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Showing posts from March 21, 2008

Swami Abhedananda on the Concept of Good and Evil in Hinduism

In the voluminous writings of Hindu sages, there is no word that means creation out of nothing. The word, they use, literally means ‘projection’ and not creation, answering to the modern idea of evolution. They said that good and evil are relative terms, one of which cannot exist without the other. What we call good depends upon the existence of what we call evil, and evil exists only in relation to good. Being interdependent terms they cannot be separated. In trying to separate them and to make each stand by itself as independent of the other, we not only destroy their relative and interdependent nature, but also destroy the terms themselves.
‘Good and evil of this world of duality are unreal,are spoken of by words, and exist only in the mind.’ (Bhagavatam, XI, Chapter XXII.)
Evil cannot exist alone. If we try to make evil stand by itself as entirely separate from good, we can no longer recognize it as evil. Consequently, according to the Vedanta philosophers, the difference between g…