Article by Upendranath Dasa
Evil Doers, Wicked Persons, & Demons
Let’s Look at the Definition of the Word’s “Evil” and “Wicked
“Evil by nature and in practice.:
“Morally bad or wrong, wicked, causing ruin, injury, pain or harm, and those that cause harm, misfortune, destruction, or cause suffering.”
Hence, the word “wicked” is basically specifying an “evil” person. These two words are just the two sides of a horrible coin.
Therefore, I posit that the two types of preachers, that I have described, are sahajiyas, because they are preaching a process of Krishna consciousness that, consciously or unconsciously, instills in the minds of their followers, that devotional service and the attainment of the ultimate goal in life is “easy”.
And to take it to another level, I posit that these preachers are “Evil” & “Wicked”, or they are just plain “Fools”. These kinds of preachers are harmful, for they are causing the “Ruin” and “Destruction”, of the spiritual lives of those that believe them or those who follow them. It is not a matter of just one or two devotees either. In other words they are committing,
“Spiritual-Life Mass Murder”.
Any form of sahajiyaism will kill one’s spiritual life. Prabhupada said that sahajiyaism was one of the three things that would destroy ISKCON from within. ISKCON is a society of persons. If you destroy the spiritual life of the persons in ISKCON, then you destroy ISKCON in the process. It is time that we understand that sahajiyaism is not just limited to the false preachers of rasika, or the most abominable, let’s have a rasa-lila sex orgy clubs. It also includes, any type of preaching, that presents attainment of the ultimate abode, as an easy process, either openly or disguised. Therefore, just as personal ambition is deeply rooted in ISKCON, sahajiyaism is also deeply rooted, not only in the various rasika camps of Gaudiya Vaishnavism, but also in the ISKCON camp as well.
Many times the word “evil” or “wicked” has been used to label mass murderers, like Hitler, Stalin, Bin Laden and even Satan, and many other similar personalities. Are the two types of preachers of Krishna consciousness as mentioned above, evil or wicked like just Hitler, Stalin, Bin Laden, or Satan?
They’re such highly charged terms: “evil” & “wicked”; and so is my proposition that these preachers I have mentioned are wicked “evil ones” and “evildoers”, or at best “fool number one”. That does not mean “evil” is a useless term. It can specify something important, but we should know what it is specifying, because tossing the term around indiscriminately, can devalue it, rob it of its very specific substance. There is evil and there is evil. The word has hierarchies, and degrees, and distinctions, to be drawn, and commonalties to be sought, when making comparisons between individuals who may qualify as “evil” or “wicked”.
One of the curious, paradoxical things I have discovered during the many times I contemplated the ways in which these preachers’ crimes have been explained, was the reluctance to apply the words “evil” or “wicked” to them. Sometimes I have read or heard them being called “fools”, “idiots”, or “twits”, but not “evil’ or “wicked”. When a prospective devotee’s spiritual life is ruined, destroyed, thus causing him to experience repeated birth and death, that will result in continuing suffering and pain, under the 3 modes of material nature, then what does that say about the perpetrator? If they are wicked, is this wickedness any different than the wickedness of the mass murderer “evildoers” like Hitler, Stalin, or Bin Laden?
Some may argue, that it wasn’t Hitler who was responsible for Nazi crimes, but the forces of history that he embodied. Blame them.
Or it was not Hitler himself, so much as the irresistible pressure of a distorted ideology. Blame that.
Or, from the viewpoint of Freudian psycho historians, it was not Hitler, it was his unconscious drive. Blaming Hitler, attributing his crimes to him personally, to his conscious agency has not been a very popular view in some intellectual circles.
Can the same be said about those who preach the two types of sahajiyaism? For their crime of “spiritual-life mass murder”, are we to blame some forces within Vaishnava culture, or more specifically, forces within ISKCON politics, blame the irresistible pressure of their distorted ideology, or blame their unconscious drives instead of attributing their crime of sahajiyaism to them personally, to their own consciousness?
Considering an expanded definition of evil, one will discover not a single, all-encompassing evil, but hierarchies and degrees, that distinguish natural evils (“acts of God” in the theological and insurance-company vocabularies), from man-made evils (anthrax attacks, crashing airplanes into office buildings).
And among man-made evils, one finds distinctions between the mindset of the perpetrator, who does evil, under the illusion that he is doing good.
And the mindset of the perpetrator, who does evil, and who knows He is committing a crime.
The latter falls into a more rarefied category of “wickedness” which itself can be divided into “ordinary wickedness”, “selfish wickedness”, “conscientious wickedness”, “just-following-orders wickedness”, and the highest (or lowest) degree, “malignant wickedness”, doing evil for evil’s sake. Even self-professed Satanists can be exempted from the latter category, because they believe that Lucifer deserves to be God. Satan is the good guy; there has, just been a big mistake.
There are two crucial variables in defining degrees of evil.
- The first variable is the perpetrator’s consciousness of his crimes.
- The other variable is the scale of the crime.
At what point does an order of magnitude, in the number of murders, or spiritual murders; matter?
The difference between, say, six million and six thousand, or between six thousand and six. Which one makes a difference, in the order of magnitude of evil attributable to the perpetrator?
Consider the uneasiness, of some over the discrepancy, between the universally reported September 11th 6,000 and the newer number now believed to be closer to 4,000. At what point do numbers matter?
Most people, but not all, would agree, that a difference in degree between six million and six could be discerned, if not precisely defined. But defining degrees of evil involves calculations of both mindset and magnitude, whereby a lower body count, might in some cases, represent a greater degree of evi,l or a higher body count as less. Stalin’s body count, for instance, is now generally considered greater than Hitler’s; depending on who is counting. Yet some modern Marxists, still argue that there is a “qualitative” difference, between Stalin’s murders, and Hitler’s. That Stalinism was a lesser evil than Hitlerism, because Soviet communism was originally, they say, motivated by “Utopian Idealism”, rather than Hitlerian “Race Hatred”, and the tens of millions of murders were an unfortunate, but really an unrelated “side effect”.