In the year 1971, as a young spiritual seeker, I attended a yoga peace conference where the different speakers fought to grab the microphone. As the yogis rambled aggressively like politicians, I was disappointed and shocked. A kind hearted saintly person who had maintained grace and dignity throughout the chaos consoled me, explaining how all are struggling at their respective level of progress. He revealed to me that instead of fighting for peace, we have to find peace within ourselves first. Later, I discovered a sacred teaching from my guru, Srila Prabhupada, who revealed that the soul’s real need and perfection is to go beyond the neutral condition of peace. “We do not care for peace – we want love”.
Love means the willingness to sacrifice oneself for the beloved. It is like a mother in her relationship with her child. When a woman has a little baby, there is practically no peace in the house. The baby is crying all night long and responding to nature indiscriminately wherever it goes. Now a mother can easily just give the baby to somebody else, ‘You take care; I do not want anything to do with this.’ But the mother is running here and there, caring for the child. That is love.
This love, when channeled to God is higher than peace, because in that love is eternal peace—not the peace of the mind, but the peace of soul. Even in an ordinary relationship we can see that if a couple says they are peaceful, it simply means they are not fighting. But if there is love, there is a dynamic exchange of emotions; Love is not static. Peace is negation of misery; love is a positive expression of the heart. Love means sacrifice—sacrificing even our own peace for the pleasure of the beloved.
When this love is directed towards God, we become internally connected to God and this deep anchor helps us relate to the other living entities, the other children of God also with love. Our love expands and grows in all fronts, and we experience a more fulfilling relationship in this state of love than in mere peaceful coexistence. – Radhanath Swami