Beyond Racism – The Root Cause, The Real Solution
The foundation of all racism, discrimination, and violence is false identification of the body as the self. In the following pages, compiled from lectures and interviews, Jagad Guru Siddhaswarupananda Paramahamsa pinpoints the root cause of, and the solution to, prejudice and racism.
The Physical Body Has Many Characteristics--black/white, fat/skinny, male/female, and so on. It also is given many labels or designations, based on social or economic status, marital status, political affiliation, religious affiliation, nationality, etc. If you identify your body as yourself, then you will consider all these characteristics and labels to be your actual identity. If you have a white male body, you will think, "I am white; I am a man." When you see someone else (or rather, see someone else's body), you will likewise wrongly identify the person with the body the person happens to be in. If you are in a white body and see a person in a black body, you won't actually see the person, only the black body. You will conclude, "That person is black," thus identifying yourself as white and the other person as black. This is racism.
The root cause of racism and racial conflict is the false identification of the body with the person. But false identification of the body as the self leads to more than just racial conflicts. International conflicts, religious conflicts, sexual conflicts, and many other conflicts are rooted in this misunderstanding. Each body has a multitude of different labels and characteristics. This in itself isn't bad, just as it is not bad for people to wear different-colored clothes. What is bad is that due to identifying the body as the self, we wrongly consider the person to be the labels associated with his body. Being unable to see past the labels to the person himself, we end up in a world of barriers and conflicts.
If you are enlightened, you are free from such clouded vision — you can see through bodily characteristics and labels. If you are wise, you can see the person or atma or soul within the body and relate to the person, not to his body. If you are wise, you are free of prejudice, racism, sexism, class consciousness, and so on. In the Bhagavad-gita, the sage is described as one who not only sees through the racial and social designations such as "worker", "merchant", "administrator", "teacher", and so forth, but who even sees through "species" designations such as human and animal.
The humble sage,
by virtue of true knowledge, sees
with equal-vision a learned and gentle
brahman, a cow, an elephant,
a dog and a dog-eater
- BHAGAVAD-GITA 5:18
All living beings are equal sparks of the Supreme Living Being. Each of us, no matter what kind of body we have, no matter what that body's color, age, nationality, or even species, is an eternal life particle, a child of the Supreme Person. Such wisdom is the medicine that can transform a world of prejudice and conflict into a world of peace and harmony. Individual happiness and social harmony are possible only when we come to appreciate our true spiritual essence.
QUESTION: So as long as we don't see our spiritual essence, there will be racism and hatred?
JAGAD GURU: Yes, this world is filled with hatred. So many people hate others, and this hate is caused by people's lack of spiritual vision. When they look at others with their material eyes only, what do they see? They see blacks and whites; they see yellow, brown, young and old, male and female, long hairs and short hairs, etc. In other words, all they see are bodies and the differences between these bodies. According to the Sri Ishopanishad, we have to develop another kind of vision, a type of spiritual vision where we see that within each of these bodies there is a non-material person, a spirit soul, a spark of the Supreme Person.
One who sees all living entities as spiritual sparks in quality one with the Lord (i.e. not material) becomes a true knower of things. What then can be illusion or anxiety for him?
- MANTRA 7
When we see all living entities as part and parcel of the Supreme, we see beyond their bodily designations. We don't see a brown body but rather we see, "Here is a spark of the Supreme in a brown body." We also see, "Here is another spark of the Supreme in a white body, and another spark of the Supreme in a black body." This is spiritual vision.
A person with spiritual vision sees all people as children of the Lord, even though they have different kinds of bodies. When there is false identification with the material body, however, there is ignorance. And where there is ignorance, there is hatred.
The Body Is Like A Suit Of Clothes
My body is like a pair of clothes, I put it on when I come to this world, and I take it off when I leave. This is described by the Supreme Lord in the Bhagavad-gita:
As a person puts on new garments,
giving up old ones, similarly, the soul accepts
new material bodies, giving up the old and useless ones.
