Four regulative principles-where to find in the Sastra?

March 23, 2022 in Articles by Damaghosa dasa

Hare Krsna-Below is a very nice description of how human society can be organized so as to minimize our sinful activities and make  both material and spiritual advancement at the same time . These two paths are called pravritti marga and Nvritti marga or the paths of material enjoyment and the path of liberation from birth and death
damaghosa das
Sūta Gosvāmī said: Mahārāja Parīkṣit, thus being petitioned by the personality of Kali, gave him permission to reside in places where gambling, drinking, prostitution and animal slaughter were performed.
PURPORT-The basic principles of irreligiosity, such as pride, prostitution, intoxication and falsehood, counteract the four principles of religion, namely austerity, cleanliness, mercy and truthfulness. The personality of Kali was given permission to live in four places particularly mentioned by the King, namely the place of gambling, the place of prostitution, the place of drinking and the place of animal slaughter.
Śrīla Jīva Gosvāmī directs that drinking against the principles of scriptures, such as the sautrāmaṇī-yajña, association with women outside marriage, and killing animals against the injunctions of scriptures are irreligious. In the Vedas two different types of injunctions are there for the pravṛttas, or those who are engaged in material enjoyment, and for the nivṛttas, or those who are liberated from material bondage. The Vedic injunction for the pravṛttas is to gradually regulate their activities towards the path of liberation. Therefore, for those who are in the lowest stage of ignorance and who indulge in wine, women and flesh, drinking by performing sautrāmaṇī-yajña, association of women by marriage and flesh-eating by sacrifices are sometimes recommended. Such recommendations in the Vedic literature are meant for a particular class of men, and not for all. But because they are injunctions of the Vedas for particular types of persons, such activities by the pravṛttas are not considered adharma. One man’s food may be poison for others; similarly, what is recommended for those in the mode of ignorance may be poison for those in the mode of goodness. Śrīla Jīva Gosvāmī Prabhu, therefore, affirms that recommendations in the scriptures for a certain class of men are never to be considered adharma, or irreligious. But such activities are factually adharma, and they are never to be encouraged. The recommendations in the scriptures are not meant for the encouragement of such adharma, but for regulating the necessary adharma gradually toward the path of dharma.
Following in the footsteps of Mahārāja Parīkṣit, it is the duty of all executive heads of states to see that the principles of religion, namely austerity, cleanliness, mercy and truthfulness, are established in the state, and that the principles of irreligion, namely pride, illicit female association or prostitution, intoxication and falsity, are checked by all means. And to make the best use of a bad bargain, the personality of Kali may be transferred to places of gambling, drinking, prostitution and slaughterhouses, if there are any places like that. Those who are addicted to these irreligious habits may be regulated by the injunctions of the scripture. In no circumstances should they be encouraged by any state. In other words, the state should categorically stop all sorts of gambling, drinking, prostitution and falsity. The state which wants to eradicate corruption by majority may introduce the principles of religion in the following manner:
1. 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. 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. 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 Bhāgavatam by (a) karma-yoga, or doing everything for the satisfaction of the Lord, (b) regular hearing of the Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam 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 bhāgavatas engaged in preaching Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam 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.
Gambling of all description, even speculative business enterprise, is considered to be degrading, and when gambling is encouraged in the state, there is a complete disappearance of truthfulness. Allowing young boys and girls to remain unmarried more than the above-mentioned ages and licensing animal slaughterhouses of all description should be at once prohibited. The flesh-eaters may be allowed to take flesh as mentioned in the scriptures, and not otherwise. Intoxication of all description-even smoking cigarettes, chewing tobacco or the drinking of tea-must be prohibited.

Sept 11 1972 Texas
Prabhupāda: London… (Hindi) Practically cent percent Indians, they eat meat.
Guest (4): Swamiji, what is the role of meat-eating in…
Prabhupāda: Meat-eater means sinners. He cannot understand Kṛṣṇa.
Guest (4): Well, where is it…?
Prabhupāda: It is said in the śāstra, striyaḥ sūnā pānaṁ dyūtaṁ yatrādharmaś catur-vidhāḥ: “Four kinds of sinful activities: illicit sex life, striyaḥ; sūnā, the animal slaughter; pānam, intoxication; dyūtam, gambling.” These are the four pillars of sinful life. So you have to break these pillars of sinful life. Then you can understand Kṛṣṇa. They have broken. On my word they [his disciples] have broken the first four pillars and therefore they are advanced.
Guest (4): I have had several people ask me why I don’t eat meat and why Indians, some Indians don’t eat meat. And I could not give them a convincing answer.
Prabhupāda: But that is there. It is stated in the śāstra. These are four sinful activities. [break] …upadekṣyanti tad jñānaṁ jñāninas tattva-darśinaḥ. You have to take knowledge from tattva-darśī, jñānī, not from some people, nonsense. What is the value of some people?
Guest (5): How to identify a true learned man?
Prabhupāda: That you have to become a learned man. If you are a fool, how you can understand who is learned man? You have to become a learned man. Is it not? Otherwise you will be cheated. Anyone will come—”I am learned man. I am God”—and you will be cheated, if you do not know what is God, what is learned man. So first of all you have to become learned man. Then you will understand who is learned man.
Guest (2): But to become learned, you go to so-called learned people, and you go to so-called learned people. How do you know that those so-called learned are…
Prabhupāda: That has spoiled our Indian culture. That has spoiled our Indian culture. Everyone become learned man; everyone become a spiritualist. That’s another… So best thing is to… Why don’t you accept Kṛṣṇa as the most learned man? That will save you. Everyone accepts Him, all the ācāryas, Rāmānujācārya, Madhvācārya, Śaṅkarācārya, Lord Caitanya. So why don’t you accept Kṛṣṇa? Why you’re searching after learned man? Here is the best learned man. Simple truth. If you simply argue, that is a different thing. But if you want really learned man, Kṛṣṇa is here. Take Kṛṣṇa as He is; then you learn everything. So I shall go now. What is the time?

Jan 29 1973 Calcutta
So the human form of life is especially meant for tapasya. Tapo divyam. Here it is said: tapo divyaṁ putrakā yena sattvaṁ śuddhyed yasmād brahma-saukhyam anantam [SB 5.5.1]. We are hankering after happiness, but happiness cannot be enjoyed so long our existence is not purified. So for purification of our existence we have to undergo tapasya. So we are introducing this tapasya in nutshell. We are asking our students four principles, four regulative principles. No illicit sex life. Beyond marriage life, there is no sex. No intoxication, up to smoking and drinking tea. No meat-eating. No eggs, no fish. And no gambling. We are… And chanting this Hare Kṛṣṇa mantra. These five principles we are teaching. These four regulative principles, refraining from sinful activities. These are the basic pillars of sinful activities: illicit sex, intoxication, meat-eating, and gambling. These are the four pillars of sinful life. That is… We get from the śāstra. Parīkṣit Mahārāja, he enunciated that Kali Yuga. He was… He ordered Kali Yuga, Kali, to live in these places. When he was ordered to go out of his kingdom, he said, “My dear Lord, everywhere is your kingdom. Where shall I live?” So he ordered him that “You live in these places, striyaḥ sūnā pānaṁ dyūtaṁ yatra pāpaś catur-vidhaḥ.”
So if we want to elevate the social condition, we shall teach people to become purified. Without being purified, simply so-called performance of religious system will not help.