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One shall avoid the following vices:: There are six vices, which are 1) illegal sex (kama), 2) violence (krodha), 3) greediness (corruption of money), 4) fascination (moha), 5) Ego (mada) and 6) jealousy (maatsarya). The first three affect other souls and hence are considered to be strong sins or main gates to the hell as per the Gita. The latter three are not serious in case others are not affected. Illegal sex with some soul pains its life partner to a very deep extent. Violence to kill living beings for food and killing people for various reasons like rowdyism or terrorism is the greatest sin. Earning unlawful money by exploiting others is also a very serious sin since the affected persons suffer a lot. Out of these six vices, the first three are very serious leading the soul certainly to hell since these three sins are harming others. The latter three sins do not lead to hell provided there is no damage to others. If you have fascination to world, you need not go to hell if your fascination to your wife/husband or issues or money does not harm others. Similarly, your ego will not take you to hell as long as your ego doesn’t hurt others. Similarly, your jealousy towards others will not give any punishment in hell if it is not harming others. Sometimes, jealousy also helps you in your development. If you examine the first three sins, your anger/violence will certainly damage others. Similarly, your greediness for money is resulting in corruption by which you are stealing others’ money by which others suffer. Similarly, your illegal sex will certainly cause suffering to others. When Dharmaraja asked his grandfather, Bhishma, about the essence of justice, Bhishma replied that the essence of justice is that one should not do that to others, which, if is done by others to him results in hurting himself. Therefore, the criminal nature of the sin resulting in punishment is always due to only damage done by yourself to others. Hence, God in the Gita mentioned that only these three sins are the main gates to hell, which are violence, financial corruption and illegal sex. The foremost sin is violence to kill other living beings for the sake of food or some other personal grudge. God Brahma becomes furious by this sin because He alone is the authority to grant longevity. When you do not have power to give life to a killed living being, you do not have any right to kill any living being. The death sentence given by a judge should be ultimate. It means that before implementing death sentence to a living being, you should give several chances to the soul for rectification of sin by reformation. Reformation is the real aim of any punishment and not vengeance. You are hanging a person to death for the only reason that the criminal may kill another human being. If reformation is achieved and the sin is not practically repeated, there is no need of punishment. Similarly, killing a living being for food is the top most level of this first sin. You must always imagine that you are captured by a demon, which is going to eat you! Whatever agony you feel in that time and during the time of cutting your body by the jaws of the demon, the same agony is felt by that living being, being killed for the sake of your food! God Brahma represents the quality of Rajas and the anger in violence is also due to Rajas only. This is the qualitative link. The second type of sin is stealing by cheating or robbing others money by force. Money is Goddess Lakshmi and hence this type of sin makes God Vishnu to become furious. Today, almost everyone is a victim of corruption. Before cheating somebody for the sake of money, you should analyse the damage done to others especially poor people. You must at least avoid corruption in the case of poor people. If you rob the wealth of a sinner, that money should not be enjoyed by yourself and your family members. That should be spent to serve the beggars or should be spent for spiritual purpose. You may digest even most dangerous poison but not the sinful money, which will destroy yourself and your family. It is said that the sinful money earned by you comes like a railway engine to carry away by linking with your earned money through justice also, which is like a series of compartments standing on the track by the side of a platform (Anyaayenaarjitam vittam sahamoolam vinashyati). Vishnu stands for the quality of Sattvam, which is knowledge and analysis. You must analyze carefully whenever you earn or spend money. Most of the people spend money in the way that leads them to hell only. Expenditure or donation of money also leads you to hell. Everybody is spending lot of money on functions donating to relatives and friends, who have enough food in their homes. You spend lot of money on a function due to your desire to expose yourself based on ego. You deny food to a beggar dying with hunger. You calculate to give food to a devotee or spiritual preacher coming to your house, who helps you in elevating your spiritual knowledge or devotion. Money is never wasted because its expenditure will either bring good (Punyam) or bad (Paapam). Even if you throw money into river to call it as