Wedding Ceremonies
Paramānanda & Satyabhāmā's Wedding

Montreal, July 22, 1968
Prabhupāda: Gurudāsa, you don't feel?
Gurudāsa: Yes, very good.
Prabhupāda: This last verse... It is not last. It is the third of Brahma-sūtra, Brahma-saṁhitā. Ālola-candraka-lasad-vanamālya-vaṁśī-ratnaṅgadaṁ praṇaya-keli-kalā-vilāsam [Bs. 5.31]. This verse... There are about one hundred verses in the Brahma-saṁhitā, and this verse, I think, about thirty-eighth verse... So description of Govinda, the Supreme Personality of Godhead. The picture is here. So Govinda is not impersonal. And it is distinctly stated here that ālola-candraka-lasad-vanamālya-vaṁśī: [Bs. 5.31] "The Lord is decorated with flower garland, and He has got a flute in His hands." And praṇaya-keli-kalā-vilāsam: "And He is engaged in transcendental, conjugal love, Rādhā and Kṛṣṇa." So this love which is in our experience within this material world, man and woman, it is not unnatural. It is in God also there. And the Brahma-sūtra, Vedānta-sūtra, in the beginning says that "Who is Brahman, the Supreme Person or the Absolute Truth?" Athāto brahma jijñāsā, questioning "What is that Absolute Truth?" The answer is janmādy asya yataḥ: [SB 1.1.1] "The Absolute Truth is that from whom everything emanates." Very simple definition. That means the fountainhead of everything, the source of everything. Therefore here in this material world we see that the attraction for man and woman, woman's attraction for man, man's attraction for woman, is so prominent. Not only in human society, but in other than: animal society, cat society, dog society, bird society, there is always the attraction, man and woman, or male and female. Why? The answer is in the Vedānta-sūtra: janmādy asya yataḥ [SB 1.1.1]. Because it is there in the Absolute Truth. Without being present in the Absolute Truth, how it can be manifested in the relative truth?
This world is called relative world. It is not Absolute. Relative. Difference, two, duality. We cannot understand a man without knowing a woman. We cannot understand father without understanding a son or a mother. Relativity. But in Absolute world, everything is one. So this love between male and female, conjugal love, we Vaiṣṇava philosophers... Because everyone, according to Vedic system, everyone has to follow the Vedānta-sūtra. There are two section of philosophers in India, approved; not, I mean to say, manufactured philosopher, mental speculators, but actually those who are counted valuable. There are two classes of philosophers, namely the impersonalist and personalist. The Vaiṣṇava, they accept that the Absolute Truth is person, and the Māyāvādī philosophers, they say that Absolute Truth is impersonal. That is the difference. Otherwise their process of other paraphernalia, execution of understanding, is almost the same. Now our Vaiṣṇava philosopher's argument is that how the Absolute Truth can be impersonal? Because here, in this world, in our experience, we see everything personal. So unless the personality, the individuality, or the individual attraction is there in the Absolute Truth, how they can be represented here in the relative truth?
So apart from that argumental point of view, our presentation is that this conjugal love between man and woman is not unnatural. It is quite natural because it is in the Absolute Truth, as we find from Vedic description, that the Absolute Truth, Personality of Godhead, is engaged in conjugal loving affairs, Rādhā-Kṛṣṇa. But the same Rādhā-Kṛṣṇa love matter has permeated through matter. Therefore it is perverted reflection. Here in this material world, the so-called love is not actual love. It is lust. Here the male and female are attracted not by love but by lust. So in this Kṛṣṇa consciousness society, because we are trying to approach the Absolute Truth, the lust propensity has to be converted into pure love. That is the proposal. So in India still, amongst the strict followers of Vedic principles, this lust affair is adjusted spiritually. What is that? The boys and girls, they are not allowed free mixing before marriage. Especially... Both the boys... Here, one of our students, he was in India, and he tried to talk with a young girl on the street, and he (she) was insulted. He was surprised. Because the practice is there that no young boy or young girl can talk with... Of course, now it is different. Even up to our young time we have seen that without being married, no girl, no boy, could mix together. So this lust affair, this attraction, was little bit controlled. The father, the parents of the girl, and the parents of the boy would select. They had no personal selection. And that selection was made very scientifically, taking the horoscope of the girl, taking the horoscope of the boy, and calculating, "How this boy and girl will amalgamate? How their lives will be happy?" So many things, they were considered. And when everything was settled, then the marriage would take place. That is the system of old Indian, Vedic principle. And so far free love is concerned, as we understand, that was allowed only very in high circles, princely order. Because the girls were educated and grown up and she was given to select her husband, but not directly. We find in so many historical evidences from the Vedic literature that the girl used to express her desire that "I want to marry with that boy," and the father... This was amongst the kṣatriyas, the princely order, not with others. And the father would give a challenge, a bet. And if somebody will come and become victorious, then the girl would be offered. That was in special cases.
Anyway in this age, marriage, according to our Vaiṣṇava principles, marriage is allowed because there is male, there is female. Why they should not unite? But not illegally. So when I came in this country in New York, the boys and girls, they were coming, and some of them offered me to become disciples. So I saw that most of the boys and girls, they are keeping the boyfriend, girlfriend. So I requested them that if you want to make progress in spiritual life, you have to refrain from four kinds of sinful activities, and these four kinds of sinful activities are illicit sex life, first; second, nonvegetarian diet; third, intoxication; fourth, gambling. Unless one is free from these four principal activities, one cannot make progress in spiritual life. Because God is pure, pavitraṁ paramaṁ bhavān, so no impure soul can approach Him. This body is the sign of impurity because soul has no material body. So anyone in this material world who has this material body is to be considered as sinful. But how to get out of this? To get out of it, everything, dovetailing with spiritual life. Nirbandhe kṛṣṇa-sambandhe yukta-vairāgyam ucyate. The example is just like milk. If you take too much milk, then there will be disorders in the bowels. You'll have to pass so many stools. But when you approach to a physician... Of course, I am speaking of the Āyur-Vedic Indian physician. If one has got diarrhea or loose bowels, then the physician prescribes curd or yogurt with some medicine. Now, this yogurt or curd is also mixed with medicine. So the man who has got the disease by drinking milk is also cured by the same milk preparation under the direction of the physician. Nobody can argue. The patient cannot argue to the physician that "I have become diseased by drinking milk, and you are prescribing another preparation of the milk?" Yes, because it is treated. Similarly, this lust propensity between man and woman, if it is properly treated, then it can turn into love of Godhead.
So I am a sannyāsī. I have renounced my family life. I have got my children, my grandchildren, I have my wife still living, but I have separated from them. This is called sannyāsa. Why I am taking interest again, this family life of my students? Because I want to see them properly progress towards spiritual life. Therefore, although it is not the business of a sannyāsī to take part in marriage ceremony, in this country, just to save my students, both boys and girls, from sinful activities, I am personally taking interest that they may become good gentleman and lady by marriage. So I am very happy that those boys and girls who have agreed, and they are now married and getting children, and they are feeling very happy. Many of them are present in this meeting. From their face, from their activities, it appears that they are very happy. So in this Kṛṣṇa consciousness society we have got this program that if some boy or girl wants to get married, I help. So this marriage ceremony is today arranged on that principle. But the present bride and bridegroom must know it certainly that this marriage is not for sense gratification. This marriage is for purification of life. So there is no question of divorce. There is no question of separation. So don't get into married life if you have got such propensity. Our first principle is to become Kṛṣṇa conscious, and other things, secondary. Putrārthe kriyate bhāryā. If you can produce nice children, Kṛṣṇa conscious children, it will, you will do greatest service to the human society. Because the human society is producing children like cats and dogs, the whole human society is in trouble. How you can expect peace and prosperity in the society of cats and dogs? Therefore there is necessity. There is necessity to produce children of Kṛṣṇa consciousness, to train them from the very beginning. You will be all glad to know that some of our students, very small boys in San Francisco, they are being trained, and they are making wonderful progress. So there is no fault of these hippie boys and girls. They have not been trained. Not only here, every part of the world, the educational system is not very satisfactory. From the very beginning of their life they are allowed to mix freely, and they are allowed to enjoy sex life unrestricted. This is neither good for their health nor for education. So therefore we are getting now the result of education: communists and hippies. So people, those who are guardians of the society, should take serious note of it and make life very regulated.
