Letters of His Divine Grace A. C. Bhaktivedānta Swami Prabhupāda
7 November, 1972
[To Mr. Loy]
Please accept my blessings. I beg to acknowledge receipt of your letter dated November 7, 1972, and I can very much understand your concern. After all, she is your beloved daughter, and you have sacrificed everything just to bring her to the point of proper education, training, and so many things are there between you. But what can I say? In your country the girls are independent, and from very young age they are accustomed to mix with young boys, so naturally there will be attraction, sex desire and marriage.
Actually this whole material world is running on this attraction between man and woman. It is described in Srimad-Bhagavatam that once the boy and girl unite intimately, the hard knot is formed, and the girl is thinking “Oh, without him I am lost”, and the boy is thinking “Oh, without her I am lost,” that is Maya’s arrangement for keeping us bound-up tightly in the material atmosphere. If wife is there, then some money must be coming, that means work, land or factory, children, home, friends, community, nation—like that there is increasing complication of illusion of thinking: This is mine, that is mine.
But they do not know that one day death will kick them out, mercilessly, and neither home, nor wife, nor children, nothing can prevent that. All along he is thinking these things are like soldiers of security to safeguard his happy life, but they are described as “fallible soldiers” because they will not help us at all. When the moment of death is there, no one may protect us, and if we are not prepared for that moment by practicing Krishna Consciousness or God-consciousness, then we shall be struck with fear and we shall not know where we are going after and what kind of body we may be forced by nature to take.
But this kind of householder life of “grihameda” consciousness does not apply to our marriages in Krishna Consciousness Movement. No. Because the sex-urge is so strong in young persons, and because they are used to mixing freely with one another, I encourage my students to get themselves married.
But our point is not that hard knot as above described. It is simply a relationship of mutually helping each other, man and wife, to make advancement in spiritual life, nothing more. We are not after home, money, fame, like that. But that does not mean that he shall not support her nicely, no. It is the duty of husband to protect wife in every way from the onslaught of material nature, and he must act always as her spiritual guide by being perfect example of devotee. Women are not so quick to learn, and they are weak by nature, so they should be protected in this way. In our Vedic science of living, it is enjoined that the society should be organized in such a way to protect women, children, old people and cows, because factually all of them are innocent.
It is recommended that women should be married at a very early age
So children have parents, elderly persons must have grown up children to protect them, and woman must have husband. And it is recommended they should be married at very early age, then the wife will remain always chaste and devoted to her husband. At such young age, from the first night onwards, she can never for a moment forget him, being still child and unspoiled, therefore she becomes the perfect chaste wife, and in those times the wife was so much devoted to her husband that she would voluntarily die in the fire of his cremation, unable to live without him. Myself, I was very young when I got married, and my wife was 11 years only. But there is no question of separation in our marriage belief, neither your daughter will ever be separated from that boy, that is their vow.
They have realized that life together spent in the pursuit of God is real knowledge
Rather, it is when people are a little grown-up, when they have got little independence and their own ways of doing things, then if they marry there is often difficulty to adjust, just as it is more difficult to bend the bamboo when it is yellow. So I can assure you that you may have nothing to fear that your daughter has married such a nice boy: bahunam janmanam ante, jnanavan mam prapadyante, vasudevah sarvam iti, sa mahatma sudurlabhah [Bg. 7.19]. Krishna assures us that “After many many births and deaths, he who is actually in knowledge surrenders unto Me, knowing Me to be the cause of all causes and all that is. Such a great soul is very rare.” (Bhagavad-gita, VII, 19). In this light, try to view these children. They have realized that life together spent in the pursuit of God is real knowledge, and that they have not done lightly by any means, no actually they must be considered as great souls, the most exalted persons among all persons. Our married couples are rendering the greatest service to humanity, their countrymen, and to their parents, of that kindly be assured by me.
Do not worry for anything in this connection, you are a great gentleman, otherwise you could not have fostered such intelligent daughter, and gentlemen are known to be broad-minded, so therefore I appeal to you as their spiritual father to encourage them in every respect. Hoping this meets you in good health.
A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami