Rules are restraining, aren’t they? Take a fresh look.
“Obedience is first discipline.” Conversation, 12 December 1970, Indore
Rules For Purification
Those who are full of dirty things can take to the line of Krishna consciousness for a gradual cleansing process, following the regulative principles of devotional service. (Bhagavad-gita 4.15, purport)
The Vedic rites and rituals are imperative for neophytes: comprehending all kinds of prayer three times a day, taking a bath early in the morning, offering respects to the forefathers, etc. But when one is fully in Krishna consciousness and is engaged in Krishna transcendental loving service, one becomes indifferent to all these regulative principles because he has already attained perfection. (Bhagavad-gita 2.52, purport)
Regulative Principles Help Mental Equilibrium
Concerning the eightfold yoga system, attempts in the beginning to enter into meditation through regulative principles of life and practice of different sitting postures (which are more or less bodily exercises) are considered fruitive material activities. All such activities lead to achieving perfect mental equilibrium to control the senses. When one is accomplished in the practice of meditation, he ceases all disturbing mental activities. (Bhagavad-gita 6.3, purport)
When one follows a regulated hygienic process, he does not fall sick. A human being is meant to be trained according to certain principles to revive his original knowledge. Such a methodical life is described as tapasya. (Nectar of Instruction 1, purport)
How To Overcome…?
Disturbances from various diseases can be avoided by regulated diets. By self-control one can be free from false hopes, and money can be saved by avoiding undesirable association. By practice of yoga one can control hunger, and worldliness can be avoided by culturing the knowledge of impermanence. Dizziness can be conquered by rising up, and false arguments can be conquered by factual ascertainment. Talkativeness can be avoided by gravity and silence, and by prowess one can avoid fearfulness. Perfect knowledge can be obtained by self-cultivation. One must be free from lust, avarice, anger, dreaming, etc., to actually attain the path of salvation. (Srimad-Bhagavatam 1.9.27, purport)
Sex life, intoxication and meat-eating are general tendencies of human society, but a regulated householder does not indulge in unrestricted sex life and other sense gratification. Marriage on the principles of religious life is therefore current in all civilized human society because that is the way for restricted sex life. This restricted, unattached sex life is also a kind of yajna because the restricted householder sacrifices his general tendency toward sense gratification for higher, transcendental life. (Bhagavad-gita 4.26, purport)
Two Classes Of People Regulated And Unregulated
Humanity may be divided into two sections, namely, the regulated and the unregulated. Those who are engaged simply in bestial sense gratifications without knowledge of their next life or spiritual salvation belong to the unregulated section. And those who follow the principles of prescribed duties in the scriptures are classified amongst the regulated section. The non regulated section, both civilized and non civilized, educated and non educated, strong and weak, are full of animal propensities. Their activities are never auspicious, because while enjoying the animal propensities of eating, sleeping, defending and mating, they perpetually remain in material existence, which is always miserable. On the other hand, those who are regulated by scriptural injunctions, and who thus rise gradually to Krishna consciousness, certainly progress in life. (Bhagavad-gita 6.40, purport)
Those who are born with divine qualities follow a regulated life; that is to say they abide by the injunctions in scriptures and by the authorities. One should perform duties in the light of authoritative scripture. This mentality is called divine. (Bhagavad-gita 16.6, purport)
Steps For A Moral Society
The state which wants to eradicate corruption by majority may introduce the principles of religion in the following manner:
1. Fasting: Two compulsory fasting days in a month, if not more (austerity). Even from the economic point of view, such two fasting days in a month in the state will save tons of food, and the system will also act very favorably on the general health of the citizens.
2. No Free Mixing of Sexes: There must be compulsory marriage of young boys and girls attaining twenty-four years of age and sixteen years of age respectively. There is no harm in coeducation in the schools and colleges, provided the boys and girls are duly married, and in case there is any intimate connection between a male and female student, they should be married properly without illicit relation. The divorce act is encouraging prostitution, and this should be abolished.
3. Charity: The citizens of the state must give in charity up to fifty percent of their income for the purpose of creating a spiritual atmosphere in the state or in human society, both individually and collectively. They should preach the principles of Bhagavatam by (a) karma-yoga, or doing everything for the satisfaction of the Lord, (b) regular hearing of the Srimad-Bhagavatam from authorized persons or realized souls, (c) chanting of the glories of the Lord congregationally at home or at places of worship, (d) rendering all kinds of service to bhagavatas engaged in preaching Srimad-Bhagavatam and (e) residing in a place where the atmosphere is saturated with God consciousness.
If the state is regulated by the above process, naturally there will be God consciousness everywhere. (Srimad-Bhagavatam 1.17.38, purport)
Propaganda Of Freedom
Apparently propaganda is being made celebrating freedom as opposed to a regulated life, but one who sees things as they are can understand that freedom from all restriction is animal life. (Krishna Consciousness The Matchless Gift, Chapter 4)
So our point should be why another chance? Finish this business in this life. That is determination. Why another chance? I may be misled again. That should be our determination. “Finish this business, this life. One life let me be strict in following the discipline and regulative principles.” This is called tapasya, that “Although it is inconvenient, I must do it to solve my problems.” That is determination, drdha-vrata, firm determination. (Morning Walk, 20 May 1975, Melbourne)