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Dandavats! All Glories to Sri Guru and Sri Gauranga!

Actions and Consequences

Sunday, 12 August 2012 / Published in Editorial, Praghosa Dasa / 6,057 views

By Praghosa Dasa

“One who is coming to kill you with weapon, he's aggressor”

>>> Ref. VedaBase => Srimad-Bhagavatam 1.7.16 — Vrndavana, September 14, 1976

It is seemingly becoming commonplace in our society now for such weapon wielding aggressors to cause grief, misery, pain, suffering and of course great mourning to an unsuspecting audience.

One of many worrying aspects of these senseless killings is the cool, calm and measured way they are undertaken. Practically since time immemorial we are familiar with crimes of passion, those crimes are even recognised by the judicial system to the point of mitigating circumstances being considered. We are also familiar with revenge crimes, wherein someone 'gets even' for some wrong they had suffered a week, month, year or decade earlier etc. Not that crimes of passion or revenge are in anyway justified but at least they offer some explanation as to 'why', why someone did what they did.

However the recent slaughter of cinema goers at Aurora, Colorado was neither a crime of passion or of revenge, rather it was pure in its senselessness.

That said, we know that not a blade of grass moves without the sanction of the supreme, so what possible explanation might there be for this particular heinous act?

We also know that we are all deeply affected by both association and the activities we perform.

By bad association one becomes a smoker, one becomes a drunkard, one becomes a meat-eater, one becomes a gambler”

>>> Ref. VedaBase => Srimad-Bhagavatam 1.2.9-10 — Delhi, November 14, 1973

The problem is even further compounded if those activities and association are accepted by society as not only normal but laudable.

From that point of view it is interesting to note that the perpetrator of the Aurora slaughter was a neuroscientist. A fancy name and a job that many in society whether they be politicians, the medical profession or family and friends would laud as an important job for the future well being of human society. However what actually is it that a neuroscientist does? One thing they do on a regular basis is inflict cruelty, violence, pain, suffering and misery on sentient beings. This of course is all done in the name of 'experimentation' but whatever label it has, the suffering meted out to so many animals and so many different kinds of animals, is heart breaking.

Here are a few samples of experiments carried out by neuroscientists for many decades now;

Visual tracking, which involves monkeys having coils implanted in their eyes and the tops of their skulls removed, like the opening of a coconut when accessing the juice. Electrodes are then inserted into their brains and screws, bolts and plates are attached to the remainder of their skull so their heads can be fixed in place. Yet it doesn't stop there, the monkeys are then kept constantly thirsty so when they're offered the merest drop of water, they will cooperate fully with their masters or as the masters like to put it their victims are 'developing a work ethic'.

Other experiments include animals being given cocaine and other drugs till they are addicted and then given electric shocks to see how their bodies react under the influence of those drugs. Some of the addicted animals are also impregnated and when their babies are born, they are immediately snatched away from them, so as to measure what kind of effect such an early life trauma has on the mother 'junkie monkeys'.

The perpetrator of the Aurora massacre was also apparently engaged in the brain mapping of songbirds, where again the drilling of holes through the skull and insertion of electrodes is standard. He also apparently engaged in the full dissection of hummingbirds and mice. Now what sentient being can deny that such 'work' desensitises us to the very sanctity of life itself? Ironically there are other scientific studies that prove this very point!

Of course the argument can be made that not every neuroscientist goes on to open fire in a crowded cinema but equally; how can anyone deny that being routinely engaged in such extreme violence on defenseless sentient beings, will only seriously erode one's crucial faculty of empathy and compassion?

It would seem to be an occupational hazard of those engaged in such systematic and barbaric torture of animals, to have to set aside the normal emotions of sensitivity, warmth, love, tenderness, mercy, kindness, humanity and charity, and instead become indifferent, or much worse, to the sufferings of others. That is a tragedy in and of itself and as we have seen, can lead to other far more widespread tragedy.

The simple fact is that every thought, emotion and act that we engage in has an impact on us in ways that we often don't realise. Indeed the importance of apparently run of the mill items is emphasised by Arjuna asking of Krishna;

What are the symptoms of one whose consciousness is thus merged in transcendence? How does he speak, and what is his language? How does he sit, and how does he walk?

