Tuesday, March 19, 2024

Vedas on World Peace


Vedas on World Peace

-Satyavrat Siddhantalankar

(Reproduced by Dr. Vivek Arya)

Since the dawn of creation the world is torn between two conflicting emotions and thoughts- love and hate. A person loves those, who he thinks will help him in the realization of his interests and hates those, who are likely to oppose him in the fulfilment of his ambitions. Thus two orders are created with regard to an individual, family, group, society, nation and country. Thus an individual loves and hates others on basis of his relations. The same principle applies to families, groups, societies, nation and countries. But the ultimate aim should be to bring the peace to the whole world. 

To obtain peace in the World the Vedas can act like a best guide. The message of Vedas for the World peace is 

 शृ॒ण्वन्तु॒त॑स्य पु॒त्रा विश्वे॑ऽअ॒मृऽआ ये धामा॑नि दि॒व्यानि॑ त॒स्थुः  - Yajurveda-11/5

All men, children of the Immortal Divine! Descendants of common heritage, that you are all one. 

The Rig Veda says:
 सं ग॑च्छध्वं॒ सं व॑दध्वं॒ सं वो॒ मनां॑सि जानताम् । दे॒वा भा॒गं यथा॒ पूर्वे॑ संजाना॒ना उ॒पास॑ते -Rigveda- 10/ 191/2

Your thought should be in harmony with each other, your speech, should be in harmony with each other, your action should be in harmony with each other. This is how your elders realizing their responsibility played their part in society. And again :

स॑मा॒नी प्र॒पा स॒ह वो॑ऽन्नभा॒गः स॑मा॒ने योक्त्रे॑ स॒ह वो॑ युनज्मि। स॒म्यञ्चो॒ऽग्निं स॑पर्यता॒रा नाभि॑मिवा॒भितः॑ ॥- Atharva Veda- 3/30/6

You should drink together, eat together, live together as if joined in a common yoke. Just as the pokes rotate fixed in a common axle similarly you should feel yourselves fixed in social organization worshiping God who manifests himself in the form of sacrificial fire- Agni. 

And again :

यस्तु सर्वा॑णि भू॒तान्या॒त्मन्ने॒वानु॒पश्य॑ति। स॒र्व॒भू॒तेषु॑ चा॒त्मानं॒ ततो॒ न वि चि॑कित्सति ॥- Yajurveda-40/6

One who sees all creatures as if they were his own selves and himself in others—his mind rests in peace with no doubts to disturb it. 

And again: 

अयु॑तो॒ऽहमयु॑तो म आ॒त्मायु॑तं मे॒ चक्षु॒रयु॑तं मे॒ श्रोत्र॑मयु॑तो मे प्रा॒णोऽयु॑तो मेऽपा॒नोऽयु॑तो मे व्या॒नोऽयु॑तो॒ऽहं सर्वः॑ ॥-Yajurveda 19/51/1

I am not one but am millions; myself I see in millions of beings. These millions upon millions of eyes, ears, lives are but my eyes, my ears, lives. I see myself at one with the countless lives of the earth-they are me and I am they. 

And again: 

 अभ॑यं॒ नक्त॒मभ॑यं दिवा नः॒ सर्वा॒ आशा॒ मम॑ मि॒त्रं भ॑वन्तु ॥  Atharva Veda 19/15/6

In whatever direction I turn my eyes I look upon every one as my friend.

In Atharva Veda, one of the Chapters (3/30) known as Samanjasya Sukta. Universal Harmony of mind-is entirely devoted to the cultivation of equilibrium in society. It visualizes a social organization in which there is harmony of head and heart among the. components of society and conflict सहृ॑दयं सांमन॒स्यमवि॑द्वेषं कृणोमि वः।-and in which men and women live as brothers and sisters--'मा भ्राता॒ भ्रात॑रं द्विक्ष॒न्मा स्वसा॑रमु॒त स्वसा॑। it exhorts the people of the world to love one another as the cow loves her first-born - अ॒न्यो अ॒न्यम॒भि ह॑र्यत व॒त्सं जा॒तमि॑वा॒घ्न्या ॥
And further, in Atharva Veda (12-1-45) it is stated 

जनं॒ बिभ्र॑ती बहु॒धा विवा॑चसं॒ नाना॑धर्माणं पृथि॒वी य॑थौक॒सम्। स॒हस्रं॒ धारा॒ द्रवि॑णस्य मे दुहां ध्रु॒वेव॑ धे॒नुरन॑पस्फुरन्ती ॥
Just as a household with men and women speaking different tongues and holding diverse thoughts remains a unit undivided– similarly this earth of ours people with men of different languages and different views should remain a unit undivided. And then, just as a cow standing steady yields milk in a thousand streams, so the earth will yield its wealth in a thousand different manner.

