Results 1 to 7 of 7

Thread: Dharma and Capital Punishment

  1. #1
    Join Date
    March 2006
    Location
    Govinda Lokam
    Age
    41
    Posts
    738
    Rep Power
    348

    Dharma and Capital Punishment

    I had some discussions on Capital Punishment long time ago on another forum. I had voiced on the need for such a punishment on the worst on criminals, while many people talked about the need to be more humane, and some people even accused Capital Punishment as a wicked doctrine.

    Let us discuss this here, mainly from the point of view of Dharma, and also from social and cultural perspectives.

    Is this law to be global and universal? Or restricted to certain places as we have now? Or should be completely banned?
    Under what circumstances should this be employed?
    How does Capital Punishment compare to life imprisonment?
    Does Captial Punishment serve as a deterrent to violent crime?
    etc
    Guard your Dharma, Burn the Myth, Promote the Truth, Crush the superstition.

  2. #2

    Re: Dharma and Capital Punishment

    I had read a treatise on "Danda Niti" of ancient India long ago.
    Need to collect a copy of it again I think.

    Death penalty is oviously correct for some criminals.
    But Judgement should be absolutely fair.
    But

  3. #3
    Join Date
    March 2006
    Location
    Italy
    Age
    32
    Posts
    625
    Rep Power
    161

    Re: Dharma and Capital Punishment

    Namaste all.
    By http://www.srimadbhagavatam.org/canto1/chapter7.html
    Please read Srimad Bhagavata Purana,Canto 1,Chapter 7.
    (13-14) When on the battlefield of Kurukshetra the warriors of the Pândavas and the Kauravas had found their heroic fate and the son of King Dhritarâshthra was lamenting his broken spine due to being beaten by the club of Bhîma, the son of Dronâcârya [As'vatthâmâ] thought to please his master Duryodhana by delivering the heads of the sleeping sons of Draupadî as a prize - but the master disapproved of this heinous act. (15) The mother of the children [of the Pândavas], hearing of the massacre cried bitter tears in lamentation. Arjuna [who headed the Pândavas], trying to pacify her said: (16) 'I can only take the tears from your eyes away o gentle lady, when the head of that fallen learned aggressor is shot of by the arrows of my bow Gândiva. I will present it to you to stand on for taking your bath, after I have burnt the bodies of your sons.' (17) Satisfying her by these words got Arjuna, he who is guided by the Infallible One, being armed and equipped on his chariot to persecute As'vatthâmâ, the son of his martial teacher. (18) Seeing him approaching furiously from a distance, the murderer of the princes panicked and fled in great speed on his chariot to save his life, like Sűrya did fleeing from S'iva[*]. (19) Seeing himself unprotected when his horses got tired, the son of the twice-born [As'vatthâmâ] resorted, only thinking of himself, to the ultimate weapon [the brahmâstra]. (20) Thereto touching water and concentrating on reciting the mantras, he put life in great danger, not knowing how to stop the process. (21) A glaring light spread in all directions that fierce, that seeing the life threat Arjuna turned to the Lord [who drove his chariot] and said: (22) 'O, Krishna, Krishna, You are the Almighty that takes away the fears of the devotees, You alone are the path of liberation for those suffering in the midst of material miseries. (23) You are by transcendence the original enjoyer and direct controller of the material energy; You are the one who by His own internal potency in the bliss and knowledge of Your own Self casts off the material illusion. (24) From that position are You, in the heart of the ones materially entangled, by Your influence executing the ultimate good of the four principles that characterize the liberation [truth, cleanliness, austerity and compassion]. (25) Thus You incarnate to remove the burden of the material world for the satisfaction and remembrance of Your friends and pure devotees. (26) O Lord of Lords, I don't know where this highly dangerous, dazzling light spreading all around originates from.' (27) The Supreme Lord said: 'Take it from Me that it is of the son of Drona, who threw the weapon of mantras, not even knowing how to retract it facing the imminence of his death. (28) Nothing else can counter this weapon but another one; in fact you will have to subdue this immense glare by means of the dazzle of your own martial expertise'."

    (29) Sűta said: "After hearing what the Supreme Lord said, Arjuna in the opposition of battle, touched water himself circumambulating the Lord and took up the supreme weapon. (30) Thereupon of the combined glare of the two weapons the whole firmament and outer space was covered by an expanding ball of fire as bright as the sun. (31) Seeing the heat of both of them affecting all the inhabitants of the three worlds, one was reminded of the fire of annihilation at the end of time [sâmvartaka]. (32) Realizing this disturbance of the people in general and of their places, Arjuna by the command of Vâsudeva, retracted both the weapons. (33) Then Arjuna, angered with eyes red like copper, arrested the son of Gautamî, binding him skillfully with ropes as if it concerned an animal. (34) Having bound up the enemy and bringing him by force to the military camp, the Supreme Lord looking on with lotus eyes said to the angered Arjuna: (35) 'Never let this relative of the learned go for he has killed innocent boys in their sleep. (36) One who knows the principles of religion is afraid to kill an enemy who is careless, intoxicated, insane, asleep, of tender age, a woman, foolish, a surrendered soul or someone who lost his chariot. (37) One who thinks he can properly maintain his own life at the cost of the lives of others by shameless and wretched killing, can certainly be killed for his own good for he will bring himself down by his own fault. (38) I personally heard you promised the daughter of the king of Pâńcâla the head of him who you consider to be the killer of your sons. (39) He, being not more than the burnt ashes of his family, an offending sinner who is responsible for the murdering of your sons and one who displeased his own master, will therefore be killed'."


