The first question:
Is it not true that an immoral life creates hindrances in meditation?
What is meditation? It is not your character, it is not what you do. It is what you are. It is not the character, it is the consciousness that you bring to whatsoever you do. The doing is irrelevant. Whether you are doing it consciously or not is the question, whether moral or immoral. Are you alert? If you are alert, meditation happens. If you are not alert, you live in sleep.
You can be moral while fully asleep, there is no problem. Rather, it is better to be moral if you want to be fully asleep because then society will not disturb you. Then no one will be against you. You can sleep conveniently. The society will help you.
You can be moral without being meditative, but the immorality will always be just behind you. Just like a shadow it will follow, and your morality will be just skin deep because your morality can only be imposed from without when you are asleep. It can only be pseudo, false, a facade, it cannot become your being. You will become moral outwardly, but inwardly you will remain immoral. And the more moral you become outwardly, the more immoral you will be within – in the same proportion, because your morality is bound to be nothing but a deep suppression. You cannot do anything else while asleep; you can only suppress.
And through this morality you will also become false. You will not be a person, but simply a “persona” – just a pseudo entity. Misery will follow, and you will consequently be on the verge of explosion – explosion of all that you have suppressed. It is there waiting for you. And if you are really honest in being moral while asleep, you will go mad. Only a dishonest person can remain moral without being mad. That is what hypocrisy means. Hypocrites just show that they are moral, that they are not, and they find ways and means to be immoral, constantly remaining moral on the surface or pretending to be moral. Then only can you remain sane; otherwise you will go insane.
This so-called morality leaves only two alternatives. If honest, you will become insane; if dishonest, you will become a hypocrite. So those who are clever, cunning, they are hypocrites. Those who are simple, innocent, who become victims of such teachings, go mad.