PEACE
Peace is one of the most desirable fruits of salvation in all the world's religions. We begin with passages describing the fruit of inner peace. The peace that comes with reaching Ultimate Reality brings tranquility to the heart and clarity to the mind. 

It is the absence of passions, desires, anxieties, and wandering thoughts; the heart becomes cool and content. Nirvana is often translated 'Peace.' Islam and Christianity both praise the peace and tranquility that come to the soul that is firm in faith. The soul of the saint has been likened to a deep pond whose surface remains undisturbed by waves despite the many currents or streams that flow into it.

A second group of passages describe the peace of God that brings harmony among people and nations. Outward peace is emphasized in the Abrahamic faiths, for whom the work of God has a social and historical dimension. 

The love of God breaks down the walls of hostility between people, and thus becomes the foundation for their lasting peace. Yet peace in this social and political sense is not only given by God; it must also be built by the efforts of human beings. Those who are blessed with inner peace have the responsibility to become peacemakers, reconciling conflict.

Sacred Words For Peace




        

“We have, for the first time in history, easy access to all of the world's great religions. Examine the many great traditions — from Christianity to Buddhism, Islam to Taoism, Paganism to Neoplatonism — and you are struck by two items: there are an enormous number of differences between them, and a handful of striking similarities” Ken Wilber

Project Description

In reply to recent world events, we are organizing a local/nationwide/worldwide day/week on which people of different religious traditions can read similar passages related to peace from their different holy books and perhaps visit each other's gathering place to do so together. The goal is to see the similarity across the different religions and to begin healing the wounds inflicted by those falsely exaggerating the differences.

The specific form of this event would be decided by participating groups. It might be as simple as having a religious leader go to our website SACRED WORDS FOR PEACE.org to access peace-related messages from several holy books and read them to his or her congregation that day; or, read the passages during services that week; or, clergy of different faiths might invite each other to read at their respective services, for example, a priest or minister being invited to a mosque or synagogue to read a few passages from the Bible while the imam or rabbi reads similar passages from the Quran or Torah. Or, a congregation may want to invite members of different traditions to visit their gathering place to read from the sacred texts together.

We are also planning a social networking activity using the same messages. We will suggest that people go to the website, download the messages, and email them to others in their personal network.

We are asking like-minded organizations to endorse the event, to publicize it to their members, and to suggest peace-related passages from their sacred text, if it is a religious organization. Please post passages using the Share Your Wisdom blog on the website. Thanks very much.

For more information, please contact Richard O’Neill, Ph.D. at SUNY Upstate Medical University, Institute for Decision Excellence And Leadership, 750 East Adams St., Syracuse, N.Y. 13210. (315) 464-3120. oneillr@upstate.edu. 


If we have no peace, it is because we have forgotten that we belong to each other. 

                                    - Mother Teresa



PEACE
Peace is one of the most desirable fruits of salvation in all the world's religions. We begin with passages describing the fruit of inner peace. The peace that comes with reaching Ultimate Reality brings tranquility to the heart and clarity to the mind. 

It is the absence of passions, desires, anxieties, and wandering thoughts; the heart becomes cool and content. Nirvana is often translated 'Peace.' Islam and Christianity both praise the peace and tranquility that come to the soul that is firm in faith. The soul of the saint has been likened to a deep pond whose surface remains undisturbed by waves despite the many currents or streams that flow into it.

A second group of passages describe the peace of God that brings harmony among people and nations. Outward peace is emphasized in the Abrahamic faiths, for whom the work of God has a social and historical dimension. 

The love of God breaks down the walls of hostility between people, and thus becomes the foundation for their lasting peace. Yet peace in this social and political sense is not only given by God; it must also be built by the efforts of human beings. Those who are blessed with inner peace have the responsibility to become peacemakers, reconciling conflict.

 

Peace I leave with you; my peace I give to you; not as the world gives do
I give to you.

Christianity. Bible, John 14.27

Like the bee gathering honey from the different flowers, the wise person accepts the essence of the different scriptures and sees only the good in all religions. 

Mohandas Ghandi

In the remembrance of God do hearts find satisfaction.

Islam. Qur'an 13.28


The Master said, "In the morning, hear the Way; in the evening, die
content!"

Confucianism. Analects 4.8


This is peace, this is the excellent, namely the calm of all the impulses,
the casting out of all "basis," the extinction of craving, dispassion,
stopping, Nirvana.

