'Be' with Swami Venkatesananda

Peace is Happiness

‘Peace above all’ should be the wise man’s motto to guide his life. For if there is no peace of mind, one cannot have the least happiness here. Peace cannot be had in the market! One cannot strive for this peace which is disturbed by the very effort! It has to be discovered within oneself, and what is more important and difficult, too, it has to be preserved without being disturbed by anything that happens around one. This is possible only if we meditate regularly and build a ‘shock-proof’ protective armour around ourselves. Meditation will provide us with the background of thought – like ‘I am the immortal atman, a witness of this world-play untouched by pain’, and by diligent effortless alertness we should maintain this background of thought. This background of thought is, however, not thought, but an awareness of truth beyond thought. It is this truth which is realised in meditation.

Peace is happiness – they are indistinguishable. Even worldly happiness is not possible if we do not enjoy peace of mind. Craving for pleasure drives pleasure or happiness away by creating a tension or stress. Satisfying this craving only temporarily allays the tension by weakening it. But soon the tension is built up again: it is pain. The peace sustained by regular meditation and coupled with the fourfold bhavana or sane attitude towards our neighbours – friendliness towards equals, happiness at the status of superiors, compassion for the less fortunate, and indifference towards the wicked – will ensure unperturbable inner tranquillity and, thus, supreme and perennial bliss. The awareness of truth beyond thought – the inner light – will make it impossible for any disturbing thought to arise, though natural life – with the natural functions, thought, word and deed – will continue to flow in inner and outer harmony.