Sibling Rivalry and Divine Love


I hv younger brther and we hv always been rivals.It has led to strained relationship btwn us.When we were younger I used to suceed at everything-academically 'n otherwise.But now my grades hv gone down while his hv consistently gone up.This has led to a lot of resentment and jealousy in me.I hv tried my best to ovrcome these feelings but no avail.This has intrfered wth my peace of mind.If he is anywhere nearby I hv difficulty concentratin on studies.I wnt to ovrcome jealousy 'n envy.Pls hlp.

—Chandan, India


Dear Chandan,

I have a brother too and we are very close. We still live together and have probably had some very similar experiences as you have had, as I imagine many siblings have. First off, realize not to be too hard on yourself because you are clearly a good brother; what’s more, recognize that it is a great blessing just to be aware of such qualities as jealousy or envy, and even greater blessing to want to change. In fact, it could rightly be said in many cases that the Awareness is the hardest part.

Now consider the fact that feelings of jealousy, resentment, and envy are really just patterns of energy like so many other qualities and emotions we experience. Another important point on awareness: we aren’t any of those qualities. In order to transcend them, we can approach our circumstances in a number of ways. First, we can choose to practice awareness and detachment as mentioned and simply leave it at that. Beautiful and simple. Sometimes this is all it takes. To go a step further, we can consciously avoid or cast out those feelings when they arise or at any other time. This isn’t pure avoidance; rather it’s a form of transmutation. We can do this by raising our level of energy and awareness through practices like meditation, prayer, affirmation, or even a simple breathing exercise. These are vital practices which have the tremendous power to help us overcome the world of delusions in which we live, and realize our higher world, and higher Self of consciousness, love and bliss.

And finally, to overcome any lower-nature feeling like jealousy, resentment, guilt, or anger, we can make a conscious effort to go one step further. We can, despite whatever we might feel, recognize that we are beyond those feelings and choose the opposite. That is to say, practice conscious patience, love and kindess instead of anger or resentment. Practice freedom and joy in place of sorrow, guilt or despair. In any lower nature experience, offer your self as a willing channel of the opposite and higher experience.

In your case perhaps try to support and encourage your brother when feelings of jealousy might occur. Patiently do your best to give him your love and kindess even in the smallest ways, without being false or insincere. We can choose these higher qualities only insomuch as we are able to remain sincere and keep our integrity. It may go against what your lower feelings and may even make you a little uncomfortable, but it should not compromise the values that reside in your heart. In fact, it will affirm and resonate with them. That is how you will know it is working.

Finally, pray for your brother. If you have a meditation practice (it’s the best thing there is for peace of mind!) or a personal relationship with any form of the Divine, bring that into your situation with your brother. Ask that he blessed, filled with harmony and love and that you too may be blessed with those qualities. You could visualize in your prayer the entire situation and relationship with your brother, and especially him filled with Divine Light, shining with the love and harmony that is the real nature of your souls. I hope this helps. Blessings to you and your family.