Vaishnavas believe that the type of activities one performs affects one’s state of mind, so one can elevate consciousness by elevating the nature of activity. An activity is thus considered spiritual if it helps to purify the consciousness and direct it towards God.
In this light the regulations of spiritual life are not restrictions but are ‘regulative principles of freedom’ – tools for advancing personal development and spiritual consciousness.
The four basic guiding values:
- Cleanliness: Of body, mind and soul
- Mercy: To help others (materially as well as spiritually)
- Austerity: To take only what we really need, without greed or violence.
- Truthfulness: An honest deed is the best gamble in the world and a sure winner.