Room Conversation about Marriage , Seattle , 1968-09-24

Prabhupāda: So I understand that she, she felt some inconvenience, that girl, in your company.

Govinda dāsī: [whispers] Harṣarāṇī! You're making...

Prabhupāda: So she was...

Tamāla Kṛṣṇa: I told her, I said if she wished to come with us,

[break] ...that only married women could come with us. I told her that. Because it was not good for men, unmarried men, brahmacārī and brahmacārīṇi, to constantly be mixing, and so I felt that it would be better for married people than brahmacārīs. And she...

[someone moves microphone] ...did she wish to come?

Prabhupāda: She likes this...

[microphone noise] But also marriage problem, one must have a choice. So if we force something, that is not [chuckling] good. At least, in your country it is not... Of course, in your country and our country, all the boys and girls are, I mean to say, not major, whatever the parents force, that is another thing. When the boys and girls are grown up, it is not possible.

Just like in India, there was svayaṁvara. Svayaṁvara means the girl will select her own bridegroom. That was allowed to princess. Princess, highly qualified princess. So the father would make a challenge that "This is the condition. One who can fulfill this condition, I'll offer my daughter to him." So this was generally amongst the princes. So there was great fight. [laughs]

Just like Arjuna. Arjuna married Draupadī. You know the condition? Her father made condition: there was a fish on the ceiling and one wheel was circling. So one has to pierce the eyes of the fish through the hole of the circle. And he cannot see directly. He has to see down. There is a reflection in water pot. In this way, he had to pierce. [laughs] "In this way, he has to fix, and in one stroke the eye will be pierced. One who is successful, my daughter is for him." So nobody could, except only Arjuna. He was such expert bowman that he...

Similarly, Lord Rāmacandra also made. In the palace there was a big bow. It was all hardened, made of iron. So long standing it was there. So one day, Sītā was sweeping the floor, and with her left hand she pushed the bow. It was very heavy. Nobody could... It was very weighty, heavy. And with her left hand she pushed it by a stick.

So her father said, "Oh, this is wonderful girl. She can lift this. Nobody can lift it, and with her left hand she pushed it? Oh, then my son-in-law will be he who can break this." [laughter] So he made a challenge that "Anyone, any prince, who will come and break this bow, he'll be my son-in-law." So it was only possible by Rāmacandra, Lord Rāmacandra.

So these challenge were made amongst the kṣatriyas. Otherwise, generally, the parents would select. We are married. Whatever our parents selected, we accepted. I did not like my wife, [laughs] but gradually, I was accustomed. I was obliged to like. That's all. [laughs] That is the Indian system. You like or not like, you have to accept it. That's all. The psychology is that the girls, generally, before attaining puberty if she loves one boy, she cannot forget him. That is her psychology. And a boy also, when he is grown up, the first girl he makes choice, he also cannot forget. Therefore, by some way or other they are mixed up.

So in your country the situation is different. You see? Because the boys and girls are freely mixing, and from school, college, they are freely mixing, free sex without any restriction. So we cannot enforce, at least, at the present moment. If some boy and some girl agree, then I bless him. That's all.

Now another thing, that girls should not be taken as inferior. You see? Sometimes... Of course, sometimes scripture we say that "Woman is the cause of bondage." So that should not be, I mean to say, aggravated. [laughs] That should not be aggravated, that "Woman is inferior," or something like that. So the girls who come, you should treat them nicely, at least. I heard that Gargamuni, after his wife left him, he became a woman-hater like that. [chuckles] That is not good. You see? Yes.

After all, anyone who is coming to Kṛṣṇa consciousness, man or woman, boys or girls, they are welcome. They are very fortunate. You see. And the idea of addressing "prabhu" means "you are my master." That is the... Prabhu means master. And "Prabhupāda" means many masters who bows down at his lotus feet. That is Prabhupāda. So each, everyone shall treat others as "my master." This is the Vaiṣṇava system.

So now, who is going with your party? That girl?

Tamāla Kṛṣṇa: Yes. Śrīmatī dāsī.