wastage, such act is also a sin. Hence, you should be very careful with deep analysis while earning or spending money. The third type of sin is illegal sex, which is based on blind lust linked to the quality of Tamas. God Shiva stands for Tamas and becomes furious due to this sin. Just you observe Lord Shiva, who burnt the cupid enraging lust in any living being. You must always meditate upon Lord Shiva to avoid this sin. If you are cheating a husband by going with his wife or cheating a father by going with his daughter, imagine yourself standing in the place of such husband and father! By which you are hurt, you should not do the same to others as said above by Bhishma. God created this world and is very particular of the justice, peace and balance of this society. You must avoid these three types of sins at least due to fear to hell created by God. This is the minimum and maximum expectation of God from a human being. God is not furious even if the human being is an atheist provided the atheist avoids the above three types of sins. Even an atheist is granted heaven if he/she follows the justice avoiding the sins. In fact, God maintains the atheists because they are also in Divine service. They do the service of God by acting as examiners to devotees. On hearing the criticism of God from an atheist, whether the devotion of a devotee is shaken or not is the test. They criticize theists doing sins and this develops alertness and care in devotees. They disprove the false miracles done by exploiters, which is very much essential to save the devotees from false trap of false devotees and pseudo human incarnations. If you are living as per this minimum and maximum expectation of God, He is pleased with you even if you are an atheist. He never encourages devotion. Devotion is the field started by human souls only and not God. God creates several obstructions to the devotion in the name of tests as we see the life histories of several devotees. Control of the three principle sins in this world, by which full justice and peace are established, is the main concentration of God in His preaching. The owner of an industry always puts primary effort in seeing that all the workers in the industry work with full justice, peace and harmony (Pravrutti). Arjuna asked the Lord for the reason that forces every soul to do the sin in practical situation. The Lord said that the wrong knowledge very strongly impressed on the mind of the soul for several births is the reason and the only solution for this is an equivalent impression of correct knowledge that destroys the past impressions, which are the six vices. A diamond alone can cut another diamond. After hearing true knowledge (Shravana), it should be memorized (Manana) continuously through the propagation till it becomes very strong decision (Nididhyaasa). Propagation is mainly beneficial to you than to others! Nivrutti is always the proposal from the side of the soul, which is to become very close family member of God passing through severe tests of God appearing to oppose this proposal strongly. In Pravrutti the entire responsibility lies on you in any risk whereas in Nivrutti God takes your total responsibility and hence Nivrutti is said to be the highest fruit (Nivruttistu mahaaphalaa). Pravrutti is the child catching the womb of mother-monkey (Markatakishora Nyaaya) with risk and Nivrutti is the mother-cat catching its child by mouth (Maarjaalakishora Nyaaya) without risk. Punishment given for a sin is only to change the mind of the soul and purify it. There is no trace of revenge in this. The hell is an indication of the intensive love of God to the souls through which God wants to reform the souls. The hell indicates the hectic effort of God put on the soul to reform it and not to leave the soul for its fate. A father may leave his son since he is not changing inspite of all his efforts. But in the hell God puts serious effort and succeeds to change the soul. Therefore, even thousands of fathers cannot be equal to God. God is not leaving the soul without changing it and this point is indicated by the punishment and hell. Therefore, there is no point of excusing the Prarabhdas if this true basis is understood. God will try to change the soul through preaching as far as possible. Punishment in the hell is the last resort. Once the soul is reformed all the sins are smashed since there is neither the necessity of preaching nor the necessity of punishment. In any religion, and in any region of the world, God-in-human-form gives a lot of stress on reaching the human level (pravṛtti) and warns souls to not fall down to the animal level (duṣpravṛtti). This is because the major lot of humanity is only in the bottommost animal level. Even if a soul rises to the human level or to divine level (nivṛtti), which is above the human level, it can easily slip and fall to the basic animal level due to its inherent human nature. Hence, a major part of any holy scripture is confined only to the glorifying pravṛtti and warning against duṣpravṛtti. Falling from nivṛtti to pravṛtti is not that bad since the fall affects only that individual whereas the fall from pravṛtti or nivṛtti down to the lowest level of