Sages of the New Covenant
Perhaps the biggest reason to ban the death penalty is that it doesn't change the fact that the victim is gone and will never come back. Hate, revenge, and anger will never cure the emptiness of a lost loved one. Death Penalty is useless in that it doesn't bring the victim back to life. Forgiveness is the only way to start the healing process, and this won't happen in a revenge-focused individual.
Death Penalty is a human invention. In the process of having domain over the animals, he has been traumatizing them, by killing them and later scaring the others by exhibiting them. For example in Indian villages there used to be system to hung feathers of a dead crow while drying paddies on the street with the sole aim of scaring the other crows. Similarly to have dominion over the other human beings, man invented death penalty to sub-due other human being.
When Cain committed the first murder in this world, God did not punish Cain with death penalty; instead he cursed him as follows:
“So now you are cursed from the Earth, which has opened its mouth to receive your brother’s blood from your hand. When you till the ground, it shall no longer yield its strength to you. A fugitive and vagabond you shall be on the Earth.”– Genesis 4:11 & 12
The God set a mark on Cain, lest anyone finding him should kill him. From this it is very clear that God never approved vengeance.
The Commandments given by God to both Manu (Noah) and Moses prohibits: Murder; but God did not advocate vengeance among people. This concept is very much supported by the following verses:
“You shall not take vengeance, nor bear any grudge against the children of your people, but you shall love your neighbors as yourself; as I am the Lord.”
Jesus took a daring stand when everyone when the woman who was caught in adultery and was about to be stoned. His prophetic statement: “He that is without sin among you, let him cast the first stone" (John 8:7), saved her life from those who caught her sinning. In addition Jesus simply said:
“Neither do I condemn you; go and sin no more.” - John 8:11
The Bible also serves a history book of the World. God brought the Israelites out of compassion, as they were slaves in Egypt. But this liberated slaves, later became hegemonic about their religiosity and invented Capital Punishment, which is evident in the following verses from the Bible: Deut 13: 6-10 and 17:5. This must have happened around 1330 B.C. The punishment that was invented to consolidate the allegiance of Israelites to Jehovah later extended to other offences like adultery and murder. Still during that very same period they had build ‘Cities of Refuge’, so that manslayers could escape such punishment. Later during the 8th century B.C., the Babylonians systemized the practice of death penalty, when they started conquering other nations; and later the Roman made it more brutal.
It needs to be recognized from the outset that in many cases the transition to alternatives will require a change in prison policies and funding. Undoubtedly, the cost of an execution in many countries compares very favorably with the resources needed to establish and maintain the alternative of effective humane imprisonment followed by community supervision. However, this issue is a key aspect of public awareness-raising and of informing opinion makers in order to move the debate forward into the replacement of the death penalty.
Paper presented on 6thJanuary, 2014 during the plenary session: ‘Is Nonviolent Future Possible?’ of the 8th International Conference On Peace And Nonviolent Action (8TH ICPNA) at Jaipur on the theme: ‘Towards a Nonviolent Future: Seeking Realistic Models for Peaceful Co-existence and Sustainability' is available in PDF format for Free Download. Please download to read:
Watch the first portion of Video during the paper presentation:
The Project Cain of the Sages of the New Covenant is a proactive solution to Capital Punishment.
We propose four sample projects
It is believed that there are 477 prisoners who are facing death row in India. As a trail project, we urge the government of India to allot a place and resources, where 12 inmates could be accommodated in a remote place. This place will function as an ashram. The qualification to enter this ashram is those, whose mercy petitions are rejected by the President of India and Stay petitions to execute is rejected. The family members will have to believe that the one who was condemned to death is no more; though he will start a new life as an ashramite.
During British rule, prisoners were sent to Andaman’s to start a new life in a distant place, in accessible to the friends and relatives of the convicts. Similarly, if Indian can enter into a bi-lateral relationship with any of its friendly country and inside the Indian Embassy in that country an ashram can be created and 12 prisoners facing death row may be permitted to live in exile along with Swami Sthevananda.
In USA, in several states the death penalty is in vogue. India could persuade with Government of India and an ashram could be created in the US embassy in India, where 12 prisoners facing death row can live in exile in India as an ashramite along with Swami Sthevananda.
This will be initiated in collaboration with the United Christian Ashram. They have to apportion one of their ashram, functioning in the State, where death penalty is abolished for this purpose and persuade the respect states to send 12 prisoners facing death row to this ashram, where they would lead a life as an ashramite along with Swami Sthevananda.
All the 12 inmates have to adopt Swami Sthevananda as their Guru and the ashram will function like a ‘vanaprastha ashram’, where spiritual orientation will be given; in addition, they will be encouraged to profess their own occupation, so that the ashram can sustain its financial needs.
On successful running of this project, voluntary Probationary Officers will be trained in the ashram to start similar ashrams to accommodate others prisoners, where they will be serving like the Gurus. The long term aim will be too make the deserving inmate as Gurus.
Till the governments see the successful running of this project, they have to bring a temporary five year moratorium on other prisoners, who are on the death row.
Aim of this Ashram:
To bring-out the Aurobindo in these condemned prisoners.
This project is an outcome of our remedy save few prisoners in death row. This project has to be fine-tuned with your creative ideas and solutions. Hence, we solicit your ideas, so that a ‘Way Forward’ could be worked-out and based in the blueprint we develop, this Project Cain is experiment and give as a gift to prison systems of the world.
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Sages of the New Covenant