Krishna's answer certainly does not include what happened at Aurora. Rather Krishna speaks about being pure, free from sense gratification and satisfied in the self. Until that standard is achieved everyone's contribution to society will be flawed to varying degrees, even if our chosen career is not neuroscience.

Krishna Janmastami report from ISKCON Baroda
Janmashtami at Bhaktivedanta Manor

16 Responses to “Actions and Consequences”

  1. I have a good devotee friend who happens to be a neurologist. He says that this discipline of working with the nervous system is extremely mechanistic. I asked him why he took to this discipline… he replied by saying that he hopes some day to be able to try and unravel such grossly materialistic mechanisms with Krishna conscious analysis and life probing answers through publications.

    We may think that modern psychology is materialistic enough. Psychiatry is even more physically materialistic, but working with brain and nervous system yet more materialistic.

    Funny how neuroscientists have families and keep photos of loved ones in their work places. Such love and affection displayed for family members is diametrically opposed to their work practices and mechanistic beliefs. Such contradictions are weak points in their ability to defend atheism.

    Then again I know of another Muslim neurologist, so faith and work practice can go hand-in-hand. What makes these animal experiments questionable is the purposeful distancing of natural human emotions when horrible afflictions are perpetuated. When there is no remorse, no guilt, no dread, then there exists no wrongdoing – it’s all good we are taught.

    Ys Kesava Krsna Dasa.

  2. Sita Rama 108 says :

    Part #1
    Praghosa Prabhu,
    Please accept my humble obiesances.
    All glories to Srila Prabhupada.
    You mention dissection of animals. School students are assigned lessons in this activity. Of course, as you point out, dissecting animals will not turn a person into a mass murderer. But implication in animal killing is violence, and it will dull ones consciousness. Lord Krishna told His pure devotee Mucukunda,
    [ “My dear King,” the Lord said, “because you are a kñatriya, you have committed the offense of slaughtering animals, both in hunting and in political engagements. To become purified, just engage yourself in the practice of bhakti-yoga and always keep your mind absorbed in Me. Very soon you will be freed from all reactions to such sordid activities.” In this statement it appears that although kñatriyas are allowed to kill animals in hunting, they are not freed from the resultant contamination of sinful reactions. Therefore, whether one is a kñatriya, vaiçya or brähmaëa, everyone is recommended to take sannyäsa at the end of life, to engage himself completely in the service of the Lord and thus become freed from all sinful reactions of his past life.]
    We also know from Krishna book that the infallible devotee, Arjuna, performed this activity; therefore we know it was difficult for a warrior in Vedic society to avoid animal killing. It appears that contaminating activities are difficult to avoid even in ages other than Kali Yuga. At this point in time it is difficult for students to avoid being implicated in animal killing through dissecting animals. The National Science Teachers Association (NSTA) website (
    NSTA opposes regulations or legislation that would eliminate an educator’s decision-making role regarding dissection or would deny students the opportunity to learn through actual animal dissection
    But sensitivity to those who want to avoid this type of activity seems to be growing. Devotees should check the laws in their states for alternatives in their local schools, such as:
    Virginia Law§ 22.1-200.01 Alternatives to animal dissection: Local school divisions shall provide students with alternatives to animal dissection techniques within the relevant public school curriculum or course. The Board of Education shall establish guidelines to be implemented by local school divisions regarding such alternative dissection techniques.

  3. Sita Rama 108 says :

    Part #2

    Alternatives such as Hofstra University’s Biology Departments, “Animal Dissection Policy” may also be available at the college level.
    It states:
    ” Only two required courses in the major/minor sacrifice animals or perform animal dissection (i.e., BIO 11 and 12). For these specific courses, (BIO 11 and 12) accommodations will be made (see below for details) for students whose beliefs prevent them from directly participating in animal euthanasia and dissection.”