Buddhism. Anguttara Nikaya v.322


O tranquil soul,
return to your Lord
so pleasant and well-pleased!
Enter among My servants
and enter My garden!

Islam. Qur'an 89.27-30


May the Lord lift up his countenance upon you, and give you peace.

Judaism and Christianity. Bible, Numbers 6.26


And the peace of God, which passes all understanding, will keep your
hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.

Christianity. Bible, Philippians 4.7


He it is who sent down peace of reassurance into the hearts of the
believers, that they might add faith to their faith.

Islam. Qur'an 48.4


Thou dost keep him in perfect peace,
whose mind is stayed on thee,
because he trusts in thee.

Judaism and Christianity. Bible, Isaiah 26.3


If a man sings of God and hears of Him,
And lets love of God sprout within him,
All his sorrows shall vanish,
And in his mind, God will bestow abiding peace.

Sikhism. Adi Granth, Japuji 5, M.1, p. 2

 



Anguttara Nikaya v.322: Nirvana is the Ultimate Good because it is the
complete end of all the impulses and passions that produce evil. Cf.
Dhammapada 96, p. 230. Qur'an 89.27-30: Cf. Qur'an 56.27, p. 353.
Numbers 6.26: Part of the Aaronic benediction, Numbers 6.24-26, p. 56.


 



Just as a deep lake is clear and still, even so, on hearing the teachings
and realizing them, the wise become exceedingly peaceful.

Buddhism. Dhammapada 82


As rivers flow into the ocean but cannot make the vast ocean overflow, so
flow the streams of the sense-world into the sea of peace that is the
sage.

Hinduism. Bhagavad Gita 2.70


Men do not mirror themselves in running water--they mirror themselves in
still water. Only what is still can still the stillness of other things.

Taoism. Chuang Tzu 5


The monk looks for peace within himself, and not in any other place. For
when a person is inwardly quiet, there is nowhere a self can be found;
where, then, could a non-self be found?

There are no waves in the depths of the sea; it is still, unbroken. It is
the same with the monk. He is still, without any quiver of desire,
without a remnant on which to build pride and desire.

Buddhism. Sutta Nipata 919-20


The Lord lives in the heart of every creature. He turns them round and
round upon the wheel of his Maya. Take refuge utterly in Him. By His
grace you will find supreme peace, and the state which is beyond all
change.

Hinduism. Bhagavad Gita 18.61-62


Should anyone be victim of great anxiety, his body racked with maladies,
Beset with problems of home and family, With pleasure and pain
alternating, Wandering in all four directions without peace or rest--
Should he then contemplate the Supreme Being, Peaceful shall his mind and
body become.

Sikhism. Adi Granth, Sri Raga, M.5, p. 70



Dhammapada 82: Cf. Anguttara Nikaya iii.34, p. 531; Dhammapada 413, pp.
231f. Bhagavad Gita 2.70: Cf. Bhagavad Gita 6.7-9, p. 226. Chuang Tzu 5:
Only a person at peace with himself can calm others. Cf. Tao Te Ching 4,
p. 525; Great Learning, p. 842; Tao Te Ching 56, p. 840. Sutta Nipata
919-920: Cf. Dhammapada 279, p. 899. The peace which comes from finding
union in the midst of the world's bewildering diversity is also expressed
in the Peace Chant of the Isha Upanishad, p. 55. Cf. Katha Upanishad
3.13, p. 840, Bhagavad Gita 5.10-12, p. 724. On the wheel of Maya, see
Svetasvatara Upanishad 1.6.8, p. 398.





Victory breeds hatred, for the defeated live in pain. Happily live the
peaceful, giving up victory and defeat.

Buddhism. Dhammapada 201


Tao invariably takes no action, and yet there is nothing left undone. If
kings and barons can keep it, all things will transform spontaneously. If,
after transformation, they should desire to be active, I would restrain
them with simplicity, which has no name. Simplicity, which has no name, is
free of desires. Being free of desires, it is tranquil. And the world will
be at peace of its own accord.

