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(Hinduism: ISKCON)

These are the "four regulative principles" of the Hare Krishna movement, or ISKCON. Developed by Bhaktivinode Thakura, they seek to assist the practitioner in developing "inherent spiritual qualities" of compassion, truthfulness, cleanliness and austerity, and to "control the insatiable urges of the mind and senses".

  1. No eating of meat, fish, or eggs. These foods (and onions and garlic) are saturated with the modes (gunas) of passion and ignorance, and therefore cannot be offered to the Lord. A person who eats these foods participates in a conspiracy of violence against helpless animals and thus curtails his spiritual progress (c.f. ahimsa).
  2. No gambling. Gambling invariably puts on into anxiety and fuels greed, envy and anger.
  3. No sex other than for procreation within marriage. Sex for pleasure compels one to identify one with the body and prevents from understanding Krishna Consciousness. The scriptures teach that sex attraction is the most powerful binding us to this illusory and material worlds (maya). In the Bhagavad Gita the Lord says that sexual union for conceiving a child to be raised in God consciousness is an act of devotion to Him, therefore anyone serious about advancing themselves spiritually should abstain from, or regulate sexual activity according to scripture.
  4. No intoxication, including all recreational drugs, alcohol, tobacco, tea and coffee. These things cloud the mind, and overstimulate the senses, making it impossible to understand or follow the principles of bhakti-yoga.
A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami used to add a fifth stricture: "Always think of Krishna and never forget him".

As well, as these things, though, a full-time devotee of the movement will also engage in japa meditation, the practice of offering prasadam to the deity, kirtana or congregational chanting, associate with devotees, and study the Vedic literatures.

(Compare: Ten Offences against the Holy Name.)

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