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Ambassadors for Peace

N.P. Jain - A Lovable Ambassador of Peace

A diplomat by profession, my father is a living example of integrity and maturity, which are crucial for promoting peace. The common theme running through his life is his confidence in non-violence as a potent instrument for ushering in durable peace at the individual and collective levels. Despite holding positions as India’s Ambassador to the European Union, UN, Nepal, Mexico, and Belgium, my father has retained his humility. His becoming an Ambassador for Peace of the Universal Peace Federation founded by Dr. Sun Myung Moon is a culmination of a life-long dedication to peace. It is also a new challenge.

UPF states that peace starts within the self, when the mind and the body are in good harmony. Thus, to conquer the body and make it a “peace embassy” is the first step. Living abroad for four decades, my parents traveled to different continents, cultures, and civilizations. Keeping the demanding tenets of the Jain faith while living in so many diverse cultures was a constant challenge for them.

My father likes to tell an anecdote when Alexander the Great conquered India. He met a Jain muni (monk). Puzzled to see that the monk attracted a large, admiring audience wherever he went, while people feared the Emperor, Alexander asked the monk, “What is it you have which I do not have?” The monk replied: “I never take anything; I have given up everything. I thus teach my followers to learn to give more and more and take less and less. You have always taken from the people but have given them nothing.”

The spirit of giving, not taking, has guided my father throughout his life. Brought up in a middle-class family, my father reached top positions while managing to retain the ethical standards of the compassionate Jain philosophy of “Live and let live.” Non-violence is ingrained in his thoughts, emotions, and intellectual outlook. His beliefs, character, and intellectual development are the fabric of peace formation. The credit goes to the deeply rooted religious and cultural upbringing of his parents.

The family as a school of holistic peace

Marriage and family life brought my father to a new level of peacemaking. My mother is very supportive, courageous, and reassuring to my father in times of crisis. She plays a crucial role in the progress of my father’s life. Apart from serving and taking care of the family needs, my parents help and support others. Currently, they are deeply involved in rehabilitation of villagers affected by the hydroelectric dams that are being built along the Narmada River in Madhya Pradesh, a state in central India.

We learn from the experience and wisdom of our parents that peace begins with a conviction about the truth. This comes with introspection. When we integrate the power of body, mind, spirit, and faith in prayer, we attain holistic peace and harmony. True happiness comes when you discover holistic peace and embrace it with all your heart, mind, and soul. For my father, peaceful living is a journey, not a destination. He chooses to live for the sake of others by making it the mission of his life.

My father is the true role model of peace for me. I can feel his positive vibrations in my heart, mind, and spirit. Motivated by my father’s unconditional support, I earnestly desire to become an Ambassador of Peace, following his footsteps.

From the extended family to one family under God

The Indian cultural heritage regards the family as vasudhev kutumbkum, meaning “the world is all one family.” Dr. Jain practices these virtues. Equipped with such a profound faith and with a public mind, my father embraces the UPF slogan of one family under God. He sees the UPF Founder, Dr. Moon, as a modern apostle of peace, formulating social ethics and molding family values of interdependence, mutual love, supportiveness, and above all living for the sake of others.

During his time working at the United Nations, Dr. Jain promoted peacebuilding strategies around the world. Believing that with a strong movement for peace, the world can be saved, and that non-violence is mightier than nuclear missiles, he mobilized developing countries to defend their interests during the 1973 oil crisis. He attended the UN Conference on Human Environment in Stockholm in 1972, where Mrs. Indira Gandhi, the Prime Minister of India, famously asked the delegates: “Are not poverty and need the greatest polluters?”

All developed nations need to support the developing countries in removing poverty. We must promote harmony and happiness in the universe irrespective of color, sex, language, history, and religion and despite social and cultural differences. For our future well-being, peace at the global level is essential, along with a spiritual awakening in every human soul.

Later, at the 1993 Parliament of the World’s Religions in Chicago, Dr. Jain realized even more deeply that all religions focused on peace, compassion, harmony, and fraternity. The challenge is how we can unite them all as a “global society.” Indian wisdom states that the pathway to peace entails non-violence (ahimsa), non-absolutism (anekant), and non-possession (aparigraha). We need to be individually and collectively persistent and work together in creating peaceful synergy in the world. The time has come to brighten the spark in every human soul for spreading worldwide message of a “culture of non-violence and reverence for life.”

When we look internally, we all envision world peace. Inner peace is something of true worth; it makes us feel good and makes us realize the true value of a peacemaker. Peace for humanity works best when we are selfless. We need to make a “peace commitment” internally in our spirit, then in our mind, and then formulate peace in action. This will strengthen a culture of peace in the world and promote peace through non-violence in all segments of human endeavor.

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