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Peaceful Inner Life

By Karmayogi

‘I want a peaceful life' is what we hear from people burdened with overwhelming duties or nearing retirement. Having had a hectic life where one problem after another crops up to be solved, or having worked hard all through their official life, one exclaims as above. Such people sometimes find peace, sometimes do not. Those who find peace really do not find peace. They enter into a problem-free phase of life. Maybe it is peace in the external life. Even that is welcome.

Our lives are structured and there is no Peace as long as the structure remains. By structure, I mean codes of life or values of life. Values are valuable. The peace offered by a life of values or moral codes is not attainable by all. It is great. But when all the structures are dissolved, one is free from the society as well as one's own psychology. Let me illustrate.

One whose house is full of expensive furniture and consumer durables is proud of possessing them. In truth, they are possessed by these chattels. It is much more so with money. Owners of considerable money are always possessed by it, making the owner an Asura. Possessions can give you comfort and pride, not freedom. There is no real Peace as long as you are possessed by material things. One enjoys the affection of many people, particularly the one whom he loves. It is elevating. Elevation and exultation may be true, but they are not Peace. Spiritual Peace is non-possessive, and it is structureless. Sri Aurobindo speaks of the Silence behind Silence. It is the Silence of Brahman. External peace gives a peaceful outer life. Inner Peace that is without structure includes the external peace. It is of great power. Its power issues from the fact that it is not supported by structure.

Nehru presided over the government. Azad presided over the Congress. But Gandhiji was neither in the government nor in the party. Nehru and Azad both obeyed him. His power over the government as well as the party came not from external power, but from inner Power. The power of Gandhiji was structureless and for that reason was more powerful. A mother's affection for a son or the loyalty of his wife is biological and based on attachment or duty. The affection is pure and serene when it is NOT based on any duty or vital attachment. Is it possible to be affectionate without being attached? We are not attached to the road, but are constantly using it very well. It is impersonal. The impersonal use is functional use. The impersonal too can become PERSONAL, as one who is enamoured of any child. His love of his own child in that fashion is spiritual affection.
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