“One who is not in transcendental consciousness can have neither a controlled mind nor steady intelligence, without which there is no possibility of peace. And how can there be any happiness without peace?” (Lord Krishna, Bhagavad-gita, 2.66)
नास्ति बुद्धिर् अयुक्तस्य
न चायुक्तस्य भावना
न चाभावयतः शान्तिर्
अशान्तस्य कुतः सुखम्
nāsti buddhir ayuktasya
na cāyuktasya bhāvanā
na cābhāvayataḥ śāntir
aśāntasya kutaḥ sukham
Friend1: This comes across as one of the most common answers from beauty pageant contestants.
Friend2: What is the question? And are we playing Family Feud?
Friend1: Something along the lines of what is hoped for, what is the goal you would like to achieve.
Friend2: Ah, yes.
Friend1: World peace.
Friend2: For sure. How could you be against that? Imagine saying:
“Nah. I’d rather have world conflict. Fighting where I live and also abroad. War is good.”
Friend1: It is the safe answer, no doubt. Children may express a similar desire. Stepping back for a moment, should that actually be a goal?
Friend2: What is the scope? World peace or internal peace?
Friend1: Peace, in general. Is that the purpose of an existence?
Friend2: There are different angles of vision. One person would say that peace is very easy to achieve. It takes a matter of seconds.
Friend1: Oh yeah? How?
Friend1: You mean to God?
Friend2: Don’t have to cover that topic yet. Take the two parties who are at war. One of them just has to give up. If the communists are ready to take over the nation and you raise opposition, naturally there will be conflict.
Friend2: Instead, just lay down your weapons. Let the aggressors take over. That is peace, is it not?
Friend1: Never thought of it that way, but you are correct.
Friend2: From the spiritual side, there is the formula for peace provided by Shri Krishna in the Bhagavad-gita:
ज्ञात्वा मां शान्तिम् ऋच्छति
jñātvā māṁ śāntim ṛcchati
“The sages, knowing Me as the ultimate purpose of all sacrifices and austerities, the Supreme Lord of all planets and demigods and the benefactor and well-wisher of all living entities, attain peace from the pangs of material miseries.” (Lord Krishna, Bhagavad-gita, 5.29)
Friend1: Acknowledge three things and you are good to go.
Friend2: Yes. Simple and straightforward.
Friend1: But what about the ultimate purpose? Is peace the end? Is that what I should be striving for? You just mentioned how peace doesn’t necessarily equate to a condition of happiness. The bad guys can force their way into power and make everyone else miserable. Technically, there is peace; based on the absence of conflict.
Friend2: Precisely. Shri Krishna also questions how there can be any happiness without peace. This implies that the first factor is used as an anchor for the presence of a second.
Friend1: Happiness, then? That is the goal.
Friend2: His Divine Grace A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada puts it so nicely:
“An eternal bliss distinguished from ephemeral sensual satisfaction.”
Friend1: Wow. Saying so much in only a few words.
Friend2: The happiness is not fleeting. Juxtapose with the winter and summer seasons. Those come and go on schedule. Nothing anyone can do to change it; even if you switched from automobiles to bicycles as the primary means of transportation.
Friend1: More than just the coming and going of happiness and sadness, this higher experience should be without end, i.e. eternal.
Friend2: Distinguished, as well.
Friend1: Meaning notably different from other kinds of happiness.
Friend2: Specifically related to the interaction with the senses.
Friend1: You hear people reference something similar.
“Oh, that experience was spiritual. I’m taking care of my spiritual happiness.”
Friend2: Right. There is an inherent understanding that something more exists, beyond this temporary body. To experience the transcendental bliss is the purpose of the human birth. It should be remembered that such bliss is not far away in terms of physical distance. The soul is endowed with this bliss.
Friend2: There you go. The eternally blissful one expands into many individual sparks which inherit the same properties. That eternal condition is only temporarily covered at the moment, but through proper guidance and training a person can go beyond peace. They can reach into the other world and experience what rightfully belongs to them. The process especially effective for the modern age is the chanting of the holy names: Hare Krishna Hare Krishna, Krishna Krishna, Hare Hare, Hare Rama Hare Rama, Rama Rama, Hare Hare.
Peace quickly can get,
Down your weapons set.
And opposition not mounting,
Yet for happiness not accounting.
Guru for beyond senses saying,
A higher experience from praying.
And consciousness in Divine’s direction,
Real ananda from that connection.