What is...? The necessities of this life is, because we have got this material body, we must eat, we must sleep, we must defend, and we must mate. These are the demands of this body. But they should be so regulated in Kṛṣṇa consciousness that it will not be disturbing element, but we shall make progress further and further towards spiritual realization of Kṛṣṇa consciousness. Therefore, not only the new bride and bridegroom, I request every one of my students who are present that this... The aim of married life is to produce nice children, Kṛṣṇa conscious children. That is the best service to the human society: produce nice children. Don't produce cats and dogs. That is my request. Otherwise don't produce. Remain separate. Separate means there is no separation, but don't produce children. That is my request. Putrārthe... Pitā na sa syāj jananī syāt. The Bhāgavata says, "One should not become a father, one should not become a mother, unless they are able to protect the children from the imminent danger of death." What is that? The cycle of birth and death. If you can train your children to Kṛṣṇa consciousness, then your child will go back to Godhead in this life. That should be the aim. As you will try to go back to Godhead in this life, similarly, you shall take charge of your children that he can also go in this life back to Godhead. The mother's and father's duty should be that "This child is born out of my womb, and this is the last phase of his life, to come into this womb of any animal or man—no more material body." That should be the responsibility of father and mother. That is the direction of Bhāgavata.
So my dear children, boys and girls, I request you that live happily. There is no restriction. We don't restrict eating, sleeping, or mating, or defending. But do it in relationship with Kṛṣṇa, pure life, and be happy in this life and next life.
Thank you very much. Now come forward. I shall begin our... Where is your father and mother? You can please come here. Yes. You can sit down here with the girls. Or give them some pads. They will feel... They are not accustomed to sit. (chuckles) Yes. My disciples, they have been accustomed. (chuckles)
Satyabhāmā: Paramānanda's parents are here also.
Prabhupāda: Yes. Let them come also.
Satyabhāmā: (aside:) Would you like to sit on cushions?
Prabhupāda: So both the parents agree in this marriage.
Satyabhāmā's father: Yes.
Prabhupāda: Oh, thank you. Now those who are initiated, you can chant Hare Kṛṣṇa on your beads. (devotees chant japa) [break] (recitation of fire sacrifice prayers)
Prabhupāda: Now, you are father?
Satyabhāmā's father: Yes.
Prabhupāda: So you can say to your son-in-law that "So long my daughter such and such was under my custody. From today I am giving this daughter under your custody." Say it.
Satyabhāmā's father: Kate has been under me until now, and I give her unto your custody.
Prabhupāda: You say, "Yes, I accept."
Paramānanda: Yes, I accept.
Prabhupāda: And you say, "Yes, I agree."
Paramānanda's father: Yes, I agree.
Prabhupāda: Now you say that "My dear such and such, I agree to serve you throughout my life."
Satyabhāmā: Paramānanda, I agree to serve you throughout my life.
Prabhupāda: And you say, "My dear such and such, I take your charge of life throughout without hesitation."
Paramānanda: My dear Satyabhāmā, I take your charge of life throughout without hesitation.
Prabhupāda: So there is no separation in any circumstances. Promise that. There is no separation in any circumstances.
Paramānanda: So there is no separation in any circumstances.
Prabhupāda: Yes. Now you garland this... You change the garland. Now you come to this side. You go to that side. Now you are legal husband and wife. Is that all right? Yes. Now chant Hare Kṛṣṇa. [break] (prayers, fire sacrifice) Now offer this plantain like this, slowly. Thank you.
Satyabhāmā: Hare Kṛṣṇa. (devotees repeat last prayer of sacrifice after Prabhupāda, the mahā-mantra.)
Prabhupāda: Now bow down. (leads in recitation of praṇāma mantra) You chant Hare Kṛṣṇa. (end)
Wedding of Śyāma dāsī and Hayagrīva

Los Angeles, December 25, 1968
(fire sacrifice)
Prabhupāda: (devotees chant responsively:)
oṁ apavitraḥ pavitro
sarvāvasthāṁ gato 'pi
yaḥ smaret puṇḍarīkākṣaṁ
sa bahyābhyantaraḥ śuciḥ
śrī viṣṇu śrī viṣṇu śrī viṣṇu
Yes, chant Hare Kṛṣṇa. (japa) (devotees chant responsively:)
oṁ apavitraḥ pavitro
sarvāvasthāṁ gato 'pi
yaḥ smaret puṇḍarīkākṣaṁ
sa bahyābhyantaraḥ śuciḥ
śrī viṣṇu śrī viṣṇu śrī viṣṇu
(japa) That is that... That mantra? Thank you.
Govinda dāsī: There's more if you want to give more. I didn't know what you had in mind, so I made two, three of each.
Prabhupāda: Three? You have got three? (responsively:)
oṁ apavitraḥ pavitro
sarvāvasthāṁ gato 'pi
yaḥ smaret puṇḍarīkākṣaṁ
sa bahyābhyantaraḥ śuciḥ
śrī viṣṇu śrī viṣṇu śrī viṣṇu
Vande 'ham... (chants prayers standard for fire sacrifice) So today's wedding ceremony between Śrīman Hayagrīva brahmacārī and Śrīmatī Śyāma dāsī is practically negotiated by me. I am the marriage maker and I am the negotiator also. How? Because I have started this Kṛṣṇa consciousness movement in this country to make people happy: happy in this life, happy in next life. This is not temporary sense happiness. In the Bhagavad-gītā it is stated that,
"Anyone who comes back to Me," Kṛṣṇa says, "anyone who goes back to Godhead, then he does not require to come back again to this place, which is full of miseries." Duḥkhālayam aśāśvatam [Bg. 8.15]. Duḥkhālayam means it is a place of misery, this material world. And aśāśvatam. Aśāśvatam means temporary. Even if I agree, "All right, it is a miserable place. Let me live here perpetually," no. That also will not be allowed. As soon as there will be order, "Please get out," you have no power to remain. Suppose... We are Indian. We are poverty-stricken or we are not very happy materially. You American people, you are very happy. But the nature of law is stringent both for the Indians and Americans equally. So our Kṛṣṇa consciousness movement is particularly to go back to Godhead, giving up this material world, which is full of miserable life. It is actually full of miseries, but those who are thinking that "I am happy," or "We are happy," they are under illusion, māyā. That is called māyā. Actually, there is no happiness, because the Supreme Personality of Godhead says it is a place of misery. How you can make it comfortable place?
