Posted June 3, 2004
The recent article of Madhava Gosh, upon examination, is basically contradictory. While he rightly states that Varnasrama Dharma means that the strong should protect the weak, further on he claims that whether the war in Iraq is actually doing this is irrelevant- a soldier must do his duty. In other words, a soldier must do his duty, even if it is against the codes of varnasrama. Thus, it appears that Mr. Gosh is recommending action that is against Krishna's blueprint for humanity- that which is sinful. How is it "protection of the weak" when these soldiers are every day causing the deaths of weak and innocent human beings- mothers, children and the elderly? Srila Prabhupada said that even if there is duty a devotee must be intelligent; blind following is always condemned and leads to certain falldown into the ditch of samsara.
I am surprised, amazed actually, that devotees consistently compare Arjuna and Kuruksetra with the dilemma of a soldier in the Iraq fiasco, where fighting according to religious principles is conspicuously absent. Religious principles are never irrelevant- they help keep us from descending to the level of animal life. They are as relevant on the battlefield as anywhere else.
Devotees should therefore file for conscientious objector status on the
grounds that their religious principles only permit violence wherefrom there
is no chance whatsoever that those unwilling to fight will be harmed in any
way, for to do so is considered murder. Furthermore, violence is only
permitted for devotees when the so-called enemy has equal capacity,
otherwise it is considered unjust. I think that the U.S. military would
have a tough time guaranteeing these conditions.