HomeSeptember 2023May peace be upon you

MANILAL ROOPA lives in Port Elizabeth, Eastern Cape, South Africa. He is retired after a career as an educator and facilitator for over 50 years, and continues to work as a Heartfulness trainer, which he has done for over 30 years. As a “colored” under Apartheid in South Africa, he has been through much and seen a lot of social change during his life, radiating peacefulness and love throughout.

“As-salamu alaykum.”
May peace be upon you.
“Wa alaykumu s-salaam.”
And may peace be upon you too.

Over two billion people around the world exchange this beautiful greeting. It is in Arabic and uttered by every Muslim several times a day. Over a quarter of the world’s population are greeting each other with this prayer for peace. I am honored that many of my Muslim friends greet me this way.

Over a billion Hindus greet each other by joining their palms and saying “Namaste,” meaning “I bow to the Divine in you.”

Over three billion Christians refer to Jesus as the “Prince of Peace,” and many say the prayer of Saint Francis of Assisi:


Lord, make me an instrument of your peace: 
where there is hatred, let me sow love; 
where there is injury, pardon; 
where there is doubt, faith; 
where there is despair, hope; 
where there is darkness, light; 
where there is sadness, joy.

O divine Master, grant that I may not so much seek 
to be consoled as to console, 
to be understood as to understand, 
to be loved as to love. 
For it is in giving that we receive, 
it is in pardoning that we are pardoned, 
and it is in dying that we are born to eternal life. 

My silent prayer is that more and more of us embrace this idea of peace every day of our lives. 

Daaji, the global guide of Heartfulness, encourages us to send out subtle suggestions daily into the universe:

Everything around me is absorbing peace; the air, the oceans, the trees, the structures, the animals and humans. All are radiating peace.

All humanity is becoming peaceful, showing more compassion, more kindness, and more love.

The world may be in turmoil, the antithesis to peace: Russia and Ukraine, the conflict in Sudan, Palestine, North and South Korea, the riots in France, and political turmoil in several countries. 

Our past is replete with similar chaos, skirmishes, invasions, and wars. What we are witnessing is not new. A few centuries ago, European countries were constantly at war. Furthermore, in as much as religions advocate peace and harmony among all, the spread of some major religions are premised on brutal conversions.

Babuji, the founding spiritual guide of Heartfulness, summed it up poignantly:

“Religion divides, spirituality unites.”

The term peacefulness is nuanced on the noun peace. It connotes more than individual peace – a world full of peace. As our hearts become full of love, serenity, peace, gratitude, and humility, our world will be transformed into a world of peacefulness.

Om Dyauh Shantir-Antariksham Shanti
Prathivi Shantir – Apah Shantir
Omshadayah Shanti
Vanaspatayah Shanti  
Vishve Devah Shantir
Brahma Shanti
Sarvam Shanti
Shantireva Shanti
Sa Ma Shantiir-Edhi
Om Shanti Shanti Shanti

It means, “O Supreme Creator, may there be peace in the sky, may there be peace in all the celestial regions, may the earth be at peace. The water, the medicinal and nutritious herbs, the trees and plants all be at peace. Let there be peace in all the elements of nature. Let everything in which You exist be at peace. Let peace reign everywhere. Finally, may that glorious peace abide in me. May there be peace, peace, peace.”

This is a prayer for peace uttered by over a billion Hindus. 

With half the world’s population praying for peace every day, I envisage a state of peacefulness reigning in the hearts of humanity in the not too distant future. May more and more of us embrace this idea of peace every day of our lives.

With half the world’s population
praying for peace every day, 
I envisage a state of peacefulness
reigning in the hearts of humanity
in the not too distant future.



Manilal Roopa

Manilal Roopa

Manilal Roopa is a retired educator and facilitator. He lives in Port Elizabeth, South Africa. He became a Heartfulness trainer in 1991, and continues to work in this role.