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

You can speak of peace education at many levels. So I am not sure at what level I should be speaking to you. Let me speak at the highest level because when you want to built up a curriculum at different levels, you should be clear at the high levels then you can scale down and move downward. Every curriculum making determines the goal, then the components by which the goals can be achieved and the components are to be designed in a graduated manner with sufficient variation and repetition and finally you take into account the methodology and also take into account the teaching-learning material. When you keep all these parameters in your view then you can build up a curriculum. So let us first of all say, what is the goal of peace education at the highest level? Our students should be able to be lovers of peace, that is our goal. Now you may debate this very first statement. Should we have critical thinkers on peace, or should we aim at creating peace lovers. You can ask this question quite widely — what should be the goal of your peace curriculum? Now that raises a basic question, why do you want peace education at all in the curriculum which has been decided by some people. you are yourself not the makers of the syllabus proposition, educators have decided that peace is very important, that humanity has reached a certain state of development now and if humanity has to move forward you will require people who love peace. In other words you have to have philosophy of peace and why peace education at all. Now there is one view in the world history which does not favour peace, so you when make a curriculum you must know two points of view, long ago there was a philosopher called Heraclitus, you might have heard his name in Greece, he had a very important statement ‘war is the father of all things’ that is to say the world civilisation would not move at all if there was no war, ‘war is the father of all things’. Therefore from his point of view war is inevitable and you must teach people the art of war and must give them the courage for war, they must love war. This also is a point of view which as curriculum makers you must know this view. And if you say ‘no’, we don’t want to do this and we want to have peace lovers, you must have a very powerful argument against this point of view. There is also another view, it is called the view of evolutionists, those who believe in evolution. And the most important theory in science, in regard to evolution speaks of struggle for existence as the very law of life. It says the whole evolution is because of struggle, struggle means competition and you can survive only if you know the law of struggle, how to compete better, how to fight better and how you can succeed. It speaks of the survival of the fittest. This point of view needs also to be kept into view. so there is this great view, ‘war is the father of all things’ and the second is the view of struggle for existence and survival of the fittest as the very principle of evolution. If you teach peace to children or to any components of the citizens of the country, are you not eliminating from your civilisation the power to create new things in the world? People who are mild, sickly, uncompetitive, accepting any kind of condition, lethargic; are you not going to create that kind of psychology among children and people, incapable of fighting, incapable of competition, incapable of receiving challenges, meeting challenges; are you not going to create human beings of that kind, who will be worthless ultimately, they can’t sustain themselves. So I am putting at the very outset the antithesis, why should you have peace education at all.

Those who are advocating peace today are they not aware of this antithesis and yet they are doing it: why, what is the problem? Why are your teachers asking you to create a curriculum or to discuss the question of peace, why should you have this subject at all? A new curriculum which is being made 2005, new curriculum framework which has laid down peace education as an important component of the totality of the scheme of education, have they not thought of this question and what do they want? Now it’s a very big question, I was not going to elaborate; I am only putting questions for your reflection. If I have to give you the subject fully, it would take three-four hours itself. There are many pros and cons in this question.

There was in 1980’s a report of American education survey, it produced a report called ‘Nation at risk’, it gave a challenge to the whole country and warned the country and said our country is at risk. Why, because they said that Russian who are our enemies are educating their children better than our children therefore we will not be able to fight with them properly and therefore our nation is at risk.

So the whole educational system at that time was sought to be upgraded in view of the war, to prepare children better, not for peace education, so that they can fight better the Russians, this is only 1980. And you can’t say today, no nation is preparing for war. Even today every nation is preparing soldiers and can you produce good soldiers if you have to give them peace education. We are all potential soldiers of our country. It is basically after the Second World War that the ideal of peace became very prominent in the world; it’s not very far off. Second World War ended in 1945.before that there was another First World War, it ended in 1918. So 1918 after the First World War for the first time nations began to feel the horror of war. For the first time it was a world war, nations clashed with each other and therefore they began to think of peace to prevent any future eventuality of a war and they felt that world must awake to the need of peace, you should eliminate war from the whole human history. This historical background is important for curriculum making because when you give the aim of peace education these elements are to be incorporated, you have to give the perspective of peace education and how peace education became important.

