Humanity has always craved to achieve peace. Be it world peace or inner peace, nobody denies it. People have fought great wars to attain the ultimate golden peace. How successful we are in achieving it is visible to all of us. We constantly seek peace but end up with chaos. What is it that peace has become so elusive and difficult to attain? The more we progress, the more we are out of peace; why? Let's try to find the answer to this.
Is it money and fame that will provide us peace? We all know the answer. Is it technology? On the contrary, with less technology, our grandparents look more at peace than us. All the advancement in science and technology has definitely eased our lives, and we cannot put the blame on it, but it has also taken away the peace. Technology can be either a boon or a bane. It is up to us as to how we use it. Just like a knife, a doctor can use it for surgery, and a dacoit can wield it to kill.
If not money, fame and technology, then what? Let's get deeper. Mere economics and science don't make a society. There is one more stream called humanities, and the values are at its core. It is the values that shape and drive the community. Science and economy are essential fuels, but a vehicle is not run merely on energy; it needs an entire mechanism and, on top of it, a driver to run that mechanism.
Dharma as the Key to Achieving Peace
If we go back to our ancient culture and civilization, we will find that the core values of that time were Satya and Dharm (truthfulness and righteousness). Even the great wars at that time were fought not only for establishing a dharma but also were based on a dharma.
One can wonder what peace has to do with dharma. To understand this, first, we need to understand what dharma is.
अहिंसा सत्यमस्तेयं शौचमिन्द्रियनिग्रह:।
दानं दमो दया शान्ति: सर्वेषां धर्मसाधनम्।।
Ahimsā satyam asteyaṁ śaucaṁ indriya-nigrahaḥ
dānaṁ damaḥ dayā śāntiḥ sarveṣāṁ dharmasādhanam
Muni Yagyavalka prescribed nine organs of dharma- non-violence, truthfulness, refraining from stealing, cleanliness, control over sense gratification, charity, patience, mercy and peace.
ब्रह्मचर्येण सत्येन तपसा च प्रवर्तते।
दानेन नियमेनापि क्षमा शौचेन वल्लभ।।
अहिंसया सुशांत्या च अस्तेयेनापि वर्तते।
एतैर्दशभिरगैस्तु धर्ममेव सुसूचयेत।।
Brahmacharyeṇa satyena tapasā ca pravartate
Dānena niyamenāpi kṣamā śaucena vallabha
Ahimsayā suśāntyā ca asteyenāpi vartate
Etair daśabhiragais tu dharmameva susūcayet
Similarly, Padma Puran states that embracing celibacy, truthfulness, austerity, charity, patience, forgiveness, cleanliness, non-violence, peace and refraining from stealing will bring growth of dharma.