[Extracts compiled from Bhagavan Sri Sathya Sai Baba's Discourses]
Shanti denotes the capacity to bear success and failure, joy and misery with perfect equanimity. It is there deep down as the very core of our being. Only thoughts of God and intense love for Him bring peace. As worldly thoughts diminish, thoughts of God increase. Normally, the mind desires these worldly things all the time. As the desires are cut out, the peace becomes stronger.
The external peace is a reflection of your internal peace; it is an echo. Peace alone is eternal Truth. It has great power. It confers eternal bliss. It is man's principal treasure. You may be of brilliant intellect, or a wealthy person or a physically strong person, but all this is useless, if you do not have peace. By absence of attachment, desire and egoism, you can achieve peace. To gain peace is the only aim of life. Not name, fame and wealth. By leading a life of contentment, one achieves peace.
Endurance with joyful resignation of the ups and downs of life is the royal road to Peace. Everyone craves 'Sukha' and 'Shanthi'; but there is no one to instruct Youth how to win them. The Ramayana and the Mahabharatha are reservoirs of knowledge for the seekers of Peace. They are replete with examples and precepts, which are inspiring and timely. By taking the teachings to heart, Purity can be attained. The pure heart directed towards God and reflecting His image is indeed Heaven, Vaikuntha or Kailasa.
You must discover your identity; then only can you have peace. You are like a man who has forgotten his name; his address and his mission in life. Realize it and try to delve deep into yourself; so that you may know who you are. Then you get security and peace. Sharpen your intellect for this purpose; and cleanse your consciousness for this purpose through Sathsang, Japa, Dhyana, Namasmarana etc.
Perfect peace means the type of peace derived as a result of the absence of desire, anger, greed and hatred. Pace must be expressed in feeling, word, posture and action; also in mind and the performance of duty - all in uniform measure. Then peace becomes perfect, the highest and most stable type. Genuine peace is won by control of senses. Pure love can emanate only from a heart immersed in peace. The realization "Everything is God" then becomes natural to you.
Peace is another name for steadiness of the mind. Peace is a sacred virtue; it is the embodiment of the Self. It is an ornament to man; the heart of the selfless one is its abode. Accumulation of riches and power cannot endow peace. Peace can come only from the fountain of peace within. How do you get Shanti (inner peace)? By knowing that you are the Atma, which has no birth or death, no joy or grief, no up and no down. Faith in the fact that, man is an instrument in His hands for the execution of His plan, is the key to genuine peace. Only when God is the goal and guide can there be real peace. World peace can be achieved only by people investigating their inner world, removing the junk therein and setting evil urges at rest.
The foundation for real peace is, according to the Vedas, the quality of Maithree. Maithree means amicability, friendship, compassion, and kindness. It can also be taken to mean, "My Three" that is to say, my word, deed and thought shall be in accordance with words, thought and deed; that is to say; we shall speak, think and act together, without friction or faction, in an atmosphere of love and understanding. That is what is wanted in the world today: My three.