Ramana Maharshi on World Peace & Good Conduct
Question : What is the best way to work for world
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
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
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
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
Ramana Maharshi Instuctions on Sattvic Diet,
Vegetarianism, Smoking and Alcohol
Maharshi on Obstacles for Sadhaks - Sleep, Sense objects, Thoughts &
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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