This year, 2012, the International Day of Peace is on a Friday, special activities and celebrations will take place all across the world over the 2012 Peace Day Weekend, including festivals, concerts, a global Peace Wave with moments of silence at noon in every time zone, and much more. We encourage you to attend local events (find them here), put on an event of your own, take a moment of peace at noon, and check in on the global broadcast to view the worldwide activities. You can watch the global broadcast on this website by clicking here. The International Day of Peace, a.k.a. “Peace Day” provides an opportunity for individuals, organizations and nations to create practical acts of peace on a shared date. It was established by a United Nations resolution in 1981 to coincide with the opening of the General Assembly. The first Peace Day was celebrated in September 1982. In 2002 the General Assembly officially declared September 21 as the permanent date for the International Day of Peace. By creating the International Day of Peace, the UN devoted itself to worldwide peace and encouraged all of mankind to work in cooperation for this goal. During the discussion of the U.N. Resolution that established the International Day of Peace, it was suggested that:
Peace Day should be devoted to commemorating and strengthening the ideals of peace both within and among all nations and peoples…This day will serve as a reminder to all peoples that our organization, with all its limitations, is a living instrument in the service of peace and should serve all of us here within the organization as a constantly pealing bell reminding us that our permanent commitment, above all interests or differences of any kind, is to peace.
Since its inception, Peace Day has marked our personal and planetary progress toward peace. It has grown to include millions of people in all parts of the world, and each year events are organized to commemorate and celebrate this day. Events range in scale from private gatherings to public concerts and forums where hundreds of thousands of people participate. Anyone, anywhere can celebrate Peace Day. It can be as simple as lighting a candle at noon, or just sitting in silent meditation. Or it can involve getting your co-workers, organization, community or government engaged in a large event. The impact if millions of people in all parts of the world, coming together for one day of peace, is immense. International Day of Peace is also a Day of Ceasefire – personal or political. Take this opportunity to make peace in your own relationships as well as impact the larger conflicts of our time. Imagine what a whole Day of Ceasefire would mean to humankind. To find 2012 International Day of Peace Events please view our Global Peace Events Map by clicking here. To view the Peace Day global Broadcast click here.
Now let’s take the opportunity to quote one of the biggest advocates for peace, Sri Chinmoy (1931-2007):
In the spiritual life also, many times it happens that a seeker asks for infinite peace, but his inner vessel, his receptivity, is not big enough to hold this infinite peace. Also, the seeker does not even know what he is asking for. ‘Infinite’ is a vague term. The mind is saying ‘infinite’, but what do we know about Infinity and Eternity? It is all a vague conception in our mind. But if we can feel that we are children, and that God, our eternal Father and Mother, is watching over us, then all our problems are solved. If a little child cries a few times during the day, what does the mother do? The entire day the mother looks after the child. Here also, from time immemorial God has been looking after earth. He is taking care of us in His inimitable way, with His infinite Compassion, Love, Light and Bliss.
If we can have this kind of faith, then we are satisfied with whatever God gives us, for we know He is preparing us to receive His Infinity and Eternity. We may pray for years and not get an iota of peace, or we may get an iota of peace, but feel that that is not enough. We want peace in abundant measure, if not in boundless measure. But if we have receptivity, then God will give us His infinite wealth. God our eternal Father will give us abundant peace and abundant light when we have the receptivity to receive it. God and man must have mutual faith and confidence in one another. The seeker in us must have confidence that God, at His choice Hour, will grant us without fail infinite peace. Our role is only to pray and meditate soulfully, devotedly and unconditionally. God has taken it as His bounden Duty to help His seeker children, to guide them, mould them and shape them into His very Image. But He has His own choice Hour which unfortunately may not tally with our hour. If we have faith in God, that He will do everything for us, and if God has faith that we can be His perfect emissaries, His perfect representatives and instruments on earth, then perfection is bound to dawn. Only in perfection does satisfaction abide. Again, satisfaction is nothing short of peace. So peace is satisfaction; satisfaction is perfection.
When we think of perfection, we have to know that perfection does not have a fixed standard. We can never say that this is the final product, that there cannot be anything better or more illumining than this. No! Today’s conception of perfection will not and cannot be tomorrow’s conception of perfection. Since perfection is satisfaction, perfection has to be transcendence. Today’s satisfaction is to get a high school diploma, and if we get it, that is our satisfaction and perfection. Tomorrow, we will think of a university degree and that will be our satisfaction and perfection. Then, after getting our university degree, we will see that we are still not satisfied, because we know that infinite wisdom abides in God’s universe. At that time, when we look at ourselves or dive deep within, we will see how helpless and hopeless we are in terms of infinite wisdom. Then, we will try to cultivate more wisdom so that we can achieve real satisfaction. There is no end to the inner knowledge and inner peace that we can achieve, and there is no end to the satisfaction that we can get. Each moment, Infinity is transcending its own infinite Reality. Each time we achieve something new, that is our satisfaction and perfection. But at the same time, a new hunger elevates us to a higher reality. This hunger is an inner hunger to receive more peace, more light, more bliss from Above so that we can be better instruments of higher realities.
In the ordinary human life, when we ask for things, we feel that these things will give us satisfaction, which is peace. But in the spiritual life, when we pray for peace, light and bliss, we are asking for these things not for our own satisfaction, but for the satisfaction of our Inner Pilot. We shall ask, and while asking we shall say: “If it is Your Will, God, grant me peace, light and bliss in infinite measure, so that I can be Your perfect instrument.” But in the ordinary, unaspiring life, when we ask for something we shall never say, “If it is Your Will, then give me two buildings or give me millions of dollars.” No! When we ask for something from the desire-world, we will never say, “If it is Your Will.” We will only die for the things that we need and want. But when we ask for something from the aspiration-world, and when we are living in the aspiration-world, we will always say, “If it is Your Will, please give me peace, light and bliss. We do not know what is good for us or what is bad for us. If such is Your Will, then give us what we need so that we can serve You more devotedly, more soulfully.” Here the prayer is totally different, and God listens to our soulful prayer with a loving Heart.
Here we are all seekers. At every moment we shall ask our Beloved Supreme for things divine and supreme. When we pray to God unconditionally for three boons—God-realisation, God-manifestation and God-satisfaction—then we are bound to be blessed by our Beloved Supreme. But while praying, while meditating, we have to keep or bring to the fore one sublime wish, one illumining goal: Him to please in His own Way. We are praying for peace, inner peace, at His choice Hour. Once we have this inner peace, world peace can be achieved in the twinkling of an eye. Inside, if we feel a good thought, an illumining and fulfilling thought, then that very thought we will express and offer to our friends and dear ones. Our illumining, soulful, fulfilling thoughts will enter into our dear ones and then they, too, will have peace. So when we have inner peace, automatically it expresses itself. It spreads its qualities or capacities throughout the length and breadth of the world. If we can prepare ourselves for God-realisation, God-manifestation and God-satisfaction in God’s own Way, then at every moment we will be inundated with inner peace. And this inner peace will spontaneously inundate the outer world. At that time, what we have within is bound to become part and parcel of our outer life.
A seeker is he who dives deep within in order to bring to the fore the reality that he has within. While bringing it to the fore, he discovers that his aspiration and his realisation are not two different things, but the same thing. He is bringing to the fore his infinite peace from within, and while bringing it forward he discovers, to his utter surprise, that he is peace itself; eternally he is peace. Peace is nothing other than his own inner existence. One can talk for hours on peace. The curious mind may get some satisfaction, but the crying heart cannot get any help from talks. The crying heart is the real reality within us, and that crying heart gets inner peace, everlasting peace, only through prayerful silence and soulful meditation. Only prayerful meditation and soulful prayer can bring about peace. If at every moment we can think that we are growing into a prayerful meditation and a soulful prayer, then peace eternal will be ours. (Sri Chinmoy, Inner Peace And World Peace, Agni Press, 1992)