THE BLOG

Hinduism's Suggestions for a Peaceful Coexistence

08/12/2013 02:42 pm ET | Updated Oct 12, 2013

We all want to become free of stress and anxiety and live peaceful and happy lives. We try so hard to avoid anxieties, but somehow they find themselves into our lives. It is very natural for us to hanker for and work towards a perpetually happy existence. Rest assured, this is achievable. All it requires is a shift in consciousness.

First of all, we need to understand what it means to be peaceful and happy. There are certain things we need to accept before we can be peaceful:

1. Things won't always happen the way we want them to.
2. Trying to control our loved ones will only distance them from us.
3. Happiness and distress come and go in cycles and we should be ready for both.
4. Distressing situations come into our lives to help us grow and mature.

All four of these items are suggesting that we give up trying to control the environment and people around us. We stress everyone, including ourselves, out by trying to control. The Bhagavad Gita suggests that we do our duty to the best of our ability and learn to be satisfied with the endeavor itself. We might have some control over the ultimate outcome, but often times, the results don't come the way we hoped they would. Learning to go into situations with this attitude can prevent a lot of mental turmoil. The world is organized to help us grow, so let's become accepting of that and let things fall into place.

Secondly, it's very important to recognize that our peace is very much connected to everything around us. An important question we can ask ourselves is "how are my speech and actions affecting the peace of the overall environment around me?"

To answer this question, we must examine how our lifestyles are impacting mother Earth, the animals, and the people around us. We have a spiritual connection to all of these items, so if we're disrupting their peace, then how can we expect to be peaceful. This means that we need to become conscious of our consumption and the carbon footprint it creates. Polluting mother Earth and overindulging in her resources will affect our peace.

Do our food choices disrupt the peaceful existence of the animals? Just as we want our family and friends to be happy, so do the animals. They care for their offspring just as much as we care for ours and would like to live out their natural lives like we want to live out ours. If our palate and life choices are causing them distress, it will circle back around and spill over onto us.

According to the Bhagavad Gita, an ancient Hindu text, speech should be honest, beneficial, not agitating, and pleasing. This passage is suggesting that even our speech, what to speak of our actions, should not be harsh and insensitive. Naturally, this requires us to have restraint over our emotions and outbursts. If our speech and behavior cause others pain and distress, those acts in themselves will come back to us and take away our peace.

In conclusion, we need to become more conscious of our existence. We need to realize there is a connection between all things and that our behavior has a very real impact on the environment around us. Therefore, if we make an attempt to bring peace to others, or at least not disturb the peace of others, then the Universe and God will reciprocate by sending peace our way.