It is well known to all that the approach of IPC is to punish a person for the crime he/she commits. However, in complete contrast to this, the approach of spiritual prudence, is not to punish but to reform the criminal. The criminal jurisprudence recognises that if a person, who commits crime is of unsound mind or is incapable of judgement by reason of intoxication, or is a minor, then his action, even if violative of a law, will not be considered as an offence and the person will not be punished. But in spiritual prudence, it is thought that even if a person is not a minor but a major and even if he is not ‘insane' in the commonly known connotation of the term, he is still of unsound mind when he commits a crime.
Another difference between the criminal jurisprudence and spiritual prudence is that, according to the latter, a murder, theft, etc., committed by anyone, of whatever age or whatever state of mind, is a sin even though its severity and the punishment it would attract in course of time, may vary according to the age, state of mind or intent of the person. A sin is a sin even if it is not a crime. The Divine Law will take its course; it has its own procedure code. That is why even if a person may escape punishment for crime by any means, he cannot escape punishment for his sins.
So, the efforts of spiritual prudence are addressed to changing a person's belief systems, applying corrective measures to his outlook, attitudes, urges and tendencies, taking steps for empowerment of his self so that he/she may be able to stand the whirlwind of hard and adverse circumstances, giving him/her a firm anchor in right type of values, providing him/her with a worthy role model and a vision of a better world, enabling him-her to have self-respect and stability in his true identity by means of facile or easy technique of meditation. It should be noted that spiritual prudence does not say that a person be not given punishment by authority of law and through due legal process, however it has compassion for the sinner and takes the aforesaid steps. One, however, wonders why they, who are doing great service to the society through jurisprudence, do not recommend, advocate, or promote this kind of process in jails, remand homes, reform centres and also in schools and colleges and universities so that we can gradually move towards the new paradigm of a crimeless society.
The writer is a spiritual educator and popular columnist for publications across India, Nepal and the UK. He can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org/www.brahmakumaris.com