    It seems that Lord Krishna agrees with death penality.
    Om Sri Kalikayai Namah

  4. #4
    Join Date
    March 2006
    Location
    Italy
    Age
    32
    Posts
    625
    Rep Power
    161

    Re: Dharma and Capital Punishment

    Now please read the Prabhupada's translation and purport of verse 37.Please note that I will not paste the whole purport but just the beginning.The whole purport would off topic.
    By http://www.srimadbhagavatam.com/1/7/37/en

    Bhaktivedanta VedaBase: Śrīmad Bhāgavatam 1.7.37

    sva-prāṇān yaḥ para-prāṇaiḥ

    prapuṣṇāty aghṛṇaḥ khalaḥ

    tad-vadhas tasya hi śreyo

    yad-doṣād yāty adhaḥ pumān

    SYNONYMS

    sva-prāṇān — one's own life; yaḥ — one who; para-prāṇaiḥ — at the cost of others' lives; prapuṣṇāti — maintains properly; aghṛṇaḥ — shameless; khalaḥ — wretched; tat-vadhaḥ — killing of him; tasya — his; hi — certainly; śreyaḥ — well-being; yat — by which; doṣāt — by the fault; yāti — goes; adhaḥ — downwards; pumān — a person.

    TRANSLATION

    A cruel and wretched person who maintains his existence at the cost of others' lives deserves to be killed for his own well-being, otherwise he will go down by his own actions.

    PURPORT

    A life for a life is just punishment for a person who cruelly and shamelessly lives at the cost of another's life. Political morality is to punish a person by a death sentence in order to save a cruel person from going to hell. That a murderer is condemned to a death sentence by the state is good for the culprit because in his next life he will not have to suffer for his act of murder. Such a death sentence for the murderer is the lowest possible punishment offered to him, and it is said in the smṛti-śāstras that men who are punished by the king on the principle of a life for a life are purified of all their sins, so much so that they may be eligible for being promoted to the planets of heaven.

    -------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Regards,
    Orlando.
    Om Sri Kalikayai Namah

  5. #5

    Re: Dharma and Capital Punishment

    Namaste all,

    interesting discussion.

    though my view on this has changed quite a bit as this form has existed, i see no value in the death penalty whatsoever. in fact, i see detriment to the entire society as a result.

    there are no studies which conclusively show that death penalty states have fewer incidents of violent crime. if a being is motivated to take the life of another being no form of deterrent would stop this from happening, especially if this deterrent is dependent upon the perpetrator being apprehended. strangely, most criminals think that they will actually get away with their crime.

    taking the life of one being does not restore the life of the other. the death penalty, in most cases, strikes me as nothing but revenge cloaked in the veneer of justice and, in some cases, religion.

    taking the life of a sentient being has tremendous karmic consequences and there doesn't really seem to be anyway around it... well.. there is, but that isn't really germane to our discussion at this point.

    so, to sum up, i would have to say that i find no value in such a punishment and frequenly find much wrong with it.

    metta,

    ~v
    Meditation brings Wisdom, lack of meditation leaves ignorance. Know well what leads you forward and what holds you back.

    ~Buddha Shakyamuni

    *******************************

    I have gained this from philosophy:

    That i do, without being commanded, what others do only through fear of Law.

    ~Aristotle

  6. #6
    Join Date
    March 2006
    Location
    mrityuloka
    Age
    48
    Posts
    3,724
    Rep Power
    329

    Re: Dharma and Capital Punishment

    Quote Originally Posted by Vajradhara
    taking the life of a sentient being has tremendous karmic consequences and there doesn't really seem to be anyway around it... well.. there is, but that isn't really germane to our discussion at this point.
    ~v
    That's a tease eh?

    Okay, I will bite...what's the way 'around' it (karmic consequences)?
    satay

  7. #7

    Re: Dharma and Capital Punishment

    Quote Originally Posted by satay
    That's a tease eh?

    Okay, I will bite...what's the way 'around' it (karmic consequences)?
    Namaste Satay,

    well, being a Buddha, of course

    Buddhas do not produce positive or negative karma, neither do Arhants or Bodhisattvas for that matter.

    metta,

    ~v
    Meditation brings Wisdom, lack of meditation leaves ignorance. Know well what leads you forward and what holds you back.

    ~Buddha Shakyamuni

    *******************************

    I have gained this from philosophy:

    That i do, without being commanded, what others do only through fear of Law.

    ~Aristotle

Thread Information

Users Browsing this Thread

There are currently 1 users browsing this thread. (0 members and 1 guests)

Bookmarks

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •