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Q: The pure and impure reside in all objects. This sounds more like an acceptance of qualities of impurity. Why purify ourselves in sadhana instead of accepting the impure within us?
A: The recognition of purity and impurity as inherent in all objects is the understanding and acceptance of Supreme Divinity made manifest. However we are required to exercise some discrimination so that we don’t fall prey to the impurity and accept it as our own. We say that it’s inherent within the object; however, “I’m going to purify myself. I’m going to move towards the purity.”
Now remember the story of the three thieves:
They came upon a traveller along the highway. The first thief said, “This man is of no use to us. Let’s just take his valuables and kill him.
The second thief said, “no need to kill him. What did the guy do anyway? Let’s just take his valuables. We’ll tie him up and throw him in a ditch.” And that is what they did.
The third thief ran off with the other two and took his share of the loot and then, after a while, he started feeling bad. And he said, “Gee, that poor guy is all beat up and bruised, tied up laying in a ditch by himself. I’m going to go back and help him.” And he did go back and help him. He untied the victim, put him on his own horse and he took him to the road and said, “Your village is just down the road.” And the victim said, “You’ve been so kind to me. Why don’t you come to my village and I’ll give you my hospitality.” And the thief said, “No, I can’t go there. The police are going to ask me why I was with the thieves in the first place.”
The first thief was the impure: tama guna. “No need for this guy. No use for this guy. Just kill him.” The second thief is raja guna. “Let’s just bind him in the samsara and throw him in a ditch.” The rest of us are still waiting for that lovely that kind third thief to come and rescue us and untie our bonds and free us and show us the way. He is sattva. He is the quality of truth and purity.
So here you have the quality of impurity who wants to slay us and the quaity of purity who frees us and sends us on our way home. But he, too, can’t enter into the house. The police will find out!
So here the pure and the impure reside within all objects. we want to stick with the pure as much as we can. They will at least free our bonds and show us the way home. We do accept that every object has its faults depending on your perception. It also has its glories depending on your perceptions.