So this is one side. Another side, that some way or other, since I have begun this movement in this country, generally, the youngsters, they come to me. Maybe to some other reasons. But my disciples up to date, they're all from twenty to thirty years old. Those who are thirty, thirty-two years, they're old. They're amongst the elder generation. But I see the boys and girls, they come to me as friends. But according to our Kṛṣṇa consciousness movement, we do not allow boys and girls living without any marriage bondage. Illicit sex life we don't allow. We prohibit four things: illicit sex life, intoxication, and meat-eating and gambling. Those who become our student, we prohibit first of all these four things. And if we find some of the girls and some of the boys, they are strictly following, and if they are agreeable, then we arrange for their marriage. So there are many instances of marriage like this. They were living very irresponsibly in the former life. Now they are preaching this Kṛṣṇa consciousness movement. Some of my students, they are married couples, young men. Six of them have gone to England. They are preaching very nicely. Very nicely. They have attracted the attention of respectable gentlemen like Lord Mountbatten, Lord Sorenson, and the High Commissioner of India, Mr. Dhavan. So they're doing very nicely. So our principle is to make people God conscious; thereby they will be happy. And the method is very simple. Just like we do not deny anything. We give nice wife, we give nice husband, we give nice foodstuff, we give nice philosophy, and at last, we give the nicest thing, Kṛṣṇa. So our program is very nice. Any gentleman come and discuss with us. We shall prove this is the nicest program at the present moment.
So I am very happy that Professor Howard Wheeler, he is very obedient student. And by God's grace, Kṛṣṇa's grace, we practically met on the street. You see. When I first started my class in New York, 26 Second Avenue, I was just going out after entering the storefront and this boy met me. He asked me, "Swamijī, you are coming from India?" And I told him, "Yes, my dear boy." So that was our first acquaintance, and I think that is eternal.
Devotees: Jaya!
Prabhupāda: That is eternal. Similarly, this girl also met me in San Francisco, and she is very faithfully living with this society. She is very mild. So I have selected, "Śyāma dāsī, you should marry Hayagrīva." So they have agreed. And there is no separation. Our relationship is eternal. There is no separation. And this marriage is primarily for advancing Kṛṣṇa consciousness. Bodily relationship is secondary. That is not a very important thing. Our first engagement is Kṛṣṇa consciousness. So in this happy ceremony, I have got my heartfelt blessings upon you. You be happy. Our parents are present here. It is a very nice arrangement. And forget... In any circumstances... This material world we have to pass through many circumstances, but sometimes, even it is intolerable, we have to tolerate. So according to Hindu conception of life, even there is some misunderstanding between husband and wife, it is not taken very seriously. Never taken very seriously. But in your country, in the name of liberty and freedom, there are so many things. I do not wish to discuss all those things. But according to Vedic system, husband and wife, united together, there cannot be any separation. Perhaps you have heard the name of Mahatma Gandhi. He was married when he was student, sixteen years old, and his wife was also of the same age. Later on Mahatma Gandhi became a very famous man. So one day there was husband and wife quarrel. So Mahatma Gandhi, he has written in his own biography, he drove away the wife: "You get out from my house." So the wife got out of the house and was crying in the street, "Where shall I go?" And again Mahatma Gandhi went there, "Come on." So even there was quarrel between Mahatma Gandhi and his wife. So this quarrel of husband and wife is not very serious thing. So I'll request you, even there is some misunderstanding, forget it. Don't take it seriously. Simply you concentrate on Kṛṣṇa consciousness business. You have got nice business now, both of you, conjointly working for editing my Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam. You consult in that business and live peacefully. You are educated, she is also educated. If there is any misunderstanding, don't take it seriously. That is my request. Besides that, I am always at your service, I am always (here) to help you. So this marriage ceremony is very happy occasion. I shall request all friends, relatives, parents, to give their blessings to this nice couple and let us perform.
Now I shall request Mr... What?
Mr. Morris: Morris.
Prabhupāda: Morris. So you say that "Howard, this girl was in my charge so long. Now I give you in your charge." You say and...
Mr. Morris: Howard, this child was mine for so long, and now I give her care to you.
Prabhupāda: You say that "I take charge of Śyāma dāsī, of you, throughout your whole life." You say.
Hayagrīva: I take charge of you, Śyāma dāsī, throughout your whole life.
Prabhupāda: And Śyāma dāsī, you say that "I promise I shall serve you to my best capacity throughout my life."
Śyāma dāsī: I promise that I will serve you to my best capacity throughout my life.
Prabhupāda: Yes. Now you change your garland. All right. So somebody go and bind this cloth. Yes. Some girl may do that. Yes. (chuckling) Yes. Now chant Hare Kṛṣṇa. So, it is very nice combination.
Devotee: Kīrtana?
Prabhupāda: Yes. You can take photograph of this nice picture. Come here in the front. (kīrtana) (responsively:)
oṁ apavitraḥ pavitro
sarvāvasthāṁ gato 'pi
yaḥ smaret puṇḍarīkākṣaṁ
sa bahyābhyantaraḥ śuciḥ
śrī viṣṇu śrī viṣṇu śrī viṣṇu
vande 'ham... lalitā-śrī-viśākhānvitāṁś ca
(chants fire sacrifice prayers with oblation after each) Now stand up with one banana each.
(repeats twice) Just put like this, slowly. Yes. Thank you. (responsively:) Hare Kṛṣṇa, Hare Kṛṣṇa, Kṛṣṇa Kṛṣṇa, Hare Hare/ Hare Rāma, Hare Rāma, Rāma Rāma, Hare Hare. (repeats twice more responsively) Bow down. Bow down. (responsively:)
nama oṁ viṣṇu-pādāya kṛṣṇa-preṣṭhāya bhū-tale
śrīmate bhaktivedānta svāmin iti nāmine
Jaya. Go on. Be happy. Hare Kṛṣṇa. So next. Come on. You have no dress? You have no dress? All right.
Devotee: Kīrtana, Prabhupāda?
Prabhupāda: Yes. Go on, kīrtana. (Prabhupāda gives first line of Gāyatrī, devotee repeats word for word) Now, you Godbrothers will teach you how to... Who is next? Who is next? Who is next? (kīrtana) (some conversation with Prabhupāda in background) ...otherwise they will go away. Little, little. Very little, little. There are so many varieties. (kīrtana) (end)
Wedding Ceremony and Lecture

Boston, May 6, 1969
Prabhupāda: Hare Kṛṣṇa. So this is very simple method: chant, dance, eat nicely, and realize God. First of all give to the audience, then... (devotees chanting japa) Why don't you collect something, door? Right side bride, left side bridegroom.
Jāhnavā: Right side bride. (wedding fire sacrifice begins)
Prabhupāda: Yes. That's all right.
Devotee: Your right side. (devotees chanting japa)
Prabhupāda: And who is going to be this grain ceremony?
Himāvatī: Dayal Nitāi?
Prabhupāda: Little, little. You have not learned your hand? Left-handed. Three times. Just see. You are old. You should learn it. One, two, three, four. That's all. One, two. You don't see? What I'll do? Come on. I'll show you again. One, two, three, four. Do it again. Is it open? (devotees chanting japa)
Satsvarūpa(?): Yes.
Prabhupāda: Anyone's father, mother has come?
Rukmiṇī: My father and mother.
Prabhupāda: Your father, mother? Any other? No. (chants with devotees responding:)
oṁ apavitraḥ pavitro
sarvāvasthāṁ gato 'pi
yaḥ smaret puṇḍarīkākṣaṁ
sa bahyābhyantara-śuciḥ
Chant it three times. Three times (devotees responding:)
vande 'haṁ śrī-guroḥ śrī-yuta-pada-kamalaṁ śrī-gurūn vaiṣṇavāṁś ca
śrī-rūpaṁ sāgrajātaṁ saha-gaṇa-raghunāthānvitaṁ taṁ sa-jīvam
sādvaitaṁ sāvadhūtaṁ parijana-sahitaṁ kṛṣṇa-caitanya-devaṁ
śrī-rādhā-kṛṣṇa-pādān saha-gana-lalitā-śrī-viśākhānvitāṁś ca
[I offer my respectful obeisances unto the lotus feet of my spiritual master and of all the other preceptors on the path of devotional service. I offer my respectful obeisances unto all the Vaiṣṇavas and unto the six Gosvāmīs, including Śrīla Rūpa Gosvāmī, Śrīla Sanātana Gosvāmī, Raghunātha dāsa Gosvāmī, Jīva Gosvāmī and their associates. I offer my respectful obeisances unto Śrī Advaita Ācārya Prabhu, Śrī Nityānanda Prabhu, Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu, and all His devotees, headed by Śrīvāsa Ṭhākura. I then offer my respectful obeisances unto the lotus feet of Lord Kṛṣṇa, Śrīmatī Rādhārāṇī and all the gopīs, headed by Lalitā and Viśākhā.]
