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Wednesday, April 19, 2006

Ignorance IS an excuse


Although most western devotees have been initially taught that all westerners go to hell because they don’t follow the Vedic principles and that ‘ignorance is no excuse’, when I told this to Sādhu Bābā he laughed and thought I had told him the joke of the year. Later, when studying the teachings of Vijay Kṛṣṇa Gosvāmī, I understood why –

“Although not every human being has the same duties, obligations and ethics, there is morality according to country, society and time. Whatever is thus considered decent is accepted, and unless and until it is understood and realised to be wrong and unjust it should certainly be followed. Whatever I believe to be my duties and propriety that is my religious principle. If one doesn’t follow one’s fundamental religious principles one meets with woe and commits sin according to one’s local, social and temporal customs and ethics. Whatever obligation and ethics one believes in and accepts with a simple heart, that is one’s religious virtue and should certainly be followed. In some places the eating of fish and meat is established custom and at other places it is rejected as a sin as if it is poison.” Vijay Krishna Goswami, June 1891.

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