Spiritual leaders answer on peace

Editors note: “Spiritual leaders answer” is a weekly column inviting Kaua‘i religious and spiritual leaders to share their doctrine’s perspective on a suggested subject. Every Friday a topic is printed inviting a response. Thoughts or suggestions for future topics are always welcome.

Due to a generous response to “peace” and space limitations, the topic will be explored further in next week’s column. Additional submissions on the subject of peace will be considered until 5 p.m. Tuesday. The topic at the end of the column will jump to the following week.

Paramacharya Palaniswami

Kaua‘i’s Hindu Monastery

“Everything is permanent, until it changes.” — Gurudeva

Through the life of Mahatma Gandhi, Hinduism is known, rightly, as a peaceful faith and a peace-provoking path. The Hindu view is that peace is the natural state of human consciousness, merely beclouded by life’s externalities, by all the negative diversions life presents to us. To find the already-existing peace within, one merely has to become quiet, still, inwardly centered. Peace is man’s nature and his lawful legacy. Gurudeva, who lived for 30 years on Kaua‘i and worked for peace among the various island groups, wrote this:

“If you want peace, you can have it, but you must work for it. You must wage a little peace. Talk about peaceful means of dealing with problems, not allowing even your words to promote injury and harm. Let your words bring peace into others’ lives and hearts. Work on your  own consciousness. Purify yourself so that you are  free from anger, free from hatred, free from wanting anyone to suffer, either at your own hand or in any other manner. Don’t buy endangered plants, animals or products from exploited species, such as furs, ivory, reptile skin and tortoise shell. Volunteer your time to help groups who are sincerely working for a peaceful world. Learn more about other cultures and philosophies so your appreciation of them is genuine and deep. Work to strengthen your community and the people near you. Reduce stress in your life. Be joyful. Do all this and you will do much to bring  peace and tranquility to your part of the world. This is what Mahatma Gandhi did, and look what a difference he made.

“One person who lives ahimsa truly can be an instrument of peace for many. And you can make a difference, too, by affirming within yourself the vow not to injure others either physically, mentally or emotionally. Remember this one thing: Peace and the choice to live the ideal of noninjury are in your own hands.”

Topic for two weeks from today:

• Will you speak to us on

faith?

• Spiritual leaders are invited to e-mail responses of three to five paragraphs to pwoolway@kauaipubco.com

• Deadline each week is

Tuesday, by 5 p.m.

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