Question: Does evil exist or is it in our minds?

Sri Chinmoy: First we have to know what evil is. Society has created good, bad and evil. In some religions, close relatives can marry. For them, it is good. In our society, it is bad. Killing the cow is evil for Hindus. Muslims will say, "Why? You can eat goose, chicken and so forth, and you cannot eat cows?" We say we love the cows so much because from the cow, light came. It is the symbol of Mother-Earth. For us it is good.

Each one has his own way of interpreting something. If somebody uses his mind to determine the nature of something, and if that particular thing does not give joy or satisfaction to the mind, then the mind will consider it evil. But the heart will say, "No, no! Something which gives no joy is not necessarily evil, only it has less light."

Anything that has been created by God has light. Your soul has light and a chair also has light. The only thing is, your soul has more light. If I turn off the light in this room, you may not see any light at all. As soon as you see darkness, then you say it is evil. But spiritual people don't use the term 'evil'. They say, "What it is, is less light."

The moment the mind declares something to be evil, the mind itself becomes dark. For example, if I say, "He is very bad," immediately that kind of bad consciousness enters into my mind. But if I say, in a positive way, "He can be better," or "He can also be good," then those good qualities enter into me. Here my declaration does not have the same destructive power as when I speak negatively.

From:Sri Chinmoy,The giver and the receiver, Agni Press, 1987
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