Peace Education: An Alternative to War Education

EDUCATION, 13 Jun 2022

Dr. Surya Nath Prasad – TRANSCEND Media Service

World Peace and Progress: A Misconception

War is considered essential for peace and progress. This has also been the ancient concept of attaining peace, and we know that the ancient wars were for the most parts waged to achieve peace. “Even in our modern civilization”, if we may believe Mary Sturt and E.C. Oakden, “war proves the most valuable stimulus to progress.1 This is why we prepare men for wars. We have military education to make them trained and skilled killers. It is also said that to preserve peace requires a balance of armaments. And if one country increases its armaments, others also do the same to maintain an equal balance for peace. There is no doubt that if one country invents nuclear weapons, others also must produce equally destructive weapons. This is why an arms race is going on in the most countries.

However, peace at the price of war is no peace. Pail Brunton2 asserts this view that the peace that was to follow war turns out to be no peace. J. Krishnamurti3 also says, “Peace that can be achieved through violence is to sacrifice the present for a future ideal; and this seeking of a right end through wrong means is one of the causes of the present disaster.”

What Is Lost by War

Peace, not war, is necessary for progress. Pius warns us, “Nothing is lost by peace. Everything may be lost by war.”4   Earlier he suggested, “The calamity of a world war, with the economic and social ruin and moral excesses and dissolution  that accompany it must not be permitted to envelope the human race for a third time.”5 No doubt war has made the human race dishonest and corrupt. It has snatched away the faith of man in man.

War has caused great loss to humanity as a whole. In wars there is tremendous loss of life and enormous loss of wealth. War destroys many of the works of man on the land. It creates enemity and cruelty among peoples. It causes racial degeneration. It is inimical to democracy and freedom. It degrades the status of women. Economic inequality increases within the state because of war. It is a barrier to progress.

Enemies of Men as Men  

Today the greatest enemies of men are men. Men are killing men. They have become more dangerous. They have invented more effective weapons to destroy each other. Burton in his Anatomy of Melancholy uttered, “Man has many enemies such as lions, wolves, serpents, but his worst enemy is his own species, friend could torment, tyrannize, and vex as one man doth another.” Lala Har Dayal6 considers war as ‘bestial’; but no beast is so cruel and pugnacious as man. If the wild animal could speak and write, they would express their horror of war, especially war within the same species, by saying, “Such war is human, we animals should eschew it.” Paul Brunton7 also feels man as worse than brute animals. As he thinks that animals kill for hunger but men are worse, inasmuch as their possession of the quality of cunning leads them to kill or torture for other reasons also. Violent energies and explosive passions make much noise in their hearts. Down dragging design grip them in sharp fangs. Aggressive instincts roam like snakes within their conscious and subconscious minds.

War As The Product of Sick Minds

A little anatomy of human conflicts throughout history reveals that wars have always been the product of sick minds. “The human personality is sick” says Prof. L.R. Shukla,8 “and so we have a sick world.” Dr. Bhagwan Das9 rightly observes civil war, as at first with words, and then with physical weapons, is in a nation, what the internal conflict of insanity is an individual. Jung has rightly described the Great War as an epidemic of madness. Further he explains that the small and great riots and wars and armaments races that are always going on, are instinctively given by all, the adjectives of frenzied, frantic, mad. Thet are the natural expressions, outlets, vents, of over-fostered evil emotions.

Peace Within for Peace Outside

Peoples who are suffering from madness require re-education as a mental healing to attain peace within, to be reflected in peace in the outer world. Prof. L.R. Shukla10 also agrees, “Peace and harmony which we are seeking in our social and political life are wanting in our mental life. “The search for peace” asserts Brunton11, “within itself must precede and thus inevitably create peace in the world without.” Pope John XXIII12 also feels that there can be no peace between men unless there is peace within each of us. Hence UNESCO stands with the assumption, “Since wars begin in the minds of men, it is in the minds of men that the defenses of peace must be constructed.”

