Vedic Training:
How To Become  A Krishna Conscious Wife
For ISKCON Brahmacarinis

"Conclusion:" chapter of the Brahmacarini Training Manual.  >Contents Page

Conclusion: Training:

The conclusion is simple, the application may not be. The entire message of this whole book, all based on the many quotes by Srila Prabhupad, is to stress why and how a wife must submissively serve her husband and allow him to assume the superior position in marriage. The conclusion is to apply these teachings of Srila Prabhupad. It is essential in order to make a peaceful family and a peaceful society.

Srila Prabhupad said that this is achieved through training. Culture requires training. If no one else is teaching you these things, then you must teach yourself. Self-discipline. Study what Srila Prabhupad taught on the matter, study it again. Understand it. Then work to apply it.

Morning Walk Conversation July 10, 1975

Now our policy should be that at Dallas we shall create first-class men, and we shall teach the girls two things. One thing is how to become chaste and faithful to their husband and how to cook nicely. If these two qualifications they have, I will take guarantee to get for them good husband. I’ll personally... Yes. These two qualifications required. She must learn how to prepare first-class foodstuff, and she must learn how to become chaste and faithful to the husband. Only these two qualification required. Then her life is successful. So try to do that. Ordinary education is sufficient, ABCD. This is all nonsense, so big, big, sound education and later on become a prostitute. What is this education? To make them prostitute, it doesn’t require education.

Here Srila Prabhupad explains what he wants us to do in regards to our daughters (the brahmacarinis can take lesson as well). The girls are to learn 2 things. How to cook first-class and how to submissively serve their husbands. He says if the girls can learn these 2 things then he will make a personal guarantee to get a good husband for the girls. Srila Prabhupad will give his personal guarantee. What more can a girl who desires a good Krishna Conscious husband ask for than this?

If we train our daughters up in just these two things, Krishna’s pure devotee will then personally guarantee to find her a good husband. We want to find a first-class husband for our daughter, or the brahmacarini wants to find for herself, here is how to get Srila Prabhupad’s personal guarantee to get a good husband.

It is simple. It starts with the girl becoming qualified to be a first-class wife, then Krishna and Srila Prabhupad he will send someone equally qualified. If you are not so qualified, why should Prabhupad or Krishna send you a more qualified husband?

The girls must understand that the prescribed duty for the wife is to become submissive and faithful to her husband. These are the instruction of Krishna and Srila Prabhupad repeated and said in so many ways time after time. It is the wife’s social duty and it is her duty and service to Krishna. As with all other duties, we must not be attached to the results. If the marriage is materially successful, that is nice. Regardless, if the woman and man perform their duties as their service to Krishna, then spiritually they will succeed. We must not be attached to the material results.

Do you want a peaceful and happy married life? Do you want submissive and wonderfully happy Krishna Conscious children? Mother is said to be the first guru in life. She is the first teacher. To become a perfect teacher one first must become a perfect follower. The best way to teach is by example. When the wife is submissive to her husband and approaches him with folded hands in a submissive mood, she teaches the children by her example how to properly respect their authorities (their parents).

My wife is from Hindu family, and some of this is easier for her to understand. However, she was born in South Africa and received a Western style education. She understands these things are right, but she still has problems in applying it. I cannot say she is an ideal wife, but, she has made progress in the last several years.

This book, as I said at the beginning it would, has presented strictly the Vedic standards of ideal character and behavior for the wife. Accepting and worshipping the husband as instructor guru, being always submissive and taking the subordinate position. Always speaking with sweet kind words. These are tall orders for the modern Western raised ‘liberated’ woman. As many women have remarked, to them this is like a return to the dark ages. Interesting to note, however, is that if we go back 80 to 100 years, even 50 years, we find the divorce rates in America were very small. While at the same time women were still somewhat subordinate to the husband, and the majority of women were mother’s and housewives. The more ‘liberated’ the women have become, the more independent and un-submissive they have become, the higher and higher has the divorce rate climbed. At the same time happiness in family has declined, more and more children are suffering the results of broken family and homes. What good to society is ‘women’s liberation’? The goal, it is thought, is to make life better for women. The goal is to make like happier and more peaceful. People will wake up. You judge something by the results it produces. Take a look at the facts, look at the results. Women’s so-called liberation and equal treatment - equal rights it has produced just the opposite effect. If you want a peaceful and successful married life, please, take Srila Prabhupad’s instructions to heart.