- BHAGAVAD-GITA 2:22
You are wearing a blue shirt, and I am wearing an orange shirt, but that doesn't mean that you are blue, nor does it mean that I am orange. To hate you, or fight with you, because your shirt is blue and my shirt is orange is the epitome of ignorance, yet that is what racism is all about. Hawaiian, Samoan, Caucasian, Chinese, Japanese, Black, Russian, American, these are all just external bodily identifications. We all wear different types of bodies when we come into this world, but actually we are the souls within these bodies. Your real identity is that you are a child of the Lord, only temporarily within that body. So too, I am the person or the spiritual spark only temporarily within this body. The sooner we understand the eternal nature of the soul and the temporary nature of the material body, the sooner we can live in harmony. Since I am a spark of the Supreme Spirit, and you are also a spark of the Supreme Spirit, this means that we are related. We are actually brothers in the truest sense, even though we have different kinds of bodies. If we want to end racism and all the suffering associated with it, we have to come to this understanding. We have to learn that beneath all of these differences we're all children of the Supreme Lord. The root cause of all types of prejudice, all racial problems, all religious problems, as well as the problems between one village and another and one nation and another, is false identification with the material body.
Turf Wars Are Based On Ignorance
Throughout history different nations have fought over property and natural resources. "This is our land. This is our property. This is our turf!" But actually, everything is the property of the Supreme Person, and every person is the child of the Supreme Lord. All of this fighting is unnecessary. It is all based on ignorance. It is because people do not know who they are.
As stated in the Sri Ishopanishad, if you see yourself as part and parcel of the Lord, a child of the Lord, and you see others in the same way, as sparks of the Supreme, then you will not hate anyone.
A person who sees everything in relation
to the Supreme Lord, who sees all living entities
as the Lord's parts and parcels,
as the Lord's children, and who sees
the Supreme Lord within everything,
never hates anything nor anyone.
— MANTRA 6
When you see others as they really are, you will think of the Supreme Friend or the Supreme Father of all. If we remember our common father — the source of all of us — then we will appreciate our relationship. No longer will we see each other as strangers, but as relatives. This vision, and the feeling that comes from it, extends to all living beings. The porpoises, the whales, the seals, and the birds, are all sparks of the Supreme, and when you begin to see others with this spiritual vision and appreciate all living beings as sparks of the Supreme, you will never hate them, but will love them. That is spiritual vision. The aim of the devotee, or the yogi, is to come to this understanding, to come to this vision, so that even though I’m living in this world, I actually feel the presence of the Supreme Lord and see others as servants of the Lord, or fellow children of the Lord.
It's a simple analogy, but think of this point in the context of sports. In sports, sometimes we have teams where the black shirts fight the white shirts, or the brown shirts compete with the green shirts, and the yellow shirts compete with the calico shirts. This is what racism is all about. But if everybody realized we are not our shirts, then there would be no more problems.
QUESTION: This doesn’t seem very practical. Since we would still perceive differences between the color of our bodies and those of others, it seems that problems would still be there.
JAGAD GURU: We're not talking about idealism here, or Utopian thinking. We're talking about the objective reality of our identity. When we remember this identity, then we know how to relate to others. We do not relate out of hate; we relate out of love, respect, tolerance, and spiritual vision. It is not only practical but it is the only actual solution to racism. Without adopting this vision, all other attempts will fail.
Just as we can live peacefully with each other and not be identifying or caring what kind of clothes other people are wearing, similarly, when we understand that a person is not the body, but is the soul inside, then we can live peacefully without paying attention to the color, size or shape of other people’s bodies.
We Must Give Up The Idea That We’re Black Or White
QUESTION: It seems that one benefit from the O.J. Simpson trial is that it has focused our attention on the racial issue, and now lots of community leaders are calling for the different ethnic groups to work together or coexist peacefully.
JAGAD GURU: It’s not sufficient to call on people to work together. We have to give up the nonsensical idea that we are black or white. Racism is false identity of the body as the self, and as long as such false identification exists, we will be faced with all of the problems associated with racism. Of course, it’s a good thing that people are calling for racial harmony. We are not critical of this. Our point is that it’s not enough.
Artificial harmony is a “band-aid solution”, and therefore it won’t last. The “harmony” will fall apart because underlying animosity is still there. When people see, “We are the same, we are all spirit souls, we are all sparks of the Supreme,” then there will be harmony. And it will be actual, not artificial.
If you want to really end racism, you can’t just call for people to live together harmoniously. That’s like putting a band-aid on the problem. Eventually, it will erupt again. If you want to end racism, you have to get to the root of the problem. We are saying to those who consider themselves to be black or white that it is not true. Let them analyze if it’s true that one person is black and another is white, and they will see that from a scientific point of view it is not correct. We have to give this information because it can be the basis for actual harmony.
Racism Is Based On Illusion
There are many people who criticize racism and say it is bad, but these people are really still racists because they identify the body as the self. Such persons say that racism is morally wrong and this is true, but we say that above and beyond being morally wrong, it is based on a falsity. Racism is based on the illusion that the body is the self. The science of identity means understanding your real identity as spirit soul, understanding that you are not the body. Since racism is based on the illusion that you are your body, the solution to racism is the realization that you are not your body.
