Sounds like an Oxymoron right? Regulated Freedom? Is this some kind of slavery?
After all, dictionary.com says this about the word “regulate”
regulate [ reg-yuh-leyt ]
verb (used with object), reg·u·lat·ed, reg·u·lat·ing.
to control or direct by a rule, principle, method, etc.: to regulate household expenses.
to adjust to some standard or requirement, as amount, degree, etc.: to regulate the temperature.
to adjust so as to ensure accuracy of operation: to regulate a watch.
to put in good order: to regulate the digestion.
And freedom is listed as follows:
freedom [ free-duh m ]
the state of being free or at liberty rather than in confinement or under physical restraint: He won his freedom after a retrial.
exemption from external control, interference, regulation, etc.
the power to determine action without restraint.
personal liberty, as opposed to bondage or slavery: a slave who bought his freedom.
exemption from the presence of anything specified (usually followed by from): freedom from fear.
But we also see that a free society is a regulated society. If society is not regulated with laws, enforcement, etc., then no one is truly free, everyone has to live in fear as we see wherever there is anarchy.
When I began my journey in spiritual life, I was completely against all kinds of regulation. I stayed away from anything that looked like discipline or commitment.
My idea of freedom was to do anything I wished to do.
But then, I realized that I am not my mind, and doing what “I” wished to do, was, more often than not, doing what my mind wanted me to do. In other words, that a person doing what they wished to do, unless they were perfectly spiritual, were really, slaves of the mind!
उद्धरेदात्मनात्मानं नात्मानमवसादयेत् ।
आत्मैव ह्यात्मनो बन्धुरात्मैव रिपुरात्मन: ॥ ५ ॥ uddhared ātmanātmānaṁ
ātmaiva hy ātmano bandhur
ātmaiva ripur ātmanaḥ
One must deliver himself with the help of his mind, and not degrade himself. The mind is the friend of the conditioned soul, and his enemy as well.https://vedabase.io/en/library/bg/6/5/
That was interesting.
mana eva manuṣyāṇāṁ
muktyai nirviṣayaṁ manaḥ
“For man, mind is the cause of bondage and mind is the cause of liberation. Mind absorbed in sense objects is the cause of bondage, and mind detached from the sense objects is the cause of liberation.”(Amṛta-bindu Upaniṣad 2) (quoted from BG 6.5)
When I looked around me, those that were the most free were those who had the fewest consequences to deal with. That’s right, thoughts and actions all carry consequences. While all karmic actions bind us to the resultant reactions, that is a topic for another day.
Right now, I wanted to mention the 4 things anyone could do to lead a more carefree and worry-free life.
Follow these regulative principles voluntarily, or at least do your best…
- No Intoxication – no alcohol, mind-altering drugs, caffeine, coffee, or tea
- No Meat Eating – including fish and eggs, avoid onions, garlic, and mushrooms also
- No Illicit Sex – do not engage in any kind of sex except for procreation – this includes monosex, homosex, heterosex, or any kind of sexual titillation
- No Gambling – do not engage in any kind of slot machines, car games, slot machines, or even lucky draws if you want to be safe. If you do want to gamble, give your life to the spiritual pursuit!
Anyone who follows these principles becomes strong, energetic, and attractive. And we will examine the effects of not following these regulative principles in other articles.
It took me a while to get there, to be honest with you. But it really works. Try it out, read more about it here.
If you have any difficulties, of f you need any help or encouragement, let me know!
This is supported by the greatest spiritualists (and many materialists too!) who have ever lived, and here is what the Gita says about regulation…
रागद्वेषविमुक्तैस्तु विषयनिन्द्रियैश्चरन् ।
आत्मवश्यैर्विधेयात्मा प्रसादमधिगच्छति ॥ ६४ ॥ rāga-dveṣa-vimuktais tu
viṣayān indriyaiś caran
But a person free from all attachment and aversion and able to control his senses through regulative principles of freedom can obtain the complete mercy of the Lord.https://vedabase.io/en/library/bg/2/64/
Of course, regulation is not possible without also developing a higher taste…
विषया विनिवर्तन्ते निराहारस्य देहिनः ।https://vedabase.io/en/library/bg/2/59/
रसवर्जं रसोऽप्यस्य परं दृष्ट्वा निवर्तते ॥ ५९ ॥
rasa-varjaṁ raso ’py asya
paraṁ dṛṣṭvā nivartate
Though the embodied soul may be restricted from sense enjoyment, the taste for sense objects remains. But, ceasing such engagements by experiencing a higher taste, he is fixed in consciousness.
It’s worth it!