(Photo: Summer in Satchidananda Ashram–Yogaville)

Peace and joy are more or less different aspects of the same thing. If you are peaceful, you are joyful. Peace doesn’t depend on anything, but is totally independent, and it is always there. When you feel that peace, you feel a supreme happiness that also does not depend on anything. A peaceful person is a happy person. And where is that peace? Should it come from somewhere? No, it is always with you, in you, as you.

This is what we should first understand: anything that comes, will have its opposite of going. Where there is a coming, there must also be a going, because nothing will stay permanently; there is always change. So, if peace is going to come to us, it won’t remain with us always; it will want to go one day and you cannot stop it.

Another point is, how do you know that peace is going to make you happy? Why do you want peace? If I really want to eat an apple, that means I should have tasted it before, to know that I like it. Likewise, if I want peace, I should have tasted it before. But when and where? If we get into that question a little more deeply, we will know that the peace was always with us. We experienced it from the very beginning, and somehow, for some reason, we seem to have lost it. So we look for that again. And that is the very reason we don’t see people complaining when they are peaceful. When they are peaceful, they are just happy because it is their very nature. To be peaceful is your true nature. You remain in your own true nature but when that is missed then you run here and there to get that back.

That’s the reason we don’t hear of anybody running to a doctor and complaining that they seem to be always peaceful! I’ve never ever seen anybody run to a doctor and say, “I don’t know, since the past couple of weeks, I seem to always be peaceful. There must be something wrong with me.” Instead, whenever someone loses their peace, they run to a doctor and say, “I’m disturbed. I’m restless, I lost my peace. Please help me to get that back.” That is when we need the help of therapists. That means that we lost something and we want to get it back. In the same way, on the physical level you run to a doctor and tell them that you are ill, you have a disease. What does it mean? You were at ease yesterday, something happened and your “ease,” got “dissed.” What is the meaning of disease? Dis-ease.

So, the thing that you call ease or peace is there, but it just got a little disturbed. You want that to come back and this clearly tells us that ease and peace are our very nature. Somehow, we seem to be disturbing it. You are by nature peace personified, ease personified. Physically, you are at ease.  Mentally, you are at peace and that is why we say that peace and joy are in you, as you. Not that you are something different and the peace is in you as if some substance was put into a container. Just like when we say that God is love, it doesn’t mean that love is inside God; it means that God is love. Love itself is God. What you call “yourself” is peace. You are peace. Peace is in you as you.

By Sri Swami Satchidananda