Prabhupāda: Śrīmatī? She is going to marry somebody? No.

Tamāla Kṛṣṇa: No. She has already had three children by a former marriage.

Prabhupāda: Nice if she does not marry. That's nice. Anyone who has got children, he [she] should not marry, I think [indistinct]. Because marriage means not for sense enjoyment. Putrāyate kriyate bhāryā, putra-piṇḍa-prayojanam. To get nice son, that is the idea of marriage. Not for sense gratification.

Those who are after sense gratification, according to Vedic scripture, they are, I mean to say, recommended to go to the prostitute. Therefore in Hindu society, still, there is a prostitute class. They are allowed... They do not allow it within the society, I mean to say, extravagant sex life. Especially spiritual life. Spiritual life means gradually forget sex life. Material life means sex life.

In the spiritual world there is no sex life, because there is no birth, there is no death. That is stated in Bhāgavata. Although the women are very, very beautiful, many thousand times more beautiful than here... Their stature of body, their everything, youthfulness, everything. But still they are so much engaged in Kṛṣṇa consciousness, in chanting the glories, that they are not, I mean to say, influenced by the lust.

That is stated in Śrīmad-Bhāgavata, in the Vaikuṇṭha. There are women. They also, men and women there is, and they also go by aeroplane, fly in the sky for trip, and all of them are devotees to Nārāyaṇa, Lakṣmī-Nārāyaṇa associate. So these things are described. So similarly, amongst the gopīs also. So in the spiritual life there is nothing like this sex pleasure. And the more we forget sex life, that means we are advancing in spiritual life.

So this should be the attitude, that women, Godsisters, they should be nicely treated so that they may not feel any... After all, they are weaker. That should be our policy. Anyway... And if somebody agrees to marry, oh, that is welcome. There is no objection. Marriage is allowed. And so many married couples, they are very nicely living.

Those who have gone to London, they were not married in the beginning, and I got them married. Similarly, here also, Harṣarāṇī and others. In New York also, Balāi dāsī, Advaita. So if the boy and girl agrees to marry, it is very nice. There is no objection. If not, they should be given all protection. Is that all right?

Tamāla Kṛṣṇa: Yes. That's how it should be. It is just very difficult, you see, to travel. I have... It is difficult to travel with these women in the way. I remember what you said to me that the, originally, you were most desirous to have just married people, and you would travel with them.

Prabhupāda: That is very nice.

Tamāla Kṛṣṇa: Yes. So I was thinking that... And I was thinking the next best thing to that is just married people and brahmacārī. If you can't have just married people, then married people and brahmacārī.

Prabhupāda: Yes. That is nice. That is nice.

Tamāla Kṛṣṇa: So that's what I told her. It's very difficult to have brahmacārī and brahmacārīṇis all the time together.

Prabhupāda: No. This is not possible. Because brahmacārīs, they are young men, and they are young girls. Naturally, there is disturbance to the mind. Yes. It is just like putting butter pot on fire. That is stated in the Bhāgavata. Nanv agni, pramadāgni ghṛta-kumbha-pāyaḥ pumān. Just like fire. [chuckles]

Fire is a woman, and man is just like butter pot, it is said. Therefore they should not keep together. [laughs] Just like there are some labels in medicine and some..., "Keep away from fire." Huh? [chuckles] "Keep away from fire." So brahmacārīnī and brahmacārī is not very good combination. But married couple and some brahmacārīs, that is nice. So this girl is married, but she is separated.

Tamāla Kṛṣṇa: Yes. And her children have been placed in the custody of the girl's parents. So the girl does not even have custody of the children. So she is not in any way, so to speak... She does not have to stay in this city because of her children, because the courts have decided that her mother will take charge of the children. She has brought them to the temple on the weekend. They're very intelligent. They like to... Oh, they like the puppets. They like to paint and draw pictures of Kṛṣṇa. So she...

Prabhupāda: But how she can travel with you? She has no husband.

Tamāla Kṛṣṇa: No. So what do you think? Is it all right for her to travel with us, or better not to?

