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Calls for Peace





the great anguish over the coming new war (to grab most of the world's oil resources under various pretexts) is felt by millions of people with conscience worldwide.

Largest mass demonstrations for peace are taking place all over Europe, escpecially in Great Britain, where actually over 85% of the people oppose the war, including Prince Charles.

Without addressing and resolving the root causes of today's problems, new violence will only bring about more and more violence.

'Prophet, seer, tell me the future: I have sown thorn bushes -- will I harvest fragrant roses?', asks so poetically one of the great sages of our time, Swami Veda at the beginning of the new Millennium only a couple of years ago ...


Of course, most people do not like to hear the prophecy:



These are some recent thoughts and words against violence by the Dalai Lama, Pope John Paul II, Swami Veda, Deepak Chopra, Mohandas Gandhi



May we uproot the thorn bushes and start sowing roses - TODAY!!


In service,

John Zavrel



Swami Veda Bharati


Dear Friends,

From the disaster that has struck New York and Washington we need to learn that violence is not a solution to any problem in the world.

Let us have special sessions for prayer and silence with additional japa of Saumya Mantra for peace with prayer: May the minds prone to violence in all parts of the world learn the art of solving problems through non violence and may there be mutual understanding among the different peoples of divergent views and interests everywhere.

May we all learn to forgive.

May we all learn to invoke peace in our own minds and thereby evoke it in the hearts of even those who are our opponents.

May the gurus of humanity continue to guide us in this direction.



Swami Veda Bharati


H.H. the Dalai Lama


Letter to the President of the United States of America


Your Excellency,

I am deeply shocked by the terrorist attacks that took place involving four apparently hijacked aircrafts and the immense devastation these caused.

It is a terrible tragedy that so many innocent lives have been lost and it seems unbelievable that anyone would choose to target the World Trade Center in New York City and the Pentagon in Washington D.C.

We are deeply saddened. On behalf of the Tibetan people I would like to convey our deepest condolence and solidarity with the American people during this painful time.

Our prayers go out to the many who have lost their lives, those who have been injured and the many more who have been traumatized by this senseless act of violence.

I am at tending a special prayer for the United States and it's people at our main temple today.

I am confident that the United States as a great and powerful nation will be able to overcome this present tragedy.

The American people have shown their resilience, courage and determination when faced with such difficult and sad situation.


It may seem presumptuous on my part, but I personally believe we need to think seriously whether a violent action is the right thing to do and in the greater interest of the nation and people in the long run.

I believe violence will only increase the cycle of violence. But how do we deal with hatred and anger, which are often the root causes of such senseless violence?

This is a very difficult question, especially when it concerns a nation and we have certain fixed conceptions of how to deal with such attacks. I am sure that you will make the right decision.


With my prayers and good wishes, The Dalai Lama

September 12, 2001, Dharamsala, India


Quotations from H.H. the Dalai Lama in his visit to Minneapolis

(May 8 and 9, 2001)


Human affection can overcome all difficulties, a glance through the eyes and smile.


There is a common message: All have the same potential to serve humanity.


All religions have essential teachings and carry the same message: love, compassion, forgiveness, tolerance, self-discipline, truth, honesty. . . and all have the same potential to serve the community.


How to contribute to the betterment of the world: a good education and developing a good heart, a compassionate heart.


If you have 15 diamond rings, still, only 10 fingers.


Our brains can get us into trouble, but our hearts can get us out.


The path to world peace must begin with inner disarmament.


The different faiths are sometimes not very faithful, and hurt where they should help. Religion is supposed to cool down and make peace. Instead, religions sometimes make more conflict. That is unfortunate - like practicing medicine in a way which brings more illness then healing.


If possible, those of different faiths should pray together. If not, join in silent meditation. Discuss. Make pilgrimages to the holy places of other religions. Different philosophies are necessary to meet the needs of the world's diverse peoples. Talk, discuss in an open way, and go to the core of your own religion. The Dalai Lama used a phrase from the Quran which was offered by Imam Makram Nu'man El-Amin: "If God wanted us to follow the same religion, he would have created us the same."


It is a person's right to not accept a religion. But once you accept a religion, you should look at religious teaching seriously, and then implement it in your daily life.


