Good and evil [3/9] – Saint and sinner

The general process of freeing oneself from the limitation of sanskaras has therefore to be accompanied by the process of renouncing the bad for the good.

But whether a person happens to be good or bad at any given time is dependent upon the inexorable operation of his sanskaras.

From this point of view the sinner and the saint are both what they are according to the laws operative in the universe. They have both the same beginning and the same end.

The sinner need not have the stigma of eternal degradation, and the saint need not have pride in his moral attainments. No one, however saintly he may be, has attained the heights of moral virtues except after a life of moral failings; and no one is so bad as to be unable to improve and become good.

Everyone, no matter how depraved, can gradually become better and better until he becomes the best example for all mankind.

There is always hope for everyone; no one is utterly lost, and none need despair. It remains true, however, that the way to divinity lies through the renunciation of evil in favor of good.

-Extracted from the Discourses, 7th Ed, p63

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