Interviewer: When you talk about peace, are you talking about having no wars, or individual peace?

Sri Chinmoy: Individual peace must come first. If I have peace of mind and you have peace of mind, then there cannot be war. But if I do not have peace of mind, then I am constantly insecure, jealous and afraid of you. I think that you are going to attack me at any moment, so I want to attack you first. Or I feel superior to you and want to show my supremacy; I want to prove that I am greater and stronger than you, so I declare war.

All this is coming from the mind. Indeed, war always begins in the mind. But if I live in the heart and feel my oneness with you, then I am not plagued by insecurity and jealousy. Then there is only oneness-peace. So I tell the world, “Let us live in the heart, not in the mind. War is in the mind, but love and peace are in the heart.”

Unfortunately, the world is still living in the mind. Each country either is trying to show its supremacy or is afraid of other countries, and therefore the world is sorely lacking in peace. How can the world get peace? From prayer and meditation. If I get peace from my prayer and meditation, then I will not attack you or anybody else. And my peace of mind will inspire you also to pray and meditate and acquire peace of mind. So from individual peace we can have collective peace.

My prayerful message to the world is this: let us first have individual peace, and from there we will go to collective peace. If there is one beautiful plant in a garden, then gradually other plants will grow from it. But all of a sudden I cannot get hundreds and thousands of beautiful plants from one plant; it is impossible. If one person has peace of mind, then he will inspire somebody else to have peace of mind. If one country in this world has peace, then that country will inspire another country to have peace.