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Ramana Maharshi on World Peace & Good Conduct

Question : What is the best way to work for world peace?
Ramana Maharshi : What is the world? What is peace, and who is the worker? The world is not in your sleep and forms a projection of your mind in your jagrat [waking state]. It is therefore an idea and nothing else. Peace is absence of disturbance. The disturbance is due to the arising of thoughts in the individual, which is only the ego rising up from pure consciousness. To bring about peace means to be free from thoughts and to abide as pure consciousness. If one remains at peace oneself, there is only peace everywhere.

Question : If it is a question of doing something one considers wrong, and thereby saving someone else from a great wrong, should one do it or refrain?
Ramana Maharshi : What is right and wrong? There is no standard by which to judge something to be right and another to be wrong. Opinions differ according to the nature of the individual and according to the surroundings. They are again ideas and nothing more. Do not worry about them but get rid of thoughts instead. If you always remain in the right, then right will prevail in the world.

Question : Will not right conduct be enough to secure salvation?
Ramana Maharshi : Salvation for whom? Who wants salvation? And what is right conduct? What is conduct? And what is right? Who is to judge what is right and what is wrong? According to previous samskaras, each one regards something or other as right. Only when the reality is known can the truth about right and wrong be known. The best course is to find out who wants this salvation. Tracing this `who' or ego to its original source is the right conduct for everyone.

Question : Will not the practice of good conduct [nitya karmas] lead to salvation? Several books state that it will.
Ramana Maharshi : It is said so in books. Who denies that good conduct is good or that it will eventually lead you to the goal? Good conduct or sat karma purifies the chitta or mind and gives you chitta suddhi [pure mind]. The pure mind attains jnana, which is what is meant by salvation. So, eventually, jnana must be reached, that is, the ego must be traced to its source. But to those to whom this does not appeal, we have to say that sat karmas lead to chitta suddhi, and chitta suddhi will lead to right knowledge or jnana, and that in its turn gives salvation.

Question : What about motives? Are the motives for performing actions not important?
Ramana Maharshi : Whatever is done lovingly, with righteous purity and with peace of mind, is a good action. Everything which is done with the stain of desire and with agitation filling the mind is classified as a bad action. Do not perform any good action [karma] through a bad means, thinking `It is sufficient if it bears good fruit.' Because, if the means is bad, even a good action will turn out to be a bad one. Therefore, even the means of doing actions should be pure.

Related Ramana Maharshi Talks:
Ramana Maharshi - How shall I overcome my passions?
Ramana Maharshi - Can one progress spiritually by Fasting?
Ramana Maharshi Instuctions on Sattvic Diet, Vegetarianism, Smoking and Alcohol
Ramana Maharshi on Obstacles for Sadhaks - Sleep, Sense objects, Thoughts & Bliss
Ramana Maharshi - Several paths are taught in the Vedas to suit different Aspirants
What is the best way of dealing with Desires and Vasanas with a view to getting rid of them

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