The Four Regulative Principles

His Divine Grace Om Vishnupad
Srila Bhakti Nirmal Acharya Maharaj
June 2010


Question: To take initiation, we must follow the four regulative principles, but some people can be afraid to take initiation because they know they may fall down, break, or not follow the regulative principles. What advice could you give us?

You should not force anybody but should give them advice, tell them, "You should follow the instruction. It is not good." Dyuta, pana, striya, suna [gambling, intoxication, illicit sex, animal-eating] are the four types of bad things where Kali always stays. Kali means kalau, always fighting.

Kali is a very bad age, Kaler dosanidhi (Kali has many faults), but we are fortunate that we have got this life: Mahaprabhu, the Lord Himself, came in this age, and we have got a bona fide Guru under the guidance of Mahaprabhu. At the same time, you must follow these rules; otherwise, it is not a question of not chanting or not taking initiation, the question is that if you do not stop these four—dyuta, pana, striya, suna—it is bad for you, and you can be attacked by Kali Maharaj. You can tell it in this way, and they should slowly, slowly avoid it. Kali Maharaj always stays in these four places, so you should preach that we should avoid these places.

If you do not avoid that, it is like somebody has a gastric disease, acidity, and they take antacid (the medicine), but also take so much chilli, sour food, etc., then how will they get relief? They have to think both ways—either you drink milk or you drink whiskey. Which one? You cannot drink both. You must drink milk and avoid these things. Srila Prabhupad told, "কুপথ বর্জন করতে হবে আর সুপথ গ্রহণ করতে হবে, kupatha varjan korte habe ar supatha grahan korte habe [you should reject unhealthy things, and take wholesome, healthy things]." It means take prasadam and avoid these things; otherwise if you chant the Holy Name and take these kinds of things, it will not give any cure in your life.

I saw also many people in India, Bengal, who had taken initiation from Gurudev. Gurudev asked them directly, "Will you obey the four rules and regulations?" They promised to follow, but in India people can actually follow only three regulative principles, and the only one they cannot follow is giving up mach, fish. They can leave meat, but they cannot leave fish. So, some take the Holy Name, but after one-two years they leave everything, they cannot chant or practise any more. I saw this even in Param Guru Maharaj's disciples—some do not follow the rules and regulations, and a few days, six months, or one year after taking initiation they put the beads away in some high place and the beads dry up, or get eaten by insects...



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