Peace and Peace Building Activities to foster Peace
Dr. Ami Rathod
Lok Manya Tilak Teachers Training College,
Om Dyauh Shanti, Antariksha Om Shanti,
Prithivi Shanti, Aapah Shanti,
Oshadhyah Shanti, Vanaspatyah Shanti,
Vishvedevah Shanti, Brahma Shanti,
Sarva Om Shanti, Shantireva Shanti, Sama Shantiredhee !
Om Shanti, Shanti, Shanti !!!
My intention to recite this Vedic Prayer of “Yajur Ved” is that I want
to pray God for peace in entire cosmos and secondly, to bring out the
concept of peace inherent in this prayer and to compare it with modern
concept of peace.
Meaning of the prayer
O, God, May there be peace in the sky and space may there be peace on land and in
the waters: May herbs and vegetation bring us peace. May all personifications of god bring
us peace. May God bring peace. May there be peace through out the world. May the peace
be peaceful. May God give me such peace also
This prayer indicates towards three types of peace: ecological peace,
outer peace and inner peace.
Ecological peace: peace in sky, space, land, waters, herbs and
vegetation refers to ecological balance or peace of the cosmos.
Outer peace : May all personifications of God bring us peace
refers to the outer peace: peace in family and individual, in
community, within states, between states, internationally and
Inner peace : May the peace be peaceful, indicates towards the
inner peace of an individual.
To understand modern concept of peace, decade wise concept of peace
is presented here.
1940-1950 Peace defined as balance between political, social, cultural
and technological factors. This balance was between nations and
between people and community.
1960’s Peace defined as negative peace (absence of war) and positive
peace (presence of justice and structures that respect values of peace).
Scope of peace expanded beyond nations and community to include
institutional structures social, political and cultural) and global structures
arranged in such a way that structural violence was taken into account.
1970-1980’s Definition of peace expanded beyond the organized macro
level (war) to include and family relationship. Concerns for peace
expanded beyond organized violence within the home and at the
personal level (family, women, children, elders). Also, structural violence
expanded to include systemic discrimination against particular
individuals and groups.
1990-2000’s Definition of peace now includes peace within the
environment and peace within oneself (spiritual inner peace) as well as
the previous conceptualizations, a very holistic and contextual approach
to understanding peace.
If we compare the modern concept of peace, given in 1999-2000’s
and the ancient concept, of peace given in the Vedic prayer, of Vajur
Ved, We can easily conclude that what we are thinking today, was
thought by our forefathers, ages ago. It was not only in their thought but
they also used to behave according to that type of ethics and code.
To Understand ancient concept of peace more examples can be cited
from mantras and shlokas of Vedas, Upanishads, Geeta, Mahahabharta,
Ramayana and other Indian scriptures, which discusses about peace
and peace culture spread over that time.
From Taittiriya Upnishad:
"Om Sham No Mitra Sham Varunah Sham No Bhavatvarymaa,
Sham No Indro Brihaspatih Sham No Vishnururukramah,
Namo Brahmane Namaste Vaayo Tvameva Pratyaksham,
Brahmassi Tvaameva Pratyaksham Brahma Vadishyaami,
Rtam Vadishyaami Satyam Vadishyaami,
Tanmaamavatu Tadvaktaaramavatu Avatu Maam Avatu Vaktaaram,
Om Shanti, Shanti,Shanti"
Meaning- this mantra implies:" OM. May Mitra do good to us, may Varuna do good for
us, may Aryama do good for us,may Brihaspati do good to us ,and may Vishnu who has
vast coverage do good to us. We salute lord Brahma and lord Vayu the only visible
Brahman. We say right, we say truth, may it protect us and may it protect teacher. OM
Peace, Peace and Peace ".
From Taittiriya Upanishad, Katha Upanishad and Shvetashvatara Upanishad:
"Om Sahanna Vavatu Sahanau Bhunaktu
Saha Veeryam Karavaavahai
Tejasvi Naavadheetamastu Maa Vidvishaavahai
Om Shanti Shanti Shanti"
Meaning - The literal meaning of this mantra is : "OM let all of us protect each other
together, may all of us enjoy together, may all of us work together and let our study become
radiant. Let there be no hatred between us, Om Peace, Peace and Peace"
From Mundaka Upnishad:
From Kena Upanishad :
"Om Aapyaayantu Mamaangaani Vaak
Balamindriyaani Cha Sarvaani Sarvam Brahmopanishadam
Maaham Brahma Niraakuryaam Maa Maa Brahma Niraakarod
Niraakaranamastava Niraakaranam Me Astu
Tadaatmani Nirate Ya Ppanishatsu Dharmaaste
Mayi Santu Te Mayi Santu
Om Shanti Shanti Shanti"
Meaning- The Mantra implies:"OM may our organs, speech, prana, eyes and ears be
nourished. May all our senses become strong. Upanishad says all that the world is
Brahman. We don’t reject Brahman, may Brahman not reject me. Let there be no rejection ,
let there be no rejection at all in us, let us concentrate on ourselves, all those ways of
righteous living told in Upanishad be in us! Be in us , OM peace, peace and peace"
"Om Bhadram Karnebhih Shrunuyaama Devaah
From Taitareya Upanishad:
"Om Vaang Me Manasi Pratishthitaa
Mano Me Vachi Pratishthitam
Aaveeraaveerma Edhi Vedasya Ma Aanisthah
Shrutam Me Maa Prahaaseer Anenaadheetena”
Ahoraatraan Samdadhaami Ritam Vadishyaami
Satyam Vadishyaami Tanmaamavatu Tadvaktaaramavatu
Avatu Maam Avatu Vaktaaram Avatu Vaktaaram
Om Shanti Shanti Shanti"
Meaning - The accurate meaning of this mantra is:"OM let our speech be establishd in our
mind, and our mind be established in our speech. Let Brahman reveal itself to us and may
we understand the truths of the Vedas. Let not what we have studied leave us. Let all of
us spend both day and night in study.we say right, we say truth and may it protect as.
