Question: What are the universal principles of religion?
Four principles of all religions are identified: truthfulness, compassion, austerity and cleanliness.
For one practicing spiritual life, it is essential to understand the activities which destroy these principles.
The Vedas explain that the following activities destroy the universal principles:
Gambling destroys truthfulness.
Gambling does not only refer to betting with money, but speculative, dishonest, or illicit business dealings.
The increase in dishonesty, greed, anxiety and loss of equilibrium destroys the elevating quality of truthfulness.
Killing animals destroys compassion.
Institutionalised animal slaughter is organised violence.
In the act of killing an animal, there is a conspiracy by the party of sinners, and all of the sinners are liable to be punished as murderers exactly like a party of conspirators who kill a human being.
He who gives permission, he who kills the animal, he who sells the slaughtered animal, he who cooks the animal, he who administers distribution of the foodstuff, and at last he who eats such animal food are all murderers, and all of them are liable to be punished by the laws of nature.
All these activities destroy compassion.
No one can create a living being despite all advancement of material science, and therefore no one has the right to kill a living being by one’s independent whims.
Unrestrained sex indulgence destroys austerity.
Sexual indulgence causes excessive attachment to the body and bodily pleasures and thus entrenches one in the false conception the one is the body.
Sexual indulgence has been excessively prompted by media and advertising, and such unrestrained sexual activity has resulted in several social, emotional and psychological problems in society.
Intoxication destroys cleanliness. Intoxication, which includes cigarettes, alcohol, drugs and even caffeine, are unnatural to the body, and often lead to addiction.
These habits often lead to loss of life, loss of mental health, disease, premature aging and an inability to naturally focus the mind intelligently and steadily on any task.
The addictions escalate until the individual loses all reason, and leads to the miserable state of existence in which all cleanliness is destroyed.
Devotees of Krishna commit to following the four regulative principles of no meat-eating, no gambling, no intoxication and no illicit sex.
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