The concept of peace can sometimes be incomprehensible to the common man and quickly be dismissed as a pursuit for those endowed with time and wealth. The common man has his own struggles. If it’s not getting up and going to work, it is finding work; if it’s not trying to lose weight then it is scraping enough money for one meal; if it’s not looking for a better house, it is searching for a dry patch on the road to spend the night.
The bigger picture, however, is a world torn by strife. War, people displaced by the hordes, destruction and death are collectively changing the landscape of the world we live in bit by bit, second by second. And while, the common man’s realities may be far removed from it now, the bigger picture will soon be the only picture. Circa 2016, it is not just important but imperative that we seek out peace.
A symposium based on the 2016 peace proposal by Daisaku Ikeda, president of Soka Gakkai International, a lay Buddhist organisation, held at the Indian Institute of Management Bangalore, called for individual transformation as a stepping stone to world peace. On the sidelines of the symposium, Soulveda spoke to Vishesh Gupta, chairperson, Bharat Soka Gakkai, on the concept of peace and its time-honoured relationship with Buddhist philosophy.
Excerpts from the exclusive interview:
In a world increasingly dictated by violence, how does peace find its place?
History of mankind has shown that when the world is plagued by natural calamities, war, conflict and tension, is when peace is required the most. During such harrowing times, achieving peace seems next to impossible. On the other hand, it is said that when the evil is at its strongest, the good surfaces once again.
The need of the hour is to make the 21st century the centennial of peace, as the 20th century was marred by wars. Though there was advancement in science and technology, it has not given the kind of appeasement the human race deserves. Sixteen years of this century have already gone by. Now is the right time to start talking about peace and striving to achieve it.