Constantly, we are asked to be good, to be pure, and to be innocent. The idea of innocence is forced upon us. Constantly we are taught by society, by moralists, that something is right, something is wrong, something is pure, something is impure, something is good, and something is bad, something is innocent and something is corrupted. Constantly we are taught the idea of good and bad. We are forced to practice something that is good or what society thinks is good. But life is no way related to what society believes in. Life is totally different. What society believes is different from what life is.
There is a beautiful saying, ‘When you think, you think in a generalized way. But when you live, you can’t generalize.’ This is like what they say in marketing, ‘Think globally but act locally.’ Situations can’t be generalized. In your life there are so many things where generalization is not possible, where you can’t decide what to do and what not to do based on popular guidelines. All your ideas about morality, about right and wrong, might not have any relevance practically.
Somebody asked me, ‘Swamiji, why do our ancient Hindu scriptures not speak of gambling? Only the epics speak about gambling.’
I tell them that at that time there was no gambling, then how do you expect them to speak about gambling? Naturally no Hindu scripture bans gambling or drugs because at that time these problems did not exist. When it comes to morality it depends completely on the situation. Morality is relative, not existential.
Innocence means purity of the inner space, not being affected by thoughts or engraved memories. Let you be very clear, even if you are not expressing your emotions like anger, greed and lust, if they are present in your inner space, you are not as yet a total and innocent person. Socially you may be pure, that’s all. On the other hand if you express your anger, lust and greed but nothing touches your inner space and you live like an innocent child, then be very clear, you are a pure being.
You can see children get angry. Children are greedy also. They build their personality mostly on greed. That is why they are so aware and conscious of ‘mine’ attitude. Try to take away a toy from a child. The child will behave as if his life is taken away. He will scream and shout. This is because his whole personality is built upon ‘mine’ attitude. Children have greed and anger, but you cannot call them impure. This is because whatever you may think as impurity does not affect their inner space. They will sit and play with their toys and after a few hours they will throw them and go away. They don’t carry anything in them. Their inner space is beautiful and pure. You can’t call them thieves even if they have stolen something because they don’t have an idea that something belongs to someone and that you cannot take it from them. The idea that an object is someone’s property does not exist in them.
Innocence is purity. Knowing that an object is someone’s property, even if you don’t steal it but if you covet it some way, you have not become a thief as yet only because of the police, that’s all. Innocence is directly related to the inner space. It is in no way related to the outer world.
source: Living Enlightenment