Prabhupāda: Because she has no husband.

Tamāla Kṛṣṇa: No.

Prabhupāda: Therefore it does not look very nice.

Tamāla Kṛṣṇa: Doesn't look right.

Prabhupāda: But in your country there are so many concessions. That is a different thing. But at least, in India, no. [laughs] In your country there cannot be any such restriction. In that way, she can go. But she is also, after all, young. She is also... Although she has got children, she is also young. She is not old enough. What is her age?

Tamāla Kṛṣṇa: Thirty.

Prabhupāda: Oh, just young.

Tamāla Kṛṣṇa: Yes. I'm not worried so much how it looks in this country. What I'm worried about is the mixing. But people don't care. The public does not mind. It's not...

Prabhupāda: No, if you think her presence essential, you can take.

Tamāla Kṛṣṇa: Uh, it is not essential. We have never tried to have all brahmacārī kīrtana outside, saṅkīrtana. We have always had some women, so I've always felt that we need women. But maybe we don't need them on saṅkīrtana.

Madhudviṣa: Did Lord Caitanya have women..., householders traveling with Him when He went on saṅkīrtana?

Prabhupāda: Yes. They're following. Still, saṅkīrtana, they follow. But they have got their husband. Saṅkīrtana, everyone can.

Tamāla Kṛṣṇa: Children, too.

Prabhupāda: Oh, yes. Everyone. Saṅkīrtana means assembly. Bahubhir militva kirtayatiti saṅkīrtanaḥ. That is the derivation. When many people assemble together and chant, that is called saṅkīrtana. If you alone chant, that is called kīrtana. And when you chant in assembly, that is called saṅkīrtana.

Tamāla Kṛṣṇa: I think that what we'll do is take her along, and if it does not work out properly, then she can go to San Francisco. There are a lot of brahmacārīṇis there.

Prabhupāda: Yes. Yes. And what about this girl?

Tamāla Kṛṣṇa: Dīna-tāritā.

Prabhupāda: Dīna-tāritā has gone. She is coming back?

Pradyumna: We don't know yet. We don't know where she went. She didn't call us or leave any word.

Devotee: Very, very unexpected.

Rob: She walked out with a sack and said she was going to do wash in a big knapsack, and then she never came back.

Prabhupāda: She should not have gone like that. If she did not like, she should have frankly told me. This is not good.

Madhudviṣa: Her brother... She was in correspondence with her brother, and her brother had some problem with drugs, taking intoxicants, drugs, and she wanted him to come to Kṛṣṇa consciousness, and she was talking about sending him money to have him come to Seattle. So that made us think that she might have gone to San Francisco to try to bring her brother to Kṛṣṇa consciousness. But she...

Prabhupāda: If that is her idea, that's good, but why did not she tell us that "I am going to my brother's"? Nobody would have forbidden her. She has taken some money?

Tamāla Kṛṣṇa: Two hundred. How much was it?

Nara-nārāyaṇa: There was two hundred dollars that... She was going to take twenty-five and send to her brother. The two hundred dollars is not... No one knows where it is now. It has not appeared. And she had thirty dollars about of her own money. And this two hundred dollars belonged to another girl who was going to give it to Upendra dāsa for the temple.

Tamāla Kṛṣṇa: Temple. It was left on the table. Now no one can find it.

Nara-nārāyaṇa: No one knows where it is now. So she may have taken this two hundred dollars.

Prabhupāda: Then it is guessed that she has taken?

Tamāla Kṛṣṇa: Yes, it is guessed that she has taken.

Nara-nārāyaṇa: Uh...

Tamāla Kṛṣṇa: We don't know for sure, but the money is not there.

Prabhupāda: The money is not there, she is not there. So the natural conclusion... [laughter]

Tamāla Kṛṣṇa: I don't think this would have happened if she could have come on kīrtana. I don't think it would have happened. But what could I do? I mean, I told her. It was not... You see what I mean? There was... This is a problem, because it is... This kīrtana is very nice for the women. They like to come on it very much. It immediately engages them. The first day they come into the temple they can come out with us. Yet it's difficult, because...

