Religion & Conflict

 Amma - Sri Mata Amritanandamayi Devi

Children, throughout history, there has been extreme bloodshed in the name of God and religion. Thus, many people wonder whether faith in God has done more harm than good.

Here, we need to remember that there are two sides to the human mind: love and hatred. We have to decide which side we are going to awaken within ourselves. We have heard about many mahatmas who have awoken universal love within themselves through their faith in God. On the other hand, there are many others who install hatred within, clinging tightly to twisted imaginary forms of God.

The conflicts we see in the society cannot be blamed on God. Man’s selfish ego and divisive intellect alone are responsible. The reason for this conflict is the attitude “My religion is the best, and others must accept it!” In reality, God has no limitations, no likes and dislikes. God pervades everything, accepts everything equally. God is all inclusive. God is like the sky. Good and evil, beautiful and ugly, big and small all exist in that pervasiveness. All divisive attitudes that lead men towards conflict are creations of man’s mind. God is beyond all that. In this state, how can one say that faith in God is what leads men towards committing mistakes?

If we can truly and correctly imbibe God, then we will be able to love, accept and serve all lifeforms, transcending differences of caste, religion and nationality. Due to ignorance, ego and greed for power, some people use God and religion as instruments to start conflict. For such people, God is only a means. They just want a reason to conquer others and show their superiority. If they cannot use religion for that, they will find some other way. We see conflict even within the same religion. Such conflict is started by people who want to fight so bad that if they can’t find one another reason they will find another—like who owns the moon or who owns Mars?

Today man’s ego is like a wild horse galloping without reins. As long as man lacks maturity, conflict will continue.

A society is formed of individuals. It is the conflict inside the individual mind that manifests as war. If individuals change, society will change automatically. Just as we cultivate revenge and hatred in our mind, we can also nurture feelings of peace and love. We just have to try.

Let us not remain entangled in the painful memories of past wars and conflicts. By forgetting the dark times of hatred and competition, we can welcome a new period of faith, love and unity.

Amma, Sri Mata Amritanandamayi Devi