From Theory To Practice
--by Ramana Maharshi (Jun 01, 2001)
Q: Sankara says that we are all free, not bound, and that we shall all return to God from whom we came, like sparks from a fire. If that is so, why should we not commit all sorts of sins?
A: It is true that we are not bound. That is to say, the real Self has no bondage. And it is true that you will eventually return to your Source. But meanwhile, if you commit sins, as you call them, you will have to face the consequences. You cannot escape them. If a man beats you, can you say: "I am free, I am not affected by the beating and feel no pain. Let him continue beating?" If you can really feel that, then you can do what you like, but what is the use of just saying in words that you are free?
-- Ramana Maharshi