Seeking Peace and Harmony in a Troubled World
TRANSCEND MEMBERS, 30 Jul 2018
We are inundated with news of accidents, floods, bombings, killings, terrorist activities, sexual assaults and other such painful and tragic events.
Then there are worrisome news of global warming and how the planet is becoming degraded almost beyond repair. This is resulting in polluted air, water, soil; rising sea levels and displacement of indigenous peoples from their traditional homes and villages that they have inhabited for centuries.
Economic hardships, unemployment, people losing their jobs are other events that fill up the platter of news in the print media or television.
I am not referring to the medium of Twitter where people send all sorts of messages — political, funny, congratulatory and about sundry other happenings. With internet and the social media being so fast and active, news of events travel at lightening speeds. What is one to make of these news — tragic, painful, sad and overpowering in one way or another?
Does one feel dejected, angry or helpless? How does one maintain one’s equanimity? One wishes that one had the power to prevent such incidents and to usher in a non violent, harmonious world where not only human beings but also the forests, flora and fauna, the biodiversity can live in peace and harmony. Human beings, animals, birds and the numerous variety of biodiversity need to live together harmoniously — for the planet — our Mother Earth to survive.
Friedrich Nietzsche (1844-1900), the German philosopher, philologist and poet had talked about Ubermensch — a superman who was powerful and willing to take on the onerous task of bringing sanity to the world. But he said that such a superman does not exist. Even the bravest and powerful men that he had heard about were all too human — with their frailties and weaknesses.
A kind of Ubermensch can come about if a person uses all his spiritual and physical energies for the good of humanity. Such a spiritual person is possible according to Lord Krishna, the Hindu God. According to Bhagwad Gita, Krishna asks people to surrender to the Godhead and use his spiritual energies to be good and kind and remain detached from what is happening around the world. This does not mean that the person should not do any action, but it means acting as per the call of duty without worrying about its rewards.
This is not an easy path to follow, but with honesty and consciousness one can learn to surrender to regain one’s peace and equanimity. Trying to become a superman to solve the world’s evils is not possible or perhaps desirable when one surrenders to the Godhead. But honestly working for peace and goodwill is.
Dr Ravi P Bhatia is a member of the TRANSCEND Network for Peace, Development and Environment, an educationist, Gandhian scholar and peace researcher. Retired professor, Delhi University. firstname.lastname@example.org
This article originally appeared on Transcend Media Service (TMS) on 30 Jul 2018.
Anticopyright: Editorials and articles originated on TMS may be freely reprinted, disseminated, translated and used as background material, provided an acknowledgement and link to the source, TMS: Seeking Peace and Harmony in a Troubled World, is included. Thank you.
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