Taoism. Tao Te Ching 37

Some children were playing beside a river. They made castles of sand, and
each child defended his castle and said, "This one is mine." They kept
their castles separate and would not allow any mistakes about which was
whose. When the castles were all finished, one child kicked over someone
else's castle and completely destroyed it. The owner of the castle flew
into a rage, pulled the other child's hair, struck him with his fist and
bawled out, "He has spoiled my castle! Come along all of you and help me
to punish him as he deserves." The others all came to his help. They beat
the child with a stick and then stamped on him as he lay on the ground....
Then they went on playing in their sand castles, each saying, "This is
mine; no one else may have it. Keep away! Don't touch my castle!" But
evening came, it was getting dark and they all thought they ought to be
going home. No one now cared what became of his castle. One child
stamped on his, another pushed his over with both hands. Then they turned
away and went back, each to his home.

Buddhism Yogacara Bhumi Sutra 4


Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men!

Christianity. Bible, Luke 2.14


The whole of the Torah is for the purpose of promoting peace.

Judaism. Talmud, Gittin 59b



Dhammapada 201: Cf. Nitivaktyamrita 344, p. 1052. Tao Te Ching 37: Cf.
Chuang Tzu 7, p. 588; Tao Te Ching 80, p. 291. Yogacara Bhumi Sutra 4: In
this parable Nirvana is likened to the diminution of jealousy and passion
for existence with the cool of evening. In the Pali version (Samyutta
Nikaya iii.188) the sand castles are likened to the body, which had been
the object of grasping; with Release it becomes a thing to be disregarded
and broken up. Luke 2.14: The proclamation of the angelic hosts at the
birth of Jesus, the Prince of Peace; see the larger passage Luke
1.26-2:14, p. 596. Cf. Yasna 60.5, p. 289.





All things exist for world peace.

Perfect Liberty Kyodan Precepts, 14


God is peace, His name is peace, and all is bound together in peace.

Judaism. Zohar, Leviticus 10b


For Christ Jesus is our peace, who has made us both one, and has broken
down the dividing wall of hostility.

Christianity. Bible, Ephesians 2.14


Our Father, it is thy universe, it is thy will:
Let us be at peace, let the souls of the people be cool.
Thou art our Father, remove all evil from our path.

African Traditional Religions. Nuer Prayer (Sudan)


They shall beat their swords into plowshares,
and their spears into pruning hooks;
nation shall not lift up sword against nation,
neither shall they learn war any more.

Judaism and Christianity. Bible, Isaiah 2.4


Now is the gracious Lord's ordinance promulgated,
No one shall cause another pain or injury;
All mankind shall live in peace together,
Under a shield of administrative benevolence.

Sikhism. Adi Granth, Sri Raga, M.5, p. 74


Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called sons of God.

Christianity. Bible, Matthew 5.9


He brings together those who are divided, he encourages those who are
friendly; he is a peacemaker, a lover of peace, impassioned for peace, a
speaker of words that make for peace.

Buddhism. Digha Nikaya xiii.75, Tevigga Sutta



Precepts, 14: A sentiment common to most of the new religions of Japan.
Zohar, Leviticus 10b: In Hebrew, shalom includes the concepts peace,
wellness, and wholeness. Cf. Numbers 6.24-26, p. 56; the Kaddish prayer,
p. 54. Ephesians 2.14: Cf. John 17.20-21, p. 271; Atharva Veda 7.52.1-2,
pp. 272f. Matthew 5.9: Cf. Abot 1.12, p. 239.





If two parties of believers fall to fighting, then make peace between
them. And if one party of them does wrong to the other, fight that
wrong-doer until it returns to the ordinance of God; then, if it returns,
make peace between them justly, and act equitably. Lo! God loves the
equitable.

Islam. Qur'an 49.9


During the short eons of swords,
They meditate on love,
Introducing to nonviolence
Hundreds of millions of living beings.

In the midst of great battles
They remain impartial to both sides;
For bodhisattvas of great strength
Delight in reconciliation of conflict.

Buddhism. Holy Teaching of Vimalakirti 8


Peace be to earth and to airy spaces!
Peace be to heaven, peace to the waters,
peace to the plants and peace to the trees!
May all the gods grant me peace!
By this invocation of peace may peace be diffused!
By this invocation of peace may peace bring peace!
With this peace the dreadful I appease,
with this peace the cruel I appease,
with this peace all evil I appease,
so that peace may prevail, happiness prevail!
May everything for us be peaceful!

Hinduism. Atharva Veda 19.9.14