Radhanath Swami on ‘Conflict Resolution’

Rendered concentric water ripples

Conflict is the very nature of this material world. Even the cells within our bodies are in conflict.

The subtlest of all elements of creation is the false ego, and all other elements—earth, water, fire, air, ether, mind and intelligence are both evolving from and resting upon the false ego. But what is the false ego?
It is the false sense of identity. “I am this body and all the designations of this body are mine. I am a man, I am a woman, I am black, I am an American, I am a Hindu, or I am rich.” All of these are false identities connected with the body, which is constantly changing. When we were infant babies, we looked completely different; in our youth our bodies grew, and as adults we saw further change in our bodies. The Bhagavad-Gita says that we are not these temporary bodies; our true identity is that we are all eternal souls with a common origin, God. In every great religious scripture, God is described as the father and the mother. In the Bhagavad-Gita Lord Krishna says, “I am the seed – giving father of all living beings.”

Unless human beings understand their common relationship with one another, with God in the center, there must be conflict—it is inevitable. My spiritual master, Srila Prabhupada, used to say that if we throw a stone in a pond it creates circles that expand to the end of the pond. If we throw more stones at the same place, all the circles will flow out harmoniously. But if we throw many stones in different parts of the pond, all of them will have their own different centers. Therefore, all the circles will collide. The water will become chaotic.

– Radhanath Swami