What is the Price of Peace?

Is peace an easy thing to get as we please? Today everyone is longing for peace, because terrorist attacks are overwhelmingly taking place everywhere in such a way that nobody knows when will what kind of bomb explode at what time. Terrorism has become a nightmare in everyone's life in the world today. George Orwell in his novel, 1984 has expressed the view that 'war is for peace' and 'peace is for war.' Even Genghiz Khan had said that he wanted to conquer the whole world by war so that peace would prevail over everywhere under (his) one rule. It seems everyone is trying hard at last only to achieve peace in the world. Is peace such a precious thing or an invaluable thing that it is very difficult to find in the world?

Problem of Peace

Due to tension, depression, nightmares, anxieties and fear peace seems to be out of reach for many in the world. Peace is not exclusively an individual's property. Peace is an interrelated thing as everyone is directly or indirectly inter dependent in the society. Even though one is harmlessly dutiful and lives without interfering in anyone's affairs, one is affected by the problems of the society created by some with or without their knowledge. That is why, many seek asylum in Religion, Nature, Music, Dance and Painting as a sort of diversion from their routine works to get peace of mind they are longing for though they have home, family, relatives and friends. Many people who are well off are living without peace though they know or know not the reason. So, by meditation they try to calm down the mind and try to maintain mental poise. But unless the cause for the trouble is ascertained and solution is also found out, this vital problem of peace cannot be solved.

Death brings Peace

It is human nature to feel that it is better to die than live without peace in the world. So, naturally one feels that everyone is born to suffer in the world and that death only puts an end to all sufferings bringing peace one longs for at the end. Therefore one feels that one is destined to do one's duties and fulfill commitments and priorities believing or relying upon the consoling ideas of religions that in that way prepare everyone how to meet with easy death which is the gate way to heaven or hell depending upon one's good or bad deeds in the world. The moral ideas that are preached for hundreds of years are that without suffering bliss cannot be enjoyed as sufferings only purify one's soul from all sins and that till all sins are cleansed one has to undergo all mental tortures along with all kinds of physical sufferings in the world. 

Apart from Religion, Nature, Literature, Music and Art that give inspiring, encouraging and consoling ideas, give temporary relief to man from the shortcomings, tragedies, woes, etc. that have wiped away his peace of mind and linger on in his heart in such a way that if he happens to recollect them by chance in isolation, would give him the blessed mood he has enjoyed earlier and help him pull on the days. The expressions of such experiences in the writings of esteemed authors touch human heart and live immortal as classical literature to inspire and encourage the suffering humanity as to how to survive against odds in the world generation after generation.

Search for Peace

In the modern world all developments are measured in terms of economic prosperity of a nation with the comparison of the economic achievements made in the developed countries. So, there is competition for excellence in all fields. There is no time for love and sex in life. After coming to the top many search for peace by going to Himalayas, visiting Temples in various places, roaming about all the places in the world and living in isolation far away from the madding crowd. Top peoples from all walks of life such as actors, princesses, musicians, authors, tycoons, etc. have committed suicides or are killed mysteriously in their pursuits of peace in the world.

Not only they but many young people also, who are exposed to the modern world of machines and competitions have died of depression unable to cope with or bear the tensions building up due to various factors beyond their control. Some become drug addicts too after meeting with failures or due to mental depression. These disillusioned youths, if they introspectively and retrospectively analyze a while about their life condition, mindset and aspirations, they can discover the drawbacks and rectify them in the due course of time. But, because of their impatience or short temperedness, they put an end to their lives. So, without seeing the reason, how can the path leading to victory and peace be discovered and achieved in the world? 

Way to achieve Peace

In search of peace man has not left anything unexplored and is still exploring many matters. In this respect, the truths expressed by Buddha, Sankara, Shakespeare, Wordsworth, Russell, Einstein, Rousseau and Vivekananda cannot be said as futile matters and forgotten by mankind. Nothing is permanent and perfect; everything is temporary in the world. Life itself is not permanent for anyone in the world. With all his limitations, imperfections and incompleteness, how can man achieve peace permanently in this ephemeral world? There is no point in crying over the spoiled milk. It is better to accept the reality or fact than worrying about the impossible things. So, with the limitations of man, what best one can do one should think about and proceed in life with the available things and opportunities open to one in the world.

