Śrīla Bhakti Rakṣak Śrīdhar Dev-Goswāmī Mahārāj explains the relationship between regulations and loving service.
Student: It seems as though vidhi [regulation] wants to fight with rāga [love]. It seems that the proponents of the vidhi-mārg have taken up arms against rāga-mārg.
Śrīla Śrīdhar Mahārāj: I have nothing against vidhi-mārg.
[“The message of Śrī Bhakti Siddhānta is the abode of loosened vidhi and rāga for Śrī Rādhā’s beloved Lord.”]
pūjāla rāga-patha gaurava-bhaṅge
[“Worship the path of rāga in the posture of vidhi.”]
We are trying to follow vidhi, but our aim is always towards rāga. Go on with vidhi, knowing the crown to be rāga. Rāga 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.