If you think you are the body, then you are a racist because you believe, “I am my race, I am white” or “I am black”. That is racist. It doesn’t mean you necessarily feel superior. You might be a racist and feel inferior. You might be feeling, “I am black, and I am inferior,” but this is still racism. Racism is based on the ignorance of false bodily identification. The fact is you are not your body; you are the living force, the atma, or spirit soul within the body. Or as Socrates would say, you are the psyche, or the self. You are the spark of life that is temporarily within the material body, and you are wearing your body just like I am wearing this shirt.
Loving Your Enemy
QUESTION: Throughout the world today, we see that so many people are suffering the brunt of racism. They are experiencing poverty, disease, injustice, exploitation, and lack of self esteem because they are suppressed and oppressed by racists.
JAGAD GURU: What you are saying is true, and we have spoken at length on the root cause of racism, namely false identification with the material body. But you are only seeing part of the suffering. You are thinking that only the oppressed minorities are suffering, but actually when we take a broader view of racism, we can see that people are suffering on both sides. On one side are those who are experiencing the brunt of other people’s hatred and bigotry, and they are suffering. On the other side, we have those who are experiencing the hatred, or the dislike of others on the basis of their physical body, or race, and they are also suffering.
One Who Hates Is Also Suffering
If somebody hates, it is not just the person he hates that suffers; he himself also suffers. Such hatred occupies and pollutes the very core of a person’s heart, and the very experience of such hatred is itself a terrible kind of suffering because it keeps one away from the Lord. It makes it so that person cannot experience the happiness of truly loving and feeling close to the Supreme because one cannot simultaneously love the Supreme Lord yet hate His children.
So suffering is there on both sides, and of course, in many cases, hate is also there on both sides. It’s just a matter of which side has political power, or control, as to which side is exploited. Those in power exploit the others, yet if the minority comes into power, because of their hatred, they then turn around and exploit those who previously exploited them. There can be no end to this racism until this hatred is taken away.
Knowing the Lord Loves Me Gives Me Shelter
There is something else that can help us be free from the feelings associated with other people’s hatred towards us because of the color of our bodies. This is the knowledge and appreciation that although the prejudiced person does not love me or like me because of the color of my skin, the Lord loves me. Therefore, what others think doesn’t matter. My happiness is not going to come from being loved by everyone in the world; rather, it will come from appreciating that the One who is the source of everyone and everything in the world – the Father of every living being – loves me.
If I know that the Supreme Person loves me, then I will automatically experience satisfaction and fulfillment, even if everyone else hates my guts. Hatred directed toward me by others is not going to bother me because I have the happiness from within myself knowing that I am accepted by the Lord.
QUESTION: Why are people so upset when they know someone is prejudiced toward them, if that person is not an actual threat?
JAGAD GURU: One of the main reasons we don’t like people disliking us is the feeling of rejection. It’s not because there’s going to be any physical violence or because that person may hurt us in some way. It’s simply because we like to be accepted by others. This is natural. We want to be loved. By nature, we are happy when we are loving and when we are experiencing being loved; we are unhappy when we are hating and when we experience being hated. Therefore, if we are experiencing the Supreme’s love upon us and are experiencing ourselves as being spiritual in nature – not our bodies – then even if somebody else doesn’t understand this due to their ignorance, and hates us or rejects us because of our skin color, it will not touch us. This is real protection. It is spiritual protection.
The Supreme Person’s Love For Me Is Unconditional
QUESTION: Seeing how we treat each other, it’s difficult to imagine how the Supreme could love us in spite of this.
JAGAD GURU: The Supreme knows how unworthy I am of His love, and yet He loves me anyway. If I appreciate that the Supreme’s love for me is unconditional, despite my faults, then I can even have love for my so-called enemies. Without this, there will only be hatred. When one hates me because of the color of my skin, what do I immediately and naturally begin to experience toward that person?
AUDIENCE: Anger and hatred?
JAGAD GURU: Yes! And then I suffer, not from his hatred or rejection of me, but I suffer from my hatred and rejection of him. Therefore, I suffer from two things: 1) the suffering of the pain of his rejecting me, and 2) the suffering of a pain which is even greater, and that is the pain of my rejecting or hating that person.
QUESTION: I can understand how someone’s hatred for you could make you suffer, but it’s not clear why your own hatred for others would be a great cause of suffering.
