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Shri Datta Swami

Posted on: 17 Dec 2019

     

Can one's love for God miraculously cancel one's sins?

Shri Anil asked: Jesus said that the sins of the devotee will be excused in proportion to the love possessed by the devotee for God. Does this mean that the love for God has such miraculous power to cancel sins?

Swami replied: The love for God does not have any miraculous power. Even if it had any miraculous power, that miraculous power is not used to cancel the sins. Due to the devotee’s love for God, God comes down in human form to preach to the devotee about the path of reformation. It is only upon reformation that sins are cancelled. There are three steps in the reformation of the soul. The first is realization. It means the recognition of the sin. The person should confess that he or she has committed a sin and not try to use false and twisted arguments to defend the sin or prove that it was not a sin but a good deed. The second step is repentance for the committed sin. The third and final step is the practical non-repetition of the sin for the rest of one’s life. This step is the most essential step. Mere confession of the sin is not sufficient to cancel the sins. Confession, repentance and non-repetition of sin together complete the process of reformation of the soul. When God finds that the soul has been fully refomed through these three steps, He cancels the sins. Without the final practical step of non-repetition of the sins, sins are never cancelled. Both realization and repentance are theoretical steps. So, by merely realizing and repenting, the sins are not practically cancelled. If the person continues to repeat the sin practically, the person has not really reformed. In that case, the person’s apparent theoretical reformation is meaningless. So, God too, will only cancel the sin only theoretically and not practically. In other words, it will appear that the sin has been cancelled, but in reality, it will not be canelled. God’s behavior with us is just a reflection of our behavior towards Him (Pratirūpo babhūvaVeda).

When Mary Magdelena worshiped Jesus with expensive perfumes, one devotee commented that the money used to purchase the perfumes could instead have been used to feed beggars. Jesus told the devotee to let her worship Him to her satisfaction, saying that there would always be beggars in the world to feed. Actually, the devotee who passed that comment was not eligible to do so. The immediate question to him would have been “Have you stopped spending money on all pleasures and started using it only to feed beggars?” One should comment on others’ practice only after perfectly practicing it oneself.

Jesus also told the devotee that her sins will be cancelled in proportion to her love for Him. This means that even if God preaches the total concept of reformation to a soul, the soul will digest it only in proportion to his or her devotion. If the devotee’s devotion is complete, the concept of reformation will also be completely digested. If the devotion is partial, the digestion of the concept will be also partial. If the concept is only partially digested, the person’s reformation will also be partial. When the reformation is not complete, ideally, sins cannot be cancelled. This would mean that unless one has full devotion to God, who preaches this concept of reformation, the sins would not be cancelled. In other words, unless the devotee has full devotion, has fully digested the concept of reformation and has practically been fully reformed, the devotee’s sins would not be cancelled at all. But Jesus said that partial cancellation of sins does take place when the devotee digests the concept partially, as a result of his or her partial devotion. This clearly means that partial devotion results in the partial reformation of the soul. Reformation happens in the context of some lighter sins. As a result, some sins committed by the soul earlier are cancelled by God, even though not all sins are cancelled. The more serious sins require a deeper reformation, which takes a longer time.

Some say that Jesus married this lady and even had children with her. Whether Jesus got married or not, how does it matter to us? What matters to us, is only His valuable preaching, which alone is going to benefit us. If you go to a teacher to study a subject, you are only concerned with the teacher’s teaching of the subject. You need not bother about the personal life of the teacher. Moreover, Jesus got legally married to her and then had children. There is nothing unjust or illegitimate in it and there is absolutely no cause for criticism. In a Human Incarnation, even though God exists in the human medium, the human medium retains its own natural characteristics and needs including hunger, thirst, sleep and legitimate sex. All these are the inevitable biological needs of the human body. I do not understand why people make a big issue out of sex alone. Nobody is bothered if the Human Incarnation eats food, drinks water or sleeps to get rest! Why then, should the Human Incarnation or God-man be looked down upon, if He is involved in legitimate sex? In that case, the God-man eating food, drinking water and sleeping, must also be looked down upon for not having conquered those biological needs of the body!

The Human Incarnation could be criticized only if He has been involved in illegitimate sex. But even in that case, careful analysis is necessary before any such criticism. Krishna was misunderstood for His involvement with the Gopikās. The negative qualities of rajas (desire and activity) and tamas (ignorance and inertia) are sometimes, deliberately exhibited by God-in-human-form. Exhibiting these negative qualities is helpful in repelling selfish souls who have positive qualities. Such selfish people come to the Incarnation to exploit His miraculous powers for their selfish benefits. In order to avoid their exploitation, He exhibits negative qualities, which repel them. Sometimes, negative qualities are also exhibited by God, to test the firmness of the faith of devotees. Deep analysis shows that the negative qualities shown by the Incarnation are only superficial and were meant to severely test certain devotees.

The Gopikās, who possessed the topmost level of devotion, were tested by God Krishna for their ability to overcome all their worldly bonds for His sake. The Gopikās, were cowherd ladies and Krishna stole their butter, which was the wealth of the cowherds. They had stored the butter for the sake of their children. By stealing their butter, He was simultaneously testing their bond with wealth (dhaneṣanā) and their bond with their children (putreṣaṇā). He was competing with their wealth and children combined, forcing them to choose between their bond with Him and their bond with wealth and children. Similarly, Krishna danced with the Gopikās at midnight, on the banks of the Yamuna, to test the strength of their bond with their life-partners (dāreṣaṇā), forcing them to choose between Him and their life-partners. When Krishna died, the Gopikās jumped into fire and ended their lives, proving that their bond with Krishna was stronger than their bond with their own lives (prāṇeṣaṇā). Upon deep analysis, one can find that Krishna did not do these activities with any selfish motive. Once His tests were completed, Krishna never returned to Bṛndāvanam and He never repeated such tests elsewhere in His life.

Similarly, Shirdi Sai Baba appeared to be a smoker, but it was not His weakness. It was meant to test the faith of orthodox devotees in Him. Hence, we should not jump to hasty conclusions in the case of God-men. Of course, false God-men appear before us as unmarried bachelors, pretending to have conquered the desire for sex, but in reality, they are involved in illegitimate sex secretly!

| Shri Dattaswami | pratiruupo babhuuva Daareshanaa Putreshanaa Dhaneshanaa Praaneshanaa Brundavanam Gopikas Gopikaas

 
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