What is ‘SIN’ as per the Scriptures? Definition of Sin & Tips to avoid sins!
A male devotee (Name hidden asked like this:
“What is a Sin? Please discuss all relevant aspects related to it, stating which lines of Bhagvad gita relate to it.”
WHAT IS CALLED SIN?
As per the definition, any immoral act considered to be a transgression against divine law is called sin.
Simply, any act against the recommendations of the scriptures is sin.
Sins are of two types as per BHAGAVAD GITA:
(1) Doing what one should not do. [performance of acts that come under ‘adharma’]
(2) Not doing what one should do [non-performance of your ‘dharma’]
(Using intoxicants or other Violations while chanting – Will Krishna accept? READ HERE!)
EXPLANATION OF BOTH THE ABOVE CASES:
BHAGAVAD GITA (3.13) says:
“The devotees of the Lord are released from all kinds of sins because they eat food which is offered first for sacrifice. Others, who prepare food for personal sense enjoyment, verily eat only sin.
BHAGAVAD GITA (2.33) says:
If, however, you do not perform your religious duty of fighting, then you will certainly incur sins for neglecting your duties and thus lose your reputation as a fighter.
You may ask next like this:
“If performance of adharma and non-performance of dharma is sinful, how does one determine one’s dharma?”
(VIOLATIONS BETWEEN GIRLS AND BOYS – HOW TO AVOID IT? READ HERE!)
Dharma is determined by one’s varna and Ashrama. The scriptures describe what is the svadharma of people in different varnas and Ashramas and that is what is supposed to be followed.
FOUR LEGS (PILLARS) OF DHARMA
Srimad Bhagavatham states that dharma is a cow that stands on the following four legs:
Daya (Mercy) and
In Satya Yuga, all the four legs existed; In Treta Yuga, Only three legs existed; In Dvapar Yuga, only two legs existed; And, in this kaliyuga, Only One Leg of dharma exists. That means, the dharma devatha (Cow) stands on a single leg. So, the deterioration of dharma can be seen everywhere in this Kaliyuga.
(4 GATEWAYS OF SINS IN OUR BODY DEVIATING US FROM KRISHNA! READ HERE!)
Sanatana dharma has been based on the following four purposes:
(1) Dharma (righteousness, moral values);
(2) Artha (prosperity, economic values),
(3) Kama (pleasure, love, psychological values) and
(4) Moksha (liberation, spiritual values).
(1) Brahmana (Vedic learning and preaching);
(2) Kshatriyas (Protectors of the country);
(3) Vaishyas (Business class), and
(4) Sudras (Working Class)
These four Varnas should join hands and work together for the entire world. If there is no balance in these varnas, the society will face chaos..
The following are the four stages of a person according to Varnashrama dharma. This way of transformation of life will help to avoid sinful acts.
(1) Brahmacharya (Student life – Learning dharma);
(2) Grahastha (Family life – Following dharma with wife);
(3) Vanaprastha (Following life without sex while living with wife);
(4) Sanyasa (Retiring from family life and dedicating oneself to preach dharma).
(Guilt of past sins in life! Great tips to come out of them in a devotional way! READ HERE!)
LIST OF SINS
Our Scriptures advise to avoid the following sins. Avoiding them is the act of strengthening the dharma:
(1) Meat eating;
(3) Intoxication; and
(4) Illicit Sex.
These four are the root cause of all the sins that many scriptures list here and there. If we avoid the above four, WE CAN NOT COMMIT ANY SINS.
LIST OF MOST SERIOUS SINS
Thomas Aquinas has listed SEVEN MOST DEADLY SINS:
(1) vainglory, or pride,
(2) greed, or covetousness,
(3) lust, or inordinate or illicit sexual desire,
(5) gluttony, which is usually understood to include drunkenness,
(6) wrath, or anger, and
(64 REGULATIVE PRINCIPLES FOR VAISHNAVAS FROM HARI BHAKTA VILASA! READ HERE!)
SRILA PRABHUPADA says in BHAGAVAD GITA AS IT IS: (16-23):
“He who discards scriptural injunctions and acts according to his own whims attains neither perfection, nor happiness, nor the supreme destination.”
He says in Purport:
As described before, the ‘sastra-vidhi’, or the direction of the sastra, is given to the different castes and orders of human society. Everyone is expected to follow these rules and regulations. If one does not follow them and acts whimsically according to his lust, greed and desire, then he never will be perfect in his life. In other words, a man may theoretically know all these things, but if he does not apply them in his own life, then he is to be known as the lowest of mankind. In the human form of life, a living entity is expected to be sane and to follow the regulations given for elevating his life to the highest platform, but if he does not follow them, then he degrades himself. But even if he follows the rules and regulations and moral principles and ultimately does not come to the stage of understanding the Supreme Lord, then all his knowledge becomes spoiled. And even if he accepts the existence of God, if he does not engage himself in the service of the Lord his attempts are spoiled. Therefore one should gradually raise himself to the platform of Krsna consciousness and devotional service; it is then and there that he can attain the highest perfectional stage, not otherwise.
SRILA PRABHUPADA further says in BHAGAVAD GITA AS IT IS (16-24):
“One should therefore understand what is duty and what is not duty by the regulations of the scriptures. Knowing such rules and regulations, one should act so that he may gradually be elevated.”
(What is the need of hells since we forget our sins while after death? READ HERE!)
PURPORT (A Part is given):
“…………….One who is directly engaged in all these devotional activities is to be understood as having studied all Vedic literature. He has come to the conclusion perfectly. Of course, for the ordinary persons who are not in Krsna consciousness or who are not engaged in devotional service, what is to be done and what is not to be done must be decided by the injunctions of the Vedas. One should act accordingly, without argument. That is called following the principles of sastra, or scripture.
Sastra is without the four principal defects that are visible in the conditioned soul: imperfect senses, the propensity for cheating, certainty of committing mistakes, and certainty of being illusioned. These four principal defects in conditioned life disqualify one from putting forth rules and regulations. Therefore, the rules and regulations as described in the sastra being above these defects — are accepted without alteration by all great saints, acaryas and great souls.”
Hope this reply gives you complete picture of sin as per Bhagavad Gita, other scriptures and authors.
(How to repent for our past illicit activities and sins? READ HERE!)