JAGAD GURU: Why does my hatred towards others hurt me? Why do I actually experiencing a type of suffering when I hate another person? It’s because that person is actually my brother, and when I experience rejection or hatefulness towards such a close relative, it hurts. That person is also a child of the Supreme, despite his imperfections, therefore when I hate that person, I’m hating my own brother and that is painful.
Listen to these two verses from the Sri Ishopanishad:
A person who sees everything in relation to the Supreme, who sees all living entities as the Lord’s parts and parcels, as the Lord’s children, and who sees the Supreme within everything, never hates anything nor anyone.
One who sees all living entities as spiritual sparks in quality one with the Supreme (i.e. not material) becomes a true knower of things. What then can be illusion or anxiety for him?
It is our own hatred or others that causes us pain, and when we experience prejudice, hatred and rejection directed towards ourselves, we immediately suffer when we direct this back towards those same persons. And this in turn increases the hatred those persons have towards us. It is a vicious circle.
For example, in Los Angeles, you have the Blacks versus the Koreans. The Black gets angry at the Korean for coming into his neighborhood. Then the Korean gets angry with the Black, and it spreads, and pretty soon you’ve got one community versus another community. Everybody gets caught up in this suffering, and they’re suffering from it not just because they’re receivers of hatred but because they’re perpetrators of it.
Such racism is the cause of great suffering for those who are experiencing it and who hold it within their hearts. Not only do we not want to have prejudice towards anyone because of their race, we also don’t want to be prejudiced in the sense of hating or rejecting anyone for any reason at all. It is for this reason that Jesus has wisely advised us to “love your enemy”. Your enemy is the one who doesn’t like you, who comes up and says nasty things to you, or who offends you with words or actions, yet Jesus tells us we should love such persons. He loved his enemies so much that even when they nailed him to the cross and crucified him, he was able to state, “Dear Father, please forgive them. They just don’t know what they’re doing.” Of course, the Lord does not forgive them, because they are committing such a great offense against the devotee of the Supreme Person. Nevertheless, such love is possible if we actually surrender to the Supreme. It’s possible by His mercy. Therefore, we should pray to the Supreme Lord that He give us such love as He has for us. In other words, unconditional love.
QUESTION: Does this mean we shouldn’t defend ourselves?
JAGAD GURU: This is not a call for pacifism. It doesn’t mean you cannot defend yourself, or that you should not try to protect or prevent your family from being raped, tortured, murdered, etc. There is a difference between pacifism and love. You can love somebody while blocking their punch, or while ducking. It’s even possible to love them shortly after you’ve punched them in the nose, or even while you punch them in the nose! We have a natural right to defend ourselves, but after you knock them down, give them your hand to help them get back up. “Let’s be finished with this. Can we be friends now?”
Today’s Victim – Tomorrow’s Perpetrator
There is obviously so much pain associated with racism. We have seen the bombings and stabbings and burning that the Jews and Arabs have perpetrated upon each other. And in Bosnia, we see the pain and the misery caused by the so-called ethnic cleansing, wherein the Serbs have attempted to drive the Muslims out of “their area”, and in turn the Muslims and the Croats have attempted to drive the Serbs out of “their turf”. Unless we end this hatred, today’s victim will simply become tomorrow’s perpetrator. Ultimately, the suffering that is caused by those who are racist cannot be solved simply by hating the racist; it can be solved only by loving and educating the racist, even if it means popping them in the nose in self defense once in a while as you are educating them.
We are our brothers’ keepers, and it doesn’t do our brothers any good to let them continue engaging in atrocious activities like murdering, killing and trying to exterminate people simply on the basis of their race or religion. It is for this reason that a nation like the United States, at least partially due to its Christian conscience took up arms against Nazi Germany. Sometimes, in order to do good, we must engage in violence. This is an unfortunate part of our existence in this material world, but hatred is not necessary. The love is there, and love means being able to forgive. The fact that love is there doesn’t mean that I should be a sitting duck for my misguided brothers’ violence. Love means not only that I tolerate the hatred, but that I try to educate and help such persons go beyond this hatred. Racism cannot be solved without this tolerance and love.
QUESTION: I have heard some people say that racism is actually an economic problem. It’s not caused by skin color, but rather by economics.
JAGAD GURU: No, no, no! Racism is not an economic problem! Of course, racial issues are exacerbated or arise more often when there are tough economic times, but if the root cause of racism were economic, then there would not just be feelings of hatred or animosity against one color or another color. Rather, it would be between one economic class and another. But this is not the case. For example, O.J. Simpson was a member of the moneyed, elite class; he lived in a $2.5 million home. Yet during and after his trial, support for him was split on racial, not economic lines!