(chants standard prayers for fire sacrifice)
This evening we are going to hold a marriage ceremony for three couples of our students. The Kṛṣṇa consciousness movement is to understand to always bear in mind or always be in consciousness that we are eternally related with the Supreme Personality of Godhead. So the process is to utilize this human form of life for elevating oneself to the highest perfectional stage. There is evolution of life from lowest animal in the water and up to the highest platform or highest planetary life, where the duration of life is many, many millions of years. The highest planetary system is called Brahmaloka, or where the first created being, Brahmā, lives. The duration of Brahmā's life is explained in the Bhagavad-gītā that forty-three hundred thousands of years multiplied by one thousand makes one twelve hours of that Brahmaloka. Just like there is distinction of the duration of life between the microbes and the human being, similarly, there are different grades of different duration of life in different stage of planetary system. So the life is evolving. Now after evolutionary process from the lower animals, from the aquatics to plant life, vegetable life, then microbes, reptiles, birds, beasts, then we come to the human form of life, this civilized form of life. Now here it is just like crossing. Where we should go next life? Whether I shall promote myself to the higher planetary system or into the spiritual sky, Vaikuṇṭhaloka, or I shall go down again in the evolutionary process of lower animals? That is to be decided. So if we want to go to the higher planetary system, we can go there. If we want to stay here, we can do that. If we want to go down, that we can do. And if we want to go back to Godhead, that also we can do. So this facility is given in this human form of life. Now it is our choice, where shall I go? Shall I go down to hell, or shall I go up to heaven, or I shall go back to Godhead, back to home? Everything we can do. So our this Kṛṣṇa consciousness movement is directly approaching the spiritual sky, back to home, back to Godhead. No more evolutionary process. That is the advantage of this Kṛṣṇa conscious... If you make your consciousness completely absorbed in Kṛṣṇa, if you understand what is Kṛṣṇa, what is your relationship, how you have to act in that relationship, simply if you learn this science in this life, then it is assured by the Lord Himself, Kṛṣṇa, in the Bhagavad-gītā, tyaktvā dehaṁ punar janma naiti mām eti kaunteya: [Bg. 4.9] "After leaving this body, one does not come again back to this material world to accept one of the 8,400,000's of species of body, but he goes directly unto Me." Yad gatvā na nivartante tad dhāma paramaṁ mama [Bg. 15.6]. "And if one can go back there, then he does not come back again in this material world to accept this material body." And material body means three kinds of miseries, threefold miseries always. And at least threefold miseries are exhibited in four kinds of distresses, namely birth, death, old age, and disease.
So this Kṛṣṇa consciousness movement is not a new movement. It is there always in the Vedic scriptures, but people have forgotten. So we are trying to revive that movement, although in India the movement is there always, especially since the last five hundred years, introduced by Lord Caitanya Mahāprabhu. In your country it is introduced since 1966. But people are appreciating. We have got many books and literature, magazines, to convince people about the importance of this movement. And those who are coming to be a serious student of this movement, initiated, they require to follow four principles of regulation. That one, first regulation, is that the student is not allowed to have illicit sex life. In this country, the guardians, the teachers, the government allows the boys and girls to meet together and have illicit sex life without marriage. That is not allowed in Kṛṣṇa consciousness movement. If any boy or girl wants sex life, then he should regularly be married. That is civilized way. Because in the civilized society there is marriage ceremony. According to Vedic system, the father and mother's responsibility is for the child unless they are married. It is the duty of the parents to see that the girl and the boy is married by the supervision of the parents. That is the Vedic way of civilization. In India the... Especially for the girls. If the girl is above the age of 13 years old, and if she is not married by the father, or in the absence of father, the elder brother... Mother has not so much responsibility. But the father or the elder brother... Then it is said that that man, father or elder brother, will go to hell. So it is a great responsibility to take care of the girls. According to Manu-saṁhitā, Vedic principle, woman has no independence. She must be taken care of by somebody. In the early age the father is to take care, in the younger age the husband, a good husband has to take care, and when she is old, the elderly son, he has to take care. But a woman is never allowed to remain independent. That is Vedic principle of life. Actually, the woman is the weaker sex. They require protection by good father, good husband, and good child also. In my case also... There are many cases. I've left my home. I have got my wife, my elderly children, my grandchildren. So they are taking care of my wife. She has no concern. So that is the way of social system. And especially in our Kṛṣṇa consciousness movement, we want to give the students complete peace of mind, because without peace of mind nobody can cultivate Kṛṣṇa consciousness. That is stated in the Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam.
There is a process. This science of understanding God, the science of God, is a great science. People have no knowledge about it, but it is a great science. And the ways and means of understanding God is different from ordinary material science. So the ways and means and the process of understanding the science of Godhead is to hear.
God is situated in everyone's heart. Simply you do not know. He is situated. He is everywhere. Within the atom also, He is present. Andantarastham paramanu cayantarastham. God is present within this world, within everything, everywhere, even within the atom. Now, at the present moment, the atomic theory is very prominent, but in the Vedic literature it is said that God is existing even within the atom. Aṇḍāntara-stha-paramāṇu. Paramāṇu means atom. Therefore īśvaraḥ sarva-bhūtānāṁ hṛd-deśe 'rjuna tiṣṭhati [Bg. 18.61]. Ṅśvara, the Supreme Lord, is sitting within your heart. I am also sitting. This is dress. This body is dress, but my place is within the heart. The medical science also says all the energy is coming from the heart. The heart stops to work, that means man is dead. So the soul and the Supersoul both are sitting in the heart. We get this information from Vedic literature. So as soon as we begin hearing about the Supersoul or the Supreme Lord, then the contamination which are accumulated on the covering of our heart for so many years of our past work, by simply hearing, by electrifying or by lighting, it becomes clear. Śṛṇvatāṁ sva-kathāḥ kṛṣṇaḥ puṇya-śravaṇa-kīrtanaḥ [SB 1.2.17]. To hear about God is itself a pious activity. Even if we do not understand, simply if we hear this chanting, Hare Kṛṣṇa, Hare Kṛṣṇa, Kṛṣṇa Kṛṣṇa, Hare Hare/ Hare Rāma, Hare Rāma, Rāma Rāma..., one becomes gradually a pious man. Apart from any other realization, he becomes a pious man. In this way, as soon as we hear about God, we become cleansed of all material contamination. Then our three modes of material nature, namely we are... This world is moving under three modes: the modes of goodness, the modes of passion and the modes of ignorance. So generally, people are influenced by the modes of passion and modes of ignorance. Very few people are on the modes of goodness. But this process of hearing about God will gradually place one on the platform of the modes of goodness. Sthitaṁ sattve prasīdati. And the symptoms, as soon as he's placed on the modes of goodness, the symptom will be that he'll feel satisfied. He'll feel satisfied. Prasīdati. In this way, when he is satisfied, when he is on the platform of goodness or the platform of satisfaction... That is wanted. Prasanna-manaso. Evaṁ prasanna-manaso [SB 1.2.20]. How it is attained? Simply by hearing, the process. Process is simply hearing, submissively hearing. Then he comes to the platform of goodness, and at that time, the passion and ignorance is completely moved out. And then he can understand what is the science of God, what is God, what is relationship.
