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The Regulative Principles of Freedom, Service to God and The Six Senses

Aug 17, 2007
There are positive and negative injunctions for those wishing to be successfull in spiritual life. For example, if one wishes to start a fire he must apply heat(positive injunction) as well as avoid pouring water(negative in junction) which would hurt his recovery.

There are four pillars of sinful life: the eating of meat, fish and eggs; the taking of intoxication;the attempt to enjoy illicit sex(sex outside marriage); and gambling. These activities pollute the consiousness, where as devotional service purifies the consciousness.

On addition, one who performs these activities will have to suffer a heavy karmic burden. That is, he will have to experience very negative reactions in the future for the activities performed at present.

One normally thinks that regulations are restrictions on freedom, but a little reflection will help one realize that this is not so. When crime in activity is restricted, citizens are "free" to walk of the streets. When one regulates his eating and exercising, one becomes "free" to enjoy healthy life. Likewise, by not engaging in meat eating, intoxication, illicit sex and gambling, the individual becomes free of their negative effects. His consciousness becomes less restricted by material conditions and bad karma so that he is able to better understand spiritual truths.

One who does not follow these restrictions, is not considered to be truly a human being, even though he may possess a human body.

Service to God. The Vedic literatures recognize that each person is an individual, with specific abilities and propensities. A devotee is engaged in Krishna's service in accordance with these proclivities. What makes the activity devotional service is that the results are offered to Krishna.

In the Bhagavad-gita, Krishna stresses that all of the results of all of our activities should be offered to Him. l The devotee consults the spiritual master to determine which activities are in harmony with his psychophysical nature, and how to offer the results of such activities to the Supreme Lord. The devotee may be engaged in a variety of activities, but in each of them the devotee is thinking of pleasing Krishna and the spiritual master.

Devotional service is open to everyone, regardless of caste, creed, race, or sex. Devotees see beyond the body to the soul, and therefore are free from all material bias. A devotee is never to be considered a man, woman, black, white, or any other designation that pertains to the body. A devotee is simply seen as a servant of God.
1. Bhagavad-gita 9.27

The Six Senses. In the Bhagavad-gita Krishna explains that we have six senses, including the mind. At the present time, because we are identifying with the material body, we are controlled by these senses. Depending upon which of the three modes of nature (goodness, passion, and ignorance) we happen to be affected by, we seek certtain objects for each of these senses in order to satisfy them (the senses). As one thinks about the sense objects one develops a desire or attachment for them and this desire causes one to attempt to obtain them. However, once obtained, the senses demand more or different sense objects. The person who relies on his senses to obtain knowledge is bewildered since his senses are faulty.

This world is full of variety. Businesses are creating and providing products not only to fulfill all types of desires for sense gratification, but to stimulate new desires with the aid of the mass media. Thus, the living entity is being pulled here and there by his senses in an never-ending attempt to become satisfied.

Only by engaging the senses in the service of God can one be freed from slavery to the senses.

1. Bhagavad-gita 2.62
About the Author
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