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

"Why So Concerned About Marriage" chapter of the Brahmacarini Training Manual.  >Contents Page

Krishna Consciousness Is For Renunciation.  
Why Be So Concerned AboutMarried Life?:

Krishna Consciousness is a Society. Society means men, women, children, families, etc. Lord Caitanya Mahaprabhu married twice. Nityananda, Adwaita Acharya, Srinivas, Gadadhar, they are all married men. Srila Prabhupad was a family man. Krishna married 16,108 times. Married life is allowed, it is a part of Krishna Consciousness

The purpose of marriage is for husband and wife to assist one another in their service and progress on the path of love for Krishna.  As we will read, Srila Prabhupad encouraged and wanted that all women be married. Especially every young woman must be married. Srila Prabhupad encouraged that brahmacari should remain life-long brahmacari, if possible. At least it is advised to wait as long as they can. Brahmacari is time for self-control, austerity. To build up strong character. Srila Prabhupad instructed, and Manu states in the Manu Samhita, that a boy should put off marriage up until the point when his service or duties become hindered due to mental agitation. Then he can marry. But, for girls, Prabhupad taught that prior to puberty they should be married. And girl should be given a child as soon as she is able. 

Room Conversation August 15, 1971, London 710815rc.lon 

Prabhupada: Yes. That is psychological. They develop... Sex life, sex urge is there as soon as twelve years, thirteen years old, especially women. So therefore early marriage was sanctioned in India. Early marriage. Boy fifteen years, sixteen years, and girl twelve years. Not twelve years, ten years. I was married, my wife was eleven years. I was 22 years. She did not know what is sex, eleven years’ girl. Because Indian girls, they have no such opportunity of mixing with others. But after the first menstruation, the husband is ready. This is the system, Indian system. 

Shyamasundara: So they are not spoiled. 

Prabhupada: No. And the psychology is the girl, after first menstruation, she enjoys sex life with a boy, she will never forget that boy. Her love for that boy is fixed up for good. This is woman’s psychology. And she is allowed to have many, oh, she will never be chaste woman. These are the psychology. So these rascals, Westerners, they do not know and they are becoming philosopher, scientist, and politician, and spoiling the whole world. They can be saved only by this Krsna consciousness movement. There is no other way.

Purport to SB 4.25.42 

A young woman who has no husband is called anatha, meaning "one who is not protected." As soon as a woman attains the age of puberty, she immediately becomes very much agitated by sexual desire. It is therefore the duty of the father to get his daughter married before she attains puberty. Otherwise she will be very much mortified by not having a husband. Anyone who satisfies her desire for sex at that age becomes a great object of satisfaction. It is a psychological fact that when a woman at the age of puberty meets a man and the man satisfies her sexually, she will love that man for the rest of her life, regardless who he is. Thus so-called love within this material world is nothing but sexual satisfaction. 

Srila Prabhupad says that the world can only be saved by this Krishna Consciousness movement. There is no other way. Girls must be married young. A young girl who has no husband is considered to be unprotected. We shall learn why protection by marriage of women is important a little later. 
But these things apply specifically for our daughters. What about the girls who come to Krishna Consciousness later in life? 

Marriage of Satsvarüpa and Jaduräëi
New York, September 5, 1968 680905IN.NY 

There are twelve selected personalities who are considered to be the authority of this Krsna consciousness movement [the 12 mahajans]. Out of twelve authorities, seven authorities were all grhasthas, householders. Caitanya Mahaprabhu’s associates, Nityananda Prabhu, Advaita Prabhu, Gadadhara, and Srivasa, and Caitanya Mahaprabhu Himself, they were all householders. So it is not that simply sannyäsé or brahmacäré can realize Krsna consciousness and not the householders. No. 
So in our association we welcome this sort of marriage between trained brahmacari and brahmacarini so that we can welcome nice children for future Krsna conscious generation. That is our viewpoint. 

First of all, Srila Prabhupad was not opposed to marriage by trained brahmacari and brahmacarini. Note, however, Srila Prabhupad says they must be trained. Part of that training is the training this book is intended to give. Training for the duties and roles of householder life. 

Room Conversation April 2, 1977, Bombay 

Prabhupad: Woman brahmacarini, this is artificial.

Tamala Krsna: In our centers, though, there are so many brahmacarinis, and even sometimes they’re encouraged to remain brahmacarini. 

Prabhupada: That they cannot. As soon as they will find opportunity, they will become vyabhicarini. [unchaste - prostitute] 

Tamala Krsna: They’ll become what? 

Prabhupada: Vyabhicarini. For woman, protection. 

Tamala Krsna: So you don’t advocate this remaining sing..., these women remaining brahmacarini. 

Prabhupada: Therefore polygamy was allowed. Let them be taken care of, one husband, three wives. Therefore the kñatriyas were taking hundreds of women. They had money. 

Tamala Krsna: Who? 

Prabhupada: Ksatriyas. 

Tamala Krsna: Ksatriyas, yes. 

Prabhupada: Just like we see, when Devaki was married, so many Devaki’s young friends also went. They were taken shelter. The woman population is always bigger. 