  4. pustakrishna says :

    Our philosophy certainly challenges us to consider the complexity of the field and the knower of the field of activity. We are presented with so much knowledge of the nature of the 3 gunas and how association with them brings about the seemingly good and bad of this world. We are even told by Krishna (13.21) that all actions and reactions are caused by the material energy while happiness and distress (due to attachment) is created by the living entity, the jiva soul. Very complex indeed. We are in the world (as spirit souls), but not of the world. We are not actually doing anything, yet we take credit in the form of karma for our actions and reactions.
    As you pointed out, Krishna has described the qualities of ignorance, passion, and goodness, as well as the transcendental character of a liberated soul. Remember that the Bhagavad Gita is spoken by Krishna to Arjuna, and for our benefit as well, while preparing for a very great battle, undertaken by Krishna’s direct will no doubt. I have seen Srila Prabhupad personally attribute such things to karma (reaction for misdeeds of the past). It is tempting to try to make a connection between one’s current misdeeds and so-called more or less “instant karma” that we observe in the Aurora, Colorado massacre. There may be much more to it spanning many lifetimes. And, what of the unfortunate individuals who were murdered. Dare we also, but not coldly, declare this as their karma coming back to them. With our philosophy, we may have no other choice. How can Arjuna tolerate that all of the warriors on the battlefield of Kuruksetra would be destroyed (but not killed since the soul is beyond birth and death), and how Krishna declares that one should not lament over this phenomenon.
    The dream, even nightmare of material life is very peculiar indeed for a philosopher. Srila Prabhupad often described it as phantasmagoria. The perspective is very high and detached, and if we are to follow in his footsteps, we need some appreciation of that understanding. The souls are suffering due to forgetfulness of Krishna. There is hope for everyone in the end, but this world has been defined as Mrityuloka, the place of death.
    Very heavy to contemplate, but an explanation to offer up in this regard. Pusta Krishna das

  5. Here are some other scenarios that can arise out of this subject of animal experimentation: Some of our devotees suffer from incurable inherited diseases like Retinitis Pigmentosa and Macular Degeneration (Both forms of gradual blindness) along with others.

    There is potential for these conditions to be treated eventually, but only after rigorous testing on animals before human suitability. If a cure were available, that might help a devotee regain active devotional service again, should the treatment be accepted for a higher cause? Or will an ethic conscience not accept it?

    Philosophically, one can say that the reason why billions of animals are experimented upon or slaughtered is because they are earning their due for inflicting the same cruelty upon animals when in human form. Compassionate devotees do not think like this. But if a cure is available, knowing that many animals did suffer for it, will one reason then that perhaps, those suffering animals are indirectly engaging in devotion – ajnata-sukrti – if the cure enables active regaining of devotional service?

    The questions are raised because although we abhor cruelty to animals, the same cruelty might produce life saving results and more progress in devotional service. Where do we draw the ethical and conscientious lines?

    Ys Kesava Krsna Dasa.

  6. pustakrishna says :

    I will answer Keshava Krishna das in the manner that I have directly heard Srila Prabhupad approach this topic. There was a graduate student of biology who came to visit Srila Prabhupad. His Divine Grace directly put before him this: “Do you know that your experimentation with animals will create bad karma for you?” The essence of this challenge by Srila Prabhupad indicates the answer to the questions raised above in number 5. On the other hand, Srila Prabhupad said that a knife in the hand of a surgeon can bring about good, while a knife in the hand of a murdered brings about bad consequences. The knife is not the problem, but rather the intent.

    What can we decipher from all of this? It is that bad means do not make a good outcome. In my years of training, I wish that I could say that I had never engaged in animal research. I know for a fact that the research I did and observed at the University of California, San Francisco has had life saving outcomes for a fetus in distress, or for newborn humans born with an open defect between the right and left side of the hearts. It has saved lives, but it did come about because of the exploitation and ultimate sacrifice of sheep. Very hard for me to digest. Is this parallel to the hunting of the kshatriya warriors? What can I do to rationalize this, and should I even try to? It is the nature of biologic research and medical research today that these things take place. It may be possible that cell cultures could accomplish similar inquiry in some cases.
    Nonetheless, my reply in this case is to highlight Srila Prabhupad’s thinking as it relates to Keshava Krishna’s questions. I also shared practical information in my own past that takes another viewpoint that was not whimsical, but may indeed create karma.