Now contrary to these two historical facts of First World War and the Second World War, we had in India a corresponding event. We are making peace education syllabus or curriculum for Indian student’s therefore Indian context has to be kept in view. In India there was a big war of Mahabharata long ago, which was similar to world war considering the world at that time, nations had come together. At that time nations are called provinces today, were called nations at that time. Nations had come together, in fact the whole of India was present on Kurukshetra on one side or the other and there was a big massacre. It is said only five Pandavas remained and Ashwathama and Kripacharya, these were the only people that were left at the end of this Great War, all were exterminated. It was a huge horror of war. And even at that time, you must know the story of the very well to be able to make a good meaningful curriculum. The issues that came up at that time, which were prevalent even at that time, the issue at that time was that Mahabharata had become inevitable that war had become inevitable and so inevitable that when Arjuna wanted to go away from the war, the great teacher called Sri Krishna, he told Arjuna not to flee away and to fight and to massacre. Slay thy enemy that was the idea. It’s a issue whether Sri Krishna’s teaching is valid and if not why not? This is a very prominent question which students should ask you. If peace education was necessary, why Sri Krishna did not teach the art of peace at that time and he said that war was inevitable and even exhorted Arjuna not to run away from the battle field. Some people even criticise Sri Krishna saying, even Gandhari is supposed to have called Sri Krishna war monger and if he had to say no war, war would not have taken place and her hundred sons would not have been killed. What is the philosophy of war and peace at that time, the curriculum makers have to have a clear idea on this question? Actually not many people know that Mahabharata was written in order to establish the ideal of peace. The last chapter of Mahabharata is called Shanti Parva. These are questions to be contemplated upon critically. Why, Mahabharata is ultimately supposed to be a book of peace not of war. And if you study the story of Mahabharata you will find that this subject of peace was debated even before the war preparation was going on, it was debated. In fact it is said Sri Krishna was the greatest upholder of peace and this aspect is not brought out very easily and clearly among us, we don’t tell the story of Mahabharata properly to our own children that Sri Krishna was a great upholder of peace why, because in Indian culture the ideal of peace was advocated right from the Vedic times, Mahabharata was much later. Even today we are all aware of what is called Shanti Patha.

Om Dyau Shanti Rantariksha Gwam
ShantiPrithvi Shanti Rapah
Shanti Roshadhayah Shanti Vanas Patayah

     The whole world is supposed to be filled with peace. Avoidance of war was supposed to be one of the greatest aims of our Indian culture, right from the beginning. And yet Rama was a great fighter, a great warrior, Krishna was a great warrior and all kshatriyas had to fight. They had to be prepared, they had no peace education, it was war education. Inspite of this aspect, I am putting these issues before you not to answer these questions to make you think of these questions. And a large canvas because ultimately when you make a curriculum the curriculum makers must be quite clear as to what they want to advocate ultimately. And unless you answer these important questions you won’t be able to make the aim of peace education properly articulated and you can’t prepare children for it.  It is not known that Sri Krishna was the one who tried his utmost to avoid war.

He wanted to eliminate war. He even became the ambassador of peace, when he went to Duryodhana he went for peace and made the demand so little that any reasonable man would have been very glad to offer the truce on the basis of that condition. Now there is a distinction between peace at any cost or if peace as far as possible, these two alternatives also we have to consider. Are we going to advocate peace at any cost, is that our goal of education for peace or peace as far as possible. Sri Krishna at that time advocated peace as far as possible after trying peace at any cost. I think I will stop at this point because I want to have your reactions to these questions.

