Merit can be a binding force

From the high point of view, merit is a binding force if it localizes the great Self to a conviction of individuality.

As an example: if he founds a school or hospital, and puts his name to it, he is a good man but not yet a yogin; if he does it anonymously, he has made a step in yoga; if he soon forgets that he has done so, he is a jnanin or truth-Knower; if it all took place without any sense of an ‘I’, that is direct action of the supreme Self.

See: Goodness is the inner side of spiritual merit


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