Achieving Peace

A. T. Ariyaratne
387 words, 9K views, 16 comments


We are grateful to Rupali Bhuva for offering this hand-made painting for this reading.

When an individual lacks inner peace, domestic harmony is affected. When domestic harmony is lost, peace amongst neighbors too thins out. In this manner, when the inner peace of an individual is lost, the family, neighborhood, country and the world too start losing their peaceful atmosphere. Persons and groups lacking peace of mind hang on to nationality, language, religion, politics, ethics, groups, high status, low positions, etc, and engage themselves in anti-social acts of crime, terrorism and war.

We believe the only way to achieve peace is to cultivate individual and collective inner peace. It is not possible to achieve peace by speeches laden with sentiments, slogan shouting rallies, using weapons, blaming one another and arousing mob feelings. Neither minds tarnished with anger and ill will, nor loading people with political compromises, will bring in peace. Hatred cannot be overcome with hatred. War is not a path to peace. “The armed get destroyed by arms.” There is a wonderful potential and strength in our minds - thoughts in the proper direction help achieve self-composure.

A well-developed mind - not subservient to five sense activity, not missing proper direction, not falling prey to undesirable influence, thereby being successful in personal life and promoting peace among people - is achieved through meditation. Persons who have developed their minds through meditation are constantly in a proper state of mind, and the spiritual aura emanating from pure thoughts influences others also.

We have to set apart some time daily for meditation in order to lead successful lives individually, as families, and as members of a community. Life devoid of meditation is limited to five sense activity and lacks essence. It is a life which brings no good to oneself or to the society. It only brings sorrow. When a very large number of persons congregate with composure of mind and body, and engage in meditation walks and mass peace meditations, the power of the spiritual energy generated makes our minds peaceful and calm. This helps us to set aside the thoughts of greed, to cultivate thoughts of selfless service, to stop being hateful, and to extend loving kindness towards all; to destroy narrow, selfish unwholesome thoughts and thereby to make the mind recipient of wisdom unmatched.


A. T. Ariyaratne was a Sri Lankan activist, founder and President of the Sarvodaya Shramadana movement.