Permanent peace lies within

From birth to death we strive for constant happiness and seek to avoid all troubles and suffering. In most cases we do not succeed Instead we continue to get ourselves tied up in doubt and anxiety. Our happiness is only short lived, and true happiness, like a mirage, remains an illusion. Yet we still continue to pursue it, wherever we think it can be found.

Modern society with all its laws, scientific inventions and discoveries, technological innovations and the conquest of nature, represents mankind's attempts to find happiness. But we can see by looking around us that the actual results are only unrest and unhappiness, anxiety and frustration. Real happiness has not been obtained, peace has not been found, and suffering has not been removed Instead the situation has arisen where the very existence of the human race is threatened Man, who before was so confident, is now bewildered by his own failure. He is now searching for new solutions, not knowing what to do next.

The first step to saving the human race from self-destruction is to find out the cause of this failure. If you think about it, you will see that the main causes are not in the world around but inside our own minds. We suffer from inadequate discrimination and too often mistake the pleasures obtained from the senses for true happiness. This has led to all the troubles that you see in the world, in society and in the individual. Because of this misunderstanding of important yet elementary truths, we try to find happiness and peace in ideas and actions where they can never be found The obvious results are frustration and dissatisfaction. In fact, the more we seek satisfaction where it cannot be found the greater the frustration and dissatisfaction when we finally have to acknowledge our failure.

Permanent peace can never be provided by social, administrative or financial measures, not even in schemes to improve the environment by overcoming such problems as overpopulation or pollution.

Permanent peace lies within and that is the only place where it can be found It is really very strange that in the world today our preoccupation with wealth, power and sensual enjoyments takes us far from good living and right thinking, yet sermons and lectures are delivered day in, day out on how to improve human behaviour and cultivate fearlessness, love and universal brotherhood Competition for love, power and sensual enjoyments can never harmonise human interests and make us work together with brotherly love. And the diversity of interests which competition leads to can never end competition and conflict.

Dr S. Radha Krishnan, the vice-president of India, has said: "The crisis which is facing us is a human one and what is necessary is an improvement in human behaviour"

But nobody is actually suggesting how human behaviour can be improved Can it be improved by mere lectures? Can it be improved by the laws of the state? Can it be improved by publicity campaigns and advertising? Can it be improved by negotiations around the table? How can it be improved? There appears to be complete ignorance on this subject.

The natural conclusion is that there is no answer in sight to today's human crisis and that tomorrow will bring the annihilation of the human race.

There is only one method to bring about an improvement in human behaviour leading to peace and unity, and that is receiving true Knowledge from a living master. Individual men and women are the primary unit in society and only when peace is obtained by each individual for him or herself will peace prevail in society.

Peace cannot be obtained by an agitated and unsteady mind, and no society can be peaceful and loving unless its individual members become peaceful and loving.

Knowledge gives man a complete understanding of the source of life itself The entire universe emanates from this source of life. By knowing that, happiness is found, and the deathless state of self-realisation is attained.

New Delhi, 18 November 1963