SC 14: Betrayed by Leaders
Logic and Reason
The Viṣṇudūtas, like all genuine servants of God, understood everything according to logic and reason. The instructions of Kṛṣṇa are not meaningless dogma. Religion often gives rise to dogmatism, but the author of
However, once we have accepted the philosophy of Kṛṣṇa consciousness and taken initiation from a bona fide spiritual master, we cannot argue with him. We cannot challenge. To do so would constitute an offense and a fall from spiritual principles.
The Duty of Governments
The Viṣṇudūtas accused the Yamadūtas of violating religious principles by attempting to drag Ajāmila to Yamarāja for punishment. Yamarāja is the officer appointed by the Supreme Personality of Godhead to judge religious and irreligious principles and to punish the sinful. However, if completely sinless people are punished, the entire assembly of Yamarāja is contaminated. This principle applies not only in the assembly of Yamarāja but throughout human society.
Upholding religious principles is the duty of the king or government. Unfortunately, in the present age, Kali-yuga, people have lost their intelligence, so they cannot differentiate between
The Viṣṇudūtas chastised the Yamadūtas for violating the principles of justice. Such corruption of the judicial system is very prominent in Kali-yuga. The judicial system is meant to provide for execution of justice, yet false witnesses and bribery make it difficult. With money, almost anyone can get a favorable judgment in court. If the justice system is corrupt, life becomes extremely troublesome. The government is supposed to offer the citizens protection, as parents do for their children. A small child is completely dependent on his father and mother, thinking with full faith, "My father is here, my mother is here—I am safe." But if the father and mother are corrupt, where is the protection for the child? Similarly, if the whole government is corrupt, where is the protection for the citizens?
Whatever the heads of society do, people generally follow. The government or king is like a father to the citizens. A father will never tolerate the killing or injuring of his children. He will give up his own life trying to attack the person threatening his children. Yet today crime is rampant. The government spends billions of dollars, but the citizens have no security in their lives. The government is answerable to the citizens because it must protect and provide for them. If the government is incapable or corrupt, then what is the position of the citizens?
The king, or in modern times the government, should act as the guardian of the citizens by teaching them the proper goal of life. The human form of life is especially meant for attaining self-realization, realization of one's relationship with the Supreme Personality of Godhead. The duty of the government, therefore, is to take charge of training all the citizens in such a way that they will gradually be elevated to the spiritual platform and realize their relationship with God. This principle was followed by kings like Mahārāja Yudhiṣṭhira, Mahārāja Parīkṣit, Lord Rāmacandra, Mahārāja Ambarīṣa, and Prahlāda Mahārāja.
Unfortunately, today's government leaders are generally dishonest and irreligious, and thus all the affairs of the state suffer. In the name of democracy, rogues and thieves fool the innocent populace into electing them to the most important posts in the government. Recently this has been proven in America, and as a result the citizens condemned the President and dragged him down from his post. This is only one case out of many.
In Kali-yuga, people have no shelter. Due to corrupt government, they are uncertain of their lives and property. The mass of people should always feel secure because of the government's protection. Therefore, how regrettable it is for the government itself to cause a breach of trust and put the citizens in difficulty for political reasons. We saw during the partition days in India that although Hindus and Muslims had been living together peacefully, manipulation by politicians suddenly aroused feelings of hatred between them, and thus the Hindus and Muslims killed one another over politics. This is a sign of Kali-yuga.
Another symptom of Kali-yuga is the abominable practice of animal slaughter. In this age animals are kept nicely sheltered, completely confident that their masters will protect them, but unfortunately as soon as the animals are fat, they are immediately sent for slaughter. Such cruelty is condemned by Vaiṣṇavas like the Viṣṇudūtas. Indeed, hellish conditions of extreme suffering await the sinful men responsible for such cruelty. One who betrays the confidence of a living entity who takes shelter of him in good faith, whether that living entity be a human being or an animal, is extremely sinful. Because such betrayals now go unpunished by the government, all of human society is terribly contaminated. The people of this age are therefore described as
Although Ajāmila was not punishable, the Yamadūtas were insisting on taking him away to Yamarāja for punishment. This was