The whole world is one body. Philosophically, mentally, spiritually, we are all the same human being.


Go to the core of your own religion.


The place for you to test your compassion is on your enemy.


Compassion must be "unbiased" with respect and concern for one's enemy as well as one's friend. "At the same time, compassion does not mean that you accept their wrongdoing. If there is wrongdoing, it make necessary condemnation . . . . But condemnation does not mean revenge. The principle of forgiveness is the ability to restrain oneself from harboring feelings of ill will toward someone. Once there's forgiveness, then there's no place for revenge.


The Dalai Lama told the story of a Tibetan monk who had been a prisoner in a Chinese gulag for many, many years. After he was finally released, the Dalai Lama talked with him, and the monk said that throughout his captivity he felt he was always in danger.

"In danger of what?" asked the Dalai Lama.

"In danger of losing my compassion," the monk replied.


Once you have established relationships, you can't have the anger,

the aggression and the animosity. Human affection overrides all.


Perhaps when I see that my existence is of some benefit to someone,

at that moment I feel more happy.


I am convinced that human nature is basically gentle, not aggressive.

And everyone has a responsibility to act as if all our thoughts, words, and deeds matter;

for, really, they do.


Generally speaking, to have a sense of remorse is a positive thing. But one has to insure that the intensity does not get to the point of crippling. Then it becomes negative. Sometimes people are so crippled with remorse and guilt, they become self-absorbed. It begins to eat them from within."


One thing we can do is, we can practice forgiveness, and underlying forgiveness is the ability to distinguish between the individual and the act."


In one of my daily prayers, my favorite daily prayers, it says,

"So long as sentient beings remain, I will remain in order to serve."


For as long as space endures,

And for as long as living beings remain,

Until then, may I too abide

To dispel the misery of the world.

Tibetan Prayer


If we carry basic human spirit - human good qualities -

then many problems we can reduce, eliminate.


H.H. the Pope John Paul II

Prayer for Peace


"O God, Creator of the universe, Who extends Your paternal concern over every creature and guides the events of history to the goal of salvation, we acknowledge Your fatherly love when You break the resistance of mankind and, in a world torn by strife and discord, You make us ready for reconciliation.

Renew for us the wonders of your mercy: send forth Your Spirit that He may work in the intimacy of hearts, that enemies may begin to dialogue, that adversaries may shake hands and peoples may encounter one another in harmony.

May all commit themselves to the sincere search for true peace which will extinguish all arguments, for charity which overcomes hatred, for patience which disarms revenge."




The Deeper Wound from Deepak Chopra


As fate would have it, I was leaving New York on a jet flight that took off 45 minutes before the unthinkable happened. By the time we landed in Detroit, chaos had broken out. When I grasped the fact that American security had broken down so tragically, I couldn't respond at first. My wife and son were also in the air on separate flights, one to Los Angeles, one to San Diego. My body went absolutely rigid with fear. All I could think about was their safety, and it took several hours before I found out that their flights had been diverted and both were safe.

Strangely, when the good news came, my body still felt that it had been hit by a truck. Of its own accord it seemed to feel a far greater trauma that reached out to the thousands who would not survive and the tens of thousands who would survive only to live through months and years of hell.

And I asked myself, Why didn't I feel this way last week? Why didn't my body go stiff during the bombing of Iraq or Bosnia? Around the world my horror and worry are experienced every day. Mothers weep over horrendous loss, civilians are bombed mercilessly, refugees are ripped from any sense of home or homeland. Why did I not feel their anguish enough to call a halt to it?

As we hear the calls for tightened American security and a fierce military response to terrorism, it is obvious that none of us has any answers.


However, we feel compelled to ask some questions.


Everything has a cause, so we have to ask, What was the root cause of this evil?


We must find out not superficially but at the deepest level. There is no doubt that such evil is alive all around the world and is even celebrated.

Does this evil grow from the suffering and anguish felt by people we don't know and therefore ignore? Have they lived in this condition for a long time?


One assumes that whoever did this attack feels implacable hatred for America.

Why were we selected to be the focus of suffering around the world?


All this hatred and anguish seems to have religion at its basis.