Training for the daughter: Parent’s are to teach the daughter at home. Of course, the first thing is the parent’s need to understand and agree to these principles. Then, the best training is by example. The mother of the daughter should herself practice this (as far as respecting the husband properly). This can start with offering obeisances, touching his feet, approaching him with folded hands. Never arguing. Always speaking sweetly to him, no matter what. Serving him in a surrendered and submissive mood. This is the best training any mother can give her daughter. This sort of training will very, very much please Srila Prabhupad.

If the mother cannot bring herself to that position due to her own weakness, then the next best thing is for her to at least philosophically accept or even theoretically accept that Srila Prabhupad’s teachings, his instructions on this matter are correct. From this platform she has to be straight forward and fully honest with her daughter and explain to her what is the ideal standard and why her daughter needs to understand this, and explain why she, the mother, has problems doing it. She can explain that she was not trained like this herself in youth, therefore it is hard for her to apply it.

Actually, on a several points my wife fits this description. However, I am the one who does the explaining to our daughters and she supports what I teach them. My oldest daughter is now 4 (as of March of 1997) and she understands that when her mother is not acting ‘properly’.

In fact, just the other week we had another fight. My older daughter came up and said, "Pitaji, come, I want to tell you something in the other room". I went and she told me, "Pitaji, I am never going to yell at my husband. Mataji doesn’t know. It is very bad. I am never going to yell at my husband for any reason." I gave her a big hug and told her that Krishna was very pleased with her, she is learning very nicely. And I went back and told my wife that she had to be very proud of her daughter. Our training is working. That actually ended the fight. Our fights occur much less often, they are shorter and the after-effects disappear much quicker. The reason, my wife is slowly trying to apply these things. She (sort of) knows when she is wrong, but it is still a bit hard for her to apply it all the time. And, I am not taking advantage. She has been over worked with raising 3 small children with no extended family to help. She gets over worked at times, exhausted. In those states she sometimes looses it, and we fight.

At what age should the training for the daughter begin? Srila Prabhupad said cultural training begins at birth. My oldest daughter is now 4 as of March of 97. Before she could talk I have been telling her how someday I will give her to a husband and how she must always speak very nicely to him, serve him, worship his feet, make him happy, clean his house and learn to cook very nicely for him. I have told her that this will please Srila Prabhupad very much. I made it a point to have this talk with her every once in a while. Every month or two, sometimes more often. Now that she is 4 she understands very nicely. None of this is new to her. It is all quite natural, she has heard it all her life. And I will continue training her in this way. I am setting the foundation for her to have a happy married life. I am qualifying her so that Srila Prabhupad and Krishna will be obligated to help me find her an equally qualified young man who will give her the protection and spiritual guidance she deserves.

Culture requires training. These things do not come totally on their own. Everything must be painstakingly taught to children. How to pass in the toilet, how to talk, how to walk, how to read and write. Everything has to be taught by repeating the same thing over and over, by reading, by example. The same with culture. Read what Srila Prabhupad has taught. Discuss it with them. Read it again, and again, talk to them about it, explain why. Then show by example. That is the duty of mother and father, to properly guide and train their children.

Training for the Brahmacarini: The older we are the harder it becomes to learn new things, what to speak of an entirely different culture with all different ideas and ways of looking at things. It isn’t easy, but it can be done. The Mormons do it. New people join their religion all the time, and they are trained in (many) of these ways. (Mormons teach that women are meant to be subordinate to the men). The first thing for the older girls is the same as for the child, it has to be properly understood and accepted first. We have to understand how this will make our future life happy and our marriage successful. It means to caste off all the garbage and rubbish we have learned throughout our previous life as a non-devotee. All the trash about how a woman must be fight for her equal rights. Caste it all off. (As Srila Prabhupad has said, a disciple should present himself to his guru like a freshly erased chalk board so that the guru can now write on it the actual truth. Study what Srila Prabhupad has taught, it is a very precise science. Study the failures of women’s liberation. The failure rate of marriages today. Understand how this can ruin or seriously hinder and damage the lives of the children of broken homes. Understand the connection and truth in what Srila Prabhupad says, that divorce is due to womanly weakness that manifests by the wife not accepting her husband as her authority, by not taking the submissive position in all dealings with him. Understand the need to follow the varnashram system of marriage, then train yourself.