It’s a very important point; let me formulate this question which also in curriculum, you have to take into account. Wars are of two types, there are two motivations of war. One is motivated by self-interest, for egoistic reasons. The easiest is that every individual wants to expand, self-interest, everybody wants to advance. It’s a basic tendency of human being is to expand. If I go into a railway compartment, I want a good seat and a good seat is also very flexible. We all know what is a good seat. Normally we like to have a good seat in which nobody else is around, alone; I can stretch myself, good seat. Now this is a basic need of human being to have good seat in the world therefore need for expansion. This is the one basic need and it is for that reason if anybody comes into my vicinity, I like to evade, expel that person. This is the basic reason of war. Everyone wants to expand and if two people want to expand then both of them will try to avoid each other and finished; this is the basic reason why war takes place in the world.

Second is even if I have got peace, I have got a good seat, I might say well I want to tell my people that I command the Railway so much, the whole railway will run only for me, one saloon, I will be the master of all that I survey. It’s a big ambition, not only expansion but an ambition. Now this ambition has also many aspects. Ambition is greatly gratified when it has not only a good space for its kingdom but also has articles and objects and human beings over whom you can dominate. You not only need vast space, you want to dominate, your great satisfaction comes when I tell somebody, do it and he or she does it, I feel greatly satisfied, egoistically. I want to dominate. Why, I like it, there is no why. It’s a natural tendency of the human beings to dominate. Everybody wants his will to succeed. So that is also the cause.  Now in the process of domination there is another factor which comes into the picture — exploitation, I want to exploit. To derive the maximum profit out of the people whom I dominate, I enjoy the exploitation that is why slavery was flourishing at one time in the history of the world. Slaves were exploited. So need for expansion, need to dominate and the need to exploit, these are the fundamental reasons why people enter into war. They all emerge out of self-interest. But there is also another tendency in man. There is in human beings a great search for justice. It’s not that everybody seeks only domination and exploitation, it’s not true. There is also this aspect of human nature which seeks justice which wants to love, to cooperate, to protect, to nourish, to cherish, to relish, you want to give to the individual the right portion that is due to him. And when you find that some people are dominating and refusing justice then they want to fight. This is the question that she put up about injustice. If you see injustice before your eyes, what do you do? As Sri Aurobindo writes at the time of the freedom struggle ‘if you see your mother being attacked by a monster, and you stand what will you do? War, where is the question of peace. Therefore the idea of peace education is not so simple, as telling goody, goody stories to children.

It’s a very deep question of most civilisations. Sometimes the motives that individuals, it’s a kind of an examination of what man is, what he should be doing, how he is to live on the earth. The facts of injustice are plenty in this world and if you are taught don’t allow injustice, allow it don’t worry be peaceful; there is a big question of cowardice, and strength and justice and the capacity to go right up to the end till justice is obtained, not only fight against injustice, t see that injustice is rooted out, go right up to the end. Do you want children not to have this capacity to teach them peace? What kind of peace, what is the content of peace that we want to give to our children. What’s your curriculum, how will you teach things? I think that everybody will agree that if the war is not inspired by expansion, domination, exploitation but if it is for the sake of establishment of justice; war is quite justified. You have got to tell the children: Be warriors my children, you have got to, there is no question about it, this is a very important item of your education. If you can’t produce a race of heroes and warriors is education justified, you want to produce cowards, who run away.

If your choice is between cowardice and strength then of course strength is to be preferred. Now the question is if you are strong, whether you should fight or not fight and this is the question before you, what will you do? Fight for what, no peace. You have to answer the question fundamentally, in its truth you have to answer the question. Now you have more complexity in the question. Peace, fighting, fighting violently, fighting non-violently, it’s a further issue. I can fight, I can fight by oratory, I can defeat in argument and then you can say I submit. In Brihadarnyaka Upanishad there is fight between Gargi and Yagnayavalka, a debate between the two. Ultimately Gargi announces her defeat and the debate is over. It was a non-violent fight, there was no taking the sword and cutting off the head. So this is a further issue. Even if you grant that there should be fight question is whether you should fight violently, or non-violently. It’s a further issue, what is violence? When I kill a mosquito which is biting me, is it violence or non-violence. Am I to fight with the mosquito violently, or non-violently, why should I kill the mosquito, they also have a right to exist as much as I have a right to exist.

