Falgun Krishna Tritiya, Vikram Samvat 2063, Somvar
Our inner instrument (antahkarana) , is the recorder of all our sins and virtues. It will not be a sin to unintentionally kill in self protection, as long as intent is not to kill or hurt others. Violence is through expression, not through the actual act. When you remain unaffected by lure of sin, then no one else will be able to affect you. Due to the interconnectedness of this Universe, all are impacted and affected by one person’s sinful or virtuous actions.
Sin and Virtues : Question Answered
Where do virtuous and sinful acts accumulate ?
Swamiji: In our inner instrument (antahkarana) . Just like by looking at the meter one can tell how much electricity was used up. Any person at any time, however slyly and in hiding he utilizes the electricity, but everything gets recorded in the meter. Similarly the machine that records all virtues and sins is the amazing inner instrument (antahkarana) within each of us.
Will we incur a sin if we kill or hurt an evil person, either for our or someone else’s protection?
Swamiji: Protection is the work of a kshatriya; however when there is a decline in righteousness in the Country, when the leaders do not listen to our calling, and even though we are walking the righteous path then too there is accusation and incrimination, in such a state it becomes the responsibility of all (varnas) to use physical protection means for protecting the women, cows, wealth and life etc. But the aim should only be towards protection of the weak, not to kill or hurt the other. But while attempting to protect your own, if the evil person is killed then it will not be considered a sin. His death will all be beneficial to the larger whole, and he too will be benefited, because he will be prevented from committing further sins.
In reality, violence is through expression, not through the actual act. A doctor operates on a diseased patient and cuts of his diseased limb, a soldier kills an enemy soldier on the borders, then this is not considered violence. This is because both the doctor and the soldier have the inner feeling of benefiting the larger whole.
By doing good acts, will sins be wiped out?
Swamiji: Sinful acts are like the a battalion and virtuous acts are like a crazy one. Both are in different compartments. The accumulation of each are in different departments or buckets. Therefore naturally these two do not wash out each other. But man in order to get rid of sinful acts, aims and sets an objective of doing good. One cannot get rid of the sinful actions, but one can reduce the sentence – just like by giving bail, one can reduce their sentence and be out of prison earlier.
If Sins and Virtues do not wash out each other, then how did the ascetics (Rishi’s) austerities get affected and they were disrupted ?
Swamiji: Austerities are not broken, but some obstacles come in the way. Austerities that are done, are not destroyed. By becoming disenchanted one creates barriers in their own austerities. When you yourself are unaffected then no one else will be able to affect you – “kaami bachan sati manu jaise” (Manasa Baak 251:1)
Results are not seen immediately for sins and virtues that are committed in the present. What is the reason for this?
Swamiji: Kaliyug is the reason. Kaliyug is a friend of righteousness (dharma). With ongoing incremental accumulation, little by little, a very grave evil fruit of these past actions is inevitable. Just like a blister or a boil, continues to grow, until one day it bursts.
Due to the sinful actions of some individuals, the entire community has to suffer the consequences. Why?
Swamiji: This entire universe is inter-connected. One person’s sinful and virtuous actions have impact and influence on this entire Universe. But the actions themselves, will affect that individual.