ecently, when I spoke at the World Bank, someone asked me what we can do to bring equality, harmony, and peace to the world. I gave them a fundamental tip, using the following example. When my daughter was growing up, I made it a rule that no one should teach her anything. One of the biggest problems in the world is this: the moment you are born, everyone wants to teach you something that has not worked in their lives. She did not need any of these tricks. I just made sure she had enough exposure to nature and life around. She grew up very joyfully. But once, when she was about thirteen, she went through some emotional turmoil. In this situation, I told her one thing: “Never look up to anyone – never look down on anyone. Never look up to anything – never look down on anything. Look at everything the way it is.” That is all it takes to make a beautiful life.
When you look up to something, you are making authority the truth. That way, truth can never be the authority in your life. If truth is not the authority in your life, you will never know what your life is about. When you look up to something, you inevitably look down on something else. The moment you stop looking up or down on anything, there will be no heaven or hell for you. As long as you think you are going to some other place, you are doing all kinds of nonsense here. Once you know you have to live on this planet, you will live sensibly.
About harmony – how many human beings, and how many of you, can sincerely say that if you sit somewhere, you are really harmonious within yourself? The world is a manifestation of what is happening in individual human beings. Because it is magnified in the world, it looks ugly. But it is ugly on the small, individual scale too. People often complain to me about their husband, wife, mother-in-law, or whoever else. I tell them, “Come and stay at the Yoga Center. You will be away from these people. The only thing is we will make random checks. Whenever we check, you must be joyful. I do not believe in feeding misery.” You must see in how many ways people twist themselves into knots when they are alone. If you are miserable when you are alone, obviously you are in bad company.
If you cannot bring harmony to your own mind, how can you bring harmony to the world? If you cannot manage yourself, how can you manage the world efficiently and well? Until individual human beings work upon themselves, there is really no solution. There is no such thing as a global solution. It is individual emancipation that will lead to the emancipation of the world. When you and I are doing great, the world will be doing great. The world is just a word. You and I are a reality. If you and I do not fix ourselves, then wanting to fix the world is just a slogan that has no connection with reality.
At one time, I went to world peace conferences, thinking they would make something happen. Then, at one of the conferences, I looked at this “peace committee,” consisting of about forty-three Nobel laureates. Just from their faces, I knew these people had not known a moment of peace in their lives. I asked them, “Tell me, except when you are sleeping” – which some of them were – “have you genuinely experienced peace within you?” They were sincere enough to say that they did not. Then what is the point in talking about world peace.
The problem is in the mind. The mind is the most wonderful gift that we have, but you made it a curse. You have been given a super computer, but you have not read the user’s manual. You have not bothered to look into how to manage yourself. It took millions of years for this cerebral capability and intelligence to evolve to where it is today. But now you are suffering your own intelligence. If we took away half your brains, most of you would be peaceful, in harmony with everything. You have turned the best thing you have into the worst, because our modern education systems, family systems, and cultures have no sense about how to manage ourselves. If you and I are peaceful, the world will be peaceful. If you and I are loving, the world will be loving. If you and I are blissful, the world will be blissful.
Let us make it happen.