By Tamohara das
Dear Visakha Priya Mataji, Hare Krishna,
I see that you have struggled with, and apparently succeeded, with the issue of forgiveness in your own life. While the nature of a brahman is to forgive, it is still the duty of those entrusted with the administration of society to assure that religious principles are enforced.
I think there is another way to understand the story of Vak and Lord Brahma. First, Srila Prabhupada very clearly states in one of the first purports that this was NOT the Brahma who was instructed from within by Krsna, and became the founder of our sampradaya (Brahma is a post, not a person). Prabhupada says that this Brahma with the daughter Vak is from a different kalpa. If he were enlightened from with the heart (as our Brahma was) he could not have done such a sinful act. So, it is NOT true that the Brahma who heads our samppradaya lusted after his daughter. So, rest assured, the foundation of our disciplic line in not threatened.
Now, it is also noteworthy to follow the rest of the story. What happened to this Brahma? He had to give up his body! Prabhupada states in a purport in that chapter:
“The best way to compensate for one’s sinful acts is to give up one’s body at once, and Brahmâ‚¬, the leader of the living entities, showed this by his personal example. Brahmâ‚¬ has a fabulous duration of life, but he was obliged to give up his body due to his grievous sin, even though he had merely contemplated it in his mind without having actually done it. This is a lesson for the living entities, showing how sinful an act it is to indulge in unrestricted sex life. Even to think of abominable sex life is sinful, and to compensate for such acts, one has to give up his body. In other words, one’s duration of life, blessings, opulence, etc., are decreased by sinful acts, and the most dangerous type of sinful act is unrestricted sex”.
This is hardly an endorsement of this Brahma’s lust for his own daughter. Even thinking about this act required him to give up his body. Prabhupada repeatedly, over and over, throughout this chapter uses words like sinful, abominable, etc to describe this behavior.
If one should really give up one’s body if one even thought about abusing one’s child, why is so difficult to simply ask child abusers to step down from a high position and become a humble devotee?
Your servant, Tamohara das