I understand the explanation with regard to lower desires and diseases generally considered hereditary; but take for instance the disease called Consumption. I don’t see where desire comes in unless that disease is a result of our appetite.
Usually the words higher and lower, virtue and sin do not explain the whole matter. What are looked upon as good or bad by people in general, are not so according to the Vedanta.
According to the Vedanta over eating and eating that kind of food which causes indigestion or depression is the root of all sins. Most sins owe their origin to a little flaw here, through indigestion you lose your temper and become liable to all sorts of sins. According to the Vedanta, anything that retards or checks your supreme happiness or Divine cheerfulness is sin. Thus most of your sins owe their origin specially to your food. Other religionists do not emphasise this point as forcibly as Rama does, but this is a fact. Rama can tell you this not only from his own experience but from the experience of dear friends that if our stomach is at ease, or if we are in good health, we can control our temper, master our passions, control and master our desires.
Here is an ideally virtuous, man today who has overcome thousands of temptations, has mastered his passions. Take this man who & today of such sterling character and people might well say, judging by his present conduct, “Oh! He is a Christ.” But look at him tomorrow, this same man is liable to be subject to the worst kinds of passion.
People want to jump at conclusions. They want to write “Saint” on the forehead of one man, and “Criminal” on the forehead of another; while in fact the one who was a saint yesterday is liable to be a criminal tomorrow and vice versa.
In Charles Dickens’ novel, ‘A Tale of Two Cities’, the character of Sidney Carlton is depicted as one of the worst characters, but his death is so heroic, so noble, that it blots out all his criminal and sinful nature. The Russian Count Tolstoy has written a novel portraying the character of a lady. All along she is described as a most criminally passionate sort of woman, but her end is so touching that we change our opinion.
Lord Byron was hooted in England, and was not even allowed to pass through the streets. The people loathed his presence, but the last scenes of his life were so noble and heroic that the English people began loving him. But it is not always that we end life nobly.
When Lord Bacon made his first speech in the House of Lords, people were wonder – struck and the Press wrote, “He awoke one morning and found himself famous.” The same Lord Bacon lived to become obnoxious in the eyes of the people.
Sir Walter Scott in the first part of his life was not considered as fine a poet as Lord Byron. He did not make his mark as Poet Laureate, but towards the close of his life, his work was so splendid that he was called the Prince of novelists.
So Rama tells you, “Believe always in the spiritual powers, in the infinite capacity of those with whom you come in contact. Give up judging, never form any particular opinion, never condemn.”
Here comes before you a criminal. Do not regard him with any prejudice, hatred, or enmity in your heart. Approach him with the thought of the one potential, infinite power of spirit. Forget not that the same felon of today may turn out to be a great hero or a great saint. Character is not stereotyped. Believe only in the Infinite possibilities and capacities of the soul.
Whoever comes to you receive him as God, and at the same time do not look down upon yourself. If you are in jail today, you may be glorified tomorrow.
In the Old Testament, the Samson spoken of there, who brought about tie disgrace of his nation could undo his past, could every moment undo the past disgrace. The Vedanta asks you to believe in Real Spirituality, the Real Divinity, the God in you. Believe in that, and never accept outside verdicts. They are nothing, for we can undo them; we can rise above them.
Wherever this spirituality is, all things are, and this spirituality can come anywhere.
Religions misunderstand the morality of the world. They do not strike at the root of all evil. The man who has resisted all temptation today, may tomorrow become a murderer, an outcast. This is explained from the stand point of both Karma and body.
On the material plane, the explanation of this difference in our character is that when your body is in good health, when your stomach is healthy, then your character is alright, and you can withstand temptation. Tomorrow you may have some disease, some malady; your stomach is not alright, and then anything can ruffle, bewilder or disturb you. This is a fact.
It is strange that Religionists think it beneath their dignity to take up the subject.
Be careful about the food you eat and you will cure your malady.
Overloading the stomach, the use of improper food, is the root of all sin. One who has propensities of this kind is as great a sinner as one who commits any or all of the other seven sins, in the eyes of the Vedanta. The love of the stomach brings us to just such bodies, such parents, as have been spoken of and through suffering we are brought to Divine Truth.