duṣpravṛtti is very dangerous since it affects the peace of the surrounding world. Maintaining the peace of the world is very important for God. The world is like a board-game of Snakes and Ladders. Both ladders for climbing up and snakes for sliding down are present. Spiritual knowledge is thought to be mere theoretical gossip mainly related to nivṛtti. This is totally wrong since this very knowledge of nivṛtti also ensures at every step that the soul does not fall to the basic animal level. Thus, spiritual knowledge is highly essential for pravṛtti or practical life in this world. The way to cancel your sins All the punishments are only for reformation of the soul and not for revenge. The hell is created by God not with vengeance against sinners but due to kindness to reform the souls. God is always kind to reform the souls, which are His children since the souls are created by Him. The father will never have even a trace of vengeance towards his issues. Jesus always addressed God as father and He propagated this concept by saying that all your sins will be excused by God if you are reformed. Practical knowledge, the practical realization, which is the reformation, will cancel all your previous bad deeds or sins as told in Gita (Jnanaagnih….). Except this one way, there is no other way to cancel the sins and escape from all the present problems in the world and future torture in the hell. If you are not doing any sin, you are excused for all past sins The results of all your good actions will be separate and will not interfere with the cancellation of sins. God will give you good results for all your prayers and any prayer will not cancel even a trace of your sin. Similarly, your charity. If these good actions can reform you, then, your sins will be cancelled. Therefore, reformation of the soul is the only way by which God is pleased to cancel your sins. Even if you do not believe in God, it does not matter. If you are not doing any sin, you are excused for all past sins and you will live with immense happiness in the world and after death also. If you are doing a sin, you are going against the will of God You cannot please God by prayers and service simultaneously doing sins. If you are doing a sin, you are going against the will of God and you are insulting God. You cannot please and insult God simultaneously. Therefore, every devotee and servant of God should be careful about the concept of the sin and about the only path to cancel the sin. Avoid bad side of both good and bad deeds Let us examine the six so-called bad qualities or vices and see how each of them has both meritorious and sinful sides. Among them, the first three, are responsible for the majority of sins in the world. They are said to be the three main gates to hell as per the Gita. 1) Lust or sex (kāma😞 The meritorious side of sex is to generate issues which form the next generation. Sex with one’s rightful wife to produce children is perfectly justified (Dharmāviruddhaḥ bhūteṣu kāmo’smi—Gita). Even the intense desire for sex, which causes a person to engage in sex with one’s married partner frequently, is also justified. There are several uncertainties arising from gynaecological and other factors in conceiving a child. The time of the release of the ovum is uncertain, the life of sperm is short and so on. Hence, frequent sex becomes necessary for producing children. Thus, lust, which drives a person to have frequent sex, has a good side. But when a person using his or her freedom, chooses to engage in sex with an unlawful partner, in violation of God’s laws of worldly justice, the sex becomes sinful. It is this sinful side of the sin alone which is to be given up. An ordinary human being on the path of pravṛtti should not blindly give up sex completely without recognizing this internal sub-classification of the good and bad sides to each quality. A very few exceptional souls of the nivṛtti path, like Śaṅkara, Ramakrishna etc., left sex completely. But they did not leave it by any forced effort. It was a natural consequence of their extreme attachment to God. Such exceptional cases are out of the scope of pravṛtti or karmādhikāra. Karmādhikāra means the eligibility to do worldly work. People who follow the rules of justice given by God are said to be eligible to perform worldly work, which is the path of pravṛtti. But the eligibility of these exceptional cases, who are the stars of the nivṛtti path, far exceeds karmādhikāra. 