Disarmament for Human Existence

Man will end the war or war will end the mankind. Therefore war preparation should be ceased immediately. Disarmament is essential for human existence. It protects men and women from destruction. It creates an atmosphere of security. It protects liberty, democracy and socialism. Lenin said was an aim of socialism. Truly disarmament means to create a world without arms and wars. The author of these lines advises all the nations should follow the Costa Rica in this regard, which has no military

Facts about Disarmament

On September 18, 1959 Premier Khrushchev submitted a Soviet Government proposal for general and complete disarmament in in the 14th session of the United Nations General Assembly. Russian views regarding disarmament are that a state with aggressive intentions could use the remaining armed forces and nuclear bombs. The reduction and or even destruction of any type of weapon cannot remove the danger of war breaking out. This can only be achieved by completely destroying the entire war machine of states armies, weapons and military equipment.13

A  more realistic view was expressed in a report on disarmament by the United Nations Association in March 1961. Except beneath the earth’s surface, a treaty banning nuclear tests came into existence on October 10, 1963.

India’s Stand on Disarmament       

India has been consistently working for disarmament, for a ban on the manufacture and testing of nuclear weapons and for the destruction of their stock piles. India was the first sign the Moscow Treaty on the banning tests on nuclear weapons. India was again the first after the initial signatories of the U.S.S.R. and U.S.A. and Britain to sign the Moscow treaty on the prohibition of nuclear weapons tests in the atmosphere, in outer space and under water.

“India uses nuclear energy only for peaceful purposes and domestic economic development,” said Dr. H.N. Sethna, Chairman of the Indian Atomic Energy Commission, in a Newspaper interview

Psychological Disarmament: Why?

Mere physical disarmament cannot remove wars unless peoples are disarmed psychologically. Psychological disarmament is fundamental to physical disarmament and peace. Gerald Heard in his book Man The Master emphasized the need of fundamental psychological change as the only remedy for the ills from which mankind is suffering. William Brown14 rightly observes that there is explosive material in every one of us which can cause tremendous troubles and distort things in all sorts of ways. It has been that moral disarmament (sometimes called moral rearmament) must precede physical disarmament and can alone make the later possible. His contention is that psychological disarmament is more fundamental still and must be achieved before world peace can be achieved.

Education for Disarmament

In the beginning as armament is the psychological plane so disarmament basically is also psychological. As all the inventions of the modern weapons are the products of human minds and the results of specialized training for arms, so human minds also can be prepared for disarmament and they also require a proper education for this.

The foundations of psychological disarmament are love and courage, which require a proper philosophy; otherwise, why should people love everyone? And how can people have the courage to face the difficulties imposed by nature and free their minds superstition? It is only on integral philosophy which can have the concept of integral man, of the proper meaning of man. Philosophy is passive in nature but foundational to any man’s activity. Education is the dynamic side of philosophy. Ultimately, the foundation of psychological disarmament is education.

Why should people disarm? Certainly it requires proper education. This education may be better called Education for Disarmament. or Education for Peace. Mary Sturt and E.C. Oakden feel, “We need then, if we are to abolish war, definite educational activity.”

The author of these lines would like advise to the readers for more details in this regard to refer his edited book with Prof. Dr. Suman Shukla: Disarmament Education and Peace, 1995 and his paper on the theme:           

Nonviolence: More Fundamental than Disarmament


By Surya Nath Prasad, Ph. D. – TRANSCEND Media Service

Peace Education

Peace education, in my view, is the science of peace. It is a discipline which will study the problems of war and peace systematically. Peace education always aims at peace. Educationally I hold that perpetual peace is possible because the principles on which it can be maintained are already present in the inner consciousness of man. It is peace education that can ensure permanent peace. The chief thing that such an education will teach is that the first and foremost condition for such a peace is a fundamental psychological change, a radical change in human consciousness.

Peace education is also a movement in the field of education. The major intention of this movement is to make arrangement for training and re-education for the different types of educators, viz. parents, class-room teachers, religious preachers, and political leaders to remind them of education as the unfolding of potentialities already in man; to appeal to all national governments to implement integral courses  in schools, colleges and universities and to suggest that they involve all the natural and social sciences in the development of peace and internationalism rather than in military and mere narrow  national development; to make all agencies of education efficient and active so that they may cooperatively share the full life-long potentialities of man; and to arrange life-long continuing education. Its aim is also to make arrangements for mass education to eradicate literacy, poverty and ignorance.