So we want to give chance to all to raise oneself on that platform of goodness. And on the platform of goodness, there is no chance of indulging in passion and ignorance. Therefore although it is not my duty... Because I am a sannyāsī, I have nothing to do with social activity. Still, because in this country, mostly I see the boys and girls are not married, I have introduced this marriage system in our society, and the result is very good. You'll be very pleased to know that in London I have sent six boys and girls who were married by me in my presence. Formerly, they were not married. You know as the other boys and girls lived, they were also living in that way. But the result has been very excellent. They are preaching there Kṛṣṇa consciousness. They are not very big philosopher, nor Vedantist, neither, I mean to say, born in the Vedic civilized way—just like ordinary way—but they have been trained only under my direction for only two years. But they are working in London very wonderfully, so much so that people have come to know that there is a movement, Kṛṣṇa consciousness, and London Times, in big heading, they wrote, "Kṛṣṇa Chanting Startles London." So formerly many sannyāsīs went there to introduce this movement, but they failed. But these sincere boys and girls... They are not very aged also—not more than twenty-six years, any one of them. But they are doing very nice. So the platform of purity is so nice that they can play tremendous...
So we want such pairs in our society. We are not dry. Everything is there. The hedonists, they want eat, drink, be merry and enjoy. These four things for the hedonists, they are going to hell. But our, the same things are there. We are dancing, we are chanting, we are eating, and we have love also between husband and wife, between boys and girls. We allow everything. But everything is targeted to achieve to the highest goal of life, Viṣṇu, or Kṛṣṇa. That is the significance of this life. We don't stop anything, but we regulate everything to achieve the highest perfection of life. That is our aim. Adānta-gobhir viśatāṁ tamisram [SB 7.5.30]. One who does not know this technique... Everyone, every living entity, is by nature hankering after joy, joyful life. That is his nature. Because... Kṛṣṇa and Rādhārāṇī, you see. They are also transcendental unity. Kṛṣṇa is representing as a young boy, sixteen years. Similarly, Rādhārāṇī is also a young girl. They are chanting and They are playing on flute and They're enjoying life. They have got Their associates. So it is not dry, but it is highest perfectional stage, in purity. Not in the material modes of passion and ignorance. So everyone is hankering after that pure, joyful life, but he does not know where to get it. That is the defect. That information we are giving. Here is the life. You just try to approach Rādhā and Kṛṣṇa and you'll have full life of enjoyment. Ānandamayo 'bhyāsāt (Vedānta-sūtra 1.1.12). In the Vedānta-sūtra it is stated that the Supreme Person, the Supreme Lord, is full of enjoyment. He's not morose. He's not old. He is not without a joyful life. He is full of joyful life. So this Kṛṣṇa consciousness movement is to transfer everyone to that platform of full joyful life. So in order to give them facility for acquiring this highest goal of life, we have introduced the marriage... The marriage system is there also according to our Vaiṣṇava smṛti. Smṛti means regulative, the law book, the statute book. Married life is there. We are preaching the cult of Lord Caitanya Mahāprabhu. He also married. All the five associates of Lord Caitanya, they also married. Kṛṣṇa also married. So marriage is not bad. Marriage is... It is not that unless one becomes a sannyāsī or a strict brahmacārī, he cannot attain the highest perfection of life. No. Even in married life. But one has to adjust it. Married life means not sex enjoyment. It is not a license for sex enjoyment. Although it is some sort of license, but it can be utilized. It can be utilized for producing children of Kṛṣṇa consciousness. And at least, one should be satisfied. The husband will help the wife, the wife will help the husband advancing in Kṛṣṇa consciousness for the benefit of their country, for the benefit of the total human society.
Thank you very much.
Devotees: Hare Kṛṣṇa. (obeisances)
Prabhupāda: You're, nobody is guardian? First of all, you come here. Both of you, come sit down. Satsvarūpa? Where is Satsvarūpa?
Satsvarūpa: Yes.
Prabhupāda: Come here. So you can say that "Śāradīyā, my Godsister, was so long under my care. Now I give Śāradīyā to you, Vaikuṇṭhanātha, in your charge."
Satsvarūpa: Śāradīyā, my Godsister, has so long been in my charge. Now I give you unto my Godbrother Vaikuṇṭhanātha.
Prabhupāda: Now you say that "I accept her as my wife."
Vaikuṇṭhanātha: I accept her as my wife.
Prabhupāda: "And take charge of her..."
Vaikuṇṭhanātha: And take charge of her...
Prabhupāda: "...throughout her life..."
Vaikuṇṭhanātha: ...throughout her life...
Prabhupāda: "...and shall see to her comfort, provide with all necessities of life, without thinking of any personal gratification." (Vaikuṇṭhanātha repeats) You say that "I accept you as my husband. (Śāradīyā repeating) I shall serve you throughout my life as your most obedient servant." (chuckling) Yes. "And we shall live together peacefully for prosecuting Kṛṣṇa consciousness, forgetting everything else, and live happily." Now change your garlands.
Devotees: Haribol!
Prabhupāda: Now you sit down and cover the head. Yes. Cover the head. Yes. Just like... There is no, that red? Vermillion?
Himāvatī: Where is that red crayon?
Prabhupāda: Now you can sit down there, next her. No, you sit left. Now change. You sit here. Yes. Now she'll always remain on your left. You come forward. Now you say...
Satsvarūpa: Jāhnavā has so long, my Godsister, has so long been in my care. I now give her over to Nanda Kiśora prabhu.
Prabhupāda: You say you shall "take charge of Jāhnavā, my wife, (Nanda Kiśora repeating) and I shall look after her comforts throughout her life, and I shall supply her all necessities of life." And you say that "I accept you as my husband. (Jāhnavā repeating) I shall see to your comfort throughout my life. Without any separation we shall live peacefully, in happiness and distress, without any separation, for executing Kṛṣṇa consciousness." Change your garland and place. Jaya. Now you cover her head like that. Yes. Not in that way. From this part. All right. Change your seat. Yes.
Devotee: Should he apply it?
Prabhupāda: Yes. You apply it. That's all right. Now you come, You, sit down here. Sit down here. First of all, sit down. Your father is present?
Prabhupāda: You may come sit here. You can say that "My daughter was in charge of me so long, now I give in charge to this boy."
Rukmiṇī's father: My daughter was in charge of me so long. I now give her to...
Prabhupāda: His name is Baradrāja.
Rukmiṇī's father: Baradrāja.
Prabhupāda: So you say, "I accept (Baradrāja repeating) Rukmiṇī as my wife. I shall maintain her throughout my life, supply all necessities of life, and we shall work together for prosecuting Kṛṣṇa consciousness." You say that "I accept you (Rukmiṇī repeating) as my husband, and I shall serve you as your most obedient wife, to keep you in all comforts, in all distress and happiness, and we shall continue our life for Kṛṣṇa consciousness." Now change. Change the garland. Mind that this promise has been made before Rādhā and Kṛṣṇa. You cannot change all these promises. Change your seat. Cover the head. Cover the head and give her this red. Cover it nicely. You see, here. You should keep your wife always covered. (laughter) Don't allow this miniskirt or minishirt. (laughter) According to Vedic civilization, respectable woman cannot be seen even by the sun. Asūryaṁ paśyat. How can you avoid sun? But it is said like that. The sun will find difficulty to see one man's woman. Yes. Asūryaṁ paśyat. Asūryam. Sūrya means the sun. Sun cannot. Sun will also hanker after her: "How can I see that woman?" (chuckles) So woman should be always in privacy. They should be respectfully protected by the husband and the father. That is the way. All right. Then it is finished. Now let us perform yajña. (devotees offer obeisances) Now chant Hare Kṛṣṇa. After performance of yajña. Chant Hare Kṛṣṇa. Mix it. Mix it.