    If the Ten Commandments say: “Thou shalt not kill”, then it does not give approval to killing for the purpose of extending the lives of others. If we create karma, bad karma, we may be responsible to suffer the reactions even if our intentions are good. Transcendental values thus have precedence. Our vision can drop below to the lower modes of nature, but we will need to suffer the reaction. Hare Krishna, Pusta Krishna das

  7. Sita Rama 108 says :

    Kesava Krishna Prabhu,
    Please accept my humble obeisances.
    All glories to Srila Prabhupada.
    Most every medicine is tested on animals. Devotees in general do not abstain from these, but in a certain situation a devotee might. Each devotee must ask what will please Krishna in their given circumstance. That is the ultimate question.
    In no age is there a way for humans to enjoy sense gratification without becoming implicated in sinful activity. SB: 4:25:3, Närada Muni asked King Präcénabarhiñat: My dear King, what do you desire to achieve by performing these fruitive activities? The chief aim of life is to get rid of all miseries and enjoy happiness, but these two things cannot be realized by fruitive activity. Then Narada Muni explained that, although the King had performed sacrifice lead by Vedic Brhamana’s, the animals injured in those sacrifices were waiting for him to die so they could get revenge.
    We also know that a materialist is implicated in killing living entities when they start a fire or disinfect things. We must eat to survive, but Krishna says if we do not cook for his pleasure we eat only sin. King Nrga engaged in practically unlimited acts of piety but still, due to the nature of this world, an accident happened which resulted in him having to suffer. The Scriptures are filled with examples showing this point.
    Conditioned souls are in this world to enjoy in an illegitimate way and simply existing here requires implication in offensive activities. This is drastically reduced by acting in Krishna Consciousness but it can’t be totally avoided. However, if we exist to serve Krishna we are legitimate if we exist for sense gratification we are guilty.

  8. pustakrishna says :

    Given the complexity of this issue, ie wanton violence in the world, it is remarkable how my fellow bhaktas have used their transcendental intelligence to remark on this topic. Nearly every day we hear about the Syrian conflict between the so called government forces and the rebels. It is amazing how coldly the government can kill its own people to protect its power. This is but an example of the manner in which the world goes on today.

    I remember that in about 1975 or even earlier, Srila Prabhupad used to say that nuclear weapons will again be used one day. I clearly remember on the morning walk, that when asked where such conflict might first take place, His Divine Grace said,’between Pakistan and India”. Internally, I thought that is was perhaps due to nationalistic concerns that he said this, but as the years have gone by, and with the conflict in Kashmir and other terrorist acts in India, one can see the potential. These weapons would be used by terrorists in a heartbeat if they had access to them. It is not so far-fetched any more, indeed.

    With the lust for violence in the world so prevalent, not only by isolated lunatics, but also by organized groups of terrorists and even power hungry governments, we must admit that the prospects for such large-scale violent events are more likely than not to occur. During the so called Cold War between the West and the Eastern block, the idea that MAD (mutually assured destruction) was thought to be a cause for restraint between two powerful nations. However, we have seen the will of terrorists, like self-sacrificing menacing kamakazis, to kill themselves for their cause, places no boundaries of restraint around their potential violent actions or plans.

    Finally, when we delved further into this topic with Srila Prabhupad, and asked him what should one do if confronted with the prospects of nuclear holocaust, His Divine Grace simply said, “Chant Hare Krishna. They see bombs coming, but we see Krishna coming.” Ponder on this as you will, and take his advice to heart. Sincerely, Pusta Krishna das

  9. Part One:

    In subjects such as this one, it is useful to play Devil’s Advocate. As a Devil’s Advocate one can challenge why it is that vegetarian peace-loving devotees should protest animal experimentation if they themselves benefit medically from such cruelty. Better not to speak out against it, otherwise shun all life-saving medication, if you can. What then of wearing leather shoes, leather belts, and having leather furnishings at home.

    Devotees do not have a collective answer to another aspect of violence, this time perpetuated on fellow humans within the womb, as in abortion. Not just ‘normal’ everyday abortion, but the grey area of what to do after a woman is forcibly raped against her will, either through crime, or en masse through ethnic cleansing during war or conflict? Devotees often stumble for answers on this. The usual answer to this is that the state should care for unwanted orphans.

    Another thought on Pusta Krishna Prabhu’s WMD – Weapons of Mass Destruction – and the ‘impending’ world war, is that we may think of it as literally a MAD all-out affair that might reduce most civilazations to rubble, along with food and water supply. Can’t Krishna “change His mind” if need be?

    What we are witnessing at present, or are not supposed to witness, is widespread covert aims to reign in the “Axis of Evil,” and other geographic regions by “Divide and Rule” schemes. Some say this this is similar to the anticipated WW3 but done in other ways.

    It appears that many people are killed through these proxy conflicts, but the facts of the matter are that many more people are killed by road accidents, heart disease and other national death tolls than through war. But should these “Dirty Bombs” or nuclear devices fall into extremist hands, it will present a game-changer for us all.

