World Peace in the Atomic Age


Mr President, Delegates, Leaders, and Friends:

It is a happy event to meet the distinguished delegates and members of the different countries of the world who have come to discuss plans and demonstrate Universal Brotherhood in action, in the spirit of peace and loving kindness for all the world. I have Love for God and for all humanity. Fully knowing that men and women of high attainments are present here, I venture to speak to you frankly what strikes my mind on the subject which is a main objective before us: namely, Peace of the World.

Man does not live by bread alone. He has to live on the Bread of life. He is a conscious being and has to know himself to live on God-Consciousness. Man is a conscious entity which expresses itself through mind1 and physical body. Unless he is liberated from bondage of mind and matter, he cannot have knowledge of self and of God. If his mind is turned to the physical body and its needs, he becomes earthly. The inevitable result is jealousies and strives. But if it is directed towards soul, he becomes spiritual; the result will be Love and Peace.

The preamble to the UNESCO Constitution says that

since war began in the minds of men, it is in the minds of men that defences of peace must be constructed.

All Masters Who came in the past turned man’s attention to the purification of the heart. If we want to change the outside, we should change our hearts first, because out of the abundance of the heart man speaks. What does it avail one to wash himself outside if deceitfulness is in his heart? Purity in thought, word, and deed is what is required. The world is awakening to this truth, as is apparent from the fact that religion conferences and such organisations as this one are coming into existence for the purpose of helping mankind uplift himself, but violence and hatred still dominate the world and the doctrine of inequality of men and races is preached and practised. Some like to dominate over others and exact and squeeze from others all that they can, and give little or nothing in return. All this has, as it were, formed habits that have entered into our nature. How can we change our mind and turn it to a higher purpose? Mind, like fire, is a good servant, but a bad master.

Guru Nanak said,

Victory over the mind is victory over the world.

Let us consider how we can conquer our mind and change our hearts. Man is composed of body, mind, intellect, and soul. We have to develop all around. We have sufficiently developed physically, socially and politically. We have made wonderful inventions, such as telephone, telegraphy, radios, televisions, airplanes, rockets, atom bombs, etc., but both physical body and intellect depend on the soul within, about which we know little or nothing.

What does it profit a man if he gains the possessions the whole world and loses his own soul?

As we have not known ourselves, all advancements we have made on the physical and intellectual plane are going against us. In a European conference of scientists held recently, the President of the conference said that we have gained control over the forces of nature before knowing our own selves. That is why various inventions are going to help in the destruction of mankind. Had we known ourselves before we got control over the forces of nature, all these inventions would have gone to help in our uplift.

All Masters in the olden times, namely, Buddha, Nanak, Christ, Prophet Mohammed, exhort us to

Know thyself!

For knowing ourselves we have to rise above the body consciousness by practical self-analysis.

The Scriptures say,

Learn to die so that you may begin to live.

Christ said,

Except ye be born again, you cannot enter the Kingdom of God.

Nicodemus was a very learned man. He came up to Christ and said to Him,

Master, how can a man be born when he is old? Can he enter the second time into his mother’s womb and be born?

You will see intellectual people fail very badly when the practical side is concerned.

Christ replied,

Art thou a master of Israel and knowest not these things? Don’t you know that flesh is born of flesh and spirit of spirit?

To be born anew is to rise above the body-consciousness by practical self-analysis so that one may know himself and the Overself Which is called by so any names.

Kabir says the same thing,

Learn to die a hundred times a day, not once.

You must know how to rise above the body consciousness so as to know who you are or what you are. Intellectually we know so much about it, but practically we know little or nothing. It is a matter rising above the body consciousness and opening the Inner Eye or the Single Eye to see the Light of God by practical self-analysis, which we have forgotten. It is an old, old science.

All Masters Who came in the past were fully conversant with these facts but unfortunately we have forgotten them. Can we rise above the body consciousness? Can we leave the body and then come back? These are teachings given by almost all the Masters whether They came in one country or in the other.

Maulana Rumi said

My dear friends, learn to die so that you may have Everlasting Life.

So this is not a new thing, but an old, old thing which we have forgotten.

So the Master says:

Yes we can have this experience as surely as two and two make four, very definitely, at the feet of a Competent Master, as King Janaka had at the feet of Ashtavakra in a very short time.

I need not dwell on this subject any longer. Those who may be interested in solving the mystery life can refer to the pamphlet which has been distributed to everyone here, for further information. To achieve this end, man must have an ethical or moral life which is a stepping stone to Spirituality.