This is only one short life. What does a mataji stand to gain if she were to make an experiment and full heartedly follow this science? The first thing is that she stands to gain Srila Prabhupad’s and Sri Krishna’s direct mercy. She stands to gain a life-long happy family and marriage that is peaceful, where no fights or arguments destroy that peace. Where the Goddess of Fortune will come to reside with them. She stands to gain wonderful children who will grow up in a warm and peaceful family environment.

What does she stand to loose for following this science? A few so-called friends who may think she is crazy (but, those so-called friends will be destined to misery and divorce and remarriage. Why go down with them?). (And she stands to gain friends of like mindedness who will help support her in her way of a better life). She will loose her fear of loosing her self-esteem, but she will not loose her self-esteem, that will increase. She will feel very good about herself knowing that Krishna and Srila Prabhupad are pleased with her. And knowing that she is teaching her children the best example. She will feel good when after years of marriage she can look back and remember only a peaceful and happy marriage with no fights and arguments.

What does a mataji have to gain for not following this. She will most likely be able to look forward to a life with more than one husband, and living with step-children, as one marriage after another ends in the hell of divorce. But, she will be happily left with the satisfaction that she did not have to stoop to the level of being subordinate to any man. She will have the happiness of knowing that she stood firm in life and demanded that as a woman she be treated equally. She will have the happiness of knowing that she did not have to bow her head down and touch no feet of no husband-guru. And this happy feeling will be cheered on by the other divorced and remarried matajis whom she keeps friends with (what to speak of all the step-children she has been able to share her joyful life with. You know, husband number 2, well he brought 2 children from his first wife into the marriage from his 3rd wife, but he also fathered 2 children from his first wife, and another child from his second wife, and you got to meet them all as their step-step-mother. Then, you had to say goodbye when that marriage also ended. Your 3rd husband he brought 5 children into the house, 2 from his first wife, another 2 from his second wife and another from his 5th wife (his 3rd and 4th wife kept their children). You think that such things don’t happen? They do, they are, inside and outside of ISKCON. According to Srila Prabhupad, the cause of all this animal business is the fact that the wives do no not take to the submissive position.

She will have everything to loose for not following.

How to train? There is not father to instruct you, so you must read and study what Prabhupad has instructed. And practice, if only in your heart and mind. Practice how you will always approach your husband with kind words and folded hands. Practice how to be tolerant of a man’s irritable nature at times. Etc. It may sound odd, but some of the devotional Indian movies, like Ramayan or Mahabharat, etc,, show practically how a wife should greet her husband and master (prabhu) with folded hands and proper mood of submission. I suggest these things because we do not have the experience in the West. Our mother’s, relatives, no one lives like this. Many Westerners haven’t got any experience of it at all. They’ve never seen a wife who is so surrendered. Even in ISKCON there are very few ideal examples. Therefore Indian movies can provide some examples we can’t see other wise. One movie is the 2 part black and white movies about Lord Chaitanya made in the late 1950’s. If it is possible to view these videos watch and discuss with someone who is favorable to these ideas what the proper mood of respect for husband is and how to learn it. I got the idea for having my wife touch my feet, so that my children would learn it, from watching the Gandhi movie that was made back in the early 1980’s. In one scene it showed Gandhi’s wife touching his feet, then his children touching and I realized this was a needed cultural training that I wanted to give to my children. Of course, it is a custom my wife was more familiar with. Later I spoke with some Indians, and in India I observed it while I was there. It is very good training to learn respect for authority. Which starts with respect for mother and father. Wife teaches by respecting her husband-guru.

Unfortunately, most people in the West will want to discourage you. So, for now, it may be something you’ll have to study and practice on your own.

My wife’s mother is very good example of a submissive wife. We brought her for a visit in 1994 to help my wife with her last pregnancy. She stayed for 3 months. I had been looking to take a second wife and although Ragalekha had tried to surrender to the idea at times, she got angry with me about it when her mother came. (Srila Prabhupad has not only allowed it under the proper circumstances he has at times encourages it. But, under unfavorable circumstances he has strictly prohibited it. I have also written a book on that subject as well). So the issue was brought up and my wife got extremely upset, the angriest and most uncontrollable she has ever been. She was thinking that with her mother here the issue could be settle once and for all. She was thinking that by blowing up and making a huge scene that her mother would take her side and the two of them would finally get me to drop the idea.

