Humanity has always craved to achieve peace. Be it world peace or inner peace, nobody denies it. Great wars have been fought to achieve the ultimate golden peace. How successful we are in attaining it is here, in front of all of us to see. We constantly seek peace but end up with chaos. What is it, that peace has become so elusive and difficult to attain? More we make progress, the more we are out of peace, why? Let’s try to find the answer to this.
Is it money and fame that will provide us peace? We all know the answer. Is it technology? On the contrary, our grandparents with less technology look more at peace than us. All the advancement in science and technology has definitely eased our lives and we cannot put blame on it, but it has also taken away the peace. A conclusion can be drawn that technology can be either a boon or a bane. It is upto us as to how we use it. Just like a knife, in the hands of a doctor, can be used for operation and in the hands of a dacoit can be used to kill.
If not money, fame and technology then what? Let’s get deeper. A society is not merely based on economics and science. There is one more stream called humanities and at the core of it is the values. It is the values that shape and drive the society. Science and economy are the very essential fuel, but a vehicle is not run merely on fuel, it needs an entire mechanism and on top of it, a driver to run that mechanism.
If we go back at our ancient culture and civilization we will find that the core values of that time were satya and dharm (truthfulness and righteousness). Even the great wars at that time were fought not only for the establishment of dharm but also on the basis of dharm.
One can wonder what peace has to do with dharm. To understand this, first we need to understand what dharm is. Muni Yagyavalka prescribed 9 organs of dharm- non-violence, truthfulness, refraining from stealing, cleanliness, control over sense gratification, charity, patience, mercy and peace.
अहिंसा सत्यमस्तेयं शौचमिन्द्रियनिग्रह:।
दानं दमो दया शान्ति: सर्वेषां धर्मसाधनम्।।
ahimsa satya-masteyam sauchm-indriya-nigraha
daanm damo daya shanti sarvesha dharm-sadhanam
Similarly, Padma Puran states that by embracing the virtues of celibacy, truthfulness, austerity, charity, patience, forgiveness, cleanliness, non-violence, peace and refraining from stealing will bring growth of dharma.
ब्रह्मचर्येण सत्येन तपसा च प्रवर्तते।
दानेन नियमेनापि क्षमा शौचेन वल्लभ।।
अहिंसया सुशांत्या च अस्तेयेनापि वर्तते।
एतैर्दशभिरगैस्तु धर्ममेव सुसूचयेत।।
bhramcharyen satyen tapasa ch pravartate
daanen niyamenaapi kshama sauchen vallabh
ahimsa sushantya ch asteyenapi vartate
yetai-darshbhir-gaistu dhram-mev susoochayet
There are many more such statements in our scripture which indicates that peace is not an isolated or a single entity. Hence, peace cannot be achieved without understanding the wholesome concept of dharm and interrelation among its various organs. Dharm demands sacrifice of selfish motives and it is governed by the higher principles which in return ensures order and harmony, bringing an overall sense of coherence and peace. Thus, a society or a person will achieve peace automatically if it is driven by the values based on dharm.