War and Crime
Mr. Evans-Wentz asked about loss of life.
D.: God being immanent in all, one should not take life of any kind. Is society right in taking the life of a murderer? Can the State do so either? The Christian countries begin to think that it is wrong to do so.
M.: What is it that prompted the murderer to commit the crime? The same power awards him the punishment. Society or the State is only a tool in the hands of the power. You speak of one life taken away; But what about innumerable lives lost in wars?
D.: Quite so. Loss of lives is wrong anyway. Are wars justified?
M.: For a realized man, the one who remains ever in the Self, the loss of one or several or all lives either in this world or in all the three worlds makes no difference. Even if he happens to destroy them all, no sin can touch such a pure soul. 1
Maharshi quoted the Bhagavad Gita, Chapter 18, Verse 17 –
“He who is free from the notion of ego, whose intellect is unattached, though he annihilates all the worlds, he slayeth not, nor is he bound by the results of his actions.”
D.: Do not one’s actions affect the person in after-births?
M.: Are you born now? Why do you think of other births? The fact is that there is neither birth nor death. Let him who is born (ego) think of death and palliatives.
1 Note: A pure soul who abides in the Self has no ego or doership and is unattached. The actions go on in His presence and they do not affect Him.
Talks With Ramana Maharshi – Part 1
January 24, 1935