Art of Living founder Gurudev Sri Sri Ravi Shankar is a world-renowned humanitarian and peace ambassador. Speaking about world peace in Berlin, Germany, Gurudev shared the following beautiful insights on inner strength and world peace, even in difficult times:
“Let’s wish peace for everybody. Let’s wish that those people who are justifying war, that they may get a real sense of the damage of war.
In recent history, what have we learned? No war has done any good for anybody. We, the people of the world, must stand for peace and take responsibility for our beautiful planet.”
The Power of Determination
When Mahatma Gandhi started the independence movement, many people just laughed at him. They said, “What can you do? An old man, walking with a stick, how can you fight an empire?”
Strong determination can make things turn around. There’s a song by Tagore that says, “I will walk alone and everyone will follow.”
Let’s keep this intention. Know that each one of us and our thoughts and intentions are powerful. You put your intention on the idea that there will be peace very soon. Things will move in that direction.
Dealing with Hard Times
We need inner strength. That’s how meditation can be very helpful. People think that only through power you can win. No! You need skill to win. One has to skillfully face each situation.
There was war in Ethiopia, Sudan, and many other places. That’s why we need to think globally and wish for global peace. Anyone who is conscious will feel the pain, whether it’s in Ethiopia, Columbia, or anywhere in the world.
That’s why Art of Living is so essential, because we have a vision of a violence free world and stress free society.
The Meaning of Peace
There are three types of peace: inner peace, peace in our immediate environment, and peace in the world.
In nature, conflicts and natural disasters happen. Similarly, conflict within a family and an individual happens. And so do conflicts between nations. For all this, the solution is wisdom. If you hold onto wisdom, you can learn lessons and move forward.
When you do selfless service, there will be someone to take care of you. That’s a natural law. At the same time you should follow what they say in an aircraft. When the cabin pressure drops, first put on your mask, and then put one on the child next to you.
How Inner Peace Quells Violence
The power of peace is very strong. Once in Washington DC, I was speaking to a few hundred people. One tall, hefty man came from the back to attack me. He could have hurt me with one hand. Everyone was stunned. When he came close, I said, “Wait.”
He sat down, tears started flowing out of his eyes, he begged my pardon and left. Something had changed him. All that violence disappeared.
When you’re well-founded in non-violence, violence subsides around you. I don’t say everyone should go into a war zone, but inner peace has an impact on the minds and hearts of people around you.
Having said this, I would say that you should take care of your self-defense. Inner peace isn’t in conflict with your self-defense. Peace is possible, in spite of being strong.