By Chaitanya Charan Das
If we see two people fighting over something trivial, we would naturally wonder: Why are they making such a big issue of this?
People fight not just because something is a big issue but also because they have nothing important in their life and so end up making something trivial important. The Bhagavad-gita explains that we all are pushed around by the three modes of material nature: goodness, passion and ignorance. And those who function in the mode of ignorance are given to violence at minor provocations, for they can’t see things in proper perspective (18.25). Indeed, generations of wars sometimes happen because of some minor issues that are hundreds of years old.
To prevent such unnecessary conflicts, we need to conscientiously contemplate and concentrate on things that are truly important, things that make our life worth living, things that are worth fighting for. If we don’t contemplate thus, then our mind uses its various impressions and conceptions to concoct what is important. By such concoction, when the mind makes something super-important, then even a minor infringement on that thing by someone else provokes us to attack that person, either verbally or even physically.
Rather than trying to get even in every conflict, we need to internalize some big vision in comparison with which conflicts are seen in perspective. The Bhagavad-gita gives us this vision by explaining that we are souls on a multi-life journey of spiritual evolution. We are meant for something far bigger than temporary egoistic superiority over someone else – we are meant for eternal ecstasy in a loving relationship with the all-attractive supreme, Krishna.
When we thus become infused with the divine purpose of loving and serving Krishna, we learn to address conflicts appropriately and attain the supreme eternal peace that is inviolable and inalienable (18.62).
Verse 18.25 – “That action performed in illusion, in disregard of scriptural injunctions, and without concern for future bondage or for violence or distress caused to others is said to be in the mode of ignorance.”
Think it over:
Why do people fight?
How can the mind in ignorance make us fight over minor things?
How can we acquire a big vision to see conflicts in perspective?