Suitable Arrangements for Harmonious Marriages - ISKCON Congregational Development Ministry

Suitable Arrangements for Harmonious Marriages

By H.H. Chandramauli Swami

When there is unwanted or undesired population the type of population were the soul is called in to enter into the womb of a mother who is not following the Vedic culture, the Vedic traditions or the Vedic samskaras, purifictory processes and what is the result? We have what we call population that is not obedient to anyone, to the parents, any form of authority. That is the situation in Kali-yuga.

So this attraction between men and women, Prabhupada mentions this many times it is not healthy material. Spiritually it is a different point. Materially it is unnatural. The natural attraction is between the living entity or the soul and the Supreme Personality of Godhead.

That desire for pleasure is situated within the soul so there is rasa, the essential attraction between the living entity and Krsna, the Supreme Personality of Godhead, that attraction is spontaneous, it is natural and doesn’t have to be learnt but when that attraction becomes devoted to something else then it becomes perverted and the epitome of that devotion is the attraction between men and women in the material world.

So we want to purify that attraction and bring it to the point of bringing it back to Krsna consciousness. Married life is a very important situation. This is the way to dovetail the physical attraction to the opposite sex in an environment which allows us to fulfill ones desires in relationship with the opposite sex by producing Krsna conscious children. But ultimately we have to become detached from that situation and ultimately practice complete renunciation, with dependence fully on the Supreme Personality of Godhead and go back home back to Godhead, which is the goal of life.

In order for that process to play itself out properly there should be nice arrangements within married life that in such a way that there is compatibility were one can satisfy ones sensual nature but at the same time practice Krsna consciousness. It is all based on accepting authority. That is what this whole section is about.

Prabhupada mentions in the Vedic culture what was the authority? It was the father and the mother. They would arrange for both the girl and the boy according to the quality and character to become situated within their asrama, not independently, not whimsically. Some people say that today that is not practical, it is not possible, the training is not there and it is too difficult and what are the authorities now? The parents are also not trained especially in western culture.

They will say, “My parents never got married like that.” One has to take direction from Srila Prabhupada says here, second birth, the spiritual master. So the process of devotional service in order to move into that ashram nicely. Srila Prabhupada speaks about his own life how his parents especially his father arranged for his marriage and Prabhupada speaks out on one tape, it is interesting he mentions, “I wanted a second wife.” Because as he puts it in his own words, “I did not like my wife so much. But my father said, ‘No you stay with her and this arrangement will allow you to fulfill your needs and at the same time become renounced.’”

So although Srila Prabhupada accepted the authority of his father for marriage he had another idea that he could take another wife but his father said no and he accepted that. So again the acceptance of authority and then he fulfilled his obligation in married life and maintained his wife very nicely and when it was time to leave that situation he did.

When one follows the authority, this is the point that I am trying to stress then one can get the mercy and blessings of both the authorities and the Supreme Personality of Godhead. When one acts independently according to ones immediate attraction and that happens all the time.

We find in western society, especially materialistic society, this was about five years ago, of course this is from materialistic society but we can still learn from it. Seventy percent of marriages ended in divorce within the first three years. Then those persons who got divorced end up getting married two or three times and there is also the mention that physical attraction, this initial infatuation, physical or even some emotional attachment becomes somewhat dissipated in the course of time.

Unless there is something else to keep that relationship together then they become restless and look for something in order to satisfy their desires. That is why Vedic culture teaches that within the relationships between man and women there should be the practice of Krsna consciousness according to the regulative principles and even if there is disagreements, or even if the characters are not fully perfect then one can somehow or the other rise above those difficulties.

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