For women, the brahmacarini’s, Srila Prabhupad stressed marriage. They must be protected. Even if they become a man’s second or third wife, they require protection. That is the point. Prabhupad did not encourage young unmarried girls to remain unmarried, even if they were distributing so many books. He only encouraged marriage for girls. Get trained in household life and get them married. This is Srila Prabhupad’s desire. 

Letter to: Satsvarupa, Montreal, 18 August, 1968 68-08-08 

That the Brahmacarini ashram is a good success is very good news. But the best thing will be if the grown-up Brahmacarinis get married. According to Vedic culture, woman is never to remain independent. I shall be glad if the Brahmacarinis can have nice husbands, and live as Grhasthas. But if they cannot find out good husbands, it is better to remain a Brahmacarini all the life, even though it is little difficult 

This was Srila Prabhupad’s teachings at the beginning of the movement, back in 1968 (this letter is in reference to the first formal brahmacarini ashram in ISKCON) and his instructions remained the same through to 1977. Prabhupad wanted the girls to be trained and married. Women are not to ever be independent. Prabhupad says he will be glad if all the girls have nice husbands. But, if they cannot find a good husband (since there were plenty of men at the time, this sort of indicates that many of the men in the movement were (are) not really qualified to be good husbands), then he says it is better to remain brahmacarini all life, even if it is difficult. Manu Samhita says the same thing. Manu says that if the father cannot find any one qualified the girl must remain protected in her father’s house her entire life. 

Letter to: Rukmini, Los Angeles, 19 December, 1968 68-12-19 

In your letter you have written that you are desiring to remain as brahmacarini for a few years longer and this idea is alright. In India the marriage between a boy and girl is arranged by the parents but in this country such arrangement is not possible so we never request our students to marry if they are not desiring to do this.

Srila Prabhupad was requesting if Rukmini would marry one male devotee, and she replied she preferred to wait. Srila Prabhupad was acting as father to this girl, and he attempted to make an arrangement, but she didn’t agree. If one is not willing to marry, then Srila Prabhupad didn’t push them to do so. However, as we read earlier it is fully authorized to marry if one so desires. And if he or she desires not to, no one should force them to. Although Srila Prabhupad states here that such arranged marriages are not possible (at that time) we must balance that statement with the fact that this is the system that he personally introduced and taught us to abide by. 

CC Madhya 7.128 Purport 

Instead of living engrossed in material activities, people throughout the world should take advantage of this movement and chant the Hare Krsna mahä-mantra at home with their families. One should also refrain from sinful activities—illicit sex, meat-eating, gambling and intoxication. Out of these four items, illicit sex is very sinful. Every person must get married. Every woman especially must get married. If the women outnumber the men, some men can accept more than one wife. In that way there will be no prostitution in society. If men can marry more than one wife, illicit sex life will be stopped. 

Especially every woman must get married. This is Prabhupad’s desire. Women should not think that because brahmacaris are encouraged to remain celibant that they should also strive in this way. A woman makes advancement by serving her husband, not by trying to perfect the duties prescribed to men. She becomes perfect by following the duties prescribed to her. And Prabhupad is giving here that one duty is for all women to get themselves married to a man. When all the women are properly protected by marriage then illicit sex life will be stopped. The purpose is for protection. Why? What is the value of protection by marriage? 

Protection through marriage is explained in the Bhagavad Gita Chapter One, Verses 39 to 43. There it is said that when irreligion becomes prominent in society the woman are easily misled into degradation (being exploited or misused as objects of sex enjoyment only). When the women of society become degraded unwanted children are born. A society that is overrun with unwanted children becomes both completely corrupt and hellish. On the other hand, a society in which the women are properly protected Prabhupad says that good population will result. 

From the purport of Bhagavad Gita 1.40: 

Good population in human society is the basic principle for peace, prosperity and spiritual progress in life. The varnashrama religion's principles were so designed that the good population would prevail in society for the general spiritual progress of state and community. Such population depends on the chastity and faithfulness of its womanhood. As children are very prone to be misled, women are similarly very prone to degradation. Therefore, both children and women require protection by the elder members of the family... ...On the failure of such varëäçrama-dharma, naturally the women become free to act and mix with men, and thus adultery is indulged in at the risk of unwanted population. Irresponsible men also provoke adultery in society, and thus unwanted children flood the human race at the risk of war and pestilence. 

Good population is the basis for peace, prosperity and spiritual progress. Good population depends on the chastity and faithfulness of society’s women. This requires that the women be properly protected. And that is the need for such in Krishna Consciousness. 

The greatest part of this book deals with the duties and proper behavior of women in regards to becoming good wives. Fewer instructions (but by far not at all less important) are there for the men. The reason for this is that, as we shall see, it is the duty of women to become expert in household affairs, to make family life peaceful. Man’s main occupation in life is his work, earning the livelihood and maintaining the family. His activities lay mostly outside the home. As a brahman his duty is to teach others, as a ksatriya his duty is to manage stately affairs, as a vaishya he does business within society, and as a laborer he engages in assisting the other three classes. These are his main occupations, which lie outside the home and family. The woman's duty, however, concerns the home and family, raising the children, cooking, cleaning, sewing. Managing household and family affairs. Her duty, more then a man's, is to assure a happy and peaceful family life. Therefore in speaking about duties in marriage, the women play the key roles and training must be stressed more for them.