Divine Justice and Human Justice

BY: PRAHLADA NRSIMHA DAS

As we all know, the main difference between the Paramesvara and the jiva is that the first One is infinite whereas the second one is infinitesimal. Consequently, the Paramesvara is omnipresent and omniscient where the jiva is only fully (in the best case) conscious of him(her)-self. Srila Prabhupada explains it in Bhagavad-gita. The jiva is also a very little conscious of others' situation and feelings through his own experience and through what he knows and sees. That stays however extremely limited.

Of course, Krsna being omnipotent, He can make us see behind a wall or be conscious of whatever He wants, if such is His desire. Nevertheless, it will be only if He wants and never because of our own power. In a conversation, Srila Prabhupada was saying that if He wants, Krsna can make us be omniscient. But however, we understand that He will never do that, at least on a permanent basis, for there is no real necessity for it. And because it would disturb the natural Divine order which is already there. The Paramesvara is supposed to be omniscient. Not the jivas! And Krsna never does anything which can be a source of disturbance for anyone. We have a confirmation of that and of this will of His through Bhagavad-gita, for instance:

"O son of Prtha, there is no work prescribed for Me within all the three planetary systems. Nor am I in want of anything, nor have I need to obtain anything-and yet I am engaged in work." (Bg 3.22)

"For, if I did not engage in work, O Partha, certainly all men would follow My path." (Bg 3.23)

"If I should cease to work, then all these worlds would be put in ruination. I would also be the cause of creating unwanted population, and I would thereby destroy the peace of all sentient beings." (Bg 3.24)

So, the difference between the Paramesvara (and His Plenary or Partial Expansions) and the jivas is very clear and cannot and must not be changed. Considering this fact and, therefore, the one that we are not omniscient and don't know, like Krsna does, the past, present and future of all the living entities (Bg 4.5), we consequently have our own specific duties and should have another approach to things. Including for justice. Humans, does not matter it is in materialistic society or within ISKCON, must arbitrarily establish a beginning and an end in their way to consider facts and actions. We may know that everything in this world is generally karma, but it is nevertheless almost impossible for us and, anyway, a loss of time and not our appropriate behaviour, to define if an action is the consequence of another (similar or not) past one or the beginning of a new chain of actions (karma). Only the Paramesvara knows that.

Human Justice, however, exists and no human society, religious or not, can function properly without this institution. It is a duty, even if God exists and knows and rules everything. No reasonable and sane civilisation can hide itself behind God and "God knows and manages everything". Even if it is an actual fact.

Even in the Vedic system, human Justice exists. That is a clear indication that humans have the duty to take their own responsibility in this field. We can not just say: "Oh! You were raped when you were a child? Well, prabhu, it is your karma... you probably did the same in a past life." Or: "This woman was beaten and raped? Ok... it is not good, but it is only karma. Therefore let's not interfere too much with that and let life go on as it is. All that is in Krsna's hands."

We are in a human society, within ISKCON or out of it. And we are jivas and so, absolutely not qualified to judge if an action is the result of other past actions or the beginning of a series of news ones. Therefore, again, human duty, in any kind of society, is not to only consider that something is karma but rather, to arbitrarily and very concretely decide to start one's consideration of events at one point and to stop it at another point.

A certain kind of behaviour is allowed or forbidden by Divine and human laws. Point! Does not matter we know that all that is karma. If we consider that things are nothing but karma when we are in front of a situation where someone is in danger or someone already became a victim, we go beyond our jurisdiction. That is Krsna's (Ksirodakasayi Visnu) jurisdiction. Not ours! We can, of course, eventually add some other considerations which stay in our reach, like materialistic courts do, but nothing more. To hide ourselves and everyone behind the laws of karma makes always the abuser win and the victim lose. Does not matter it is only the short or medium term. It stays however very detrimental for both of the protagonists. The victim feels very discouraged and disgusted. The abuser feels greatly encouraged to keep his noxious tendency. Never mind what he may say to others... (lies).

If someone made big service for Krsna and the spiritual master, it is great and anyway in his spiritual bank credit. But sorry, that is only between this person and Krsna, and is beyond our jurisdiction. We can not really judge it and anyway actually know what consciousness and motivation were behind it. Only Krsna really knows it.

Another usual and bogus argument is: " Oh... there are so few devotees in this material world! You know... they are so rare… therefore we should try to tolerate the intolerable." Yes! Devotees are actually rare. And we can be very sure that they will always stay very rare, even at the time of the presumed "Everest" of Lord Caitanya's Movement, if we go on thinking in this way and giving this argument in order to excuse very serious guilty events. That will destroy this Movement and make sane persons fly away, if we don't fulfill our own human duties in this field of justice. The culprits will always feel good and win. The victims will always feel bad and lose. That, on the short and medium terms. Which are precisely our own jurisdiction. And also an important one.

The whole of Srila Prabhupada's and Lord Caitanya's Movement only loses in this affair. And mankind with it.