Our Disciplic Succession:
Srila Bhakti Nirmal Acharya Maharaj  Srila Bhakti Sundar Govinda Dev-Goswami Maharaj  Srila Bhakti Raksak Sridhar Dev-Goswami Maharaj  Bhagavan Srila Bhaktisiddhanta Saraswati Thakur Prabhupad
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Daily Practice

— { Four Regulative Principles } —



(1) Dyuta: dice, cards, chess, horse racing, the lottery, and other sorts of gaming or gambling. Its basis is falsehood, and it destroys the virtue of truthfulness. (Srila Bhakti Siddhanta Saraswati Thakur notes that Kali is always creating newer and newer forms of games to lead people away from dharma.)

(2) Pana: alcohol, wine, ganja, tobacco, opium, and any other intoxicant. Its basis is pride, and it destroys the virtue of mercy.

(3) Striya: illicit association with the opposite sex, attachment to one's spouse, and association with those who engage in illicit association. Its basis is lust, and it destroys the virtue of purity.

(4) Suna: taking the life of an animal for the sake of one's own body. Its basis is violence, and it destroys all virtues (truthfulness, mercy, cleanliness, and austerity). Anyone who kills an animal, as well as anyone who prepares, cooks, transports, sells, serves, or eats it, is implicated in such sin.

(5) Jata: gold, silver, money, and other forms of wealth. Within these, falsehood, pride, lust, violence, and enmity are all present.



"For me it is impossible to think that one who comes to receive initiation does not know about the four directives and rules and regulations of Krishna consciousness. I am thinking that they must all know the primary rules and regulations. Srimad-Bhagavatam has stated that by following the directives one will be pious, otherwise if one is engaged in sinful activities, how can he get the connection with, and the practice of, Krishna consciousness? It is a very simple matter. Before eating it is necessary to wash our hands, wash the plate, take clean water, and then respectfully take Prasadam. Everywhere there is a natural process of rules and regulations. The four regulations are the basic foundation for everybody. These regulations are like learning the alphabet. Without learning the alphabet, it is not possible to read any book.

"I must say it clearly that when anyone wants to practise Krishna consciousness he must formally or practically try to make himself a pious person. But piety must be disturbed if one will not follow the four regulative principles. What do we want? We don't want anything mundane like wealth, women and fame. Our greatest enemy is fame, therefore Srila Saraswati Thakur said it was comparable with pig's stool. Perhaps for the time being they can't leave the habit, but why should my friends eat that pig stool 24 hours? If we have no sincerity in our practising life, we cannot get the mercy of Nityananda Prabhu. Anyway, with full affection and humility you must tell my friends that this is our healthy principles. On rare occasions, we may se a Paramahamsa Vaishnava breaking the rules, like Srila Vamsidas Babaji Maharaj; but that is not our ideal and should never be imitated."

(Srila Bhakti Sundar Govinda Dev-Goswami Maharaj)

"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, '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...

"In Srila Bhakti Siddhanta Saraswati Thakur's time, one brahmachari got married and came with his wife to Srila Prabhupad saying, 'Prabhupad, I know it is very sad but we have got married... This is my wife...' Srila Bhakti Siddhanta Saraswati Thakur said in reply, 'All right, what can you do now? But still you can do service, do Vaishnav service, etc. I can tell you what your duty is.' There are four regulative principles—dyuta, pana, striya, suna [gaming, taking intoxicants, free mixing, flesh-eating]—and Srila Prabhupad explained to that brahmachari what is called striya.

"Striya is not only illegal sex—if you have your real, legal wife (stri), there can also sometimes happen striya. It is called 'stroin' in Bengali: being henpecked, excessively fond of, doting on your wife. It means to be controlled and subdued by your wife (strir bosibhuta). In other words, stroin means becoming a servant of your wife.

"You can live as a householder, it is all right, but do not become a servant of your wife, do not become controlled by her. These are Prabhupad Srila Bhakti Siddhanta Saraswati Thakur's words, not mine!

"Srila Prabhupad explained to that man: you must work, earn money, and your wife will cook; after she has offered the bhog, she will first take that prasad and you will take prasad after her—then you will not have the mentality that your wife is your servant. You are a servant of Krishna (Krishna das) and you should not think that you are the master (prabhu) of your wife—your and her master (prabhu) is Krishna.

"Do you understand? These are very hard words... Now they will say, 'Oh, Maharaj is always stopping devotees from getting married!' This is not true. I am not against married life, but I am against this stroin life. When a brahmachari gets married and becomes a servant of his wife, it is very bad."

"There are four things, four directives that you must know. It is dyuta, pana, striya, suna. Dyuta is gambling—if somebody gambles, we tell others not to mix with such people. Pana means drinking whiskey, smoking, we also tell others not to mix with them. Striya is illegal sex, it is not good. If you have a wife or a husband, then it is not a problem, but illegal sex—living like dogs and cats—is not good. And suna means killing others. Do not kill anybody. Everybody has a jiva soul, do not disturb anybody—do not kill cows, do not kill dogs, chickens, etc.

"If somebody drinks whiskey and does nonsense things, we call it bad association and we must tell others not to mix with them."

"I am telling the brahmacharies: if you love a girl, immediately get married, do not do any illegal sex before marriage. I cannot tolerate it, do you understand? If you love a girl, OK, get married, but do not live together and do illegal sex—this "living together" style is very bad, I cannot tolerate it. If somebody loves a girl, and the girl loves the boy, they can get married, but you must not live together and engage in illegal sex before marriage. This is not good. Can you understand it? Is it clear?


