The Hysteria of Mercy and Forgiveness

Manidhara Das
28 Nov 2022

It is common practice among those who seem to have their conscience burdened by their misdeeds of the past that "mercy" and "forgiveness" are the primary issues concerning them. Of course, such "preachers" are very popular in the eyes of the general public, as in this material world we are all already compromised by the fact that we are here. Implicated by our contact with the three modes of nature, we are all soon or later committing some sort of sinful act. Seeking freedom from karmic reactions is natural for any man who is knowledgeable about the stringent laws of material nature. BUT..

The mercy and forgiveness we seek are not unconditional, as Srila Prabhupada taught us. Today's populistic mercy preachers, who ironically are very cruel to those who do not conform to their ostensibly merciful doctrines, appear to be very concerned with being forgiven so that they can continue sinning, as is common in the Christian tradition.

In Krsna Consciousness, we learn to understand that forgiveness can be offered only to those who are:

  1. Aware of their sinful behavior.
  2. Regret their sinful actions.
  3. Never return to their sinful past.
  4. Engage positively in Krsna consciousness and help others to do the same.

Any other kind of "mercy" is sentimental sahajia type at best or demoniac mayavadi type at worst. When men without conscience preach how to pacify our consciences by receiving mercy from the all-merciful God, they have no knowledge of God's true nature. Was Krsna not merciful by taking part in the massive slaughter of humans on the battlefield of Kuruksetra?

Some "mercy preachers" may have problems with that.

It's no surprise that so many demoniac perpetrators could infiltrate the Srila Prabhupadas movement after being welcomed by "merciful populistic preachers" who indulge in an unrestricted initiation frenzy of completely unqualified individuals or "mercifully tolerating," or better put, "facilitating," the most notorious class of abusers who feed on the innocence of the pious.

As one man said: "I am not so much afraid of violent people. I am worried about those who facilitate them."

And so the preachers of "mercy" become the guilty ones themselves by propagating ignorance and facilitating the further development of violence.

Srila Prabhupadas' formula was mercy and forgiveness in full knowledge of the seriousness of the crime committed and the once-and-for-all rectified sinner. Anything else is just further entanglement in the intricate law of karma for both the sinner and the one who desires to forgive.