The Way to Peace

From Yogadrishti Series: Philosophy to Realization, Swami Niranjanananda Saraswati

In the process of yoga, there is greater focus on understanding and improving sambandha, relationships and interactions. It is not necessary to meditate a lot. Instead, develop the awareness of how you can improve your connection and interaction with people, society, the environment, nature, and the Higher Self. The moment you start to improve your connection and relationship with people and with yourself, you will discover peace, or shanti.

Meditation will not give you shanti. Meditation can only make you aware of the causes of ashanti, absence of peace. In order to discover shanti, you have to improve your interactions, relationships and your moment-to-moment awareness. This includes how you speak, as there needs to be awareness of that particular moment. There must be awareness when engaged in doing something and in making the effort to give your best. That moment is lived only once in your lifetime, therefore give it your best shot. With the improvement of interaction and communication there develops an understanding. This is the beginning of yoga psychology. Cultivation of understanding makes you the drashta, the witness, and you are able to observe your traits, limitations, attitudes and behaviours, and cultivate the appropriate qualities to manage the agitations of the mind in a better way.

Imagine a bare piece of land with a lot of sunshine, making it too hot to live there. What do you do? You plant trees, and when the trees grow they provide enough shade. It is not necessary to cover the entire plot with a ceiling and a roof to create shade. By planting trees, shade can be created even in the most bare of lands. Similarly, in life, if the seeds of good qualities such as hope, love and aspiration are sown, and the effort is made to break away from the selfish needs, and explore the selfless interaction with the community and people, there will be more shanti, peace, within and without.