As a peace missionary during the 1970s, Swami Vishnudevananda made headlines by flying around the world in his small two-seater airplane over many trouble-spots and war-torn countries of the world dropping flowers and pamphlets about peace. Here he describes that time.
“My mission was, as much as possible, to reduce the negative influences on human society by positive suggestions and positive way of life. We have been preaching for a long, long time about peace, but it is very seldom that we can do anything about it. We ourselves do not have the inner peace to create an environment in which we can have external peace. Our society is geared towards more and more excitement. In business there is competition; in sports and recreation there is competition, which brings Ashanti (Shanti means peace, Ashanti means non-peace). The media runs us in a circle, we don’t know which way to turn. Our politicians think they can do anything they want. They do not realize that the power turned over to them is a short, temporary one which can create havoc.
In Nassau, in the Ashram, I had a powerful vision. It shook me and even several hours after that vision, I could not think properly. Then a voice came telling me to fly. I had no idea why I had to fly. For so many years I had to go through all the criticism, “The Swami is flying,” the luxury of a private plane… so much criticism. But all my years of flying had only one purpose – to break the boundaries without passport and visa. The authorities can stop you at the border, but when you are up in the air, no one can stop you. Either they have to shoot you down or they have to let you land. There is no other choice for any government.
And so, my boundary-breaking mission came. It came to symbolically demonstrate to the world that the world planet is small. Either we are going to live together or we are going to die together. The time has come that this idea of nationalism, of patriotism, must disappear and only one unity should exist.”
Teachings on Yoga Life
by Swami Vishnudevananda
Peace Mission, Page 114, 116