Do we have to report a criminal?

Question
Hare Krishna Maharaj dandavas agtSP

Is it considered a sin to expose a person who has committed a crime? I remember reading somewhere that the one who talks about what someone else does inappropriate carries part of that person’s karma. Could you please expand on knowledge about this topic?

And what difference does it make when the person who are we talking about is close, like a relative? According to the scriptures, would that be treason?
Ys paramesvari dd

 

Answer
Dear Mataji Paramesvari,
Please accept my humble obeisances. All glories to Srila Prabhupada.

Our sastras (both sruti and smriti) are full of examples of how a person who does wrongs must be denounced and punished. This is the whole reason why Ksatriya-varna exists. If you see something wrong you have to say it to the proper authorities in order to protect society from transgressors.

However there is a large number of variables, so large that it is difficult to mention them all.

For examples there are apparent and not real transgressions. Someone qualified should judge if it is a trangression or not.

If the wrong-doing is evident and there is no need of a judge then you have to consider the entity of the mistake. If it is something small or circumstantial is one thing, if it is very serious is another. Your reaction should differ from case to case.

If it is something casual is one thing. If it is a habit is another.

If your negative judgement is moved by personal biases…. If it’s damaging your peace of mind…

Etcetera etcetera.

If you are not a maha-bhagavata uttama adhikari you should definitely do something.
A maha-bhagavata whose consciousness is above human level will care very little about what happens in this world. He know that one may plug a leak and other ten will immediately spring up and therefore think that it’s uselss trying to straight things up.
He will humbly consider his incapacity to correct problems and take the “Draupadi strategy”, meaning raising his arms and say “Govinda, please help me”.

So the choise if to intervene or not is a serious decision. This is why we have been trained to consider what to do.

 

I’ll write much more and publish it in my next book

 

Your servant
Manonatha Dasa (ACBSP)

 


 

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