Curriculum for Peace (12 March 2008, Gargi College, Delhi) - Track 6

All war has its starting point in envy. How to come out of the envy this is the basic problem and you can come out of the envy only when you realise you are infinite. By no comparison can you satisfy yourself. It may give palliatives; this kind of comparison will not give you liberation from envy. It may give you satisfaction for time being, temporarily I am better egoistically in this respect, not in that respect. It’s not a real satisfaction. Therefore education for peace should have these two basic components – do not envy. And education for peace should be how not to envy, what are the ways by which you can be free from envy. Unless the educational curriculum ultimately tells you how not to envy, you can do any kind of international understanding, you would not have answered the basic question. This is the peace, real peace arises when I don’t envy. Envy means war, whether you fight or you don’t fight, envy is war.

All the stories which tell you not to envy, in the famous story of Sri Chaitanya, he wrote a great book on Nyaya. Then he said want to get it certified by my friend who is also a great scholar, he invited and they said: let us go in a boat, during the boat-ride you read out to me your book and I’ll see whether it is a good book or not, his friend said. And the Sri Chaitanya went on reading out his book and his friend he became full of admiration of what was being said by his friend, such a wonderful book. At the end of the reading he began to weep. Chaitanya asked him: what is it my friend, why are you weeping, have I hurt you? So he said: I had thought that I was the greatest Nyayaica, now when your book will come out, you will be regarded as the greatest Nyayaica, and my whole ambition to be the Nyayaica, the greatest one is shattered, I am weeping. So Chaitanya said: Oh! That is the problem, my dear friend this is your problem. He threw away his book in the river, now there is no question of your envy at all. It’s a wonderful story of how envy was finished, his heart was so wide. He didn’t want to prove that he is superior or inferior to his friend. He only wanted to know whether he has written rightly and his book was really brilliant because all that was written was true. And there is no care to become famous or the greatest Nyayaica. He simply didn’t want his friend to be pained that if this is your pain, then I get rid of pain on the spot, my book is thrown, finished. Now you will be the greatest Nyayaica in the world. This is called the strength; there is no cowardice at all, strength of the character, no fight and resolution of the problem.

 One of the great problems of peace education is to discover good stories from the world history. Which individuals in what circumstances, in what trying circumstances they gave up envy; if these stories are told, children will become peaceful right from the beginning. This is one of the important parameters of curriculum making. Give stories to children in which they really understand that path of envy is not the right path. I must be free from envy. Very difficult question, not easy but if you really want peace education since hatred, fight and war starts from envy, you must find the remedy of envy and the right remedy.

I have already taken much more time then I should have, but I shall finish it here now. I shall leave it because curriculum making shall take twenty hours or fifty hours let us say, and I didn’t intend to make a curriculum, I only spoke of reflections that is why I gave the side view. To make a curriculum would require, if you want one day and you have twenty five hours, you call me and shall discuss with you this question in detail because we do need to make a good curriculum of peace. Peace education requires a very good curriculum and we have to answer all the questions that I have raised, they all have to answered properly and satisfactorily. All right.

Question: When we talk about this kind of a curriculum, then what kind of consciousness do we need to have, for example fighting, is it something where fighting is something to do with the feeling that I am different from the other and it has the consciousness of the harmony within? There is no hatred towards it.

Answer: Basic point is in any fight there should be absence of what is called violence and you must understand meaning of violence. Envy is the fundamental point of violence the basic psychological point is envy. ‘maa vid vishaa va hai’ is the most important teaching of the education for peace, maa vid vishaa va hai, let us not hate each other, envy each other. Now if you have any kind of quarrel, you must understand whether this quarrel has in it any envy and you must find out, envy is to be rubbed out from your psychology. Therefore in your psychology, whenever there is a fight there should be no envy in it. There should be no anger because envy is the cause of anger, there should be no anger. So fight is very often justified. Peace does not mean absence of fight but in the method of fighting, in the act of fighting there should be absence of anger, there should be absence of envy, violence. This is the essence of the whole matter not that there should be no fights at all. The fight is nothing but coming together of elements.