that balance, that auspiciousness, that light, which is God, then one is able to convey it to others, transmit it to others. And this is not a task which only some great mystics did, but it is the birthright of every human individual, for within you is that peace.
To share it in a collective way becomes a privilege of all good thinking spiritual people who identify themselves with the world and all humanity, not with only a section of mankind. It is the duty of all such noble, generous-hearted, spiritually inclined people to try their best to pray for the peace of the whole world, to pray for peace within the hearts and minds of all human beings, for this holds the key to the manifestation of human nature and activity on the outward plane of vyavahara, this relative world outside.
May you, therefore, each day during this calm morning hour, have at least a minute of prayer for the peace of all human individuals throughout the world, the global human family. May they feel peace, may they live in peace, may they think in peace, may they talk in peace, may they act in peace, may they desire only peace, and may they, by their very life, bring about the peace that has been lost and has plunged man into great distress. Not knowing where to find peace, man has tried to find it in pacts and treaties and summit meetings. It will never come as long as the real key to peace is not recognised and is not availed of.
It is the duty and privilege of each and every spiritual person to be a living and moving centre of that profound divine peace, which is the substratum or the innermost support, ever there in all its fullness, in all its depth and perennial nature, inexhaustible, profound, unfathomable peace, ever-present within each one of you as your inner reality, never absent, ever available.
Articles By Swami Chidananda:
- Swami Chidananda — The Peace Within
- Swami Chidananda — The Necessity Of Introspection
- Swami Chidananda — You Are What You Choose To Become
- Swami Chidananda — Make This A Perfect Day