Peace is indispensable for existence. It is equally essential for growth and prosperity in all spheres in general, but social and economical in particular. In an atmosphere surcharged with harmony it is the occurrence of the state of peace to pave the way for development. Peace is, thus, an active state, free of conflicts or clashes, hostility and revenge. It is a call for equal progress by joint efforts, reconciliation with larger scale cooperation and coordination of fellow beings.
The Vedas1, the most sacred and ancient Hindu texts, [in reality] divulged thousands of years ago, necessity and significance of harmony at all levels and in all walks of life, having a universal approach towards thought and action for a peaceful life. The Vedas direct man to think right and work for harmony, some of the most important Vedic Mantras pertaining to importance, necessity and harmony in life are worth mentioning here. From the Rigveda it appears:
“Live in harmony and concord
Be organized and cooperative
Speak with one voice, and
Make your resolution with one mind” [10:191:2]
“May your prayers be one and the same
May we belong to one fraternity
May our minds move together
May our hearts work in accord” [10:191:3]
In the Yajurveda:
“All men are equal in brotherhood
There is no one small and no one big” [16:15]
“Behave with others in such a manner as you would like for yourself
Look upon all the living beings as your close friends for in all of them resides same soul” [40:6]
In the Samveda:
“Be we [all] full of blissful command in welfaristic practices
Be we of holder of best virtues [for common welfare]” [13: 5: 2]
And, in the Atharvaveda:
“Love one-another as cow loves its newborn calf
Live in concord and harmony with all to free from malice” [3:30:1]
“Let your mind work in harmony
Let your thoughts lead to a common objective” [6:64:2]
Evidently, all the Vedas convey the message of importance and inevitability of harmony in life, and they, simultaneously, call man to accord the central place to it in his day-to-day practices. Similarly, other Vedic treatises2, on one hand, wish for creating atmosphere of peace on the basis of harmony to pave the way for progress, prosperity and welfare of one and all, and on the other they call each and everyone to contribute his bit in this direction.
For this purpose, the Vedas wish man to be determined to peace and indulge himself in righteous acts3. Further, the Vedic philosophy expects man to embrace generosity [Udarta]4 and carry out his duties having forbearance and tolerance- the two foremost, practical and best features of Ahimsa as nuclei, so that unity and equality amongst all the fellow beings could be established. It is this approach that could bring the humanity within the ambit of harmony and through harmony to the state of peace, which is inevitable for the prosperity of all.
The significance of Vedic approach pertaining to harmony and peace holds true even in the modern predicament. It invokes especially those connected in any form and at any level with the process of education and prompts them to create a congenial atmosphere for such a sustainable culture. It could bring all, general and particular, together for common causes to do joint efforts which are necessary in these days of rapidly increasing process of globalization.
It is for this reality that an international seminar on the theme Harmony and Peace through Education and Culture is being organized by the World Peace Movement Trust in collaboration with Shridhar University at Pilani, Rajasthan, India on July 5-6, 2014. The participants –educators, professors and peace workers, through their respective presentations in this two days seminar, will focus on various aspects related to the theme and they will hopefully arrive at some concrete conclusions to pave the way for harmony and peace through education and culture.
1. Four in number –the Rigveda, the Yajurveda, the Samveda and the Atharvaveda.
2. The Upanishads in particular.
3. Acts are natural and getting them righteous is in fact to make one’s life meaningful.
4. For, in one of the Matras of the Samaveda [15:1:4] it is desired: Pahi Vishvasmaadrakshaso Araavnah Prasma Vajushu Nova/ Tvaamiddhi Nedishtham Devataataya Aapim Nakshamahe Vridhe// [Be we saved from people of dreadful habits and especially those who are indifferent to charitable works/ Be we saved from conflicts.....//