"These are very hard words and it is very hard for everybody to digest it, is it not? It is hard to follow this, is it not?


"But it is my order! Try to follow it."

"You should not do para-stri-sanga (do not associate with the opposite sex). There are eight types of stri-sanga. For example, you have a wife, now she is not so beautiful and when you see a beautiful girl on the street, you think, 'Oh, she is so beautiful. I'd like to be with her.' Or, you just see a girl and some bad desire comes to your mind—this is also stri-sanga, and it is also bad. The same is true for women. You must avoid stri-sanga and purush-sanga (men should not mix with women; women should not mix with men). This is described in the scriptures."

"Also, it is said in the scriptures that you must avoid jiva-himsa, violence towards other jiva souls. Do not kill other souls. So, from today, do not eat and do not cook any fish, meat, poultry, eggs, onion, garlic, or masoor dal. Eat vegetarian food.

"Actually, vegetarian food is also not the remedy—you must take prasad. Offer what you cook to the Lord with a Tulasi leaf, then take prasad.

"Every action has equal and opposite reaction, so if today you kill a chicken, that chicken will eventually get a human birth, and what happens to you? You kill a chicken and will become a chicken in some future birth. So, do not kill other jivas, it is called suna, or jiva-himsa. You may, of course, ask, 'Maharaj, but a pumpkin also has life, sak also has life...' The answer is there.

"It is true, everything has life, but when you cook, who do you cook for? You do not cook for yourself—you cook for Radha Vallabha. You do not commit the sin for yourself—when you do some sin for Govinda, that is not a sin, it comes within the nirgun plane. Do you understand what I am saying? Will you remember it?

"When you walk, so many insects and ants are killed, but you do not kill them for yourself. When you drink water, how many jiva souls die? When you harvest and prepare rice, how many souls die? The difference is we do not do this for ourselves. You harvest, thresh, and cook rice, but you do it for Govinda, not for yourself. At your home too you can cook for Govinda."

"The grihastha devotees stay in their houses, maintain a family, but they maintain Krishna's family. Cook something, put a Tulasi leaf, and offer it to the Lord, the Deity, "O Lord, I have cooked this for You, and I am giving it to You." Then, after the Lord takes it, take the plate, put the offered food on your plate, and from your plate you can take that prasad (you give to the Lord on the Lord's plate, and take prasad from your plate).

"It is said in Srimad Bhagavad-gita that you if you take some food without offering it to the Lord, it means you steal it and eat it, then you will enjoy sin. If you eat, if you work or do some karma for your own self, it means you enjoy sin."

"You must be in an isolated position, that is why Srimad Bhagavatam told: "Dyutam panam striyah suna jata-rupam adat prabhuh." Dyutam [gambling], panam [drinking], striyah [women], suna [animal slaughter]—these four directives are for isolation from the influence of Kali."

(Srila Bhakti Sundar Govinda Dev-Goswami Maharaj)

"Everyone must follow the four regulative rules. This is one of the rules of our society. We are following Srimad-Bhagavatam, and there this ruling is given, so there is no question about it.

"Actually it is not four, but five principles, and everyone must follow that. We are not to digest anything in this mundane world, but everything must be offered to Krishna. Hence the fifth regulation is so important. Indeed within gold is the residence of all the other four forbidden activities: illicit sex, gambling, meat eating and intoxication. So how to live without storing gold? We will take Prasadam.

"In the time of Gaura Kishor Das Babaji Maharaj a devotee got married. He said, 'Very good. That man will serve that girl in a variety of ways thinking she is one of Krishna's Gopis.' So everywhere we have some possibility to see everything in relation to Krishna. But that is very hard. One types of vision is bhoga, one is tyaga, and one is bhakti: enjoyment, renunciation and dedication.

"We shall try to live in the plane of devotion, the plane of dedication. That is our goal. If we can do fully, we shall be benefitted fully; and if we can do partly we shall be benefitted partly. But we are not to lose our vision. Our vision will always be to that ideal level."

(Srila Bhakti Sundar Govinda Dev-Goswami Maharaj)

"Srimad Bhagavatam (1.17.38) advises that these five things should be rejected: dyutam: gambling, or diplomacy; panam: intoxication, including tea, coffee, betel, and everything else; striyah: unlawful, illegal womanlove; suna: butchering, and the transaction of gold. Trade in gold makes one very apathetic towards progress in the line of faith. These five are very tempting.

"What to speak of the mania that intoxication will help us in our meditation upon the transcendental, Devrsi Narada says, yamadibir yogapathaih kama lobha hato muhuh: even what we acquire by meditation is temporary and has no permanent effect. Only real faith in the line of pure devotion can help us."

(Srila Bhakti Raksak Sridhar Dev-Goswami Maharaj)








Setting up the altar
Daily kirtans
Bhog, cooking, offering
Cooking Viddhi
Observing Ekadasi
Observing Festivals
Tulasi Devi
Four regulative principles
Scriptural regulations


Withdrawal of Srila Haridas Thakur
'On this day Mahaprabhu gave a great festival for Haridas Thakur; on this day Haridas Thakur left this world. Actually, Haridas Thakur is always with us, he did not leave this world, only his body left..'

Srila Bhakti Vinod Thakur said that pratistha is like stool of a pig. You can tolerate the stool
of a human, but the stool of a pig has a very bad smell. Pratistha is very dangerous.