Unless you have thought over these issues quite securely, you can’t make a curriculum. To make a curriculum is a very great responsibility. The answer to all these questions will arise only if you go into the depths of what human being is, what he is supposed to do on this earth and how he can be helped, unless you answer these questions the other problems will not be answered. Even today in villages children are being beaten up if they can’t answer the question, it’s a violent method of teaching and they say it’s quite good, no, children don’t learn and they are beaten, it’s an idea. I’ll teach a lesson, how do you teach a lesson, there are many ways of teaching lessons.

So let us come now to some definitive answers. Every human being in the world is a growing individual, this is a basic fact. When you make a syllabus, you should have some controvertible propositions and it is a basic proposition — every individual in this world is a growing individual. Every individual ought to grow. On this proposition there is no question. Every individual in this world is a growing individual he ought to grow. The question is what is the length and breadth of this growth, to what extent he should grow, if there is any limit, or he should grow infinitely. And if he is to grow infinitely, how can one develop infinitely? Principally the answer is that every individual must grow infinitely, limitless growth for every individual. That is why we say that universalisation of being is the highest goal of every individual.

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.

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.

When you cook there is a chemistry of cooking, the different elements come and only because they fight with each other cooking becomes so good because of fighting, that is to say the different elements when they come together, they should interact with each other. Even embrace can be called a fight in the metaphysical terms even embracing my friend is a fight. That’s why wrestling for example as a sport is a good fight, it’s quite good.

Question: How is embrace a fight?

Answer:  You ask lovers when the embrace there is a real pain and yet there is a great happiness. You want to bite the object of your love; satisfaction comes by a real uniting. Fighting is only the intermediate stage of union, complete the fight, it is union. Therefore any fight which is a process of union, it’s a good thing.

Comment: So that’s why people fight with God?

Also, for example: we are talking to each other now and I am fighting against many ideas which may be present in your minds, it’s a good fight. You have certain assumptions, I have other assumptions. Your assumptions and my assumptions are clashing now, there is a quarrel between the two, they are fighting as a result such a great happiness. At the end I’ll say you are enriched, I am enriched, how nice it is, perfect. So that’s why I can say that we are all now smiling because it is so good because of a good fight. You may not call it fighting if you like. coming together, comingling of the elements is a good things, you use the word fight only when there is this element of envy, domination, it is this we normally define as fighting but when that is absent this is all good, we must. In fact all interaction is fighting and interaction is all life. All life is nothing but interaction, all comingling; it’s a constant meeting, isn’t it? Milte hai bichar jane ke liye, so all the time we are meeting together and separating and again meeting together and separating. Whole life is nothing this process, it is good. When we teach peace it is not that we are not teaching fighting. Secondly we are not teaching to remain quiet when there is injustice. It’s a beautiful message which Mother has given to all the children: Make us hero warriors, that is the title. Make us the hero warriors that we aspire to become, you should aspire to become hero warriors, not weaklings which have got no capacity of understanding injustice and not fighting with injustice. It’s not meekness, its strength, strength to meet, to wrestle, to unite, to enjoy the real embrace. This should be the aim of our life. So when we teach peace we have to be very careful, it’s a very subtle subject. While teaching peace don’t make people meek and weak and remember meek and weak people can never be peaceful, they will be all the time in envy. It’s only the weak people who are envious. Those who are really strong they hardly envy at all. The real conquerors always embrace each other nicely. The king meeting king like king, royally, so we should have personalities which are very powerful and for whom this envy is such a pitiable thing, shouldn’t exist at all, should be able to laugh pitiably against envy. But fight against what, warrior against what? Mother has said: against all the forces which are striving to keep the old, which are preventing the new to come, it is against then that we must fight and you must fight resolutely, powerfully, make all of us as a result of this fighting which is going on now, ultimately all should feel we have gone to the fundamentals of peace.

