If Peace Is All You Want
If Peace Is All You Want - Audio
Let me ask you this question. Are you really serious about having peace in your life? How many times you think about it in a day? And have you ever really tried to have peace in your life? I mean really and genuinely.
You might have pursued a career, a friend or life-partner, wealth, skill, talent, a relationship. But have you tried to understand and experience peace in real terms, as an essential quality of your thinking and behavior?
Let me also ask again. Do you really want peace? Are you really willing to make necessary sacrifices to secure peace and equanimity in your life? If you are, how far you are willing to go on this path to achieve your goal?
Please examine your responses carefully? Wishing for peace is different from yearning for peace. We all have many wants and desires, but we do not give them equal importance. If you are serious about having peace, then you must be willing to set aside every goal and pursuit that interferes with it.
For most of us, having peace means retiring form life, avoiding problems and challenges, withdrawing from the pursuit of our dreams and aspiration. We believe inherently that to enjoy life, we have to get busy and focus upon the things we desire and in that pursuit, we may have to suffer and struggle. In other words, we willingly sacrifice peace to enjoy the things we want to secure. This is a defeatist attitude which holds that peace comes when we withdraw from life and become less involved.
We hold this belief because at some point in our growth and development we convince ourselves that we can have peace only when we have all the things we want. In other words the thinking is , "Let me have these things, before I can enjoy my life and have peace." In other words, most of us regard peace as an offshoot of our material wellbeing. To some extent it is true, but you cannot base your life around this philosophy, unless you want to exhaust yourself swimming in the ocean of life, without a lifeboat.
It is possible to have peace even when you pursue your material goals. For that you need a certain inner attitude and way of thinking and prioritizing. You have to acknowledge that peace comes from an inner attitude rather than from the things you gain in your life or from the world in which you live. The word gives you nothing but trouble. All that you seek from the world outside, keep your mind in a state of flux.
Peace comes from an inner attitude. Peace does not arise from the world outside, but the way you think and react to the world outside. This is an important revelation. If you think about it, if you meditate upon it, it will have significant impact on your life and actions. Most of us do not realize that peace arises from within, from the beliefs and attitudes we cultivate and it can be free from all externalities. The earlier we realize it the better it is.
For most of us peace is a big word, something which we want to see from far and appreciate as a quality that you may have sometime in future, when everything went well according to your plans and when you had everything you wanted in life and got the satisfaction that you lived an eventful and successful life.
Doesn't that mean, although you think peace is important, actually it is the last thing in your mind or it is the last thing you want in life, after you had everything else you wanted? Think about it. Do you want peace here and now or sometime in future? Do you want peace only when you are well settled, when your children are married and gone away and when you have built that fortune to live a happy and retired life?
You have to think about this. You have to examine whether you have a similar mindset, whether you think peace is important, but you can worry about it later when you have time. The truth is, you will have peace only when it becomes the most important thing in your life. Peace will come to you and become your essential nature only when you make it the foundation of your life, when you plan and build your life around a center of peace. It begins with the thinking, "I may have everything in my life, I may pursue whatever I want in life, but for me peace is before all and peace is foundational and important." When you have this conviction, then peace is possible for you. If you acknowledge that peace is the most important thing in your life, then you will work for having peace, even while you seek other things in life.
You do not have to withdraw from life, in order to enjoy peace. That is my point. You need to cultivate an attitude in which peace becomes the center and circumference of life in which you can organize everything else. Who can disturb you, if you are determined to be peaceful by all means? Do you have that determination? Have you ever decided to be peaceful by all means and at all costs? Do you really think about it during the day or the night or only when you are burdened with worries and anxieties.
Peace does not come from the practice of yoga, unless you have the determination to experience peace. If you are determined, you can cultivate peace, even when the circumstances are unfavorable. This is possible because peace comes from within, from our thinking and attitude, not from the externalities of life. If you put peace before everything, then you will be peaceful on your own, even if you are busy and even if you have problems and challenges.
Therefore make that decision, to have peace here and now, not later, not when you want to retire, not when you reach all your goals. Think about it. Which life you want, a life built around peace to which can add most of the things you desire or a life in which you seek peace as the end result of your material pursuits?
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The Brihadaranyaka Upanishad
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