Prabhupāda: Difficulty is that... If the women get married, then there is no difficulty.

Tamāla Kṛṣṇa: No. But if they don't get married. When they are offered... Here is a woman. She was offered and... You see? It was suggested that she get married, and because of her body she said no. She thinks she is, you know, she... That's the only reason she could say no, because material reason. Not spiritual reason. She said no because of her preference, material preference.

Prabhupāda: Of course, so long we have got this material body, some material consideration must be there. [chuckles] That is not possible to avoid completely.

Devotee: They shouldn't force her to get married, though. That was kind of a bad choice that they gave her, "Either get married or don't come on saṅkīrtana." You can't force somebody.

Tamāla Kṛṣṇa: No, that wasn't the situation. It was not that choice.

Devotee (1): What? You can't... I mean to say that you can't force somebody to get married. You know? That isn't proper.

Prabhupāda: There was no force. There was no force. Only proposal. That's all. When it was proposed before me, I also said, "It depends on the choice." So anyway, go on with your work, saṅkīrtana movement you have started. It is very nice. And it is being responded. So increase it. If simply brahmacārīs can do it, that is best.

Tamāla Kṛṣṇa: We would all like it that way. We would prefer it that way.

Prabhupāda: Or married couple. If some girl want to go, then she may marry somebody. That will be nice. Of course, in your country there is no such restriction if unmarried girls go with you. But if she is married, that is better. So you make your choice in that way. So she is going, this girl?

Tamāla Kṛṣṇa: Śrīmatī?

Prabhupāda: Śrīmatī?

Tamāla Kṛṣṇa: Yes. She wishes to go. I asked her, I told her, "So you have to get married." And she just said, "Oh, I have been married. I just want to marry Kṛṣṇa now."

Prabhupāda: [laughs] That's nice. That is very nice. Yes. If one gets Kṛṣṇa actually, he or she forgets everything. That is sure. Yaṁ labdhvā cāparaṁ lābhaṁ nādhikaṁ manyate tataḥ [Bg. 6.22].

[The stage of perfection is called trance, or samādhi, when one's mind is completely restrained from material mental activities by practice of yoga. This is characterized by one's ability to see the self by the pure mind and to relish and rejoice in the self. In that joyous state, one is situated in boundless transcendental happiness and enjoys himself through transcendental senses. Established thus, one never departs from the truth, and upon gaining this he thinks there is no greater gain. Being situated in such a position, one is never shaken, even in the midst of greatest difficulty. This indeed is actual freedom from all miseries arising from material contact.]

After getting Kṛṣṇa, nobody wants to get anything more. He is full. Svamin krtartho 'smi [Cc. Madhya 22.42]:

[“[When he was being blessed by the Supreme Personality of Godhead, Dhruva Mahārāja said:] ’O my Lord, because I was seeking an opulent material position, I was performing severe types of penance and austerity. Now I have gotten You, who are very difficult for the great demigods, saintly persons and kings to attain. I was searching after a piece of glass, but instead I have found a most valuable jewel. Therefore I am so satisfied that I do not wish to ask any benediction from You.’]

"My dear Lord, I am now fully satisfied." That is the preaching we are making, that everyone is trying to love something: either personally his body, senses, or then expanded: wife, children; then family, community, society and country, humanity, extending. But there is no, I mean to say, satisfaction. Because the real lovable object is Kṛṣṇa. And when he goes to Kṛṣṇa, then, oh, svamin krtartho 'smi.

The same example: just like you are feeling hunger. Now, somebody told you, "Give food." So you are trying to put food in the nose, in the ear, in the mouth, in the anus, in this and that. No satisfaction. You give it here, oh, fully satisfied. We do not know where to put our love. That we are teaching, yes spot. Most valuable conclusion. But unfortunately, they are not...

Govinda dāsī: It's all right. Tamāla, it's ten after six.

Tamāla Kṛṣṇa: Oh, six. [end]