Curriculum for Peace (12 March 2008, Gargi College, Delhi) - Track 5

That is why in Indian culture this was laid down as a fundamental proposition. The Veda speaks of vishwa. The idea of vishwa is very prominently stated in Veda. It’s vishwa the whole thing in the world. Now how to allow individuals to grow infinitely, this question was sufficiently studied in Indian culture, that is why nowhere will you find the study for peace more competently capable of being implemented as in India. Because in Indian culture this study of how to grow individually, infinitely, it was a fundamental subject of study in India. And they answered this question that there is a difference between egoism and universality. This was the discovery of our psychological character that there is an egoism and universality. That every individual first grows egoistically but if he continues to grow egoistically then the question of domination, exploitation and ambition comes into the picture. Therefore it was answered that an individual should grow egoistically up to a certain point and quite justifiably but there is a limit. Every individual as soon as possible should know that others also are present, conscious of the other is also very important, others also exist, they also want to expand, they also need to expand. Therefore the famous prayer in the Taittiriya Upanishad:

Om Saha Nau-Avatu
Saha Nau Bhunaktu
Saha Viiryam Karavaavahai
Tejasvi Nau-Adhiitam-Astu Maa Vidvissaavahai

It is a tremendous statement which was made very beginning of our Indian culture. Om Saha Nau-Avatu, means may God protect both of us not me only, both of us. Saha Nau Bhunaktu, let us eat together, let us share together. Saha Viiryam Karavaavahai, let us become strong but together, let us become luminous. Tejasvi Nau, let us become tejasvi. And then final word was Maa Vidvissaavahai, the core of egoism is dvesha. When egoism becomes destructive, when it is not justified, this is the limit. Allow the child to grow egoistically until he comes to develop envy, then you tell him Maa Vidvissaavahai, because that is now the wrong turn. When you arrive at this development of envy then you remember that your child has reached a level where he has to be taught: my dear child, learn a lesson, this is not the way of growing infinitely. There is a way of growing infinitely, I want you to grow infinitely but this is not the way. As long as you remain in the state of envy, you can’t grow infinitely, this is the whole expedition of India right from the time we had discovered, how can you develop infinitely. The moment you begin to envy, realise that you are unfit to become universal. We will remain in a small circle of you are a little less, you are a little more, inferiority complex, superiority complex, all kinds of complexes will start, you’ll like murdering your friend because he is going to pass with brilliant marks. You may not say very clearly but all these attitudes begin to grow in your being. Therefore we say that if you want all people to grow infinitely, you have to give a break to the egoistic development at a given time. The moment envy starts you say: now I teach you another lesson, no more egoistic development.

What is the method of becoming universal? First condition is, do not fight with each other for the sake of egoistic assertion, egoistic domination, egoistic expectation, do not fight that is where the idea of peace enters into the picture. As long as I grow and I have not yet arrived at the point of enving, grow doesn’t matter, expand, you can have a railway compartment seat as long as you don’t envy the other one. The moment you begin to envy, stop. So the basis of peace starts here because the aim is infinite development and because infinite development cannot take place, when you grow for the sake of domination and exploitation, therefore when you start doing this, you need to be taught peace.  First condition for growth is peaceful condition. Where I can allow my friend to sit by my side and give him the right place and I do not want to be superior to him, nor inferior to him. I want him to be what he is, I want me to be myself; swabhava, swadharma, what is my nature, what is his nature, he should be true to his nature, I should be true to my nature and we can both join together, laugh together, play together and grow together. This is the fundamental reason why peace education is inevitable. Without peace on this earth, no individual can grow infinitely. Therefore you may say, you must have peace, peace education is justified and therefore all those who claim peace are quite justified.

Now the question is how do you grow infinitely, without envy, how do you grow infinitely. The answer is: you can grow infinitely only when you know that you are already infinite. This is a further proposition. You can grow infinitely only when you know, you are already infinite. There is no more and more and more this way, the moment you go inward, not this way but inward, you’ll discover that only the infinite exists. This was the great statement of our ancient India ‘aham Brahma asmi’, I am the Brahman. The moment you realise I am Brahman, you don’t need to compete with anybody at all, you are already infinite. This was the basis maa vid vishaa va hai, one proposition and ‘aham Brahma asmi’ these are the two propositions on which our Indian culture was based and therefore it was a culture of peace. There is no culture in the world which can be called the culture of peace, it’s a culture of peace, not that that we had no wars, no fights, no conquests – we had, but on the basis of our culture is this, its fundamental message is only this – do not envy, you are infinite.

If you want to make a curriculum of peace in India, a peace curriculum for Indian students, home how throughout the curriculum you should put down these two basic propositions. If you don’t put this down for India it is irrelevant.