(Kadamba Kanana Swami, 03 May 2016, Vrndavana, India, Bhagavad-gita 3.34)
Prabhupada used the traffic metaphor for spiritual life and I like this metaphor. It is like this, you start driving in the night – no light and it is pitch dark. You cannot see anything of the road. All that you see are the white lines. There are white lines and you drive within the white lines. These are the white lines of the regulative principles, of the rules and the regulations and it is all about rules and regulations. There are traffic rules too. You stick to a certain side of the road, to a certain speed; many issues are there, one way streets and so on, all to regulate us. All this knowledge helps us to not smash into something.
As we continue to drive, the light of the sun rises above the horizon and everything changes because at that stage, the landscape becomes visible. “Ah, nice mountain. Ah, look at that lake. Looks cool. Not bad, nice place.”
So we are driving along, still between the white lines but no longer with the same exclusive focus. As we make advancement, the regulative principles remain but the regulative principles do not become our main focus.
Like we are the International Society of Krsna Consciousness, we are not the International Society for Regulative Principles. If we would be, then we can spend the whole day looking at each other and pointing out (Indian accent), “Things are not correct. Not correct. No! So much sorry but it is not correct, according to the Nectar of Devotion. It is not correct, it is not allowed according to Nectar of Devotion. Nahi mana hai.” What to do! These things are there.
There are so many rules and we can spend our days policing each other and have an interesting society like that where everyone looks at his neighbour to see if they are breaking any rules and if so, then we can tell about it because immediately that gives us a platform of superiority! Then we are higher. The rules and regulations are very popular. It is a great tool to elevate ourselves above others and in this way, India also fell in that trap because that is what the smartas were doing basically. Smarta brahmanas are overly attached to rules and regulations; it is called niyam agraha, all about rules and regulations.
Rules and regulations do not serve the higher purpose of developing Krsna consciousness. We do follow the rules and regulations but Krsna consciousness is ultimately the path of love. It is the path of love, of awakening love!