Karma and Kṣatriyas (06/17/12)
Q. The example is given that a soldier is not liable for actions committed under orders from a superior officer. Is the same true of an employee and employer?
Answer: That means a soldier under a kṣatriya who is protecting dharma. Not a soldier in an invading army who is killing innocent people to gain natural resources or to expand empire. In that case the soldier is liable for his actions.
A kṣatriya is not just any ‘Joe’ with an army. A kṣatriya is trained in the laws of dharma and always acts to protect dharma and to protect from invaders. A kṣatriya is never an invader of a sovereign country.
Q. For example, if I run a freight company and my customers are shipping animal products, do I, as the owner, collect karma for that? As an employee of a company that may occasionally ship animal products am I liable? Is their a distinction between the owner, the employee and the person commissioning the service? Obviously the person shipping the animal product is karmically liable.
Answer: Everyone in the meat industry, and similar vikarma activities, is involved in a part of the karma due to their participation. Thus the owner, the employee and the person commissioning the service all have a share in the karma when a vikarma (sinful activity) is performed.
I have some grhastha disciples who work in the software industry, but I always remind them that the software they make for big fourtune 500 companies is often used in meat related activities and therefore they are involved in the karmic reaction. But these devotees are helplessly stuck in gṛhastha life and have to continue their work. So it is basically a given that a gṛhastha will incur some karma in the world. The only persons completely free from karmic reactions are those that do everything for the pleasure of Kṛṣṇa.
Q. What is first ācamana or tilaka, or is tilaka applied immediately after
bath without ācamana?
Either way is fine. One first or the other first is more of a personal preference rather than a rule to be followed.