Mr. Utsunomiya: Over a one-hundred-year period Japan quickly and incessantly adopted Western civilisation and technology. And then, at one time or another over the years, Japan won minor wars. These victories led the Japanese leadership to sheer arrogance, and then they entered into a major war with the U.S. and the Western allies.

The worst incident of all during the war period, I believe, was the Japanese invasion of mainland China. Without Japan's invasion of China, there would not have been a war against the United States or, for that matter, the bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki. So it was not a question of who was bad or good. It was a question of who would lead the whole world to annihilation first. The U.S. was quicker to develop the atomic bomb. Japan was far behind in that particular technology. But sooner or later, if the situation had been left alone, either the U.S. or Japan would have destroyed most of the world. So I keep saying the Japanese should not have any animosity against the Americans. We did comparably bad things over the years, particularly in mainland China. We were to blame.

Sri Chinmoy: Here I wish to say that human beings are not perfect. The Japanese are not perfect, the Americans are not perfect, the Indians are not perfect. Otherwise, we would all be saints and sages and not do anything wrong. Just because we are not perfect, we make deplorable mistakes. Suppose that today I have done something wrong to you and caused you suffering. Then tomorrow you come back with infinitely more power than I have and you retaliate. If we continue this game, then there will never be world peace.

So we have to stop. I strike you and you strike me. Whose striking is harder, God alone has to judge. But afterwards we come to realise that we have done something wrong and we stop. If I want to remember that your blow was harder than mine, and I decide to again gather strength and give you one more blow, then there will be no end to it. Or often the superior one thinks, "Perhaps my opponent is gathering strength; so let me become more powerful." This is what America and Russia are doing. They are thinking that one day Japan or China will become stronger than they are, so they are all the time trying to increase their strength.

But this feeling of being stronger or weaker should go away. In a oneness-family, one brother may be physically stronger than the other brothers. Again, another brother may be mentally stronger and a third may be spiritually stronger. But it is all in the family, so each one's strength belongs to the others. You are a doctor, I am a lawyer and somebody else is a politician, let us say. The politician should not think that the doctor is useless, and the doctor should not think that the politician or the lawyer is useless. Everybody has his own respective place in our world-family.

We have to have inner strength in order to start spreading peace. Like Mahatma Gandhi said, it is one thing to strike someone; that is one kind of strength. Again, to bring forward inner strength and to refrain from striking someone is another kind of strength. It is one kind of strength to raise my hand and another kind of strength to keep my hand by my side. Strength comes not only in movement. Strength can also be found in remaining calm, quiet, silent. That is static strength.

Japan attacked China. Then it went to Burma and on to Chittagong. When I was a child, how many times I had to take shelter when the Japanese planes, like flies, used to come in the sky. There would be a siren, and we would immediately go into a V-shaped hole. At that time there was no peace. While sleeping, all of a sudden we would hear the Japanese planes buzzing. We were innocent village people, and everybody was frightened to death.

My father had a small bank. A Japanese bomb dropped, and the bank became a big hole-like a swimming pool. It just disappeared and became an open area. Like that, so many places were destroyed. Early in the morning you would be coming outside and bullets would be passing through the trees. Such an experience!

Now I have become a seeker and I do not hold anything against Japan. Why? Because I feel that at that time Japan was ignorant. A child is ignorant, so what does he do? He strikes and breaks things. He does not do it deliberately; unconsciously he does it. The result is that his own hand is broken or he realises that he has struck his dear ones and feels repentent.

From:Sri Chinmoy,Japan, my life bows to your heart, Agni Press, 1984
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