The way to divinity lies in renouncing evil in favor of good

Right from the beginning of human evolution, the problem of emancipation consists in cultivating and developing good sanskaras so that they may overlap and annul the accumulated bad sanskaras. The cultivation of good sanskaras is achieved by fostering experiences and actions opposite to those that predominate in animal life.

The opposite of lust is love, the opposite of greed is generosity, and the opposite of anger is tolerance or patience. By trying to dwell in love, generosity, and tolerance, man can erase the tendencies of lust, greed, and anger.

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.

The gradual unfoldment of good brings in its train love, generosity, and peace. The good sanskaras deposited by the manifestations of these qualities overlap and balance the opposite bad sanskaras of lust, greed, and anger. When there is an exact balancing and overlapping of good and bad sanskaras, there is at once a termination of both types and the precipitation of consciousness from a state of bondage to a state of Freedom.

 -Discourses, 7th Ed. pp. 62-63

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