Sunday Morning Inspiration- Religion and Peace – Dr Okechukwu Ekemezie.
In our fast-paced modern society today, finding a man with inner Peace and tranquility is very rare. Serenity of the mind and soul is a beautiful jewel to posses; it is the last lesson of culture.
All religions teach and practice pacifism, even the word ‘Peace’ is similar with most common religions; Arabic (Salaam), Hebrew (Shalom), Hindu (Shanti) and most adherents of these religions greet each other saying “Peace be unto you”.
Inner peace comes with discovering who you are. Read “WHO AM I?”
If all world religions friendship and the need for peace, then why is there war among ourselves? Why is there conflict? Why so many disagreements?
We have so soon forgotten that we all came from One Source and to that source we shall all return. So the next man/woman should be seen as a brother/sister and no harm should be done to him.
Mother Theresa was right when she said “If we have no peace, its because we have forgotten that we belong to one another”
We can generate it for the self, we can connect to the Ocean of Peace (God) and we can share it to the world in our meditations. We know the methods and so let us take time during the day in silent contemplation to do the Peace Work.
However, it is equally important to know what causes this harmony to disappear suddenly?
There are three robbers that steal our peace which exist in our mind. They are –Fear, Worry and Pain.
Fear comes when we do something against our conscience. Worry comes when we question everything about past and future. Pain comes when we get attached to the situations, people and ideas that are disturbing.
To re-create inner peace, we need the ability to reverse the pattern of thinking. When fear comes, it signals to follow your inner conscience and consciously choose not to be influenced by others who expect or judge us from their perspectives.
When worry comes, let me ground myself in the present, keep a bigger and brighter vision of life and questions will disappear. Allow the heart to open and learn the art of appreciation and acceptance.
To transform pain, connect to God and attach your mind to His mind. Only then, can you detach from the limited situation, person or idea. Step back and observe, one will be able to see solutions quickly and find the power to act upon it.
RELIGIONS AND PEACE
Islam is derived from the root word ‘salaam’ which literally means Peace. Little wonder its called ‘Religion of Peace’. In a religious context, it means “voluntary submission to Allah”. A Muslim therefore, is ‘One who submits’ or ‘One who surrenders’. So, it is clear that one who totally submits to God’s will will definitely find tranquility.
Buddhists believe that peace can be attained once all suffering ends. They regard all suffering as stemming from cravings (in the extreme, greed), aversions (fears), or delusions. To eliminate such suffering and achieve personal reconciliation, followers in the path of the Buddha adhere to a set of teachings called the Four Noble Truths — a central tenet in Buddhist philosophy.
Hindu texts contain the following passages:
May there be peace in the heavens, peace in the atmosphere, peace on the earth. Let there be coolness in the water, healing in the herbs and peace radiating from the trees. Let there be harmony in the planets and in the stars, and perfection in eternal knowledge. May everything in the universe be at peace. Let peace pervade everywhere, at all times. May I experience that peace within my own heart. — Yajur Veda 36.17)
Stoic philosophy defines Peace as a state of mind where one is not disturbed by the passions. It is eradicating the tendency to react emotionally or egotistically to external events – the things we cannot control.
For the Stoics, it was the optimum rational response to the world, for we cannot control things that are caused by the will of others or by Nature; we can only control our own will. This did not mean a loss of feeling, or total disengagement from the world. The Stoic who performs correct (virtuous) judgments and actions as part of the world-order experiences contentment (eudaimonia) and good feelings.
Pain is slight if opinion has added nothing to it; … in thinking it slight, you will make it slight. Everything depends on opinion; ambition, luxury, greed, hark back to opinion. It is according to opinion that we suffer. … So let us also win the way to victory in all our struggles, – for the reward is … virtue, steadfastness of soul, and a peace that is won for all time.
Christianity which centers on the teaching of Christ refers Jesus as the ‘Prince of Peace’. John, the beloved apostle wrote extensively on peace which the comforter will bring, and having that inner peace is a requisite for overcoming all problems and tribulations (John 16:33).
Let us all stay and live in unity, talk and preach peace. As we go greeting “Shanti”, “Shalom” and “Asalaam aleku”, lets always remember ‘there is no way to peace, Peace is the only way’ and when we do this the amity of God that passeth all understanding will dwell in our hearts.
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