2) Violence or anger (krodha😞 The originally-created good side of anger or violence is that teachers or parents can show anger towards their students or children, whenever they go on the wrong path. With this quality, teachers and parents can bring their students or children back to the right path in pravṛtti. An Incarnation of God like Krishna killing a devilish soul is the good side of violence (Vināśāya ca duṣkṛtām—Gita). Even a court putting a criminal to death is the good side of violence. However, an individual should not take the law into his own hands. Even God Rama, the embodiment of justice and peace, is described in the Rāmāyaṇam as “Sthānakrodhaḥ prahartā ca,” which means that He showed anger and even killed in the appropriate situation. The sinful side of anger and violence is getting angry with good people and hurting or killing them. 3) Greediness (lobha😞 Greed causes a person to not share his wealth with others. The original good side of greed is that a person does not donate his precious wealth to undeserving receivers but donates it to only to deserving receivers. The sinful side of greed is donating to undeserving receivers and not donating to deserving receivers. Unless you save money by avoiding undeserved donations, you cannot make well-deserved donations since most people have limited financial resources. Very few people are rich. Even if you are rich, the sinful side of greediness must be avoided and its meritorious side must be practiced. In the Mahābhāratam it is clearly told that both donating to the undeserving and not donating to the deserving are sins. The fourth, fifth and sixth vices namely moha, mada and mātsarya, also have both good and bad sides. As long as these three are within limits, they are not as dangerous, and they do not yield punishments in hell. But if they cross their boundaries and lead to sinful deeds, they become punishable. 1) Fascination (moha😞 Fascination to one’s family is the good side of fascination in pravṛtti. Fascination or moha towards God is even better in pravṛtti, and of course, it is essential in nivṛtti. But moha in unlawful relationships is sin in pravṛtti. Also, having fascination only for the worldly bonds of child, spouse and wealth, without having any bond with God, is the bad side of fascination in both nivṛtti and pravṛtti. Having a fascination only for the worldly bonds is not a punishable sin by itself. It is bad because it stops spiritual progress. But an extreme moha for the worldly bonds without any moha for God may lead the soul to commit punishable sins in pravṛtti. So, on the whole, moha for God is the good side of moha and moha for the worldly bonds is the bad side. 5) Pride (mada😞 The good side of mada is having self-confidence and the bad side is to have an ego. Limited pride is self-confidence. It is like the normal body temperature. If the pride grows beyond limits, it becomes ego, which is like a fever. If confidence drops down below a certain limit it is like an abnormally low body temperature, which is also dangerous. Low self-confidence makes the person afraid of even doing normal activities. In nivṛtti, a devotee can be proud of being a disciple of God Datta. But this pride should not take the negative direction of looking down upon other forms of God Datta. This is the bad side of pride which results from the ignorance of the spiritual knowledge preached by God Datta. 6) Jealousy (mātsarya😞 The good side of jealousy is to develop competition with people, who are better than us. It drives us to make efforts to reach their level or even surpass them and become the best. It is said that envy brings growth in knowledge, “Spardhayā vardhate vidyā”. The bad side of jealousy is pulling down those who are better than us, by false blame in order to become equal with them or suppressing others and pushing them below our own level in order to become better than them. In the cases of ego and jealousy, there is an additional danger. When both are directed to the wrong side in the case of the contemporary Human Incarnation of God, they lead to repulsion from the Incarnation. After passing into the energetic world, the soul also feels repulsion from the Energetic Incarnation. Owing to the repulsion from the Human Incarnation here on earth and the energetic Incarnation in the upper-world, the soul misses the chance to attain God here as well as there. So, avoiding ego and jealousy towards the Incarnation is very important in nivṛtti. Just as the so-called bad qualities have meritorious and sinful sides, the so-called good qualities also have both sides. Worshipping God is generally a good quality. The good side of this quality is worshipping God out of true love without aspiring for any fruit in return from Him. The bad side of this quality is worshipping God due to artificial love shown for Him. In such a case, the person’s real love is for the fruit that he aspires from God. Serving society is a good quality, which also has both good and bad sides. A politician doing social service to impress the public for the sake of getting votes is bad. His actual intention is to win the election, secure a powerful position and earn sinful money. The social service done by Mahatmā Gandhi, Mother Theresa etc., with the goal of genuinely helping needy souls, in the name of God, is the good side of social service. In ancient times, yajña was also a form of social service. During the yajña, hungry people were fed, and spiritual discussions and prayers to God were conducted. This is the good side of the yajña. The bad side of yajña is to do the same yajña for achieving heavenly pleasures after death or achieving worldly pleasures in this life, without developing any spiritual knowledge or devotion to God. During the time of Śaṅkara, the Pūrva Mīmāṁsā philosophy had turned to this bad side of yajña, and as a result, it was condemned by Śaṅkara. WWW.universal-spirituality[.]org Universal Spirituality for World Peace