Awareness is good; absence of awareness is not evil, it is simply not-good. Don’t make them synonymous. “Not-good” is only a negative statement; the moment you say, “Evil, bad,” you are making a positive statement. The same action, with awareness, may be good, and with unawareness may not be good.
Goodness is not a quality of things or actions. It has something to do with your meditation. It has something to do with your awakening, with how alert you are.
One morning, Gautam Buddha is passing through a village with one of his most intimate disciples, Ananda. A fly comes and sits on his forehead. He is answering some question of Ananda, and he is so absorbed in answering that, without any awareness, mechanically, he waves his hand. The fly is gone, but then he becomes suddenly aware that the waving of the hand was not done in awareness – it was mechanical. You can do such an act even in your sleep. If you feel something in your sleep creeping on your feet you simply throw it off, and your sleep is not disturbed. It is a mechanical process; your body does it without bothering you.
Buddha stopped in the street and again raised his hand, and with great grace and awareness brought it to his forehead. Ananda said, “What are you doing? The fly has gone away.”
Buddha said, “I am not concerned with the fly, I am concerned with myself. I acted in unawareness. I was too concerned with your question and with answering it, and my hand moved mechanically; I am trying to see how it should have moved. It has nothing to do with the fly. My hand should have moved with awareness.”
Action with awareness is good, but action without awareness is not evil, it is simply not-good. This distinction has to be remembered, because the not-good can be immediately transformed into good: it is only a question of awareness. The first act of Gautam Buddha when he waved his hand was not-good. The second time he waved his hand, although now there was no fly, the action was good, the movement had grace and beauty and goodness because behind it there was awareness. Not-good can be changed into good with a little awareness. But if you make it evil, then it becomes a tremendous problem. Then how to get rid of evil?
Religions have been telling people to fast, but what has fasting to do with evil? You can die by starving. Fasting continuously you can survive, you are healthy for at least ninety days; you will become just a skeleton, but you will be still alive. But there is no relationship at all with good, or with evil. Religions have been telling people, “Fast and that will purify you.” If that is true, then the starving millions of the world will be the most pure people – then don’t help them, don’t make them impure; let them starve and die, they are the most virtuous people in the world. But it has no relationship.
To destroy evil, all kinds of idiotic things have been suggested. They have to be idiotic because there is no evil in the first place, so whatever you suggest is going to be meaningless, irrelevant.