Christ said

Blessed are the pure in heart for they shall see God.

Guru Nanak said,

Be pure that Truth may be realised.

While pressing for the moral and intellectual solidarity of mankind, we have not laid any stress on the Spiritual Aspect of man which is the most vital but a sadly ignored proposition. It is a cementing factor running throughout all humanity without which all our attempts in the intellectual and moral planes may succumb and collapse.

On my tour of England, Germany and the USA last year I was asked,

How can we avoid the danger of atomic war?

I told the listeners that we can avoid this if we but live up to what the scriptures say. We know so much about the Sermon on the Mount, the Ten Commandments and the Eight-fold Path of the Buddha, for preaching to others, but we do not live up to what we preach. “Be the doers of the Word and not hearers only – deceiving your own selves.” Reformers are wanted, not of others but of themselves.

Learn to live just as Yudishtra, one of the five Pandos, brothers, did. It is said that the five Pandos were placed under the tuition of a teacher.

And the teacher gave them a book which started, Tell the truth, don’t be angry, and so on. Four of the brothers memorised the full booklet. When the turn of Yudishtra, the other brother, came, he said, Well, Master, I have learned one sentence fully, ‘to tell the truth’; and ‘don’t be angry,’ I have learned only half of that. The master was enraged. He said, What will I answer to the king? In two or three months he’d learned only one sentence and another only half. He began slap the boy – once, twice, thrice. Then he said, Why can’t you tell the truth? Yudishtra said, I do tell the truth that I have learned one sentence – to tell the truth – and the other only half, not to get angry. And now I tell you the truth that in the beginning I was not angry, but when you went on slapping me, I got angry in my mind.

So unless we learn to live as Yudishtra did, there can be no advancement in any phase of our life. Food which is digested gives strength. If we put in practice what we have learned, all danger of an atomic war will be avoided.

Now let us see what the Scriptures say for our guidance. Men are all worshippers of the same power of God, called by so many names. God made man, ensouled bodies. Our soul is environed by mind and matter. God is All-Consciousness.

When we liberate ourselves from the bondage mind and matter we find we are conscious entities – souls. We are, as it were, drops of the ocean of life. If we know ourselves by analyzing ourselves from the physical body, we will meet the world from the level of the soul. So we have got a very strong background to stand on, viz., God-Consciousness. But we have been living on up to the shalts and don’ts. We shall do this and do that or don’t do this or don’t do that, but really we have no strong background to stand on.

There is no Hindu, no Mohammedan, I may add no Christian or any other, by birth.

That is what Guru Nanak said.

The Israelites came up to Christ and put to Him the question,

Our king demands a tribute from us, what should we do?

And He told them to bring Him a coin. And when the coin was brought He asked whose inscription was on it; when told it was Caesar’s, He said,

Give unto Caesar what is Caesar’s. Your souls are of God, give unto God.

All Master’s viewpoints have been the same. As man is a social being, social institutions of various religions were made for the uplift of soul, so that it may pass its earthly sojourn amicably and prove to helping to all humanity, as well as to aid one to know himself and know the Overself – God. God cannot be known by intellect, the outgoing faculties, or prana. It is only the soul that can know God – that is why all Masters who came in the past enjoined:

Know thyself.

They further gave two most important commandments:

  1. Love thy God with all thy heart, with all thy soul, and with thy strength, and
  2. Love thy neighbour as thyself. God resides in all hearts.


Explanation: 1) […] Mind has four facets or attributes, to wit,  

1) Chit – it may be likened to a lake in which countless streams of impressions are imperceptibly pouring in all the time.

2) Manas – it is the thinking faculty of the mind which cogitates over such impressions as rise on to the surface of the lake in the form of ripples and waves just as the breeze of consciousness blows over the waters of the chit-lake and sets in motion an endless chain of thoughts one after the other.

3) Buddhi or intellect – it is the faculty of reason, ratiocination, discrimination and finally decision, after considering the pros and cons as presented by the manas. It is the grand arbiter that tries to solve the problems of life which come before it.

4) Ahankar or ego – it is the self-assertive faculty of the mind for it likes to assume credit for all the acts done, and thus prepares a rich harvest of karmas that keep one moving up and down in giant Wheel of Life. […]

('Spiritual Elixir', Part I, Chapter XII: Mind, by Kirpal Singh)