Four Regulative Principles of Freedom

This is a thought-provoking article which talks about the four regulative principles that can provide real freedom for people.


When I saw this picture, portraying people aspiring for freedom moving from one cage to another cage, I just wanted to share my views.

How many of you remember this? Good old days… isn’t it?

Today rarely people use this, once famous model… we are not constrained… we have SMART phones… really SMART…


The latest technology is available for us… with more features… more operational freedom.

Do you remember the day you switched over from the old model mobile phone to a SMART phone? Did you feel happy about it? Of course, you would have.

The technology will not stop here… this too will pass… and the scientists will strive to invent technology that will help us cross the boundaries… to experience a freedom better than what was experienced by our fathers and grandfathers.

But are they not just pushing the boundaries… are we getting absolute freedom?


We keep changing our bodies in this material world. Sometimes we take birth in a lower species and slowly evolve through our way upwards.

There is a spectrum of 8,400,000 species ranging from plants, insects, reptiles, animals, birds and human beings. The more we evolve the more we are free… we get better facilities to enjoy our senses.

As a human being, we know, we are much evolved than all the other lower species. But think…

Are we applying our intelligence in the right direction? Do we know that we can aim for absolute freedom and all that we need to do is to take guidance from the scriptures?


Are we not just getting lost in enjoying the facilities of sense gratification?

It is only an illusion that we are experiencing a better freedom. We are servants of our senses.

The senses dictate us and we act accordingly. And we think that we are free to do what we want.

Real freedom is to become free from such control exercised on us by the senses.


The scriptures prescribe four principles and we call it the regulative principles of freedom. Yes… they regulate us… and they make us free. What are they? Simple…



Don’t you think that even the animals and birds have their right to live? They are also living beings. And Krishna says all living entities are his sons and daughters. If we kill them, it means we are killing our brothers and sisters.



You agree and everyone agrees. Even the manufacturers of intoxicants agree. You see the statutory warning everywhere. Smoking kills. Tobacco causes mouth cancer… Drinking is injurious to health. We see such warnings everywhere. Can’t we avoid it?



Even King Yudhishtira and Nala Maharaja suffered due to this. They lost everything and lived incognito… all due to gambling. Scriptures warn us. Do not engage in gambling.

Wikipedia defines…


You know that the results are uncertain. A bird in hand is worth two in the bush.



What is illicit? If a person marries according to the procedure outlined in scriptures and engages in sex with his wife for begetting nice children, it is legal and religious. Any other means adopted to satisfy one’s demands for sexual gratification is considered illicit.

Tough indeed… but one has to follow such rules to achieve absolute freedom. Otherwise we will keep moving from one cage to another.

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