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What are the causes of conflict?

Clashes are a part of our everyday lives. But how do we get rid of them? If we know what causes conflict, then we can be cognizant of those things and avoid clashes altogether. There are numerous causes of conflict, here are just some of them:

  • When your desires are not fulfilled
  • When your expectations are not met
  • When someone insults you
  • When someone points out your mistakes
  • When someone hurts you
  • When you have a difference of opinion with someone
  • When people do not do what you want
  • When someone does not listen to you
  • When someone does not support you
  • When someone breaks your trust
  • When someone gets angry at you
  • When someone bosses you around
  • When someone unnecessarily makes fun of you
  • When someone hurts your ego
  • When you are having a bad day and someone bothers you
  • When someone repeatedly asks you the same question
  • When someone pressurizes you to make a quick decision
  • When someone avoids or ignores you
  • When someone back-bites and you find out
  • When someone nags you about the same thing
  • When you are very busy and someone comes to waste your time
  • When someone wakes you up from deep sleep or you have to cut down on your sleep
  • When someone does not reply to you in a timely manner
  • When you have to repeat the same thing multiple times to make someone understand
  • When someone questions your lifestyle or interferes with it
  • When someone repeats the same thing over and over again, even though you understood the first time
  • When you tolerate the same thing a few times, but then you reach your limit and rebound like a spring
  • When you have already accepted your mistake but they keep bringing it up
  • When you like things clean and the other person keeps making it dirty
  • When you do not find things in the same place where you know you put them
  • When someone cooks something you do not like to eat
  • When they do not favor you in front of others
  • When you want to watch something on TV and they want to watch something else
  • When you have to deal with or stay with someone you do not like
  • When someone talks around the bush, and does not get to the point
  • When someone misunderstands you
  • When someone uses and abuses you
  • When you believe you have done a good job and someone criticizes you
  • When you are hungry and you have to do something extra
  • When you have to follow rules and regulations you think are unnecessary

The list can go on and on…

So isn’t it easier just to avoid clashes in the first place rather than have multiple clashes in different places and lose your peace of mind? For that, you need to understand the hidden causes of conflicts that you have not heard before. Parma Pujya Dada Bhagwan has explained them in more detail:

You clash through your own mistake! 

avoid clashes

In this world, all conflicts you encounter are due to your own mistakes. No one else is to blame. People are going to clash anyway. If asked, “Why did you get into conflict?” The response would be, “Because they did!” Therefore, he is blind and by clashing with him, you too become blind.

Let us see what Param Pujya Dada Bhagwan says in His own words:

Questioner: What happens if we create conflict within a conflict?

Dadashri: You’ll break your head! If a conflict arises, what must you understand?

Questioner: That it is my own fault!

Dadashri: Yes, you must accept this mistake immediately. If there is a conflict, you should understand that you must have done something to cause it. Once you become aware that it is your own mistake, you will have the solution, and the puzzle will be solved. If you keep searching for fault in the other person, your puzzle will persist. If we believe and accept that we are at fault, we will be free from this world. There is no other solution. To attempt to resolve clashes in any other manner will further entangle you because your subtle ego is working behind those attempts. Why are you looking for remedies? If someone says that you are at fault, you should accept it and say, “I have always known this.”

Intellect causes conflicts in the worldly life. It will even wake you up at 2.00 a.m. and show you all kinds of negative things. It may even lead you towards a self-destructive path.

Not Being Able to Solve the Problem

Clashes are caused by not being able to solve the problem. Something happens that we are not able to deal with and so we become excited and create clashes with the people around us. In essence, conflict arises because of your own ignorance. If you clash with anyone, it is a sign of your own ignorance.

There is no difference between colliding into a wall and arguing over a difference of opinion with someone. It is essentially the same thing. A person bumps into a wall because he cannot see and a person gets into conflict because he cannot see. One cannot see what lies ahead of him, and the other cannot see a solution ahead of him, so he gets into arguments. All these enemies of anger, pride, attachment, and greed arise because of our inability to see what lies ahead. This is how we should understand everything. It is not the fault of the wall; it is the fault of the person who is hurt by it. All these (people) are walls as such. All conflicts are like bumping into a wall. When you bump into a wall you do not look at who is at fault do you? You don’t try to prove that you were right, do you? You must think of everyone that clashes with you, as being a wall. Look for the door, so even in the darkness you will be able to find your way out. You need to make it a rule not to clash with anyone.

Past Karmic Account

To clash is natural. Clashes will happen because people have brought such karmic accounts with them. With whom you do not have such a karmic account, clash will not occur. Frictions of your past life create further friction. Friction begets friction, which in turn leads to more friction; this is how friction keeps multiplying.

But clashes when dealt with correctly can result in very good spiritual progress. It will lead you to great heights; greater the intensity of the clash, the higher you climb. Just like sharp-edged rocks become smooth and round with the erosive force of the river water, clashes and frictions in your personal life too are here to smoothen out your personality’s raw edges.

If this friction was not there, you would stay where you were. So do not get upset when you clash, instead ask for forgiveness (pratikraman) every time you clash.

Clashes will occur. But what is important is not to get alienated from the person you clash with. You ought to make sure that the friction should never drive you both apart. This is the essence of the spiritual effort.

Your constant intent to avoid clashes should always be there. Every time you clash, you have to ask for forgiveness (pratikraman) from the pure Soul residing in the person you clashed with; and maintain a genuine friendly spirit towards this person you clashed with.

Soon after, you may again clash with the same person. So again do pratikraman. These clashes will keep reoccurring because of numerous layers of your particular karma, but with each pratikraman and your sincere intent to avoid further clash, one layer of the karma is shed and you move towards liberation. One day you will certainly be free from all clashes.

And say you start seeing the person you clashed with, as being at fault or you develop serious differences of opinion with that person, you should do separate pratikraman for that too, understanding it as your fault that you saw the fault of the other person. Even a single negative thought towards a living being is detrimental. Losses will be encountered on both sides. However, if you do pratikraman, your faults will be erased. Therefore, wherever there is friction, do pratikraman so that it ends. Otherwise, there are grave consequences.

The root cause of all conflicts is Self-ignorance

When you understand who you really are, then you will be able to learn how to maintain not only outer but inner peace as well. Then whatever the matter is, in that clash, ‘You’ will not clash. Therefore, if you are able to recognize your True Self, then no circumstance will be able to confuse or affect you. You will be able to remain stable and solve the problem. Only a Gnani Purush (Self-Realized being) can help you remove this ignorance. 

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