August 19, 2016

Make PEACE a Priority

May all beings be free from suffering, from danger, from worry. May all beings be free from cares, anxiety and grief. May all beings be HAPPY! As the result of Kamma there exist many types of living beings; human and non-human, weak or strong, high or low, stout or thin, brave or timid, long or short, great or small, seen or unseen, from the hugest to the tiny creatures too small to be seen with the naked eye, from those dwelling with us to those in other world-systems. May all be blessed with PEACE! Each and every individual is the sum total of all his/her actions of the infinite past and since each one of us performs different actions every minute, we cannot be the same. There are no two individuals alike because no two individuals have performed the same actions in the infinite past. We all act differently, our actions make us what we are and therefore different actions have made us different individuals. The scientific law declares that action and reaction are equal and opposite. To give is to receive and not to give is not to receive. Why are people rich? Because they were generous. Why are people poor? Because they were stingy in the past. Hatred is the cause of ugliness. Metta Bhavana surely makes charm. Charm is something mental. It is the charming heart which radiates outwards giving charm all over. If one wants many friends and if one wants to be popular, let her/him love. A great lover is beloved by all. Beauty comes from loving kindness and ugliness comes from hatred. Every effect comes from a cause and people are different on account of different actions in the past as well as in the present. Science without morality spells destruction. Scientists are forever saying now “we are afraid” because they can no longer control the science which they have created. Scientists have invented the atomic bomb, the hydrogen bomb and now they cannot control the use of these things. The craving is so strong. The only brake which can control these things is Morality- Only the Five Buddhist Precepts side by side with Science can give happiness and peace to mankind. Only this morality can act as a brake to prevent human from destroying our world. Science alone would destroy the world but science plus Buddhist morality will save the world and make the people and peaceful living. So let us practise this morality and thereby save our world from destruction.
A person who wishes to realize the Perfect Bliss and Supreme Peace through the knowledge of the path should practise to establish the following (15) qualities:- 1) Without consideration for his/her body without consideration even for his/her life, s/he is able to put forth effort to obtain the Path and fruit thereof; 2) s/he is honest and sincere in bodily action and speech; 3) her/his mind is perfectly straight-forward; 4) s/he is comfortable to discipline and teaching of parents and teachers; 5) s/he is of kind and gracious mood; 6)s/he is entirely devoid of arrogance; 7) s/he is contented with the little s/he possesses; 8) s/he is a grateful guest, easily entertained; 9)s/he has few duties and is busy only in MEDITATION; 10) s/he is not avaricious, and earns her/his livelihood without unrighteous greed; 11) her/his senses are controlled, calm and serene; 12) s/he bears a ripened knowledge; 13) s/he is gentle and free from mental, verbal and physical bluster; 13) s/he is not too greatly attached to families who are her/his devotees; (15) s/he does not conduct herself/himself in practices which are blameworthy by the wise. One should have these fifteen qualities and then practise Metta or Diffusion of Love (Compassionate Love).
Knowing the fact fully that, s/he should never deceive another nor oppress, abuse or despise the least of these living beings whenever they may be. S/he should not feel ill-will and should, in short, not wish any being whatsoever to suffer harm. Then s/he should practise the Increase of Love as follows; Just as her own life a loving mother protects her only child for its weal, such Love should pour forth to everything that lives. Let Thoughts of Boundless Love pervade the whole world, above to the highest heavens, below to the deepest hells, across in all directions where vast solar systems, billions of light-years distant, yet fall within the influence of your Thoughts of Love. And let there be no limitation and no obstruction to these Thoughts of Love. Let them be entirely unmarred by hate, anger or the least enmity, and without thoughts of ill-will towards outward foe let one cultivate good will towards him/her for his/her good. Send out Thoughts of Boundless Love.
Conquest by force never brings true peace to the conqueror because the conquered, with smitten pride smarting from the wounds of defeat, will try to take revenge sooner or later. Peace can be achieved only when selfishness is restrained. Selfishness is a terrible hindrance to the attainment of peace and happiness for it breeds conceit, vanity, pride, lust, greed, thirst for power and supremacy, anger, hatred and passion, bringing in its train an endless chain of evils culminating in grief and disaster. This is true peace.
Eternal Peace can be attained through the practice of the Diffusion of Love. Lord Buddha (The Blessed One, The Holy One, The exalted One, The Fully Enlightened One, perfectly enlightened by Himself) who points the way to eternal peace has said: “Jayan veran pasavati, Dukkhan seti parajito, Upasanto sukkhan seti, Hitva Jayaparajayan” . These words mean, “Victory increases enmity, the defeated lies in pain! Having abandoned both victory and defeat, the peaceful one rests in happiness”.
Peace in modern studies means: A political condition that ensures justice and social stability through formal and informal institutions, practices, and norms. Several conditions must be met for peace to be reached and maintained: • balance of political power among the various groups within a society, region, or, most ambitiously, the world • legitimacy for decision makers and implementers of decisions in the eyes of their respective group, as well as those of external parties, duly supported through transparency and accountability • recognised and valued interdependent relationships among groups fostering long-term cooperation during periods of agreement, disagreement, normality, and crisis • reliable and trusted institutions for resolving conflicts • sense of equality and respect, in sentiment and in practice, within and without groups and in accordance with international standards • mutual understanding of rights, interests, intents, and flexibility despite incompatibilities. Notoriously elusive, peace connotes more than a mere absence of war or hostilities; an absence of conflict is impossible. In addition, the state of peace should be distinguished from techniques that simply avoid conflicts or employ violent or coercive approaches to engage in, manage, or resolve them. Deriving from the Latin pax, peace in the Western world is generally considered a contractual relationship that implies mutual recognition and agreement. Understandings of peace throughout the world often disclose a much deeper comprehension of peace in relation to the human condition, which also includes inner peace. The comprehensive understanding of peace outlined above extends beyond what are referred to as positive conceptions of peace but acts in accordance with them as well. This contrasts with negative conceptions of peace, which are described most commonly as the mere absence of war or violent conflict. (A GLOSSARY OF TERMS AND CONCEPTS IN PEACE AND CONFLICT STUDIES, University for Peace, Second Edition 2005,)
