Chapter 29: Power Corrupts People
Perhaps Sheela right now is repenting what she has done. She had taken almost twenty peoples group from here. One of them has written from halfway, she is here back, she was afraid that she will not be accepted. We said, “That is not the question. You are not the problem. Your action. And if you feel that it was wrong and if you are ready to accept its consequences courageously, our love is for you, but our love is not for anything antilegal. So if law finds you, and we will. If we find, deliver you to the law.
And those who have been phoning, the mayor of the city, Krishna Deva, phoned and he was crying on the phone that it was not right to leave. My people informed me. I said, “If he wants to come back, this is his home, but make it clear that anything that he has committed against law, we will not support and we will expose him to the law. So that he has to decide.
The situation has completely changed. The people who were putting the whole community against law have left. It feels cleaner. And if those twenty people come by themselves or are brought by the police back to America, our love for them will remain the same. But what they have done they have to suffer the consequences of it. It is their action and the result has to be accepted. I want to inform the government that we will be now in a strange position. We are not against the state, against the government. The group who was against has left. Now we will be all for the state and for the government and for the law even against those people. We do not want to support any illegality.
And if we are against in any cases fighting government, it is because only they are going against the basic constitutional rights of human beings. We are always for American Constitution. So who commits the crime does not matter. But crime is an act, a small thing in the big life of a being. For that small act the whole being cannot be condemned.
That’s why I am against death sentence. A man has murdered somebody and you murder the man! Then the society is committing the same immoral, inhuman act as the person. But because the society has power and the courts and the law, so it can continue. The best thing would be that if you find that somebody has murdered he should be given to the psychiatrist, psychologist. He should be put in a mental institute. Something is wrong with the man, but his dignity as a human being should not be humiliated. He should be cured. He is sick.
Do you know that in the middle ages a madman was thought to be a criminal and the only cure was to beat him, to take his blood out, so much so that he will become very weak. Naturally when he becomes very weak his madness also becomes very weak. They thought this is a cure. Now we know madness is not a crime, it is a sickness.
My understanding is that all criminal acts are sick and the person needs our sympathy, not our revenge, otherwise we are no more different than the person. He needs sympathy. You cannot by putting him into a electric chair bring the dead man back whom he has murdered, so what is the point? It has been said that this is to teach others not to murder. That is simply stupid.