There are no Bad people

Akshey Jawa
8 min readFeb 8, 2023

Many of us sometimes have this feeling that we are too bad.

We all must know that all our life, we all have been involved in many things which are considered wrong, but over time, because of our efforts, we can change for the better.

Girish Chandra Ghosh

Girish Chandra Ghosh was known as father of Bengali cinema. He was a well known devotee of Sri Ramakrishna, the great Guru of Swami Vivekananda. He had all sorts of bad habits. He was a very heavy drunkard. He used to say that at times he drank so much that if all those bottles were stacked above one another then it would reach Mount Everest. He often used to visit prostitutes and he was also addicted to opium. He had suffered a lot of pains in life.

Girish Chandra Ghosh & Sri Ramakrishna

Once he had the following conversation with Sri Ramakrishna:

Sri Ramakrishna: “Have faith in Divine Mother and you will attain everything.”
Girish: “But I am a sinner.”
Sri Ramakrishna: “The wretch who constantly harps on sin becomes a sinner.”
Girish: “Sir, the very ground where I used to sit would become unholy.”
Sri Ramakrishna: “How can you say that? Suppose a light is brought into a room that has been dark a thousand years; does it illumine the room little by little, or all in a flash?”

Over the years, Girish changed completely and became one of Sri Ramakrishna’s best disciples. Sw. Vivekananda used to say that nobody had as much faith in Sri Ramakrishna as much as Girish had.

Sri Ramakrishna once remarked about Girish to another devotee, “You may wash a thousand times a cup that has held a solution of garlic; but is it ever possible to get rid of the smell altogether?” Girish heard about it and he was hurt. He went to Sri Ramakrishna and asked, “Will this smell of garlic go?”
“Yes, it will.”
“So you say it will.”
Sri Ramakrishna: “All smell disappears when a blazing fire is lighted. If you heat a cup smelling of garlic, you get rid of the smell; it becomes a new cup.”

His deep habits were challenging to get rid of, but he finally gave them all up. He said:

If I knew that there was such a large pit to throw off my sins then I would have committed many more.
Girish Chandra Ghosh

Bhagavad Gita

Even a consummate evildoer who turns away from all else to Worship Me exclusively may be counted among the good, because of his righteous resolve. He will fast become a virtuous man and obtain unending peace. Tell all assuredly, O Arjuna, that My devotee never perishes!

Lord Krishna in Bhagavad Gita Ch 9 v30, v32

Here, Sri Krishna speaks with his great oneness with the Divine Consciousness that exists in all great Saints, Gurus, Religions, and true Messengers to a greater or lesser degree. He is not talking only about Himself or for any particular religion even though it may appears so (religious texts are cryptic). Just like Newton told us about the Gravitation Law that applies to everyone equally, here Krishna talks about a Spiritual truth that is equally applicable to everyone.
He says that if someone has made a resolve to improve and change his life while trying his best to walk on the divine path, he will fast become a virtuous human being and will obtain peace of mind. A true practitioner of any Spiritual path never perishes!

Ratnakara

In the Hindu tradition, we are told a story of a dacoit named Ratnakara. Before his transformation, he used to rob and kill people. After his transformation, he became Sage Valmiki and wrote the Hindu epic Ramayana. The full story is available here.

Angulimal Daku

Another case is of Angulimal Daku. He was a serial killer who lived in a forest and killed passer-buys and collected their fingers. After meeting Gautama Buddha, he went through a transformation and practiced the path of compassion and meditation. He became a Buddhist monk. This short clip in Hindi shows the story of his transformation.

Yogananda ji and Herb Jeffries

A Guru is a vehicle of God who uses his body, speech, and mind, and spirituality, to bring the lost souls back home to their home of Immortality.

Sri Paramahansa Yogananda

When Yoganandaji was in America, many new devotees who had certain wrong ways of living came to Him for counselling. One such American was Herb Jeffries. He asked Yogananda ji, “Guruji, all through my life, I have heard that one should not do this, one should not do that… these are the rules of religious teachings that I have heard around from relatives. What I want to know from you is, what am I allowed to do?” Let me share this interesting clip of “Herb Jeffries” from the movie “Awake: Life of Yogananda”, in which he himself talks about this conversation:

Find the link to the Full movie here

Yoganandaji’s guidance

Avoid dwelling on all the wrong things you have done. They do not belong to you now. Let them be forgotten. It is attention that creates habit and memory. As soon as you put the needle on a phonograph record, it begins to play. Attention is the needle that plays the record of past actions. So you should not put your attention on bad ones. Why go on suffering over the unwise actions of your past? Cast their memory from your mind, and take care not to repeat those actions again.
Sri Paramahansa Yogananda

You may be worried about the wrong you have committed, but God is not. What is past is past. You are His child, and whatever wrong you have done came about because you didn’t know Him. He doesn’t hold against you the evil done under the influence of ignorance. All He asks is that you not repeat your wrong actions. He wants only to find out whether or not you are sincere in your intention to be good.
Sri Paramahansa Yogananda

“Forget the past,” [Sri Yukteswar said]. “The vanished lives of all men are dark with many shames. Human conduct is ever unreliable until man is anchored in the Divine. Everything in future will improve if you are making a spiritual effort now.”
Sri Paramahansa Yogananda

Don’t think of yourself as a sinner. You are a child of the Heavenly Father. No matter if you are the greatest sinner, forget it. If you have made up your mind to be good, then you are no longer a sinner…. Start with a clean slate and say: “I have always been good; I was only dreaming that I was bad.” It is true: evil is a nightmare and does not belong to the soul.

Sri Paramahansa Yogananda

Though your errors be as deep as the ocean, the soul itself cannot be swallowed up by them. Have unflinching determination to move on your path unhampered by limiting thoughts of past errors.
Sri Paramahansa Yogananda

You are a spark of an Eternal Flame. You can hide the spark, but you can never destroy it.
Sri Paramahansa Yogananda

Darkness may reign in a cave for thousands of years, but bring in the light, and the darkness vanishes as though it had never been. Similarly, no matter what your defects, they are yours no longer when you bring in the light of goodness. So great is the light of the soul that incarnations of evil cannot destroy it.
Sri Paramahansa Yogananda

No sin is unforgivable, no evil insuperable; for the world of relativity does not contain absolutes.

Sri Paramahansa Yogananda

God never forsakes anyone. When, having sinned, you believe your guilt to be measureless, beyond redemption; and when the world declares you of no account and says you will never amount to anything, stop a moment to think of the Divine Mother. Say to Her, “Divine Mother, I am Your child, Your naughty child. Please forgive me.” When you appeal to the mother aspect of God there is no retort — you simply melt the Divine Heart. But God will not support you if you continue to do wrong. You must forsake your evil actions as you pray.
Sri Paramahansa Yogananda

Saints are sinners who did not give up. No matter what your difficulties, if you do not give up, you are making progress in your struggle against the stream. To struggle is to win the favor of God.
Sri Paramahansa Yogananda

Is a diamond less valuable because it is covered with mud? God sees the changeless beauty of our souls. He knows we are not our mistakes.

Sri Paramahansa Yogananda

For a few incarnations you have been a human being, but throughout eternity you have been a child of God. Never think of yourself as a sinner, because sin and ignorance are only mortal nightmares. When we will awaken in God, we will find that we — the soul, the pure consciousness — never did anything wrong. Untainted by mortal experiences, we are and ever have been the sons of God.
Sri Paramahansa Yogananda

Each of us is a child of God. We are born of His spirit, in all its purity and glory and joy. That heritage is unassailable. To condemn oneself as a sinner, committed to the path of error, is the greatest of all sins. The Bible says: “Know ye not that ye are the temple of God, and that the Spirit of God dwelleth in you?” Always remember: your Father loves you unconditionally.
Sri Paramahansa Yogananda

So no matter if your sins are as deep as the Atlantic Ocean, make constant mental effort to become good. For a few incarnations you have been a human being, but throughout eternity you have been a child of God. Never think of yourself as a sinner, because sin and ignorance are only mortal nightmares.
When we will awaken in God, we will find that we — the soul, the pure consciousness — never did anything wrong. Untainted by mortal experiences, we are and ever have been the sons of God. We are like gold in the mud: when the mud of ignorance is cleansed away, the shining gold of the soul, made in God’s image, is seen within.
Sri Paramahansa Yogananda, “God Talks with Arjuna”

Conclusion

We should never call ourselves a sinner or a bad person. We all are good with some black matter inside, which will go away ultimately if we keep on struggling to throw it out.

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