Realizing the current peace and security situation of the world, fostering development in conflict-affected states has become the development challenge of the 21st century. The trend towards multidimensional violence has coincided with a broadening of the concept of development. The current set of MDGs is limited because it takes too narrow a view on development and ignores the interrelations among various aspects of development. The concept of development has been broadened over time, from a narrow focus on economic growth in the 1950s to an emphasis on basic needs in the 1970s to a broad view in the 1990s that emphasizes human development, human security and, more recently, freedom. The widened concept of development or well-being is as much valid in poor as in rich countries. Human security is defined as the protection to the vital core of all human lives in ways that enhance human freedoms and human fulfilment. Human security means the freedoms from want and fear, bringing together development, human rights and security in one concept. These are not just theoretical issues. They reflect concerns of people all over the world. Development, human rights and peace and security are indivisible and interrelated. Each cannot be achieved without achieving the other. They should be viewed as interrelated dimensions of one goal whether called development, well-being or human security. They are interrelated conceptually as well as at the national level and the global level. Any deficit in one dimension, will have an impact on the other. Any deficit in one country will also have an impact in other countries, whether this is through economic and financial linkages, migration, pollution, communicable diseases, climate change, terrorism, piracy, organized crime, narcotics, human trafficking or the arms trade. Progressive globalization keeps increasing the likelihood of these cross-border spillovers. One important aspect of the interrelation between development and peace and security is through the capacity and legitimacy of the state. A key feature of the social contact between the state and its citizens is that citizens pay taxes to get public services in return, which include social services and security. Violence often undermines or breaks that contract. After the end of a violent conflict, the provision of social services by the state could play an important role in rebuilding the trust and legitimacy of the government and reinforcing a commitment to a peace process, in particular if unequal access to these social services was a driving force of the violent conflict in the first place. This aspect is often underemphasized.(Peace and Security Thematic Think Piece PBSO, UN System Task Team on the Post 2015 UN Development Agenda, May 2012)
The noteworthy message of U Lokanatha, (An Italian Buddhist Monk) on Peace is as follows: …………“The sky is in flames, the earth is in flames, the water is in flames, the mind is in flames- all are in flames.  So let us be at peace with ourselves and the whole world. War is the effect of a cause. We are not interested in effects. But we are interested in the cause of War so that we may destroy the cause and attain world peace. What is the cause of War? Internal fire is the cause of external fire. War is fire. The Exalted Buddha said the six senses are burning. So to destroy War we must extinguish the fire of senses. Man is at war with himself. Then there is national war, international war, global war and all kinds of war. Only when we attain peace within can we enjoy peace without. So each man/woman must police himself/herself by himself/herself; no man/woman can police another. We must extinguish the fires of lust, hatred and delusion. The only way to produce real peace is to make every man/woman peaceful- to destroy violence in all its forms all over the world. We should teach the young how to be peaceful. We should not give them toy soldiers, toy cannons, and give military uniforms to the little boys, encouraging warfare in the young. It is that continuous strife which is going on in the human heart- which produces war within, war without, war all over. And if we destroy Greed, Anger and Ignorance we get peace within, peace without and peace all over. There is no other way. I wonder when the world will understand these few simple facts”….(by  Rev U Lawkanatha, Italian Buddhist Monk)
You have all seen that wars were fought with the utmost cruelty and barbarity in complete disregard of humanity, love and compassion for living being. Destruction and desolation spread and untold miseries followed in the wake of recent wars. Such terrible weapons as the atomic bombs were used and every possible advantage was taken to commit wholesale slaughter and bloodshed. Peace however was not to be obtained at the end of these wars in which both the victors and the vanquished were losers in many respects. You should, therefore, strive to win peace by pouring out upon the trouble-ridden world an all-pervading love; love which is intense, far reaching and beyond measure. All persons, male and female, residing either in hamlets or parishes, towns or cities or small countries or big countries should not entertain any feelings for hostility towards one another but should have kind thoughts both day and night for all beings wherever they may be. You should have boundless love for all beings for this can bring about the well-being of all.  We offer merit to all the Devas, all the humans, all the ghosts, to all the animals, to all the denizens of purgatory. We offer the merit to all our relatives, who are living, who have passed away, we offer our merit to the sentient beings throughout the whole universe. By offering merit we receive merit. By offering love and truth we receive the same. By offering joy, we receive joy. Give happiness to all beings and all happiness will surely come unto you. May all beings be free from conflicts, violence, wars and disasters. May love, peace, wellness, happiness and prosperity be with you.
(Based on two articles: 1) Message of Mohnyin Sayadaw, Ven. Maha Thera’s Short lecture on Love and Peace. The leader of the Church of England in Burma, the well-known and popular Rt. Rev. Dr. West, Bishop of Rangoon, approached the Ven. Mohnyin Sayadaw with his respects and asked for his blessing and a message on his departure for Europe. 2) the Metta Sutta: ref: The Light of the Dhamma, Volume I No.1, published by the Union of Burma Buddha Sasana Council, Inaugural Number: The World Fellowship of Buddhists, Second Conference Issue)( no date of issue)


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