QUESTION: Then why is it that when economic times are hard, all of a sudden we hear so much about discrimination?
JAGAD GURU: Racism can be brought to the forefront by all kinds of factors, including economic problems, social tensions, etc. If there is an economic problem, there’s going to be conflict between people, no matter what, as they struggle for sense enjoyment or struggle for their basic necessities. But what makes it turn into a black against white issue? It’s based on the illusion that the body is the self. If one class of people, for example, blacks, have been oppressed and economically deprived by another class of people, namely the whites, then when economic times are tough, those who are suppressed or disadvantaged economically strike out at those who have oppressed them, but the basis of this is racism. It is based on false identification with the material body.
Self Esteem Based On Race Is Meaningless
QUESTION: What about feelings of self esteem based on race and sex, like, “I am black,” or “I am Latino,” or “I am a woman.” Don’t they combat racism by making people feel good about themselves?
JAGAD GURU: This is all based on ignorance, because you are not black; you merely have a black body. You might have a white body, you might have a green body, you might have a duck body; it doesn’t matter. You are a spirit soul, a part and parcel of the Supreme Soul. One person is walking around feeling, “I am black and I am proud.” And, previously he was walking around going, “I am black and I am lower than others.” But now the Jesse Jacksons and Louis Farrakhans have told him, “Hey! You should be proud that you’re black.” Instead of saying, “Hey, you aren’t black you are spirit soul,” they say, “You should be proud you’re black.” It’s just the other side of the same coin of ignorance. Other foolish people are saying, “I am proud that I’m white.” We’re saying you’re not white, fool! You’re in ignorance. You’re neither white nor black, you are spirit soul.
Pride Based On Race Is False
The attempt to make people feel proud of their racial extraction is a false solution to racism. Some so-called good white people in the United States are telling members of minority races, “Oh, you should be proud of your race.” Their idea is that a big problem among many Black people, Chinese people, and Hispanics is that they feel inferior because people in the white world are looking and thinking, “Oh, he is inferior.” Consequently, their idea is that the way to overcome feelings of inferiority that they may experience when others see them as being inferior is to take the opposite approach and be proud. Therefore you have Black pride, Jewish pride, Chicano pride, and so forth. Of course, this is artificial, because it’s still based on bodily consciousness. The minority pride or bodily pride movement, is really simply a reaction against another false solution that people once used to overcome their feelings of inadequacy, and that was to try to look like or be like the majority race. For example, in the United States many black people were feeling, “I am black, and everybody looks down on me. I’m not allowed to eat in certain restaurants, I must be inferior or something.” Therefore, they tried to look white, by struggling to straighten their hair. Many blacks have very curly hair, and some of them when to all kinds of lengths to try to straighten it. They ironed it, and greased it, and tried to make their hair look like white people’s hair. (Ironically, many white people curl their hair, but that’s another point!) Some blacks also tried to lighten the color of their skin so that they would be more accepted. But this is all artificial.
Real Self Esteem Comes From Self Realization
You need self realization for real self esteem. Everything else is false. Your self esteem can only be as real as the truth upon which it’s based and if it’s based on a falsity, or a lie, then it’s false, it’s not real. It’s not going to last and it’s not going to satisfy you. Since you’re not your physical body, any so-called self esteem which is based upon your physical body, e.g., “I am a woman,” “I am black,” “I am white,” “I am rich,” “I am successful,” and so forth, is all useless. It may temporarily make you float or feel good for a while but it’s not going to last and it’s not going to satisfy you.
Political Maneuvering Won’t Solve Racism
QUESTION: What about laws and legislation; for example civil rights laws? Doesn’t this help end racism?
JAGAD GURU: The problem of racism cannot be solved simply by political maneuvering. It has been more that 40 years since civil rights legislation was enacted in the United States, but has animosity between the races decreased? No! If anything, it has increased. Legislation may ensure that blacks or other minorities are guaranteed certain rights – which they certainly deserve – but it does nothing to lessen the hatred that one bigot, or one race, feels for another. Enacting legislation without educating people about their real identities is a “band aid” or surface “solution” to a deeper, internal problem. It’s like trying to treat the symptoms of a disease without curing the disease itself. You may alleviate the problem temporarily, but because the disease is still ravaging within, new symptoms will soon appear. You can’t treat cancer with band-aids, and similarly, you can’t cure racism through legislation. Racism can be “cured” or eliminated only when people understand or realize themselves to be spirit soul, and not their material bodies. Proper education – from the spiritual and scientific viewpoints – is clearly what is required.