Satsvarūpa: ...can use that?
Prabhupāda: No, no. Hand. Now you can sit comfortably. (devotees chant japa) Now take, you know, little, little, everyone. When I say "svāhā" three times, very little, little take. We'll have to continue. (responsively with devotees:) Namaḥ apavitraḥ pavitro sarvāvasthām... No, why you are not chanting? (devotees were responding softly, now more loudly) ...gato 'pi yaḥ smaret puṇḍarīkākṣaṁ sa bahyābhyantara-śuciḥ. Śrī viṣṇu śrī viṣṇu śrī viṣṇu. (continues prayers for fire sacrifice). Why not take a group photo of these newly married couples? It will be nice.
Guest: That'd be great. It'd be beautiful. Sure.
Himāvatī: Should they go behind or should they turn around?
Prabhupāda: As you like.
Guest: Could the wife be seated and the husband in back of her?
Prabhupāda: Just like they are sitting, left and right.
Guest: ...if we had a better place to...
Prabhupāda: (continues chanting) Svāhā svāhā svāhā. So you want to take just now or after finishing this?
Satsvarūpa: Prabhupāda, he wants a couple there, a couple there, and a couple behind you.
Prabhupāda: That's all right.
Guest: Or maybe two couples here and a third couple over there or something.
Prabhupāda: You come here. Sit down there. Yes, sit down. Yes, like that. Why you are standing? Sit. (continues prayers)
namo gaura-kiśorāya sākṣād-vairāgya-mūrtaye
vipralambha-rasāmbodhe pādāmbhujāya te namaḥ
svāhā svāhā svāhā
namo bhaktivinodāya sac-cid-ānanda-nāmine
gaura-śakti-svarūpāya rūpānuga-varāya te
svāhā svāhā svāhā
(continues prayers for fire sacrifice) Now you take one banana, this part of banana, and stand up. Take each one of you. Supply. Stand up.
(repeats twice) Now take this, silently. Yes. Hare Kṛṣṇa, Hare Kṛṣṇa, Kṛṣṇa Kṛṣṇa, Hare Hare/ Hare Rāma, Hare Rāma, Rāma Rāma, Hare Hare. (repeats) Now bow down.
nama oṁ viṣṇu-pādāya kṛṣṇa-preṣṭhāya bhū-tale
śrīmate bhaktivedānta svāmin iti nāmine
(Prabhupāda repeats twice) All right. Now chant Hare Kṛṣṇa.
Devotees: Hare Kṛṣṇa!
Prabhupāda: And be happy.
Devotees: Haribol! All glories to Śrī Guru and Śrī Gaurāṅga! Haribol! All glories to Prabhupāda!
Prabhupāda: Now chant Hare Kṛṣṇa. Dance, chant now. Enjoy life. (kīrtana-Prabhupāda talking in background) (kīrtana, prema-dhvanī) (obeisances) Prasāda? You are sitting uncomfortably?
Guest: No. (devotees chant japa)
Prabhupāda: Now distribute prasāda. (bhajana: Govinda jaya jaya)
Haṁsadūta: There's no draft? The window's not open? (kīrtana in background)
Prabhupāda: No, no. That's all right. I have informed your brother in Germany, Kṛṣṇa dāsa, "Your sister is going to be married..." Stop. You can now eat. Stop. (kīrtana stops)
Devotee: Take prasādam.
Prabhupāda: Yes. Take prasādam. You can play the records. That's all. (laughter) Hare Kṛṣṇa, Hare Kṛṣṇa, Kṛṣṇa Kṛṣṇa... You also eat. Everyone eat. Yes. I think it is nicely prepared. You can take one plate. (laughter) Yes. ("Hare Kṛṣṇa Happening" record comes on as everyone takes prasāda) Let me see (?).
svādv-anna-tṛptān hari-bhakta-saṅghān
kṛtvaiva tṛptiṁ bhajataḥ sadaiva
vande guroḥ śrī-caraṇāravindam **
The spiritual master is satisfied when nice foodstuff, prasādam, is distributed, and it is eaten by the devotees. Our is not dry speculation. Everything substantial.
Himāvatī: We need another plate.
Prabhupāda: These Press representatives, they are taking?
Haṁsadūta: Yes, they're all from the Press.
Prabhupāda: So you have not offered them prasādam?
Himāvatī: Everyone has.
Prabhupāda: They should have been given. Anyway, something should have been given. You are going? She is going with her father?
Himāvatī: He was once in Montreal. Remember? Rukmiṇī's father once came to Montreal?
Prabhupāda: Yes. She is her mother?
Himāvatī: Yes.
Prabhupāda: She is not elderly. Mother is eating?
Himāvatī: Yes.
Prabhupāda: Forty, thirty-five years.
Himāvatī: Yes. Rukmiṇī is only seventeen. Rukmiṇī is seventeen. She's not very old.
Prabhupāda: She is only... She is the first child?
Himāvatī: I don't know. I think so, first child. She has one sister.
Satsvarūpa: Just one announcement. Tomorrow night is Swami Bhaktivedanta's last appearance, last lecture, last kīrtana in Boston, and that's at the International Student's Association. They have a place at 33 Garden (?) Street. He'll be speaking there. But we'll be carrying on this sublime teaching, especially in the form of saṅkīrtana. We'll be chanting in the streets. We'll be pushing this more than anything. Then the feast, of course, Hare Kṛṣṇa Love Feast. But especially if you see us in the parks and the streets, join us and feel this real transcendental bliss by chanting Hare Kṛṣṇa, all summer, as long as the weather is nice. (indistinct) a basket around. If you can give something it will help for the cost of this feast and wedding. Thank you very much. Hare Kṛṣṇa. (end)
Initiation of Śrī-Caitanya dāsa and
Wedding of Pradyumna and Arundhatī

Columbus, May 14, 1969
Prabhupāda: It is stated, cātur-varṇyaṁ mayā sṛṣṭaṁ guṇa-karma-vibhāgaśaḥ [Bg. 4.13]. The Lord says that "The four divisions of social order—namely the brāhmaṇas, the kṣatriyas, the vaiśyas, śūdras—these divisions were created by Me," and guṇa-karma-vibhāgaśaḥ, "not by birthright but by identification of qualities and actual work." In the similar way, in the Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam also, it is stated that yasya hi yad varṇābhivyañjakam, lakṣaṇaṁ syāt. Yasya hi yad lakṣaṇaṁ syād varṇābhivyañjakam, tat tenaiva vinirdiśet [SB 7.11.35]. The whole Vedic system is to pick up qualitative persons. There is no such thing as birthright qualification. And Śrīdhara Swami, the greatest commentator on Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam, he has commented on this verse, yasya hi yad lakṣaṇaṁ syād varṇābhivyañjakam tat tenaiva vinirdiśet, yad anyatrāpi dṛśyeta tat tenaiva vinirdiśet: [SB 7.11.35] "If such qualities are found in another platform, then he should be designated in that position." Just like if a boy born of a brāhmaṇa family, he has got the qualities of a śūdra, he should be indicated as śūdra. And if a boy born of a śūdra family but he has got the brāhmaṇa's qualities, then he should be accepted as brāhmaṇa.
So this Kṛṣṇa consciousness movement is accepting persons who are developing the qualities of brāhmaṇas and Vaiṣṇavas. It is not that because they were not born in India and not born in Hindu family... It is not... There is no such consideration. Anyone. Ye kṛṣṇa-tattva-vettā sei guru haya. Caitanya Mahāprabhu has said that,
It doesn't matter whether a man is a śūdra or a brāhmaṇa or a sannyāsī or a householder. It doesn't matter. If he actually knows the science of God, Kṛṣṇa-tattva... Kṛṣṇa means God, the Supreme Lord, and tattva means scientific knowledge. Yei kṛṣṇa-tattva-vetta sei guru haya. And another place Lord Caitanya says that āmāra ājñāya guru hañā tāra sarva deśa [Cc. Madhya 7.128]. To become a spiritual master, one may think it is very difficult job. Yes, it is very difficult job, but it is also very simple thing. Very difficult job in this way: If one cannot assimilate the Vedic knowledge, veda-vāda-paraḥ pārtha nānyad astīti vādinaḥ, if they become simply Vedic student only, without assimilating, then it is very difficult. But if one can understand what is the idea of Vedic principle, then it is very easy. So what is the idea of Vedic principle? The Lord says, vedaiś ca sarvair aham eva vedyaḥ [Bg. 15.15]. By different scriptures, Vedic literature, Rāmāyaṇa, Mahābhārata... There are so many allied scriptures. The whole aim is, target is, Kṛṣṇa. Vedaiś ca sarvair aham eva vedyam. So actually the Vedas are searching Kṛṣṇa. In the Brahma-saṁhitā also it is stated,
It is very difficult to find out Kṛṣṇa within the Veda. But if you are fortunate enough to contact a devotee of Kṛṣṇa, then he can deliver you. And if one understands Kṛṣṇa, then he understands the whole Vedas.
So this merciful benediction was given by Lord Kṛṣṇa, er, by Lord Caitanya Mahāprabhu. He is incarnation of Kṛṣṇa. Kṛṣṇa-varṇaṁ tviṣākṛṣṇam [SB 11.5.32]. He is Kṛṣṇa. Categorically, He is Kṛṣṇa, or chanting Kṛṣṇa. But by complexion He is akṛṣṇa. Tviṣākṛṣṇam. So He gave us this greatest benediction, that you simply chant Hare Kṛṣṇa mantra and you get all knowledge. The greatest impediment of acquiring knowledge is congestion of our heart with dirty things. And Lord Caitanya says that if you chant without any offense very nicely, then your heart becomes cleansed of all dirty things. Ceto-darpaṇa-mārjanaṁ bhava-mahā-dāvāgni-nirvāpaṇam [Cc. Antya 20.12]. And then you are liberated. Brahma-bhūtaḥ prasannātmā na śocati [Bg. 18.54]. So this Kṛṣṇa consciousness movement is based on Lord Caitanya's teachings and teachings of the Bhagavad-gītā. It is not a new thing. Of course, in this country it is being presented for the last two years, but the thing is not new. It is the oldest because, if we take the version of Bhagavad-gītā, Lord (Kṛṣṇa) says, imaṁ vivasvate yogaṁ proktavān aham avyayam: [Bg. 4.1] "This yoga system, Bhagavad-gītā, was spoken by Me to Vivasvān, the sun-god." Vivasvān manave prāha: "And the sun-god said to his son Manu." Manur ikṣvākave 'bravīt. Evaṁ paramparā-prāptam: [Bg. 4.2] "In this way it is coming." So kaleneha yogo naṣṭaḥ parantapa: "But unfortunately that link has been broken; therefore I am speaking again to you the old philosophy, yoga system, Bhagavad-gītā, unto you, Arjuna." "Why You are speaking to me? I am not a Vedantist. I am not a sannyāsī. I am not even brāhmaṇa. Why You want to teach me?" Bhakto 'si: "Because you are My devotee." Therefore the first qualification of understanding the Vedas or Bhagavad-gītā is to become a devotee of Kṛṣṇa; otherwise it is blocked. Just like if you take a bottle of honey and lick it on the bottle, you won't get the taste. It has to be opened, who has got the key. Then you get the taste of honey. So Bhagavad-gītā cannot be understood by academic scholarship. It is not possible, the same bottle-licking. But it has to be opened by the devotee, just like Arjuna opened it: paraṁ brahma paraṁ dhāma pavitraṁ paramaṁ bhavān, puruṣaṁ śāśvatam ādyam [Bg. 10.12]. He understood Kṛṣṇa. So we have to follow the opener of the bottle, honey bottle. Then you will taste what is Bhagavad-gītā.
So this Kṛṣṇa consciousness movement is to purify the human society. And the purification process, simply by chanting, is sufficient. But still, our Gosvāmīns, they have given us some ritualistic ceremonies. That will help the process of purification. Sacrifice, offering, these things are there. But the main thing is chanting Hare Kṛṣṇa mantra. That is sufficient. So in our society we want to establish divine society. Therefore there is need of all classes of men and all classes of social orders. Our Vedic conception is varṇāśrama-dharma. The "Hindu" term is not found in any Vedic literature. It is a name given by the Muhammadans, so far I know. It is not... Real term is varṇāśrama-dharma, sanātana-dharma, four varṇas and four āśramas. Four varṇas: brāhmaṇa kṣatriya, vaiśya, śūdra, according to qualification... And Bhagavad-gītā also says these are the qualification, brāhmaṇas: satya śama dama titikṣa ārjavam, ācāryopāsanam, brahma-karma svabhāva-jam [Bg. 18.42]. Similarly, there are indication of the kṣatriyas, vaiśyas; and śūdras' one qualification: paricaryātmakaṁ karmaṁ śūdra-karma svabhāva-jam [Bg. 18.44]. Paricaryā, to serve others. And in this age, because everyone is after employment—without employment he cannot survive—therefore it is said, kalau śūdra sambhava. In the Kali-yuga... A brāhmaṇa is not expected to serve anyone. A kṣatriya is not expected to serve anyone, nor the vaiśyas. Only the śūdras. So kalau śūdra sambhava. Therefore actually there is no Vedic ritualistic performance for the śūdras. It is meant for the brāhmaṇas only. But there is pāñcarātrikī-viddhi for this age, when śūdras can be elevated to the position of brāhmaṇa or Vaiṣṇava by the Vaiṣṇava-viddhi. That viddhi is a voluminous book by Sanātana Gosvāmī. But there is everything, how a brahmacārī will live, how a gṛhastha will live, how a vānaprastha will live. The summary is being practiced. And we are holding now, today, two ceremonies. Some of the boys and girls will be initiated, primarily, and one couple will be married. So according to Hindu rites, there are many kinds of marriage, eight kinds of marriages. So in this age, as we find in the Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam, marriage can be performed simply by agreement. Svīkāram eva hi udvāhe. That is sufficient. And actually it is being carried on in every country. The boys and girls go to a magistrate and give their statement and agree. That is marriage. Here also the same principle will be carried under some Vaiṣṇava rites, chanting Hare Kṛṣṇa and offering prayers to the ācāryas and Deities.
So we have got all the Vedic arrangement, varṇāśrama-dharma, but our only aim is to preach Kṛṣṇa consciousness, to understand the science of Kṛṣṇa. It doesn't matter whether one is householder or a sannyāsī or a brahmacārī or a brāhmaṇa or kṣatriya or a vaiśya, śūdra. Sva-karmaṇā tam abhyarcya saṁsiddhiṁ labhate parām [Bg. 18.46]. Everyone should engage his energy to satisfy the Supreme Lord. That is saṁsiddhir hari-toṣaṇam.
