Preventing Wars – Yogananda

Excerpted from articles in Inner Culture: 1935-1942

To defend one’s country against the aggression of another is righteous action, but wars settled by brute force do not accomplish any lasting good. You cannot conquer your enemies by brute force. You must use love.

Even if your enemy does not yield to love, you will have done your part. If you surround your enemy with hatred, his hatred for you will increase, and he will never understand. But if you do what is right with great firmness, yet with love in your heart, your good deeds will not go unnoticed by God.

What is true patriotism?

It is only by loving all that one can know true patriotism. That means not only toleration of others but appreciation, the perception that everyone is the image of God.

One day my Guru said to me, “Do you love all people alike?” I replied, “Yes, I think I do.” But I found that when my brother came to my school I felt a greater love for him than for the others. Then I knew that my love was not yet perfect. But there came a time when I saw God in all people and I felt love for all equally.

The causes of world suffering

When people all over the earth are happy and prosperous, they are in tune with God, and the vibrations of the earth are harmonious. But as soon as one nation starts fighting with another, or selfish industrialists try to devour all prosperity for themselves, it brings depression.

When depression starts in one place, it starts everywhere, due to the vibrations that travel through the ether from one place to another. World War I created wrong vibrations in Europe that then spread all over the earth. The agonies of the people who died in World War I created the influenza epidemic immediately following the war. Influenza killed 20 million people, while the war itself killed about 10 million.

Karma determines the outcome of war

The outcome of wars is not decided by the mere brute power of nations. Victory or defeat is determined according to the stored-up effects of the nations’ good and bad actions (karma), performed through the centuries.

Of all nations, America and India have good karma, and having no selfish aggressive designs, they will come out on top. Situated on opposite sides of the earth, America and India will influence the whole world with their combined civilization. The material efficiency of America combined with the spiritual efficiency of India will lead the world to a balanced existence.

World Fellowship begins in the heart

It is the unity of hearts that can bring about world fellowship. Live the spirit of brotherhood. That is the solution. The different races have been created by God so that in time we may see beyond our differences and bring out the hidden unity of God. We must feel the fatherhood of God. As soon as we feel Him, we truly contribute to world civilization and fellowship.

World fellowship is the remedy for all the hatred and ignorance among nations. It is also the means of equalizing prosperity in the whole world. Without world fellowship, there will be wars and many other evils. There is one God, and we are all His children. We must get together by parliaments of religions and leagues of international hearts to dissolve our differences, and not by insincere diplomacies.

The United States of the World

With man’s energies freed to concentrate on constructive activities, man could banish, within the space of a few years, ninety per cent of the earth’s miseries – war, poverty, most diseases, slums, malnutrition, intolerance, ignorance, race and color prejudice, immorality, and crime. If all the nations of the earth lived in brotherhood and wanted to please God and Christ, they would exchange food and raiment and would never suffer from lack, famine, or poverty. There would be permanent peace, plenty, and freedom for all. It would be possible for all to know the art of scientific living – a balanced life of physical, mental, and spiritual progress.

Wars are bound to go on until the United States of Europe and the United States of Asia are evolved, to prepare the way for the United States of the World, with God guiding all nations. Through the realization of human brotherhood, the world will become better and better until each nation becomes an ideal, perfect state in the federated United States of the World.

- Paramahansa Yogananda