QUESTION: Does this mean there is no value in implementing such laws? Is civil rights legislation a waste of time?
JAGAD GURU: No, not only is it not a waste of time, it’s both desirable and beneficial. But something more – proper spiritual understanding – is obviously required. Civil rights laws help level the playing field, but they don’t stop the players from hating each other. The same thing is true of political maneuvering, including military action, on the international level. It is both necessary and helpful under particular circumstances but it can’t cure the cause of the problem.
You may be able to temporarily check the violence through cease fires, or temporarily cause people to live together in the same community, but this is like sticking your finger in the leaky dike. It does not actually solve the problem because the real problem is hatred and ignorance, and as long as that hatred and ignorance is there, sooner or later it will rear its ugly head and manifest as oppression, suppression, violence and so forth.
QUESTION: You emphasize spiritual vision as being the ultimate solution to racism, but it seems that sometimes religious people are even bigger bigots than ordinary people. Look at the Jews and Arabs, for example. And in Northern Ireland you’ve got the Catholic Christians and the Protestant Christians. Religious racists seem more dangerous than regular ones.
JAGAD GURU: First let me say that your point about so-called religious wars or inter-religious fighting is well taken. But the basis of your argument, i.e. that a person can be both religious and a racist, has no foundation. The phrase “religious racist” is a contradiction! You are confusing the cloak of religiosity with religiosity itself. One who has spiritual vision sees all living beings equally, as spirit soul, and neither hates nor envies anyone.
The humble sage by virtue of true knowledge sees with equal vision a learned and gentle Brahman, a cow, an elephant, a dog, and a dog-eater (outcaste).
There is a great difference between what we can call “cultural religiosity” and real religion. Where there is real religion there is knowledge and there is spiritual vision. Cultural religiosity, however, is characterized by strong faith and little knowledge, and faith without knowledge is simply fanaticism. Unfortunately, faith and ignorance can be a very dangerous combination, and thus we have the so-called religious bigot. He’s not just a bigot, he’s a bigot with a cause!
Actually, it is not surprising that there is so much ignorance and confusion worldwide today. This is the age of Kali, the age of quarrel, chaos, and confusion. But we can counteract all of this confusion and ignorance by chanting the Holy Names of the Lord. Everyone – regardless of the designation they may place upon their body – can chant the Holy Names and experience higher happiness and thereby transcend all of their prejudices, all of their lust, and all of their anger.
The influence of Kali Yuga will remain, but those who are influenced by the chanting of the Holy Names will be protected from this influence. It will still be Kali Yuga, the age of confusion, but you will not be touched by it. You will clearly understand that you are spirit soul, not your material body, and you will see others in the same light; therefore, you will feel no prejudice or hatred towards any living being.
Everyone wants to be united, and for this purpose, the United Nations has been established. Everyone wants peace, but because they are ignorant of this one simple fact, there is no peace. One person has a particular type of body, another has a different type of body. Why can they not experience unity? It is because they are blinded by ignorance. Although they have eyes, they cannot see. Although they have ears, they cannot hear. The truth is there but they don’t want to know it. This is their foolishness.
Practically speaking, the answer to the problems which face the world, in the form of racism and discrimination, is right here in the Sri Ishopanishad:
He who sees everything in relation to the Supreme Lord, who sees all living entities as His parts and parcels, and who sees the Supreme Lord within everything, never hates anything or any living being.
If you want to alleviate the misery associated with racism, educate people about their real identity and the identity of others; when they have understood this, there will be no hate, and there will be no racism.
Feelings of brotherhood for all living beings are only possible when a person recognizes the difference between spirit and matter, when there is recognition of our common Father.
Spiritually we are all part and parcel of the Supreme and our natural function is to render service to Him. Naturally, we should be respecting and seeing other living entities as servants of the Supreme Lord, whether they are serving Him nicely or not. We should try to help those who do not know their identity as servants of the Lord. In this way, we can do them actual good, by helping them come to the position of loving service to the Supreme. For one who is situated in this consciousness, there is no question of hating any living entity. If your brother is suffering, you do not hate him.
Wisdom Defeats Racism
It is wisdom and wisdom only that will actually eat away at the foundation of racism. We must reject the conclusion that the body is the self. If we want to get at the root cause of racism, we must understand that we are not our bodies.