Problem Solving and Conflict Resolution

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A spiritual perspective by Ac. Vimaleshananda Avt.

3-10. Vádhá sá yuśamáná shaktih sevyaḿ sthápayati lakśye.

[Obstacles are the helping forces that establish one in the goal.]

Purport: Obstacles in fact are no foes on the path of sádhaná [spiritual practice], but indeed friends. They only do service to a person. It is on account of these obstacles that the battle rages against them, and this counter-effort alone carries the sádhaka [spiritual aspirant] to his or her cherished goal.

This spiritual perspective on the value of obstacles in life is one of the aphorism from Ananda Sutram by Shrii Shrii Anandamurti. 

Problems arise at a personal level and a collective level. At both level, Ananda Marga offers specific tools to deal with problems thought principles for individual and social conduct called Yama and Niyama.

We can say that a strict adherence to the principles of Yama and Niyama will solve all the problems at individual and social level. How so?

AHIḾSÁ

Manovákkáyaeh sarvabhútá námapiidá namahiḿsá.

Ahiḿsá means not inflicting pain or hurt on anybody by thought, word or action.

The principle of Ahimsa allows establishing the base of mutual respect which is fundamental in conflict resolution. A conflict starts in the mental arena. The causes of a conflict can be found in deep-seeded prejudices as well as divergent interests. If the pressure of the conflict overcome the mental strength to bear or tolerate the pain that goes with it, the conflict expresses in the physical plane with known consequences for families and countries.

SATYA

Parahitártham váunmanoso yathárthatvam satyam.

Satya implies the proper action of mind and the right use of words with the spirit of welfare.

The spirit of welfare is what matters most in any relationship. When a problem arises the recognition of the underlying universal spirit of welfare opens the door for the solutions to appear.  If the solution doesn’t appear it may be not the right time and we have to learn to manage the problem without looking for quick fixes. Patience and tolerance are the gifts of trouble and pain.

ASTEYA

Paradravyápaharańo tyágo’steyam.

Not to take possession what belongs to others is asteya.

Particularly if a resourse is collective the moment there is an affirmation of exclusive property we compromise with the principle of Asteya. Natural resources can be of vital importance for entire populations and should not be in the hands of a few for personal advantage or profit. For example, the access of water should be allowed for those who depend on that for their welfare. There are countries where the access to the sea and lakes are public within a certain limit from the shore. Other countries allow indiscriminate privatization of any land.

BRAHMACARYA

The correct meaning of Brahmacarya is “to remain attached to Brahma”.

The meaning of practicing Brahmacarya Sádhaná is to treat the object with which one comes in contact as different expressions of Brahma and not as crude forms. By means of such an ideation, even though the mind wanders from one object to another, it does not get detached from Brahma because of the Cosmic feeling for each and every object. As a result of this Preya Sádhaná (extroversial approach) is converted into Shreya Sádhaná (introversial approach) and Káma into Prema. ([Preya means attraction towards crude material objects, while] Shreya means attraction towards the ultimate reality. Káma means the desire for finite objects and Prema means the desire for the Infinite).

If interpersonal communication is based on the principle of Brahmacarya it implies kindness and respect which harbors mutual understanding and communion. Brahmacarya is considered the most difficult principle of Yama to be truly practiced yet it is the most effective and far-reaching.

APARIGRAHA

In case of enjoyment of any material object, the control over the subjectivity is called Brahmacarya while the control over objectivity is aparigraha.

“Deharakśá tiriktabhogasádhanásviikaro’parigraha.” Non-indulgence in the enjoyment of such amenities and comforts of life as are superfluous for the preservation of life is aparigraha.

If we can be content with what we have greed has no space in our mind. In society, nobody should be allowed to accumulate any physical wealth without the clear permission or approval of the collective body. This is the first fundamental principle of PROUT – Progressive Utilization Theory which is the solution for all the problems of society.

For more details and explanation about the principles of Yama and Niyama please refer to the book “Guide to Human Conduct”  by Shrii Shrii Anandamurti available at anandamargabooks.com . The book is small, easy to read and it is an invaluable source of inspiration for all the peace lovers and well-wishers of society.