Hare Krishna dear devotees,
Some times we get confused between what exactly is sin and what is reaction? What is the difference between these two? I recently heard a very nice explanation by HH Bhaktividya Purna maharaj and I am copying it’s transcript.
What is the difference between reaction and sin?
HH Bhaktividya Purna Maharaj :
Reaction will be you are put into the same situation in which you are giving that trouble, and you are on the other side. That’s reaction. Sin means going to hell for some time and going through all the animal species to be punished before you come to that situation.
The person who according to the Vedic literature kills an animal in sacrifice there is no sin. He’ll be elevated, the animal will be elevated. As far as karma-kanda goes it looks good all the way round . But there is still reaction that in the future the person that performed the sacrifice will be the animal, and the animal will be the person performing he sacrifice. Now the animal will get to sacrifice you. But it’s all good, it’s all pious activity. This is the downside. The reaction is there but they won’t go to hell for killing the animal and take birth in so many animal species. It’s still circle. That’s why if one is intelligent one worships Krsna and gets out of that, because it’s stupid. Even though it’s on this nicest level it’s still stupid. Most of the time the two go together, when there is sin there is reaction. But when you perform pious activities you can have reaction without sin. Just like you can have a good reaction and there is no sin. So you can also have a bad reaction without sin. But technically it’s all considered sinful because it’s not connected to the Lord. Good and bad when it’s not connected to the Lord it’s sin.
(Lecture, 26th Oct. 2010)
All glories to Srila Prabhupada