“We can never obtain peace in the outer world until we make peace with ourselves.”
~ Dalai Lama XIV

When I had suggested this topic for the weekly LBC blog posts, I had no idea about what I will write on it. As late as yesterday, I had no clue as to how to go about writing the post on time. This morning however, when I sat down for my daily session of meditation, the idea of writing about inner peace came as though it was a command and ideas on what to write also crystalised.

In Sanskrit peace invocations one always concludes by saying “Om! Shanti, Shanti, Shanti.” The reason that the word Shanti, meaning peace is said three times is to invoke peace of mind during sufferings arising out of Adhidaivika (of divine origin), Adhibhautika (originated in the physical, material beings), and Adhyatmika (created by ourselves).

The word “daivika” means “of divine origin”. Adhidaivika refers to the suffering due to divine causes, causes that we have no control over. These include natural disasters like floods, tornados, tsunamis, earthquakes, plagues, fires and the like.

The word ‘bhautika’ is derived from ‘bhuta’ which means all “things”. It can be any entity, living or non-living. For example, even a stone can be termed a bhuta. So Adhibhautika refers to suffering caused by other things. These are classified as – other humans, domestic animals, wild animals, reptiles, insects, mosquitoes, bugs, cockroaches etc. For example, suffering can be caused by someone physically hitting you or hurting you through verbal abuse. Similarly, suffering can be caused by a snake or a scorpion bite, you may have sleepless nights due to mosquito bites, you could be attacked by a domestic or a wild animal etc.

The word ‘atmika’ means ‘self-generated’. Adhyatmika suffering is the most damaging and long-lasting as we inflict it on ourselves. This could be physical, mental, or emotional.  We cause physical suffering on ourselves by, for example, overeating, not taking care of our health etc. Most other suffering is mental. We suffer when we carry negative emotions – anger, hatred, jealousy, greed etc.

In the Indian ways of life, one remarkable feature was the way the average Indian was expected to face trials and tribulations of life with equanimity and peace of mind. Unfortunately, we have become quite materialistic in our life styles here over the past few generations and so this ideal of a life of inner peace despite adverse conditions is also rare to find except in those who follow some kind of a spiritual life which will include regular meditation and study of the scriptures.

I flatter myself that I lead a spiritual life and by and large, live a life of inner peace and joy. I have not however  yet reached the stage that the Dalai Lama has reached. Ido slip every now and then and get agitated. I am however making steady progress and hopefully will reach that stage before I call it a day.

I have suggested the topic for this week’s LBC Friday post. You can see what the other writers of the LBC have to say in their respective blogs.  Maria, Pravin and Shackman.

14 thoughts on “Peace!”

  1. I tend to agree with you on a personal level. But nation states cannot seem to attain inner peace – and in the absence of global conflict the norm is regional conflict. As we become a more global society the regions increase in size. I doubt true global peace is actually possible.
    shackman recently posted..Peace

  2. my view is always too simple probably.
    at least in the midst of what i always think of here as superior minds!
    i love this post and what it says.
    i have always thought of peace and kindness like little pebbles dropped into one’s own personal stream of life… and then the ripples expand and encompass more than oneself.
    it’s just helpful for me to see it that way. little personal ambassadors going out into the dark world!
    and also what helps my own inner peace is a sense of contentment about life itself.
    which always harkens back to my beloved simple and minimal living.
    just as it does your own rummy.
    the less you want of the material world the more peace you have.
    such a little secret. but so important.
    unfortunately the world seems to be going in the opposite direction for the most part.
    tammy j recently posted..moving on old bean

  3. I think it is easier to experience an internal sense of peace if one is comfortably experiencing having their basic physical needs of life met — a place to live, food & water, clothing plus health care. Struggling for any one of those, or to provide them for others for whom we care, can present the challenge of finding the means by which we can seek inner peace which can be unique for each person. Some do so through meditation, some have other ways, or even use a combination of approaches some of which may vary through the years as I think mine have.
    Joared recently posted..AROUND THE WORLD BLOGGING

    1. I agree totally. Very often people mistake reconciliation with adversity as being peaceful. No, it is a totally different dimension. And I also agree that each individual has to find her/his own way to find it.

  4. I don’t think we ever stop striving for inner peace, no matter what path we choose trying to fully attain it. Despite years of trying to do better, I still allow small matters to agitate me. I’d like to think, however, that some progress has been made in reducing the frequency and intensity of my periods of anger.
    Gabbygeezer recently posted..A Trump By Any Other Name . . .

  5. You are right that the self-induced suffering is the hardest to let float away. I seem able to accept life and what it throws at me with a degree of equanimity, and I feel blessed that I have not been handed what I cannot handle. However, I can dish suffering to myself in such huge portions as to be unable to stomach it in one sitting. It takes several sittings to come to inner peace.

    Quoting Cheerful Monk, “commitment and practice”.
    Mother recently posted..Reading and Having and Holding

    1. The great quest in Vedanta is the fourth state simply called turiya which is that awareness which witnesses the three other states of waking, dreaming and deep sleep states. One can experience this for short spells in deep meditation but the problem is to make it permanent!

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