Question: How can we have a peaceful world?

Sri Chinmoy: We can create a peaceful world by enlarging our heart. When I was a child, my whole world was my father and my mother. I come from a village. After a few years, I started loving my little village. It is not that I stopped loving my father and mother — no. They are inside my love for my village. I only expanded my love.

Peace and joy can never be separated. If I am peaceful, that means I am blissful. If I am blissful, that means I am peaceful. A child gets utmost joy by thinking of his parents. After a few years, he gets tremendous joy by thinking, “This is my village.” Then gradually his feeling expands to include his town, his city, his province, his country.

I was born in a village in Bengal. At first, I used to think only of my village. Then gradually, gradually, when I used to hear the word ‘Bengal’, I would get tremendous joy. I read poems on Bengal and listened to songs about Bengal. My heart was expanding. Then I came to realise that my country is India. When I think of India, I am filled with joy because I was born there and my nationality is Indian.

Now I have been living in America for many, many years. I go to the United Nations to pray and meditate twice a week. The delegates, diplomats and staff — all those who want to pray and meditate — come and join me. The United Nations is so significant because almost all the nations of the world have joined. So I feel that all the nations are coming together to pray and meditate.

Now I cannot say that I have lost my love for India or East Bengal or Chittagong or Shakpura — no. I am only expanding, expanding my heart. First I got joy from thinking of my parents as my own. Then I added my village, my town, my province and my country, India. Now if you ask me what gives me the most joy, I will say that it is the moment when I think of the entire world as my own, very own. Right now, if I think of myself as a little Bengali village boy, then I will be caught there. Now I take the whole world as my own. When we use our love, there is no distance. It is like a magnet.

So the love that we felt in the very beginning for our mother and father we have to feel for the entire humanity. Until we can claim the whole world as our own, very own, with our love-power, we will have no peace. We will only think, “I am better than you are. I am superior, you are inferior.” It is love that unites us, and that love is inside the heart. When we do not have the feeling of love, we will look at somebody else or at another country and immediately we will draw comparisons: I am stronger than you are, or I am weaker than you are. But if we use the heart, even if the person who is standing in front of us is stronger, more beautiful or more cultured than we are, we will claim him as our own.

When a little child sees his father, he does not think, “Oh, my father is so much greater than I am, he has so much wisdom” — no, no, no! He takes his father and all his father’s capacities and qualities as his own.

Here also, if we can expand our hearts to include countless human beings, then we will get peace. Only in the expansion of love do we find peace. We must not say only ‘I’ and ‘mine’, but we must love others the way we love ourselves. The moment we use the mind, we do not expand. We will try to find our peace in being ahead of somebody else. Then, to our dismay, we will find that that person is already hundreds of miles ahead of us!

If we use our heart, we will not mind if somebody is ahead of us in any sphere. We will say, “That person is an extension of me. It is the same thing as putting my right foot ahead of my left foot. They belong to me; we have to go together. Otherwise, with one leg how will I be able to walk?”

When we can establish our oneness with the entire world, we can have peace. And it is from our prayers and meditations that we develop oneness.