Every Saint Has a Past Every Sinner a Future:
A saint starts as a common man or a sinner. Gautam spent so many years seeking Light and Knowledge before he became Buddha, the Enlightened One. Mahavir, the founder of Jainism, spent 20 years in prayers and penance before he became a prophet and a saint. Gandhiji became a Mahatma, after practising tenets of religion for decades. Shri Aurobindo Ghose, the Saint of Pondicherry, practised penance (Tapasya) for so many years before people from all parts of India and abroad flocked to worship him as a Saint.
Saints are not created overnight; they follow a long and arduous journey of spiritualism before they reach the top. Gold is purified through fire, and then it becomes genuine gold. When a man has accumulated a mountain of virtue, then alone does the world hail him as a saint.
The sinners too can have a noble future, if they will it. There is God’s hope for every sinner. History records examples where sinners after a lifetime of crime met some sage who caused a revolution in their life. Rishi Valmiki, the world-famous author of Ramayana, is one such example. Valmiki was a dacoit and a murderer. Once he met a Sadhu, who completely changed the course of his life. Valmiki the dacoit became Valmiki the great sage, whose memory is green in every Indian heart till today.
Take another example- Emperor Ashoka. Ashoka murdered humanity wholesale at the Battle of Kalinga. The blood of lakhs was on his hands. Then the Buddhist monk Upagupta came into his life and gave him light. Ashoka became a Buddhist Sadhu. The murderer of humanity became a saint. Today the sign of Ashoka’s Dharma Chakra is on Free India’s Flag.
Sinners have a bad past, some of them have a brilliant future. We know the stories of the great Hindi poets, Tulsidas and Surdas. We call them ‘Sant’ and ‘Mahatma’. Yet they started life as sinners. Each was madly in love with his wife. It is said once when the wife went to her father’s house without informing him, he went after her in the darkness of the night, crossing the river on a dead body and climbing upstairs by using a big serpent as a rope. The wife said, “Fie on you. If you had as much love for God as you have for me, you would be in heaven”. These words touched a secret chord in his heart; the sinner became a saint. It is never too late to mend”.
Any incident can sometimes change the direction of life’s current. Man is a fallen angel; a sinner is a rising god. There is the light of God in every man. Jesus Christ said, “They that come to me at the eleventh hour shall be saved too and enter the kingdom of Heaven”. Sinners who call on God even at the time of death enter heaven.
Every bad man has a chance of becoming a good man and a saint; every saint has already become one. A saint had a glorious past, but a sinner can have a glorious future if he wishes and tries.