Vivekananda, John Keats 

In this context the advice of Swami Vivekananda that 'whatever work you do, do it as perfectly as you can and that is the best way to achieve happiness and peace in the world' is a practical fact nobody can ignore. Also the philosophy of John Keats in his poem, Endymion that 'a thing of beauty is a joy forever,' because of his conviction that 'beauty is truth ' truth-beauty, that's all ye need to know in this world,' in his poem, Ode To The Grecian Urn has to be kept in mind forever so that the taste for aesthetic things in life, Art and Nature keep on one's mood ever fresh in the world. So, beauty, truth, love, joy and peace are interrelated things in life. Knowledge of truth and love only gives freedom to one to enjoy physical, intellectual and spiritual pleasures one can in the human world, which is the way to achieve satisfaction and peace in life one is longing for. 

Diversion needed for Peace

Unfavorable situation, unexpected turn of events, accident and death may affect one with anxiety or fear in life. Anxiety, excitement and fear may disturb peace of mind and the next course of action he has to follow. Traditional ceremonies are there for these purposes only to prepare one to accept the reality or change and encourage one to live according to the change. Fulfillment of all the desires gives one satisfaction and peace in life. But failures in life of unfulfillment of desire may give dissatisfaction, pessimism and wretched mood, which can be overcome by the diversion of one's attention in creative activities in some form of art like drawing or painting or indulging in some entertaining programs in music, dance and cinema, or touring to new places or health resorts in some hill stations with full of beautiful natural sceneries that may solace the heart and enlighten the mind. These are some of the compensations or temporary measures for one in order to regain the lost mood or peace so that the further activities of one's life can be continued with some hope or renewed vigor.

True Knowledge needed for Peace

Failures and successes are common in life. But that does not give satisfaction and peace one needs. For that one has to be clear about everything in mind, then only one can be determined to go ahead in life with confidence, courage and endurance. This is possible only when one has true knowledge about one's Self, World, Nature and God, which is necessary to have a Vision of Life, World and God in Nature as a whole so that one can know that duties one has to do and what ambition one should have to make achievements possible in the world. This kind of wisdom should dawn upon everyone's mind so that the united efforts of all will make this world a Utopia or Heaven or a Paradise everyone dreams about to get satisfaction and peace in life. 

So, knowledge is first necessary to have over all vision of human life so that one can have a broad ambition, the driving force in life in order to make achievements in the field one is best at. Perhaps persons living this type of life generally won't have problems of dissatisfaction or peace in life. Hence it is better if powerful information media like magazines, cinema and TV in their programs dissipate and popularize ideas of this kind of vision of individual life, it would be helpful for many to think over in those lines to live a better life free from the drawbacks that lead later to problems unsolvable. Even in educational institutions if students are introduced to the over all view of human life, it would help them to visualize what plan of life they could have and accordingly they can live their life in the future overcoming fear, anxiety and excitements in different situations and circumstances enjoying all possible pleasures to their satisfaction and achieve peace without difficulty.

Turning Points towards Peace

Apart from concentrating on individual's life, it is the duty of everyone to see that the environment, in which one lives, is free from troubles. Differences of color, class, creed and language should not be given too much importance at the expense of the secular national culture which is going hand in hand with the international human culture in order to maintain peace, unity and brotherhood among the people cutting across all the nations of the world.

Even the 21st century vision of the world leaders is the formation of World Union that promotes cooperation and coordination for developmental activities in various fields on the basis of friendship. Without peace no developments can be thought about. 1. The thought that wars cannot solve the problems but only through dialogues that can be possible, is a turning point towards peace. 2. Ending of cold war between the erstwhile Super Powers a decade ago is another turning point towards peace. 3. The efforts of the international community to have a joint agreement of all nations on Nuclear Non-proliferation, Comprehensive Test Ban of nuclear explosions and destruction of Weapons of Mass Destruction are very good welcome signs for the promotion of peace in the world.


But the most unfortunate proliferation of terrorism since two decades or so as the instrument of religious fundamentalism that is destroying the developments of the civilized world along with the innocent civilians is the biggest threat to world peace and also a great impediment blocking the dreams of a better tomorrow of many people living in various nations of the world. Because of international terrorism peace, stability and progress of the world are very much affected. Also, world people, who are about to be happy and enthusiastic in the pursuits of their cherished dreams after the many good turning points of the world, are forced to live in fear because of terrorism. So, the main duty of every nation now is to achieve peace first at any cost in the world by putting a permanent end to terrorism by the joint efforts of all the nations in the world. The risk being taken in this regard will not fail to fetch the result expected by anyone.     


More by :  T. A. Ramesh

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