Question: This fight also doesn’t it happen also within us? Fight with our own ego?

Answer: That also should happen, yes, you are right because so much of conflict within ourselves. We have to realise that there is not one ego but many egos, not one ego but many egos and each one is in fight. Our physical ego, vital ego, mental ego, spiritual ego, ego of my will, ego of my desire, ego of my passion, so many egoistic pressures in my being and I am constantly fighting all the time envy at every stage in my being. So to be infinite is to get rid of all these complexes. Totally peaceful individual, who lives in infinite consciousness all the time, completely at peace within himself and peaceful without that is samatvam yoga uchate that is the equality which is reached.

 Question: We are fighting against something which won’t be resolved; we are helpless and still fighting so how do we establish peace?

Answer: It’s a very interesting question — fighting a losing battle. Be sure first of all that you are fighting against injustice. If you are doing so, even if you are going to lose, you should say: I will fight on, I’ll lose it, you will lose in yourself. I have weakness; I cannot resist the taste of jalebi. The moment I see jalebi, I have it eat it at any cost, I have to fight against it, I have got diabetes and I should not eat it. I know I am going to have a losing battle, I should try my best even though ultimately I will eat it and confess, I must do my best to fight against it, losing battle but I must do it not that in any case I going to lose so let me eat now right from the beginning, don’t do that. Do your utmost right up to the end, fight, fight up to the end? Then you will see that you have got strength. All strength is something that is brought out of losing battle and that should be the spirit of everybody. Take for example the big story of Baji Prabhu. Sri Aurobindo wrote a beautiful poem called Baji Prabhu, if you have time, you must read out this poem to everybody. Story was that Shiva Ji was constantly chased by Mughals and Muslim invaders; he was the enemy number one of all of them. So people were constantly on watch where is Shiva Ji, where he is moving out from one fort to the other.

So one day Shiva Ji was with about two hundred soldiers and moving leisurely in a certain area and suddenly a messenger comes running on his horse and says: that a huge army of ten thousand people is chasing you, it’s not very far, they are all on horseback and within a hour or two they will reach here. Now this is a crisis. Ten thousand people who can reach here in an hour or two hours and you can’t reach in that much time to your place of resort then death is certain, you will be killed there was no question about it. One soldier called Baji Prabhu, he stands out and says: Give me fifty people out of one hundred and fifty. We shall stand here, you start now, we are sure to die, we shall lose the battle but we shall stop the army here because they have to fight with us that fight with us will give you the time, in that much time you will reach your destination. Two other soldiers also came out and said: give the chance to us that was the bravery and heroism of these fighters. Ultimately Shiva Ji agreed with Baji Prabhu and said: you stand here, all the others ran away to their fort. In the meantime this army had come, they gave a tremendous fight to this whole army, they were maimed, wounded, fallen, crushed.  Baji Prabhu lost his breath only when he heard the bugle of arrival of Shiva Ji in his fort where he was safe. He lost a losing battle but he became the pillar of success for Shiva Ji. Similarly within ourselves also, we choose the same thing. Fight a losing battle and you will find there is one great reward in the universal economy the real strength comes out to fight a losing battle — so fight. So fight is not something to be condemned in our peace education, you must know the true meaning of fight. Second is the question, fight with what attitude, out of envy, out of violence, out of anger, — no. Even Sri Krishna tells Arjuna: ‘you fight but yogasthah but established in yoga, fight but yogasthah, without any envy, without any violence in your consciousness. This was the teaching of Sri Krishna, he didn’t tell him kill your people — no, he said: fight but fight without envy, fight without anger, fight without violence.