 Disagreement with Current Peace Education

Though now peace education has become the subject of policy of the United Nations, research and training by UNESCO, The Council of Europe and ministries of Education, various universities throughout the world and world-wide trans-nationally conceived and conducted NGO Global Campaign for Peace Education, and the author of these lines has been one of the first three signatories in the movement of Global Campaign for Peace Education on behalf of International Association of Educators for World Peace as its then President, he is not satisfied with the current peace education in the sense of its concept as inculcation of the predetermined values in the minds of learners considering peace as one of the values, making their attitude favorable towards these values and preparing them skilled in these values to practice, use of pedagogy as methodology (pedagogy is the science of teaching, and he considers teaching as violence because no one teaches anybody, if one teaches any one, he/she commits violence),  and availability of its access to a few affluent people who can afford its high fees ( in this regard one may refer to his paper ‘Access to Peace Education’ published in Online Encyclopedia of Peace Education by Teachers College Columbia University), and being limited for a certain period of 1, 2  and 4 years maximum as per the levels of the course like other conventional courses which are limited for certain period, they are not for life-long..  However, Current peace education may be one of the types of remedial educations like disarmament education, tolerance education, women education, education for international understanding, education for nonviolence and education for other similar problems, because in future, we may have education for anti-terrorism and other forms of anti-violence. But it does not mean that these all are peace education. And the exiting peace education may cure the symptoms of violence, not the cause of violence.

Peace Education based on Man’s Five Elements

Therefore this author has proposed his universal concept of peace education for sustainable peace for everywhere. His definition of peace education is knowledge, awareness and integral manifestation of physical, vital, mental, intellectual and spiritual energies already in every man and woman irrespective of any discrimination of caste, creed, race, gender, nation, and of other differences. His peace education is awareness for its theoretical concept thoroughly and deeply, and it is more for practice. It is self-education. It is education of the self, by the self and for the self – for living together through mutual co-operation and help for co-existence, co-prosperity and co-peace. Peace and other values are by-products or secondary products of his peace education. Primary product of his peace education is integral manifestation of five elements in men and women. Once the learners are aware in the course of this peace education, they will not need any further guidance from the teachers because they become experts to practice it for whole life. Thus his peace education is part and parcel of life for everybody. It is equally based on theory and practice for perpetually lifelong learning process to be man (human). Just as grains requires the time for one year to grow, a tree requires the time for ten years to grow,  but man requires the time for whole life to grow perpetually to be human .

In his definition of peace education, the inherent five energies, as stated above, in every man and woman are very prone to be known and evolved/manifested/grown integrally and perpetually by everyone to be man (human) for peace, if he or she has the awareness towards them, having  opportunity and resources. This lifelong peace education should be core-subject in all educations from nursery, primary, secondary to higher education-which are limited for certain periods. And this peace education will go beyond campus education and will continue till the end of life of all men and women through their continued practice leading to sustainable peace everywhere.

This man-making perpetual integral peace education will be for all including for parents, teachers, current peace educators, preachers, bureaucrats, rulers, representatives of people, other professionals, and all minor and adult who have no access to educational institutions for perpetual peace everywhere.  But non-unfoldment or even partial unfoldment of these five elements in men and women leads to creation of violence, war, inequality and exploitation.

Methodology of Peace Education

Methodology of peace education of this author will be mathetics (the science of learning). This author considers learning as peace because we all learn from each other, he always compares a teacher or peace educator with a doctor. A doctor operates a wound of a patient, puts some medicines and makes the bandage, that’s all. But no doctor can enter into the process of healing of the wound of the patient. The healing of the wound will take it own course. However, the importance of the doctor does not diminish. He/she must be specialized and trained in operation, knowledgeable in proper medicines and skilled in making bandages. Similarly an educator or a peace educator arranges the things through variety of methods, techniques, devices and audio-visual aids so that learning in the learners may occur. But no educator or peace educator can enter in to the process of learning of the learners. Learning will take it own course. Here also, the importance of the educator or peace educator does not minimize. He/she is supposed to be well-educated in the concept and learning of and about man (especially about his or her constituent parts) in global perspective through the knowledge and practice of variety of disciplines and well-trained in various methods and techniques of learning with specialization in audio-visual aids.

