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Teaching From Vedas On Peace - Quotes And Thoughts On The Importance Of Peace In Vedas

This is a collection of teachings from Vedas on peace. The quotes and thoughts from Vedas shows that peace is not just for human beings but for all animate and inanimate in the universe.

The great Vedic Rishis, our illustrious forefathers, had well understood the need for peace in the world. Therefore, in the ancient Vedic books one finds a constant reference to peace. It is the most sublime message of the Vedas – the need for peace; and it is a message that is more relevant now than ever before. In articulating this philosophy of peace, the Vedic Rishis took into account all aspects of peace.

Quotes And Thoughts On The Importance Of Peace In Vedas

The Yajur Veda boldly declares:
Let there be peace in heaven,
Let there be peace in the atmosphere,
Let there be Peace on Earth,
May the waters and medical herbs bring peace,
May the trees give peace to all beings,
May all the Gods be peaceful,
May the Vedas spread peace everywhere,
May all other objects everywhere give us peace,
And may that peace come to us and remain with us forever. (Shukla Yajur Veda, 36/17)

The Vedic idea of peace, as it is seen, is not restricted to the human realm. It includes peace in all areas of life—psychological, social, environmental and so on.

The Vedic idea of peace is not mere absence of violence; it is rather presence of something positive. 

The Rig Veda daringly asserts:

The winds waft sweets,
The rivers pour sweets for the man, who keeps
the Law,
So may the plants be sweet for us.
Sweet be the night and sweet the dawns,
Sweet the terrestrial atmosphere;
Sweet be our Father in Heaven to us.
May the tall tree be full of sweets for us,
And full of sweets the Sun:
May our milch-cow be sweet for us. (Rigveda, 1- 90, Mantras 6-8)

In other words, the Vedic idea of peace is that of something that brings sweetness and joy in every aspect of life. This includes a healthy environment—trees, jungles, winds and all of Nature. Indeed, the Vedas urge man to adopt such way of life that is conducive to the protection of our natural environment and habitat.

Atharva Veda Asserts

Unity of heart, and unity of mind, freedom from hatred, do I procure for you. Do ye take delight in one another, as a cow in her (new-) born calf! (Atharva Veda: III, 30)

Identical shall be your drink, in common shall be your share of food! I yoke you together in the same traces: do ye worship God Agni, joining together, as spokes around about the hub! (Atharva Veda: III, 30)

The idea is, we should live in harmony and a spirit of cooperation. Social harmony comes when we discover our underlying unity. There are various ways to unity but the best is to realize our divinity which is equally present in everyone. Feeling one with one another at the level of atman is what provides a solid foundation for lasting sense of solidarity and the resultant happiness.

Source - Towards a Vedic Philosophy of Peace by Rudraprasad Matilal published in the May 2010 issue of Vedanta Kesari