After making her scene, my mother-in-law, who was trained from birth on how to be submissive to her husband, didn’t say one word to me (practically she smiled at me is all). But, she tore into her daughter. She scolded her and told her she was ashamed of the way she had acted. She told her she must never raise her voice to her husband, for any reason. She chastised her saying she must never be disrespectful to her husband. She told my wife that I had given her nice children, a nice home, etc., so if I wanted another wife she should keep her mouth shut and let me take. This is exactly the same thing Srila Prabhupad instructed in one of his very last instructions regarding marriage:

June 28th, 1977, Room Conversation in Vrndaban

"Oh, yes. That is husband’s duty. She has dedicated her everything to the husband, and husband must see that she is comfortable. This is husband. She must have children, she must have good house, good eating, good clothing, good ornament. Then she is satisfied. They want these things. A woman does not mind very much, "My husband has got more than one wife." If she gets all the comforts of her wishes, some children and some comforts, then she is... She does not grudge because woman knows man’s psychology. A man is not satisfied with one woman. So he must be given that. But she must be chaste. She cannot have more than... Then their relation is all right. If the woman allows husband—"He likes. Let him have more than one woman, but I must be chaste"—this... Our civilization is nowhere, Vedic culture."

My mother-in-law is so well behaved, so nicely trained. And my, she is the one who needed this from her mother. Before it was just me telling her what Srila Prabhupad said, and no one else to reinforce it. The other devotees told her not to let her husband step all over her and take advantage, to stand up for her self, for her ‘rights’. But, her mother told her exactly the same thing Srila Prabhupad taught, because she had been properly trained as a young girl.

My mother-in-law (her name is Pujari Harinarayan) told us that she never raised her voice, never talked back, never argued or fought with her husband. Only one time, when he was about to risk every penny they had on a new and risky business deal, she said she did argue with him, and she felt very badly about it. But only that one time. Otherwise, never.

She never went to any school. She was trained at home by her mother and father. And she was actually trained, she said, by her father and family. She was taught that a good wife never argues with her husband, for any reason. (We must not just teach ABCs and give no training of how to be good wife).

She then told us how after she was married her husband was thinking of leaving her for another wife. He had got into some bad association and his friends had introduced him to another girl. They were trying to convince him to leave his wife (my mother in law) for this other girl. He was carrying her picture with him. My mother in law found the girl’s picture. She went to her husband’s sister to find out if she knew who it was. Her husband’s sister told her what was going on. For 2 weeks my mother in law said nothing to her husband. She tried to appear happy and pleasant when he was at home. After 2 weeks the sister told her husband that his wife had known what he was doing. He was astonished. His wife knew he was thinking of leaving her for another woman? Why, for 2 weeks, she had said nothing? Why she wasn’t angry? He admitted to her what he had been up to and asked her these questions. My mother in law said, what could she do? She had been trained that a good wife must never argue or get angry with her husband for any reason. She told him that he was her lord, her master, what ever he wanted to do, she had to let him, even if he wanted to reject her and make her a widow. This is similar to the mood that Lord Caitanya has for Krishna. You can trample me down beneath Your feet or tightly embrace me as Your maid-servant. You are always my worshipful Lord, unconditionally. In this same way, my mother in law was instructing her daughter the same as Srila Prabhupad has taught. A good wife cannot say anything bad to her husband. She should never get angry or be upset with him. No matter what the situation is.

My father in law immediately realized what a wonderful, fully submissive and surrendered woman he had for a wife. It is a man’s nature (at least a man of somewhat good quality) that if some one comes to him fully surrendered, he automatically feels some compassion. She was fully dependent upon his mercy. He saw that. What could he do? He couldn’t leave such a fully surrendered wife. He felt ashamed that he had even considered it. He immediately rejected his friend’s bad advice and gave up all association with the other girl. He remained faithful to his wife for the rest of his life.

My mother-in-law’s training to be a fully submissive and surrendered wife saved their marriage. As a result they had 10 children, my wife being one, and she has other brothers and sisters who are full time devotees. So, my mother in law was rightfully upset with her daughter’s very bad behavior. She was upset that her daughter didn’t learn from her the same mood a good wife should have toward her husband. Even over such an issue as the husband seeking a second wife, the properly trained wife must not fight. She is to keep her mouth shut and as Srila Prabhupad says, understand it is a man’s nature, and allow him. If this is to be a wife’s mood toward her husband over such an explosive issue, than what to speak of lessor problems in the home. This is the standard the girls must be trained to. If a wife never fights with the husband even over what would seem to be the most volatile topics, then there will be no fights in the home. Then family life will be peaceful. Then good children will be attracted to that home.

At the very least, we must understand this is the ideal standard to strive for. If we want the happiness it can give, we must diligently apply it to our own lives.