Making A “Case” for the Reconstitution of Srila Prabhupada’s “Mission”
Evil Doers, Wicked Persons. And Demons.
By Upendranath Dasa Sep 23, 2004.
“What is More Evil or More Wicked? Physical Life Mas Murder or Spritual Life Mas Murder?”
Of the Perpetrators of Spiritual Life Mass Murder, Who is the Greater or Who is the Lesser Wicked or Evil Preacher?”
ISKCON-type sahajiyaism, or Gopi-Bhava-Club-type sahajiyaism? Is there a qualitative difference to be argued on the behalf on either side? Both are definitely motivated by the utopian spiritual life idealism of an “easy” passage to Krishna-loka. Do calculations of the body count, make a difference in either case?
Of course, neither of them will not admit nor recognize that they are committing spiritual life mass murder. On the other hand, both parties boast, and cheer about their preaching, and they are praised by others from within their respective camps. At the same time, they continue to add to the body count.
Does the mindset of either group make one group less evil or eviler? Because they may think and believe that they are doing the Lord’s work, and what they preach is good and will benefit the living entities; does that excuse them from being labeled “evil” or “wicked”?
Nevertheless, the fact remains, that numerous people’s spiritual lives are being murdered. This brings us to an even for controversial question.
What is more “evil” or more “wicked”, physical life mass murder or spiritual life mass murder?
Assume for the moment that Hitler or Bin Laden, was indeed convinced of his own moral righteousness in committing mass murder. This view is unsatisfying to many, because it suggests a lesser degree of evil than if Hitler and bin Laden had been convinced of their criminality. Once I remember reading somewhere, that people do wrong only if they are deluded into thinking they are doing right, or if they are rendered incapable, by reason of ignorance or mental defect, of not knowing right from wrong. i.e., the “moral imbecility” of a fool. It is a fact that those preaching sahajiyaism will never understand nor admit, even though some have the capacity to understand, right from wrong, that they are committing spiritual life mass murder.
Therefore they must be deluded into thinking they are doing right and totally unaware of their spiritual crime. In this case I would conclude they are “wicked”, and “evil”.
If for some reason they are incapable, by reason of ignorance or mental defect, of knowing right from wrong, then I conclude that they are moral imbeciles or as Bhaktivinoda said, “fools”.
Assigning different degrees of evil to different quantities ,and qualities, of murder may seem at first to be an angels-on-the-head-of-a-pin matter. But it is something we the people routinely engage in when, as juries, we decide the difference between first and second-degree murder, between voluntary and involuntary manslaughter, very often according to calculations of mindset.
Some people believe, that Hitler was sincerely, if mistakenly convinced that the Jews were out to destroy the master race, and thus must be eliminated for the good of humanity.
And Bin Laden, was sincerely, if mistakenly convinced, that he had to murder innocents, to defend Islam.
Similarly, I can see the preachers of ISKCON-type sahajiyaism, or the Gopi-Bhava-Club-type sahajiyaism come off as sincerely, but mistakenly, convinced that they are doing the Lord’s work for the benefit of humanity.
At what point, at what order of magnitude, does the number of dead override the moral righteousness rationale?
If one “sincerely, if mistakenly” kills six? Six thousand? Six million? Does a holy crusade justify killing an unlimited number of infidels if one “sincerely” believes that he is carrying out God’s will, to rescue humanity from evil?
Could a single person therefore justify killing everyone else, and still be thought to be convinced of his own moral righteousness, if he believed it was for the greater glory of God?
Common sense suggests that at some point, even the most oblivious mass murderer ,recognizes that he or she, has crossed a border, and gone beyond sincere idealism. But who says common sense rules in such cases?
Thinking of Hitler and Bin Laden, as true believers, unaware that they are perpetrating evil does not necessarily excuse their crimes, but it does avoid acknowledging an almost unbearable possibility: that human beings are capable of committing mass murder not with an “idealistic” rationale, but for self-advancement or self-aggrandizement. This type of person is described in the Bhagavad-gita as being possessed by a “demoniac” mind. In other words a “Demon”.
Similarly, thinking of those who preach any form of sahajiyaism as true believers unaware that they are perpetrating evil/wickedness/foolishness, does not excuse them of their spiritual crimes, but it does avoid acknowledging the other, and again, a very unbearable possibility,
“That they are preaching in this way not because they have an idealistic rationale, but because they are after self-advancement, or self-aggrandizement. Therefore if this is the case, then we are talking about DEMONS and not devotees.”