Peace generates from deep within. It generates from the Being to the mind and from the mind to the environment. It was said that wherever Buddha was teaching for upto 20 miles all around that place, there never used to be violence and things used to be very calm and very peaceful. There is a story of Buddha’s time.
There was a man who was a dacoit and he was called Angulimala.
People who know Buddha know Angulimala also. He was compared to Hitler in those days. He had killed 999 people and cut their fingers and made a garland out of those fingers. He was a terror. People were scared of him. He would just butcher people and cut their fingers since he wanted to have a garland! 999 people! And he was looking for a 1000th finger!
And it so happened, that Buddha was passing by. Angulimala lived on top of a hill. He saw a beautiful man and a good-looking person. He said, ‘Ok, here is my 1000th. I can have his finger as a pendant.’ So he came down the hill, laughing loud and making noise – ‘I am Angulimala coming.’ And Buddha was unshaken. He just stood there smiling. Angulimala tried to chase him, ‘Are you not afraid? You know I am Angulimala.’ People were terrified, just by hearing his name. They had nightmares. People would run away. And here he sees a man just standing there, embodiment of peace, just smiling. With so much compassion and grace looking at him! Angulimala came infront of Buddha and looked at him and he was stunned! A few minutes and then he melted.. he didn’t know what was happening to him. Angulimala fell at the feet of Buddha. Buddha said, ‘Yeah, go ahead! You want my finger?’ But Angulimala could not! The amount of light and love just shook Angulimala. He fell at the feet of Buddha. And then he became a Bhikshu(disciple). Buddha taught him meditation. He also changed his name. Everything in him changed. And people could not believe that. Angulimala was doing very strict austerities staying with Buddha. And Buddha taught him how to see the tension and irritation, frustration and ignorance in him that propelled him to do such work and when they all fell apart, he was such a wonderful person.
After few years, 10 years or so he was being near Buddha. Buddha told him ‘You have now attained a very good state, now go and teach.’ Now this man goes out to those villages where he had collected the fingers, to teach people there. When he goes, even after 10 years, people would not forgive him. They had all the vengeance against him, they were throwing stones at him. He had bruises all over his body. When someone saw him and asked, ‘What has happened?’ But he was still so peaceful and he had a smile on his face. People said, ‘Here is someone who has come to help somebody, and then he was hit with stones and has been hurt. But he was never hurt from inside, he was still smiling.’ And when someone asked him, ‘How come you are smiling?’ He said, ‘See, these people are showing how much anguish and tension they have gone through in their life. But for this supreme Knowledge, I would have remained like this and I would have made them more angry. I have created this anguish in them. And now that is being exhibited.’
He persisted and when people saw that there is no reaction from Angulimala and that he is still smiling, still calm, still so peaceful. That’s when they started coming back to him. When you don’t react, people get more interested. Because everyone feels normal when the reaction comes – they feel peaceful and happy. But when the other person does not react, it pinches them somewhere. It pushes them to come back. So they all came back to him, they learned meditation from him. And they became happy in their lives. That’s when Anguliamala saw that the peace is coming from one person. When one person is peaceful he creates so much peace all around him.
It is effortless. Having peace in mind, is not a strenuous job. It is an effortless process. Meditation is like that, it is an effortless process. When there is peace inside, the peace permeates outside also. It comes around you. It spreads in the environment. People start feeling the peace and grace around.