He who discards scriptural injunctions and acts according to his own whims attains neither perfection, nor happiness, nor the supreme destination

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"He who discards scriptural injunctions and acts according to his own whims attains neither perfection nor happiness nor the supreme destination" |"He who discards scriptural injunctions and acts according to his own whims attains neither perfection, nor happiness, nor the supreme destination"

Bhagavad-gita As It Is

BG Chapters 13 - 18

He who discards scriptural injunctions and acts according to his own whims attains neither perfection, nor happiness, nor the supreme destination.
BG 16.23, Translation and Purport:

He who discards scriptural injunctions and acts according to his own whims attains neither perfection, nor happiness, nor the supreme destination.

As described before, the śāstra-vidhi, or the direction of the śāstra, is given to the different castes and orders of human society. Everyone is expected to follow these rules and regulations. If one does not follow them and acts whimsically according to his lust, greed and desire, then he never will be perfect in his life. In other words, a man may theoretically know all these things, but if he does not apply them in his own life, then he is to be known as the lowest of mankind. In the human form of life, a living entity is expected to be sane and to follow the regulations given for elevating his life to the highest platform, but if he does not follow them, then he degrades himself. But even if he follows the rules and regulations and moral principles and ultimately does not come to the stage of understanding the Supreme Lord, then all his knowledge becomes spoiled. And even if he accepts the existence of God, if he does not engage himself in the service of the Lord his attempts are spoiled. Therefore one should gradually raise himself to the platform of Kṛṣṇa consciousness and devotional service; it is then and there that he can attain the highest perfectional stage, not otherwise.

The word kāma-kārataḥ is very significant. A person who knowingly violates the rules acts in lust. He knows that this is forbidden, but still he acts. This is called acting whimsically. He knows that this should be done, but still he does not do it; therefore he is called whimsical. Such persons are destined to be condemned by the Supreme Lord. Such persons cannot have the perfection which is meant for the human life. The human life is especially meant for purifying one's existence, and one who does not follow the rules and regulations cannot purify himself, nor can he attain the real stage of happiness.

Srimad-Bhagavatam

SB Canto 4

He who discards scriptural injunctions and acts according to his own whims attains neither perfection nor happiness nor the supreme destination.
SB 4.26.8, Purport:

"He who discards scriptural injunctions and acts according to his own whims attains neither perfection nor happiness nor the supreme destination." (BG 16.23) Thus one who is deliberately transgressing the rules and regulations of the śāstras is simply involving himself more and more in material existence in the three modes of material nature. Human society should therefore follow the Vedic principles of life, which are summarized in Bhagavad-gītā. Otherwise life in material existence will continue. Foolish persons do not know that the soul is passing through 8,400,000 spieces of life. By the gradual process of evolution, when one comes to the human form of life, he is supposed to follow the rules and regulations laid down in the Vedas. Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu says that the living entity, since time immemorial, is suffering the threefold miseries of material nature due to his demoniac attitude, which is his spirit of revolt against the Supreme Personality of Godhead. Kṛṣṇa also confirms this in Bhagavad-gītā (15.7):

mamaivāṁśo jīva-loke
jīva-bhūtaḥ sanātanaḥ
manaḥ-ṣaṣṭhānīndriyāṇi
prakṛti-sthāni karṣati

"The living entities in this conditioned world are My eternal, fragmental parts. Due to conditioned life, they are struggling very hard with the six senses, which include the mind." Every living entity is part and parcel of God.

He who discards scriptural injunctions and acts according to his own whims attains neither perfection, nor happiness, nor the supreme destination.
SB 4.27.25, Purport:

It is herein stated that one should strictly follow the scriptures if one actually wants an auspicious life. The same is explained in Bhagavad-gītā (16.23):

yaḥ śāstra-vidhim utsṛjya
vartate kāma-kārataḥ
na sa siddhim avāpnoti
na sukhaṁ na parāṁ gatim

"He who discards scriptural injunctions and acts according to his own whims attains neither perfection, nor happiness, nor the supreme destination." One who does not strictly follow the terms of the Vedic injunctions never attains success in life or happiness. And what to speak of going home, back to Godhead.

One śāstric injunction holds that a householder, a kṣatriya or an administrative head should not refuse to accept a woman if she voluntarily requests to become a wife. Since Kālakanyā, the daughter of Time, was deputed by Nārada Muni to offer herself to Yavana-rāja, the King of the Yavanas could not refuse her. All transactions must be performed in light of the śāstric injunctions. The śāstric injunctions are confirmed by great sages like Nārada Muni. As stated by Narottama dāsa Ṭhākura: sādhu-śāstra-guru-vākya, cittete kariyā aikya. One should follow the principles of saintly persons, scriptures and the spiritual master. In this way one is sure to attain success in life. Kālakanyā, the daughter of Time, presented herself before the King of the Yavanas precisely in terms of sādhu, śāstra and guru. Thus there was no reason for not accepting her.

SB Canto 7

He who discards scriptural injunctions and acts according to his own whims attains neither perfection, nor happiness, nor the supreme destination.
SB 7.4.20, Purport:

There have been many instances in which demons, after achieving material opulences, have become extremely proud, so much so that they have transgressed the laws and regulations given in the authoritative śāstras. Hiraṇyakaśipu acted in this way. As stated in Bhagavad-gītā (16.23):

yaḥ śāstra-vidhim utsṛjya
vartate kāma-kārataḥ
na sa siddhim avāpnoti
na sukhaṁ na parāṁ gatim

"He who discards scriptural injunctions and acts according to his own whims attains neither perfection, nor happiness, nor the supreme destination." The word śāstra refers to that which controls our activities. We cannot violate or transgress the laws and regulative principles mentioned in the śāstras. Bhagavad-gītā repeatedly confirms this.