And again in Atharva Veda 12-1-60 we read :
भु॑जि॒ष्यं पात्रं॒ निहि॑तं॒ गुहा॒ यदा॒विर्भोगे॑ अभवन्मातृ॒मद्भ्यः॑ ॥

All the enjoyable wealth that is hidden in the bowels of the earth is meant to be unearthed for the enjoyment of one and all who are born of the mother's womb, those who are ‘matrimat’ .It is a very novel idea of saying that provision per head, clothing and shelter is every body's birthright.

In Atharva Veda 12-1-1 
स॒त्यं बृ॒हदृ॒तमु॒ग्रं दी॒क्षा तपो॒ ब्रह्म॑ य॒ज्ञः पृ॑थि॒वीं धा॑रयन्ति। सा नो॑ भू॒तस्य॒ भव्य॑स्य॒ पत्न्यु॒रुं लो॒कं पृ॑थि॒वी नः॑ कृणोतु ॥

the fundamental principles that should guide the seekers of One World idea are beautifully enunciated. It says that the basic factors that can sustain the peace of the earth are : 

1. Truth-स॒त्यं
2. Law-ऋतम् 
3. Vow for service―दी॒क्षा
4. Austerity-तप:
5. Faith-ब्रह्म॑
6. Sacrifice-य॒ज्ञः 

The cementing forces that can sustain the peace of the earth are- -Truth, the irrevocable and inexorable Law, Vow for the Service of Mankind, living a Simple and Austere Life, Faith in the Universal Divine Power and Selflessness to the extent of sacrificing one's interests for the welfare of others. Conversely, untruth, Lavishness, Luxury, Denial of the Supreme Power and Violence destroy the earth. The world today is surely in need of peace which is excluding its grasp simply because we applaud Truth but practice Falsehood, we exhort others: to honor the Law but break the self-same-law where we are concerned, we preach our fellowmen to take a vow of service but ourselves we are saturated with selfishness, we admonish others to live an austere life but we roll in luxury. This contrariness in our character is due to the fact that we have no faith in the Spiritual Power which supervises over all that lives and moves and has its being.

The Preamble to the constitution of UNESCO begin with the following words: "Since wars begin in the minds of men, it is in the minds of men that defenses of peace must be constructed." 

How true. The constitution-makers of UNESCO did correctly diagnose the malady. It is very true that war and peace originate in the mind of man. But did they correctly apply the remedy? Representatives of far-flung countries sit together in Assembly halls of United Nations but though physically seated next to one another they are as distant in mind as the geographical boundaries of their countries. How could you expect of peace in such a situation?
In daily Agnihotra a devotee of  Vedas culture recites at least 25 mantras from the Vedas the burden of the song being Shanti, Shanti-Peace, Peace-one of the Mantras being

ओ३म्: द्यौ: शान्तिरन्तरिक्षं शान्ति:
पृथिवी शान्तिराप: शान्तिरोषधय: शान्ति:।
वनस्पतय: शान्तिर्विश्वेदेवा: शान्तिर्ब्रह्म शान्ति:
सर्वं शान्ति:, शान्तिरेव शान्ति: सा मा शान्तिरेधि ॥
ॐ शान्ति: शान्ति: शान्ति: ॥

Let there be peace in the heavens, peace in the outer space, peace on earth, peace in oceans, peace in forests where shrubs, herbs and trees grow. Let there be, peace in the organs and minds of every living creature. Let there be peace eternal, in and out, here, there and everywhere. Let there be peace and nothing but peace in every nook and corner of the world. Let that peace enter into me-Peace, Peace and Peace.
After hearing this, need I tell you what is the contribution of Vedic thought towards world peace.
It is in the heart, it is in the mind that the seed of peace can be grown and cultivated. It is there that it sprouts, grows and bears fruits. The Upanishadic Rishis of yore proclaimed to the world from house-tops:

 मृत्योः स मृत्युमाप्नोति य इह नानेव पश्यति ॥  कठोपनिषद् 2/1/10
One who sees maniness in the world moves from death to death. The Vedas declare :

यस्मि॒न्त्सर्वा॑णि भू॒तान्या॒त्मैवाभू॑द्विजान॒तः। तत्र॒ को मोहः॒ कः शोक॑ऽएकत्वम॑नु॒पश्य॑तः ॥  Yajurveda 40/7

The message of this Vedic Mantra is: What personal and individual attachment there can remain in one to whom ALL become ONE and ONE becomes ALL. Personal attachment, selfish interest and Ambition only cause sorrow and suffering but peace.

In spite of the reverberating and exasperating calls for peace in the Assembly Halls of U.N.O. there can be no peace, since wars have their origin in the minds of men and not in battlefields. It were only the Vedic Rishis who carried the fight for peace in the minds of men when they repeated again and 

-तन्मे॒ मनः॑ शि॒वस॑ङ्कल्पमस्तु ॥;  Let my mind be full of purity of thought and as they were the first of mankind who discovered this truth-the truth that the seed of war and peace lies embedded in the mind-let us pay homage to them at this hour of crisis for peace, and chant with the Vedic Rishis :


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