Quest for peace

Last week, near Koteshwor, I saw a plate on the back of a truck on which was written “Buddha ko deshma shanti ko khoj”’ (quest for peace in Budhha’s country). Though ironical, the statement was thought provoking, and I think should be given due importance.

Are we unfortunate people of an unfortunate country? It is quite ironical that we are facing 12-hour load shedding every day while our country is regarded the second richest in terms of water resource. Experts say possibly 42000 MW of electricity can be generated from the rivers of Nepal. Also, though Nepal is said to be one of the finest destinations of the world, tourism has not flourished as an industry to become a significant source of national income yet. Moreover, the Apostle of Peace Gautam Buddha was born here, but sounds strange we are in the quest for peace now.

It is said that a philosophical foundation is a pre-requisite for overall development of the country. Why is Germany, which faced two devastating wars, still one of the developed countries in the world? Germany had a much stronger philosophical foundation. Karl Marx, Immanuel Kant, Hegel, Schopenhauer, Friedrich Nietzsche, Wittgenstein were the world celebrated German philosophers. If we accept the above statements as true, we must ask — so was there drought of philosophical foundation in our region in ancient times? No. The East is said to possess the strongest philosophical foundation in the world. The eastern nations could not materialize the essence of those philosophies, but many western philosophers had learnt orient philosophy and then were influenced by them. We have a richer history of civilization and philosophy, what made us lag behind then? Buddha, who was born, brought up and preached his enlightened thoughts from this land, was able to spread the message of peace, truth and compassion throughout the world. Many countries have adopted his philosophy as the foundation for peace, but we are heading backwards towards endless chain of violence.

Unless peace prevails, sustainable development of the country will elude us. Our actions, opinions, talks and destination should guide our commitment for peace. For this, Buddha and his philosophy can be the core for national consensus for peace.