    The 9/11 incident ushered in a new wave of security measures worldwide, beginning at airports. Leading publications pondered the subject of “Trading Freedom for Security.” Devotees would be concerned if at some stage in the future, that the need for security might also help to chip away at religious freedom.

    There is quite a big ‘if’ and ‘when’ about an upcoming world war. Besides it beginning between India and Pakistan, I have heard devotees say that Srila Prabhupada also said that the Middle-East may spark things off. I haven’t seen anything to verify this.

    Ys Kesava Krsna Dasa.

  10. Part Two:

    But death by any means is still a violent shock to emboded beings. Is there such a thing as ‘peaceful’ death occurring supposedly during sleep, in ignorance? Forceful transmigration is the beginning of another violent, uncomfortable stay in a womb. People wish there were a painless, and comfy way to die. Some lethal injections might provide a minimum of discomfort, but this allowance can only happen in ignorance.

    Ys Kesava Krsna Dasa.

  11. pustakrishna says :

    KeshavaKrishna das Prabhu brings up the issue whether death is violent. Since we are not the body, not of this world, then the illusory connection is actually dreamlike within the body. The issue, in this regard, is not really death, in my opinion, since it does not exist for the jiva soul, but rather understanding the nature of the world. In the introduction to the Bhagavad Gita As It Is, Srila Prabhupad explains that the Bhagavad Gita covers 5 topics: The nature of God, the nature of the individual soul, the nature of time, the nature of the world, and the nature of karma. Only karma is temporary, while the other 4 are eternal, the material world in the sense that the apara-prakriti is one of the eternal energies of Krishna. Hence, what we are discussing in this essay is the manifestation of the modes of passion and ignorance, with an aim to understand the world better. The soul is essentially being born and dying every moment by the process of transmigration of the soul which is taking place now. When we leave the body, by Krishna’s Supreme arrangement and kindness, the living entities transmigrate into another material form suitable to their covered consciousness. Ultimately, Krishna is Mukunda, the liberator of the devoted souls. He is very kind and nurturing to the bhaktas. But, living in the material world, where both the godly and the demoniac live side by side, it is wise to try to understand something of the nature of the world, and the modes of nature. In the Kali Yuga, the Sankirtan movement uses the weapons of kirtan, kartal, mridanga and transcendental knowledge. Always be grateful to our spiritual teachers for providing a real alternative to the phantasmagoria that is material life.
    And, regarding the apparent hypocrisy that exists when devotees might use technologically based things for themselves, the principle to remember is “utility”. It was introduced by Srila Rupa Goswami, and exemplified by Srila Bhatisiddhanta Saraswati Thakur Prabhupad when he used an automobile for transportation. “Whatever is favorable for use in devotional service is acceptable, and may be accepted…and what is unfavorable for Krishna’s devotional service is to be rejected.” This can take various forms based upon the austere or less austere nature of the bhakta…Srila Raghunath das only would take a little milk for his intake, while others might partake of opulent prasadam. Remember Krishna, never forget Krishna. Pusta Krishna das

  12. Kulapavana says :

    The young man who is held responsible for the massacre in Aurora is clearly a severely deranged individual and thus speculating on the connection between his experiments on animals and his crimes is of rather dubious value. How many of the hundreds of thousands people involved in animal testing worldwide become mass murderers? Probably a statistically insignificant number. Thus trying to establish a link between the two is at best unconvincing. Perhaps a much better Krsna-conscious angle to explore in this sad story is “what caused this apparently very intelligent young man to lose his mind and act out this tragedy?” Was it his post graduate work? Was it society around him?
    This person is perhaps not merely just a villain to be despised, but also someone we may want to treat with some compassion and make an attempt to understand his regrettable actions from a spiritual perspective.

  13. Part One:

    An interesting viewpoint from Kulapavana Prabhu. Of course there are circumstantial causes for the mass killer’s undoing, including a Batman villain idiosyncrasy.

    Devotees are compassionate, but where does this fit in with the need for justice? Devotees will feel for his dark future and lack of Krishna consciousness, then what of the numerous victims? Who deserves more compassion?

    Draupadi felt compassionate towards Dronacarya’s son, Asvattama, fresh after the infanticide on her sons. Yet Krishna spared Asvattamas life but condemned him to an even more miserable fate of perpetually wandering earth with an unhealed head wound and so on. Here we see a type of justice meted out after compassionate womanly intervention.