May truth protect teacher. OM Peace, Peace and Peace".
Vyashema Devahitam Yadaatuh
Swasti Na Indro Vridhashravaah
Swasti Nah Pooshaa Vishwavedaah
Swasti Nastaarkshyo Arishtanemih
Swasti No Brihaspatir Dadhaatu
Om Shanti Shanti Shanti"
Meaning: The literal meaning of this mantra is: ‘’Om.O Gods! Let us, here promising
things from our ears. O respectful Gods! Let us, see propitious things from our eyes. Let our
organs and body be stable, healthy and strong. Let us, do what is pleasing to God in the life
span allotted to us .May Indra, inscribed in the scriptures do well to us. May Pushan who
is knower of world do good to us and May Trakshya who devastates enemies do well to us!
May Brihspati do well to us! Om Peace Peace, Peace”
From the above description it is clear that according to our vedantic
1. Where should be peace?
ications Peace in Earth
Herbs & Water
2. How Peace could be maintained?
each other together
3. What we have to do for that?
This nourishment will
lead to stable healthy
and strong body
Strong body which can spend both
day and night in study and do
what is pleasing to God in the
allotted life span.
So that man may say right, say truth
and truth may protect him from any
type of violence and could ultimately
Here, it will be appropriate to say
"Om Poornamadah Poonamidam Poornat Poornamudachyate
Poornasya Poornamaadaya Poornamevavashishyate,
Om Shanti Shanti Shanti"
Meaning- The literal meaning of this mantra is:"that is absolute, this is absolute, and
absolute arises out of absolute, if absolute is taken away from absolute, absolute remains.
OM Peace, Peace and Peace".
Now the big question is How to develop and foster above peace culture in
students? I am suggesting some peace building activities which can be
organized at Teacher Education Institutions and Schools. These are suggestive
in nature and do not claim that these are the only activities, which can foster
peace among students and develop culture of peace in schools. These may be:
An hour with nature programme can be organized for students
where they spend an hour alone in lap of nature and can present their
own expression oral, written or in the form of painting etc.
Group work can be given to them to analyze or synthesize the point
and come to the conclusion e.g. what will happen there will be no tree on
earth?, If there will be scarcity of oxygen? And so on.
Film can be shown to them and can be asked to draw a flow chart
of the events shown in the film and to list out good and bad events. It
will help teachers to mould student’s negative emotions/thinking in
Poem or story writing on subject related to peace, wiz love,
compassion, forgiveness courage, flexibility, patience never giving up
etc. can be organized.
Chanting of shlokas and mantras related to peace and peace
culture in the assembly. As given in above examples.
Different mantras can be given to them, to explore the meaning
of that in their own words.
Some story without an end can be narrated to the students
and can be asked to conclude it. So that perdition skill of student can be
Peace day can be organized in the school in which students may
asked to perform at least one activity which is helpful to an individual,
school, community, society, country and earth etc. Each and every
student would have to submit his report. E.g. Plantation, social service
Narrate an event when you felt a conflict and the efforts you
made to resolve it peace fully.
How many times a day you become angry fill in the following
Date & Felt Became angry Tried to cool Resolved it through
angry down without to conversations
saying world peacefully
Monday 12 12 No. No.
Tuesday 14 10 4 No.
Wednesday 10 5 3 2
Thursday 5 1 - 4
Friday 2 - - 2
Saturday 1 - - 1
Write small efforts to make for reducing wastage of water,
electricity, eating materials etc.
Speak out in assembly : effort you have made to develop
peaceful atmosphere at home and at college.
Project can be given to students to surf on internet and find out names
of herbs, its. Medicinal use and procedure to use it.
Yoga camps can be organized in schools for stable, healthy and
Sense of live and let live , togetherness, love compassion,
flexibility, forgiveness, integrity, empathy, determination, courage,
patience etc. can be developed in student by organizing games, sports,
open air sessions, picnic study tours etc.
Quiz can also be organized on different topics; it may be on Indian
Extempore, Debates etc. can be organized.
How many hours you spent for studies not only text books but
reading new papers, magazines, other articles, books preparing new
Day wise - Hours.
So that student can realize and say truth .
Last but not least “Anand Mela” Happiness fair” can also be
organized at College level, inter College and inter state level. The
concept is that one College is the host and other is the guest. Both are
meeting each other and getting close with each other in College first day
and next day the guest student, allotted to the host student, resides with
the host, at his home for one or two days. Like this students come close
to each other, their families also. In indirect way peace values develops
in student and his family members.
Now, is up to the school administrators, teachers educators
and parents consciousness and creativity that how they use these strategies
in schools, classrooms and at home which lead an individual to achieve