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SWAMI MUKUNDANANDA shares his thoughts on the responsibility of each one of us to bring about change in the world, and the need to create a culture that is based on tolerance, inclusiveness, wisdom, and inner cultivation.


All of us, as members of one human race inhabiting our planet Earth, have the combined responsibility of ensuring peace at the world level. Yet even though we realize this noble and cherished goal, it still remains elusive.

In the last 5,000 years of recorded human history, at least 5,000 wars have been fought. The worst of these came to an end in 1945 when unitedly the world realized the need for world peace and established the United Nations. Yet, despite that, wars have continued. 

The world is not an indivisible entity; but it is constituted of individuals like you and me. World peace comes through peaceful pieces. When each piece is peaceful, it will ensure world peace. 

Is it possible to achieve a peace that is independent of externals—that will be retained despite adversities, that nobody can snatch away from us? It is possible, and it is what the ancient books of wisdom have taught us. They say peace has to be discovered inside, within your mind.

This mind is bondage, and the cause of liberation. The mind is such a powerful thing: it can make heaven in hellish circumstances; and in the most celestial circumstances, you can experience the torments of hell. That is why this mind is the key to peace.

There was once a businessman in Hyderabad who wanted to become detached, so he left his home and work to live in the Himalayas. He went to a monastery where he was given a hut, and there he started a spiritual practice. He had reached a reasonable level of proficiency when the monsoon came, and along with the rain came the sounds of nature—the frogs and the crickets were making merry. The man was disturbed while sitting in meditation, and when his tolerance was exhausted, he opened the window and screamed, “Silence!”

Now, because his spiritual practice had reached such a level, Nature also listened when he spoke, and so the frogs and crickets became quiet. He went back to his meditation, but discovered that he was still not able to meditate. Another voice was disturbing him, and this time it was from inside him. The voice of his conscience was saying, “What I did, was it right?” No matter how much he tried, he was unable to silence it. So finally, he again opened the window and said, “Begin!” The frogs and the crickets all resumed making a racket. He went back to meditation and this time found perfect peace, the peace from within him.

That peace is irrespective of externals, and that peace nobody can take away from us. So, the mind is such a powerful instrument. We need to purify it. The essence of spirituality is the purification of the mind. And how do you purify the mind? By attaching the mind to the all-pure, to the Supreme. When we were little children, we heard the phrase, “No God, no peace.” Where there is no God, there is no peace. And “Know God, know peace.” When you come to know God, you will come to know peace. So, when we attach our mind to the all-pure, we will achieve purity of mind. And that purity of mind will help us achieve true peace.



When we attach our mind to the all-pure, 
we will achieve purity of mind. 
And that purity of mind will help us achieve true peace.

Today, India is at a juncture, the crossroads of modernization. We are the fifth largest economy, soon to become the third largest. We are destined to take our place on the world stage. And, as a world leader, we will soon become a thought leader of the world as well.

India has a heritage of tolerance, inclusiveness, wisdom, and inner cultivation. Two and a half thousand years ago, Jagadguru Shankaracharya, asked the question, “Jagat jitam kena?”, meaning, who shall conquer the world? And the answer he gave was, “Mano hi yena,” meaning, the person who conquers their own mind. So, if we wish to achieve peace, we need to declare war. Not a war fought on the outside, but a war fought within ourselves—the war against the demons lying within ourselves.

Excerpt from a talk given at the Global Spirituality Mahotsav 2024


Swami Mukundananda

Swami Mukundananda

Swamiji is the founder of JK Yog, a bestselling author, and an expert of mind management and yogic sciences. He is the senior disciple of Jagadguru Shree Kripaluji Maharaj, and an alumnus of IIT and IIM. Swami... Read More