If a person has self-knowledge, how can his conduct be questionable? It is only an argument. It is a supposition. Suppose there is such a person. If he is committed to the pursuit of or has understood Ishvara properly as non-separate from ¡tm¡, then who can evaluate his conduct? His ego, ahankara, is not there but because of some prior habits picked up from his grandfather, etc., he may continue to do certain things which are looked upon as questionable. A
story is told in the Mahabharata that illusrates this.
A brahmana was sitting under a tree invoking the Lord through tapasin the form of prayers and meditation. In the process he developed some powers which he himself did not know about. One day, when he was sitting under a tree, a crane on top of the tree dropped some droppings on him. He looked at it with angry eyes and the crane was burnt to ashes. Then he knew he had this power.
He used to go for bhiksha daily
to the same village. Previously he was humble like a sadhu, but once he got the power, he became very proud. He went and asked for bhiksha and
the woman made him wait for one hour before serving him. He was very angry and asked her how she could make him wait like that. She said that she was doing her duties which was more important.
He said, "Do you know who you are talking to?"
She said, "Yes I know, but I am no crane."
He asked, "How do you know about the crane?"
She told him, "Go to the butcher and ask him."
He went to the butcher's place. The butcher was busy serving his old and ailing father and so the br¡hma¸ahad to wait again. He was furious and asked the butcher why he had made him wait.
Then the butcher said, "Did that woman send you here?"
The lesson is, "do not judge people by what they do." One was a house-wife and the other a butcher, but they were both doing their jobs and were definitely better than the brahmin with all his prayers and meditations.
He is to be considered a sadhu because when he has properly understood, and is pursuing knowledge, his improper conduct is not going to continue. How can it? If you analyze all wrong conduct, it is either a habit or a real crime. Habit will naturally drop off in time. Crimes are always centered on the person who is insecure, the limited 'I'. Because he is so highly insecure, his behaviour becomes aggressive. If he has devotion to Ishvara, in the very acceptance of Ishvara his ego gets diluted. And in the pursuit of knowledge of Ishvara, it gets even further diluted. Thereby all the tendencies based upon fear, tendencies to cheat, to deceive, to hurt, naturally drop off.
To give an example. When a cotton cluster is thinned out so that it becomes fluffy cotton fibres, all the particles sticking to the cotton drop off. You cannot easily remove them one by one but once the cotton fibres are separated, you find all the particles drop down because there is nothing for them to stick to. The ego too, once diluted, cannot hold on to these tendencies. They all drop off because fear and selfishness which are at the centre of all crimes, are due to ego. If that ego is diluted, where is the question of these things sticking there?