(HH KKS 13/04/03)
If you say ‘sin’ in modern times, a lot of people get allergic reactions! Just for the word …sin! People are like: “Oh God here we go again, oh no and next we are going to burn in hell isn’t it!” …something like that…these kind of reactions are there . But instead if you say it is a pathological self destructive behaviour, people will be like: “Yes, .ooh that is very serious , that is very bad”
These are both the same because sin is really described as that activity which is not surrender in devotional service to the Supreme Personality of Godhead. Therefore when we do that, then it is like that spark is falling out of the fire, in other words we are cutting ourselves off the source of our life…when we give up our devotional service to the Supreme Lord. So it is self destructive behaviour and it is insane, it is pathological, so therefore it is pathological self destructive behaviour if you express it in psychological terms. Immediately everyone is wow..no one would argue with that but if you say… “Sin” then there would definitely be some people in the audience that would get up and leave ..something like that!
So in the same way we understand that we are obsessed, obsessed with these desires to enjoy or to escape. Sometimes we are described as a movement of escapists! We are accused like that by atheistic people : “That all of you, you simply had a lot of problems in your youth and as a result of that, you had to take shelter of some religious cult or sect because you couldn’t face the difficulties of the world and then you had to create some sense of belonging to a family , concept of god , which would make you feel better. There’s some shelter and then you would sit with a group of people and say: ‘Oh I’m so happy now- now we have found shelter’ and in this way totally closing your eyes to the world and there your walking in your bed sheets and your blissed out on the street in some sort of trance dance hare Krishna hare Krishna re re re .. like that, right.” This is the foolishness of the atheist who can not understand the position of the devotee.
Often times we are very quick to just reject this and we say this is just the conditioned vision of the materialist. But other times when we take it more thoughtful and we think about it and we ask ourselves: Well maybe some of ourselves are escapists, right, maybe we did join , to escape the pressures of the material world , actually if we think about it , did we join for Krishna? Maybe not , maybe we didn’t really join with the idea that I want to serve Krishna, maybe we thought this material world is an impossible place: I mean the idea of working in an office , Monday to Friday nine to five , for some maybe too much, then I better join the Hare Krishna temple! Maybe that is more comfortable. So in one sense we may have joined because part of us is really an escapist, to again here use modern terminology, “escapist” instead of the traditional words; traces of mukti, traces of jnana, traces of the desire for liberation remaining in us.
The jnani has realised that this material world is not a place for material enjoyment, therefore the jnani is desiring to get out of this material world.
The karmi is thinking: “This is such a beautiful place, there are few little problems but I will overcome them and then everything will be perfect, you know, it’s almost perfect , just a few little imperfections need to be adjusted and if someone else really suffers that’s just bad luck, what can you do , that’s part of life also. Most people are very happy and it’s just a handful who happen to have bad luck. We feel sorry, but we can’t see that this world is a miserable place, not at all …..the wonderful world, it’s a beautiful world , life is so beautiful “: that kind of mood is the mood of the karmi. And when they become that person who is getting the bad luck, some heavy accident or something then they become suicidal, so depressed …because there is no more hope.
How different is a devotee, who sees the hand of the Supreme Lord. He suffers like anything obviously when some calamity happens but yet at least can remember that there is a higher cause behind all this: “Krishna has purpose with this, it’s almost unbearable but somehow or other this must be happening to me for my purification, there must be many reasons why I am getting like this.” So how wonderful is devotional service that even when in the darkest moments it can give us shelter, realistic shelter. And how logical is Krishna consciousness and how illogical is atheism.
Srila Prabhupada always pointed out how everything in this world is perfectly arranged, that everything is going on very nicely. There is rain so the vegetables can grow and you see we eat the bananas , the cow eats the peels! This is such an amazing arrangement when you look at it right…we take the banana and what do you want to do with the peel, no problem, the cow was waiting for it: “Give me that peel. hmmmmm nice banana peels” What an arrangement , what a perfect arrangement. So if we see how nice Krishna has managed everything, it is so well arranged that it is pretty clear.
In Australia the devotees did a play which was also illustrating the thing well. There was a group of men on a hill and they has sort of those bicycle pumps to start a big explosion , they we standing there … and they had a big sign saying : ‘Big Bang appartments’ and they were going to blow some apartments into existence! And of course they asked people to pay and nobody bought …nobody bought! That’s because no one believes that with an explosion blow an apartment into existence ….but when it come to the whole universe…( Maharaja impersonates a mundane scientist) : “well that’s, well of course, that makes a lot of sense”
So like this devotees are doing good preaching to expose the ridiculous nature of mundane speculators.

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