The Material Plane – Exploitation and Conflicts

On the material plane, even to survive there is so much exploitation. In Srimad Bhagavatam there is a beautiful verse that ends, Jivo jivasya jivanam: “Those who are devoid of hands are prey for those who have hands; those devoid of legs are prey for the four-legged. The weak are the subsistence of the strong, and the general rule holds that one living being is food for another.”

We might be looking at the beauty of the ocean, but within it one fish is eating another all the time. And on the land and the sky, birds are killing insects, cats are killing birds, bigger birds are killing smaller birds, and big animals in the forest are killing little animals. The fox kills the rabbit, the leopard kills the fox, the hunter kills the leopard and time kills the hunter. So there is competition. That is the nature of the material world. Why? Just because of selfishness, just because we put ourselves in the centre.

If we look around at all the conflicts—conflict among nations, conflict among religions, conflict among races, conflict among political parties within a nation, conflict among family members, conflict among different types of businesses, conflict among different sporting teams, and conflict within our own mind—they happen because everyone has a different center. This is the material plane. But if we put God, Krishna, in the centre, all conflicts cease to exist and we come to the spiritual plane.

By Radhanath Swami