    People are concerned nowadays that wrongdoers or criminals have more rights than the victims. Human rights has helped the cause of victims of conscience. Prisoners are given opportunities to change their ways through religion or Krishna consciousness. Once uttering the holy names of the Lord sincerely can mitigate all past wrongdoings.

    In the case of this young man and many others like him, one can claim victimisation to the system we live in, so voidist and impersonal, that we may wonder whether Natural justice or man-made justice applies.

    I would be surprised if any of the numerous family members of his victims would gladly agree with the proposition of feeling compassion for the killer who ruined lives, families and human expectations. The Vedic version of justice would more err on the side of the victims.

    What makes this case unusual is that we have an academidically gifted young man doing the totally unexpected. Though we may not attribute full blame for his killing spree on his chosen line of discipline and study, still, the greater cause of an outlook that minimises the sanctity of life, animal or human, and which compares it to collateral units, must factor in.

    Then we have human history being cluttered with religious vilence committed by God fearing people. So being either religious or atheistic does not really distinguish. Educated doctors and psychiatrists helped in cruel human experimentation for the Nazis, with authrourised backing of the state.

    Jarasandha was a gentleman towards brahmanas but inimical towards Krishna. Baddies are portrayed as victims. Is this young man also a victim who created hundreds of other extended victims in a moment of madness?

    Ys Kesava Krsna Dasa,

  14. Part Two:

    Whether his actions are justified or not, we are all ultimately victims of inexplicable gross or subtle violence coming from adidaivic/bhautic/atmic sources. When, why and how these suffering occur may be beyond our power of reckoning. As such, compassion is reserved for all, who deserve it from a non-vaisnava perspective. A vaisnava sees all as deserving of compassion.

    Ys Kesava Krsna Dasa.

  15. pustakrishna says :

    Kulapavana Prabhu’s comments are well-taken. About 1% of people suffer from a condition called schizophrenia. It is defined as a ‘disorder in the form of thought.’ Instead of thoughts having a more or less logical progression from A to B to C…, the thoughts may be disjointed and go from A to H to C, etc. The form of thought is erratic. In addition, these individuals may have auditory or visual hallucinations. They can also suffer from paranoia, hence another term paranoid schizophrenic. These are real conditions, and the individual may feel compelled to react to the hallucinations or paranoid delusions as their master. I recall in medical school, when I rotated through psychiatry, I had one young man as a patient who was confined because he had acted out violently toward someone who came to the door of his mother’s home where he lived. He was receiving “messages from the flag”. As bizarre as that sounds, his hallucinations were very, very real to him. He would stand in the middle of a conversation and salute a flag unseen by any except him. He was not at all playing a game.
    Such persons are not treated by psychiatric counsel or discussions. They require anti-psychotic medications, which may be, but are not always, effective. Delusions can persist. Fortunately for everyone, such delusions rarely become violent springboards to act out and hurt others. I know that there are many out there, especially scientologists, who abhor psychiatry, but the persistence of schizophrenia throughout the world exists. And, certainly, the media, with its violent presentations for ‘entertainment’ may play a big role in the manner in which mentally ill persons might act out. We surely have and have had bhaktas who suffer from schizophrenia in the Krishna consciousness movement. It is both statistically likely, and some who see the world through unconventional thought processes have often gravitated to mysticism. We all have some experience with this phenomenon. We must try to be compassionate, but for goodness sake, if you find such an individual amongst the ranks, do not try to take away their anti-psychotic medication thinking that the Holy Names will cure them of their delusional thought process. I have heard of disasters, even fatal, amongst some of the bhaktas who were mal-managed in this regard. Please recognize what you don’t know, along with what you do know. Pusta Krishna das

  16. Kulapavana says :

    Keshava-ji… I am not arguing that somehow due to our compassion his punishment should be made lighter – not at all. He definitely deserves a severe punishment as provided by the law in such cases. What more, a big part of justice is making sure the punishment of offenders deters future crime in society by setting a warning to others. So it is not about judicial leniency for him, but for seeing him with a compassionate heart as a lost soul he without doubt is. It is easy to feel compassion for the victims but much, much harder to feel genuine compassion for the villains. And true compassion in such cases can only come from a true spiritual vision.