And this author’s peace education based on five elements of man and woman has two aspects: first compensatory integral peace education and purely integral peace education. Compensatory peace education will be for today’s we-crippled generation. We are all crippled: some physically, some vitally, some mentally, some intellectually, some spiritually, and many are crippled in all parts of their body. Hence we all need compensatory integral peace education for recovery of our physical, vital, mental, intellectual and spiritual health integrally. Purely integral peace education will be for coming generations, who are supposed their five elements are un-corrupt, un-crippled, raw, pure, and very prone to be unfolded integrally to be man (human) making them peaceful.

Undemocratic nation-states are not allowing their educational institutions to promote exiting peace education due to fear of indoctrination and regimentation. They fear that the concept of present peace education will destabilize their system. On the other hand, in many democracies, there is lack of political will and awareness to endorse or practice exiting peace education. But nation-states should not fear peace education of this author because while people belong to different races, and nations and have different genders, beliefs, cultures, and faiths, they have the same elements–body, vitality, mind, intellect, and spirit. All individuals have the inherent ability/energy to evolve/to grow to be man (humans) for peace.

Therefore, let all people of the world be aware of peace education based on the five elements as cited above. The world has enough resources to meet the needs of 15 billion people while the world population is about 7 billion.   All people must have means and opportunity to transcend the physical body and move to higher levels of existence. Through renunciation of the lower self, man achieves a higher self and finally becomes fully human. If peace education of   five elements of men and women is practiced everywhere, there would be sustainable peace everywhere. And after some time of implementation of this peace education, it will help in disappearance of war, violence, crimes, exploitation, non-democracy from the world, proxy and brokers governance in democratic States, it will help also for closure of prisons, police departments, and armed forces (like Costa Rica, it is the only country in the world which has no military), and also for reducing the large number of courts (judicial) and hospitals, ultimately in future they will also disappear.

The author of these lines would like to advise the readers to refer his Video on the theme: Peace Education on UCN news Channel to view and listen to be enlightened more about the benefits of peace education:

On UCN News Channel – DVD Education – YouTube

A Dialogue on

Peace Education

By Surya Nath Prasad, Ph.D.

The readers may refer also to:

The Chapter on “Universal Peace Education: Concept, Meaning and Practice” By Surya Nath Prasad, Ph.D. included in the book:

Pour une éducation à la paix dans un monde violent (For Peace Education in a Violent World) Edited by Obrillant DamusChristoph WulfJoseph P. Saint-FleurDenis Jeffrey Published by L’Harmattan, 2017: Paris, France

Shanti Shiksha: Siddhant Evam Vyavhar

(Peace Education: Theory and Practice)

By Surya Nath Prasad, Ph.D.

Prakrit Bharti Academy, 2016: Jaipur, India

Peace College

Universities and colleges can be the best places to study the problems of peace. They prepare peoples for peace. There are now several universities in Europe and America where separate peace research institutes have been established. The United States of America before 1970 there was no facility for peace study in colleges. But due to the resentment of Viet Nam War the American demanded a substitute to war education to study thoroughly. In USA today there are facilities to study peace courses in 53 colleges and universities. Besides this, peace education has been included in the curricula of of 100 colleges. Pennsylvania University provides courses on peace at M.A. and Ph.D. levels. There is the Herbjerg Peace Research College in Denmark     Dr. Theodore F. Lentz has founded Saint Louis Peace Research laboratory in Missouri. Dr. Bill Wickersham organized the Missouri Peace Institute in Columbia. International Peace Research Institute is in Norway. In India Gujarat Vidyapith provides one year postgraduate courses on Peace Research and Non-violence. The Institute of the United Nations Studies of the India Federation of the United Nations Associations in New Delhi provides a Diploma Course of six months on the United Nations and International Understanding through correspondence. Besides all these institutes and colleges, there are several peace organizations and associations throughout the world which are working for peace. The University for Peace was founded in 1980in Cost Rica, it is UN Mandated University. Originally this article was written and published in 1976.