Isn't something terribly wrong when jihads and wars develop in the name of God?


Isn't God invoked with hatred in Ireland, Sri Lanka, India, Pakistan, Israel, Palestine, and even among the intolerant sects of America?


Can any military response make the slightest difference in the underlying cause?


Is there not a deep wound at the heart of humanity?


If there is a deep wound, doesn't it affect everyone?


When generations of suffering respond with bombs, suicidal attacks, and biological warfare, who first developed these weapons?

Who sells them?

Who gave birth to the satanic technologies now being turned against us?


If all of us are wounded, will revenge work?

Will punishment in any form toward anyone solve the wound or aggravate it?


Will an eye for an eye, a tooth for a tooth, and limb for a limb, leave us all blind, toothless and crippled?


Tribal warfare has been going on for two thousand years and has now been

magnified globally. Can tribal warfare be brought to an end?


Is patriotism and nationalism even relevant anymore, or is this another form of tribalism?


What are you and I as persons going to do about what is happening?


Can we afford to let the deeper wound fester any longer?


Everyone is calling this an attack on America, but is it not a rift in our collective soul?

Isn't this an attack on civilization from without that is also from within?


When we have secured our safety once more and cared for the wounded, after the period of shock and mourning is over, it will be time for soul searching.

I only hope that these questions are confronted with the deepest spiritual intent.

None of us will feel safe again behind the shield of military might and stockpiled arsenals.


There can be no safety until the root cause is faced.


In this moment of shock I don't think anyone of us has the answers.


It is imperative that we pray and offer solace and help to each other.


But if you and I are having a single thought of violence or hatred against anyone in the world at this moment, we are contributing to the wounding of the world.







While everything around me is every changing, ever dying,

there is underlying that change a living Power that is changeless,

that holds all together, that creates, dissolves and recreates . . . .

For I can see in the midst of death, Life persists,

in the midst of untruth, Truth persists,

in the midst of darkness Light persists.


Thich Nhat Hanh





All violence is injustice.


Responding to violence with violence is injustice, not only to the other person but also to oneself. Responding to violence with violence resolves nothing; it only escalates violence, anger and hatred. It is only with compassion that we can embrace and disintegrate violence. This is true in relationships between individuals as well as in relationships between nations.


Many people in America consider Jesus Christ as their Lord, their spiritual ancestor and their teacher. We should heed His teachings especially during critical times like this. Jesus never encourages us to respond to acts of violence with violence. His teaching is, instead, to use compassion to deal with violence.

The teachings of Judaism go very much in the same direction.

Spiritual leaders of this country are invited to raise their voices, to bring about the awareness of this teaching to the American nation and people. What needs to be done right now is to recognize the suffering, to embrace it and to understand it.

We need calmness and lucidity so that we can listen deeply to and understand our own suffering, the suffering of the nation and the suffering of others.

By understanding the nature and the causes of the suffering, we will then know the right path to follow. The violence and hatred we presently face has been created by misunderstanding, injustice, discrimination and despair.

We are all co-responsible for the making of violence and despair in the world by our way of living, of consuming and of handling the problems of the world.

Understanding why this violence has been created, we will then know what to do and what not to do in order to decrease the level of violence in ourselves and in the world, to create and foster understanding, reconciliation and forgiveness.


I have the conviction that America possesses enough wisdom and courage to perform an act of forgiveness and compassion, and I know that such an act can bring great relief to America and to the world right away.


Swami Vivekananda


We are what our thoughts have made us; so take care about what you think. Words are secondary. Thoughts live; they travel far.





The Power of Ahimsa in Everyday Life, by Swami Veda

 Perennial in the Millennium

THE Answer to 9-11-2001, by Swami Veda


The Next Thousand Years, by B. John Zavrel  

 Arun Gandhi: The Pursuit of Truthfulness, by Consul B. John Zavrel


My Dream for Tibet's Fredom, by H.H. the Dalai Lama and Thubten Jigme Norbu

 Tibet: Give Us Liberty, by Consul B. John Zavrel



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Copyright 2002 West-Art

PROMETHEUS, Internet Bulletin for Art, Politics and Science.

Nr. 86, Spring 2003