The secret of inner peace1Dear sisters and brothers, I shall show you how to acquire, here and now, inner peace. My help is not advice. Mine is not the way to advise people what to do or what not to do. It is true that everyone is unselfish and liberal when it comes to giving advice and, unfortunately, I am no exception. Yet I fully agree with Chesterfield, who says, "Advice is seldom welcome and those who need it the most, like it the least."
This world of ours has everything except one thing: peace. Everybody wants and needs peace, whether he be a child or an octogenarian. But the idea of peace is not the same for each individual. It sadly differs. A child's idea of peace is to beat a drum. Beating a drum brings him joy, and this joy is his peace. An old man's idea of peace is to sit quietly with his eyes and ears closed, so that he can escape the fond embrace of the ugly and restless world. The general in Eisenhower spoke on peace: "We are going to have peace, even if we have to fight for it."
The indomitable Napoleon voiced forth, "What a mess we are in now: peace has been declared." The Son of God taught us, "Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall inherit the earth."
Somebody has very aptly said, "The more we strive for peace on earth, the more it seems that the dove of peace is a bird of paradise."
To be sure, peace is not the sole monopoly of heaven. Our earth is extremely fertile. Here on earth we can grow peace in measureless measure.
I am supposed to speak on the inner peace. I wish to confine my talk to the spiritual seeker in each of you. A genuine seeker after peace must needs be a seeker after love. Love has another name: sacrifice. When sacrifice is pure, love is sure. When love is divine, in sacrifice there can be no "mine", no "thine". Love is the secret of oneness. Sacrifice is the strength of oneness. Self-love is self-indulgence. Self-indulgence is self-annihilation. Love of God is the seeker's greatest opportunity to realise God.
We sacrifice our precious time to make money. We sacrifice our hard-earned money to fight against time. In order to have something from the outer world, we have to sacrifice something of our own. Similarly, in the inner world we offer our aspiration in return for God-Realisation. The flame of our aspiration is kindled by God Himself. The fruit of our realisation, too, we get from God directly. God is the Inspirer in us. God is the Eternal Giver. God is the Eternal Receiver in us. God uses aspiration to take us to Himself. God uses realisation to bring Himself to us. God is sacrifice when we live in the world of aspiration. God is sacrifice when we live in the realm of realisation. But God says that there is no such thing as sacrifice. There is only one thing here on earth and there in heaven, and that thing is called oneness: the fulfilment in oneness and the fulfilment of oneness.
There are four kinds of seekers: lamentable, incapable, promising and fulfilling. The lamentable and the incapable have to be patient; they have to wait for the Hour of God. The promising and the fulfilling are already singing and dancing in the Hour of God. They are constantly meditating on God. This is their inner life of realisation. They are soulfully and spontaneously acting for God. This is their outer life of revelation.
To come back to the secret of inner peace, our questioning and doubting mind is always wanting in peace. Our loving and dedicated heart is always flooded with inner peace. If our mind has all the questions, then our heart has all the answers. The answers are perfect precisely because they come straight from the soul, which sees the Truth and lives in the Truth. And Truth, Truth alone, is the Goal of Goals.
If you want to have the inner peace, then you must follow the path of spirituality. Spirituality is the answer. There are three ages of man: under-age, over-age and average. To the under-age, spirituality is hocus-pocus. To the over-age, spirituality is something dry, uncertain and obscure. And to the average, spirituality is self-oblivion, self-negation and self-annihilation.
But a true seeker will say that spirituality is something normal, natural, spontaneous, fertile, clear, luminous, divinely self-conscious, self-affirmative and self-creating. If you have a spiritual teacher to help and guide you, then you are very lucky. Listen to him always, until you breathe your last. If you stop taking advice from him, then yours will be the loss and not his. Even in the ordinary human life one needs a teacher, a mentor. There is considerable truth in what Churchill says: "In those days he was wiser than he is now — he used, frequently, to take my advice."
If you don't have a spiritual Master and if you don't care for one, then at every moment please listen to the dictates of your soul in absolute silence. Peace you want and need. To have peace, you must have free access to your soul. To have free access to your soul, you must have inner silence. To have inner silence, you need aspiration. To have aspiration, you need God's Grace. To have God's Grace, you must feel that you are God's and God's alone, always!
We are now in Connecticut. The motto of Connecticut is supremely significant. My heart of devotion and my soul of love are singing the matchless motto of Connecticut: Qui Transtulit Sustinet — "He who transplanted sustains." God transplanted truth to earth, and He sustains this truth with love. In the combination of the two lies the secret of inner peace.
EL 11. University of Connecticut, Storrs, Connecticut, 19 April 1969.↩