India’s Efforts for Peace 

India has achieved a great deal for the consolidation of peace on earth with each other peace-loving countries particularly because peace is rooted in her independence. India has achieved her freedom without arms. Jawaharlal Nehru addressing the UN General Assembly Session in Paris on November 3, 1948, said, “…I am not of afraid of the future. I have no fear in mind, and I have no fear, even though India, from a military point of view, is of no great consequence. I am not

afraid of the bigness of great powers, and their armies, their fleets and their atom bombs. That is the lesion which my Master (Gandhi) taught me. We stood as an unnamed people against a great country and powerful empire. We were supported and strengthened, because throughout all this period we decided not to submit to evil, and I think that is the lesson which I have before me and which is before us today.”

In fact India is a country which had a saint like Buddha who converted the brute criminal Angulimal into Arhat (a saint) by Maitri Bhawanana.(fellow-feelings). Many aggressive Kings followed Buddha. King Ashoka who was one of them murdered his own brothers. And yet later became a peace-propagator.

India was one of the initiators of the elaboration of the five principles. Of peaceful co-existence: Panchsheel. These principles were propounded by Buddha. India also made a generous contribution to the constructive work of the Conference of 29 Afro-Asian States, convened in Bandung in 1955. The world can never forget that this conference, representing more than half of the globe, adopted a declaration, based on Panchsheel principles, and calling for disarmament and the elimination of the vestiges of colonialism.        

India, together with other non-aligned countries, drew up a constructive platform of struggle against the forces of aggression war and colonialism at the Belgrade Conference in September 1961.India’s efforts have always been to secure a lasting peace, not mere abstention from war. Jawahar Lal Nehru, in his speech at Dynamo Stadium in Moscow on June 22, 195, said, “Peace in our view, is not merely abstention from war but an active and positive approach to international relations leading, first, to the lessening of the present tension through an attempt to solve by methods of our problems by methods negotiations, then, to growing cooperation between nations in various ways cultural and scientific contacts, increase in trade and commerce, and exchange of ideas, experience and information.”

In fact India from the very beginning at all the General Assemblies of the United Nations consistently came out with other peace-loving states for the consolidation of peace and international cooperation.

Money on Wars Turns to Peace

The world spends 7.2 percent of its Gross National product on the military. For the most part, the developed countries spend more on the military than on education. Developed countries spend 7.7 per cent of total CNP on the military and 5.2 per cent on education, while developing countries spend 3.4 per cent on military on military and 3.6 per cent on education.

Nevertheless money spent on wars should be turned to peace. It should be spent on the eradication illiteracy, poverty, illness and backwardness. This effort will lead to peace. “Peace is secure,” said Radhakrishnan, “only if the peoples of the world are free from the burden of armaments, and from hunger, destitution, disease and despair.”15

To conclude we may say that it is war education that prepares man for war. To end it, peace education will be the best substitute. And money spent on war preparation and war education should be spent on peace preparation and peace education. To implement this education, the nations of the world need more peace colleges. These peace institutions will train persons for peace and will provide personnel to colleges, governmental departments, factories, hospitals, judiciary, and parental, religious and political institutions.


Mary Sturt and E.C. Oakden, Modern Psychology and Education, London, 1946, p.70

Paul Brunton, The Spiritual Crisis of Man, Bombay, 1975, p.7

  1. Krishnamurti, Education and Significance of Life, London 1969, p. 82

Pius XII, Quoted by John XXII in Peace on Earth, Bombay, 1964, p. 38

Ibid.p. 36

Lala Har Dayal, Hits for Self Culture, Bombay, 1961, p. 264

Op. Cit. 169

  1. R. Shukla, Mental Integration, Varanasi, 1958, p. 12

Dr. Bhagwan Das, Ancient Psycho-Synthesis vs. Modern Psycho-Analysis, Adyar, 1949

Op. Cit. Pp. 12-13

Op. Cit. P. 170

Pope John XXXIII, Peace on Earth,   Bombay, 1964, p. 54

See for details, For General and Complete Disarmament by I. Yevgenyev, Moscow

William Brown , Psychology and Psychotherapy, London 1946

Dr. S. Radhakrishnan, Speeches and Writings, 1969, p. 12


Dr. Surya Nath Prasad, former president & currently executive vice president of International Association of Educators for World Peace (IAEWP), associate professor of education emeritus, former visiting professor, the graduate institute of peace studies, Kyung Hee University, Republic of Korea, founder & editor-in-chief, Peace Education: An International Journal.

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