The relationship between regulations and loving service.

By Srila Bhakti Raksak Sridhar Dev-Goswami Maharaj

Student: It seems as though vidhi [regulation] wants to fight with raga [love]. It seems that the proponents of the vidhi-marg have taken up arms against raga-marg.

Srila Sridhar Maharaj: I have nothing against vidhi-marg.


[“The message of Sri Bhakti Siddhanta is an abode of raga for Sri Radha’s beloved Lord based on softened vidhi.”]

pujala raga-patha gaurava-bhange

[“Worship the path of raga in the posture of vidhi.”]

We are trying to follow vidhi, but our aim is always towards raga. Go on with vidhi knowing the crown to be raga. Raga is our aim. Otherwise, why do we follow vidhi? Vidhi means to regulate oneself, and for what? Regulation is not itself an aim or object. Regulation is a means for something else. We want to regulate ourselves so that we may become free in that land, that we may acquire the position of a free servitor. Regulation has its desired effect. And what is that? Spontaneous service. We will get it. That there will always be a master with a whip to order me, “Do this, do that,” should not be the end of our life. We must reach the plane where freely, with our intrinsic urge, we will render service. That is success in life.


Spoken 10 October 1982.

Srila Bhakti Raksak Sridhar Dev-Goswami Maharaj is the foremost modern exponent of the conception of Sri Chaitanya Mahaprabhu and the school of Srila Rupa Goswami. Subtle and profound yet vivid and practical, his representation of both the broadest and deepest spiritual truths has and continues to fortify and nurture the faith of spiritual aspirants the world over. For more information on Srila Sridhar Maharaj, please visit his biography page.

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