Now the question is by what instrument you fight. It is here there is a big debate. Fight without violence is a universal principal which must be announced. Violence is surely to be conquered, envy to be conquered, first and foremost. So while you teach elimination of envy, you do not necessarily teach elimination of fight, education for peace does not mean education to eliminate fight, but you must understand the different meanings of the fight. It’s a matter of greater detail. Fight for what of what kind there can be a fight which is debating, which nobody at present doubts in any democracy parliament is only a debating society and debates are the only means of fighting and nobody says: you should not. The question is only whether when you fight with what instruments you are fighting and there the question very often comes whether you should fight with a bomb, with a sword, with a gun, what do you fight with and what means do you employ. There the answer is, you should try to minimise, this is the important point, minimise any physical means of fighting. That to why, why should we eliminate physical means, because if a human being has the most important instrument it is his physical. Anything that you possess fully in your own being, the most precious thing in a human being is his body, this is not sufficiently realised in our country because we think sharir is tuchcha, not true. The physical is extremely important. If you don’t have the body śarīramādyaṃ khalu dharmasādhanam, the body shariram, it’s a dharmasādhanam, if you want the highest ideal to be realised, you have to bodily realise it, body is extremely important that is why any instrument by which your body is hurt, body is maimed that you should avoid and that is the only definition that you should use for violence, violence is that kind of fight in which the physical is wounded. And that comes only when your extremity of anger also rises to the highest tempo. When I am debating with you and suddenly you don’t believe what I say and I become angry and I catch you and say now do you agree with me or not, comes to physical fight. So the advice is — fight becomes violent, truly violent, otherwise violence should go, I should be able to talk to you nicely, sweetly, lovingly, embracingly and I should not greed of that kind where I want to win over you. It should be a joy of living of all creation is joy. But then injustice is involved, when you are trying to get rid of injustice and you find that injustice cannot be eliminated except by physical war, then what can you say whether you should have it or not. It’s not a question left to you, it’s a question of time available to you, injustice is before your eyes, your child is being kidnapped before your eyes, you are not trying to debate with him, with the kidnapper, you should slaughter him on the spot. Not that you are envious or angry, it’s the only instrument by which you get rid of him, there is no cowardice in it — strength, fight against injustice. That was the reason why Mahabharata was fought; it was non-violent war because Sri Krishna says ‘fight without anger — yogasatha’ that’s why it was non-violent war. Sri Krishna taught war but it was non-violent, that’s the only meaning, violent or non-violent is not a question of inflicting on the body a wound. A doctor also wounds you by operation, you don’t call it violence, it’s a means by which the disease can be taken out of your body, that’s all. If Duryohdana’s injustice can be taken out only when his body is taken out, if this is the only means available then what do you do? And that was the only path available to Sri Krishna at that time. Therefore Mahabharata war is a great example of a war which was fought with an idea of peace with the highest value of non-violence. But you should be sure, you should not justify your own mind that I am fighting the war my love is in my heart, I have no envy, I have no anger, don’t deceive yourself. When you fight you should be really sure that you are in your mind there is really no violence. Once somebody had written a letter to the Mother which I had read out to the Mother at one time — in the present context of the world is violence justified, if so to what extent? So Mother said to me to answer him saying: violence is not justified to any extent. So the question of violence and non-violence is first of all first established all violence arises out of envy that must go, no justification but whether you should use this instrument or that instrument it’s a question of the ..... We should not debate on that question so much because it is where many people fight on this question. Depending on a situation if you want to cure something on a given situation what is the practical means of doing it. Very often it is said don’t use any physical weapon unless you are attacked.  Armies in many countries are raised for self-defence, not for attacking but for self-defence. Somebody is going to kill you now; you have to defend yourself before you are destroyed. So while you make a curriculum these questions have to be answered properly and rightly with correct examples. All right.