You never mind in whatever condition you are. You may be a brāhmaṇa. You may be a kṣatriya or a śūdra or... You have got particular duty. That's all. That makes you a brāhmaṇa and a śūdra or a brahmacārī. But whatever particular duty you may have, just try to see whether by your duty this Supreme Lord is satisfied. Then it is perfect. Svanuṣṭhitasya dharmasya saṁsiddhir hari-toṣaṇam [SB 1.2.13]. That is the test: if you have satisfied Kṛṣṇa through His representative. Yasya prasādād bhagavat-prasādaḥ **. Just like we work in some big establishment, and if we can satisfy our immediate boss, that is the satisfaction of the whole company. You haven't got to see whether all the members of the company have become satisfied. Simply the immediate boss under which you are working, if he is satisfied, then you know the company is satisfied because he will submit the report of his work. Similarly, Kṛṣṇa is very kind. He is helping you in different ways. He is within your heart. Kṛṣṇa is within your heart. Antaryāmī. Caitya-guru. And is presenting Himself as spiritual master both ways, externally, internally. He is trying to help you. And when you are actually taking the advantage of that help, and if you are engaged with love and affection in the transcendental service of the Lord, then you can talk with God from within. God is within you. You haven't got to find out God in so many places. Anywhere you can sit down. But if you are sincere, if you are actually wanting to offer your service to the Lord—teṣāṁ satata-yuktānāṁ bhajatāṁ prīti-pūrvakam, dadāmi buddhi-yogaṁ tam [Bg. 10.10]He will give you intelligence. Simply we have to become sincere servitor.
So it doesn't matter whether one is householder or a brahmacārī or sannyāsī. He has to become first of all sincere servitor of the Lord. Then everything is complete. The Lord is within you. He will give you all knowledge, all enlightenment, all dictation, and He will make your life progressive. Ādau śraddhā tataḥ sādhu-saṅgaḥ tato bhajana-kriyā, anartha-nivṛttiḥ syāt tato niṣṭhā tato rucis tato bhāvas tato prema [Cc. Madhya 23.14-15]. In this way your life will be sublime. Yaṁ labdhvā cāparaṁ lābhaṁ manyate nādhikaṁ tataḥ. And if you can contact the Supreme Personality of Godhead by some way or other by discharge of this devotional service in any position, never mind, then you will feel no more profit. Everyone in the material world, they are working hard day and night for some profit. But if you can be engaged in the service of the Lord, you will feel that you are so much profited that you will say, svāmin kṛtārtho 'smi varaṁ na yāce: [Cc. Madhya 22.42] "I don't want any more profit. I have got all the profits now. I am fully satisfied." That is required. Yayātmā suprasīdati. Sa vai puṁsāṁ paro dharmo yato bhaktir adhokṣaje [SB 1.2.6]. You can... If you can develop that stage of life, yato bhaktir adhokṣaje... Adhokṣaje. The Lord is beyond your sensual perception; therefore He is called Adhokṣaja. Avāṅ-manasā gocaraḥ. But He can reveal Himself. That is His power. Nāhaṁ prakāśaḥ sarvasya yoga-māyā-samāvṛtaḥ [Bg. 7.25]. He reveals Himself. Premāñjana-cchurita-bhakti-vilocanena santaḥ [Bs. 5.38]. You cannot reach the Absolute Truth simply by mental speculation because He is beyond your mental speculation. Avāṅ-manasā gocaraḥ. Sadaiva hṛdayeṣu vilokayanti. If you are absorbed in love of Godhead, then you will see God everywhere, within your heart and outside. Premāñjana-cchurita-bhakti-vilocanena [Bs. 5.38]. That real purpose is bhakti. So anywhere you be situated, you take this process of loving service to the Lord, and the Lord will reveal Himself. Lord will reveal Himself.
Man-manā bhava mad-bhakto mad-yājī māṁ namaskuru [Bg. 18.65]. So the aim of life should be to become a pure devotee of the Lord. Then your life is successful. In whatever condition you may be, it doesn't matter. You will be situated in the highest stage.
If you are situated in that position, then if you are put into the test of severe difficulties, you will not be moved. You will be steady. Na vicālyate. Just like we have got many instances. Prahlāda Mahārāja, he was a little boy, five years old, and his only difficulty was that he became a devotee of the Lord. His father became enemy, atheistic father, Hiraṇyakaśipu. He tortured him like anything, but he was not to be moved. He was stuck, sticking to his own position. This is... And you have many instances in your, this part of the world. Lord Jesus Christ, he was crucified, but still, he remained steady in his position. Haridāsa Ṭhākura, he was Muhammadan. When he took up this Kṛṣṇa consciousness, the Muhammadan government chastised him like anything. He remained steady. So these religious persecution, this and that, that is the history of the whole world. But if one sticks to the position of becoming pure devotee of the Lord, he has nothing to be afraid of. He will be steady, and he will prosecute his business steadily. Kṛṣṇa will help him. There is no doubt about it.
Thank you very much.
(ceremony follows, repeating prayers) [break] You shall begin here, Hare Kṛṣṇa, Hare Kṛṣṇa, Kṛṣṇa Kṛṣṇa, Hare Hare/ Hare Rāma, Hare Rāma, Rāma Rāma, Hare Hare. Then you go to the next bead. In this way come to this side. Again begin from here. Come to this side. And do sixteen rounds. And you know the four rules and regulations? What is that?
Śrī Caitanya: The four rules? No gambling, no meat-eating, no sex out of marriage... [break]
Prabhupāda: Then other offenses he will give you, ten kinds of offenses. There is a list. So you should take from him now. Bow down.
nama oṁ viṣṇu-pādāya kṛṣṇa-presthāya bhū-tale
śrīmate bhaktivedānta svāmin iti nāmine
(devotee repeats) So your name is Śrī-Caitanya dāsa. I think there is no...
Devotees: Oh!
Prabhupāda: Come on. Now here. Give me this. [break] ...bhū-tale śrīmate bhaktivedānta svāmin iti nāmine. Thank you very much.
Devotees: Hare Kṛṣṇa! Haribol! [break] (fire sacrifice)
Arundhatī's father: Arundhatī.
Prabhupāda: (Arundhatī's father repeats) "...was so long under my care. Now I give you a charge. You please take and accept her as your wife." (Pradyumna repeats:) "Yes, I accept Arundhatī as my wife and I take charge of her life in all conditions. I will never separate with her and jointly we shall execute Kṛṣṇa consciousness."
Devotees: Jaya! Haribol!
Prabhupāda: You say, (Arundhatī repeats) "I accept you as my husband, Pradyumna, and I shall help you in the matter of Kṛṣṇa consciousness throughout my life. I shall never separate from you in all conditions, in happiness or distress." Now you change the garland. Hare Kṛṣṇa. Jaya. Now you... You put this cloth upon... Now cover the head. Yes. And give her head vermillion, red. [break] (prayers continue) Put silently on this. Now chant, Hare Kṛṣṇa, Hare Kṛṣṇa, Kṛṣṇa Kṛṣṇa, Hare Hare/ Hare Rāma, Hare Rāma, Rāma Rāma, Hare Hare. (devotees repeat) (Prabhupāda repeats) (end)
Wedding Lecture

November 17, 1971, New Delhi
Prabhupāda: This marriage is being performed as gandharva marriage, simply by changing the garlands. In the Kali-yuga, the other kinds of marriage, selected by the parents, that is not possible. Therefore, one of the marriage system, gandharva marriage, is accepted. And simply by changing the garlands and promising. (Sanskrit) That is stated in the Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam. In the Kali-yuga, simply by accepting, the man accepts the woman as wife and the woman accepts the man as husband, that is the vow. Svīkāra eva hi udvāhe. Simply by acceptance. Because other things are not possible. And without marriage, that is not civilized life, because in the animal society there is no marriage. But in any form of civilized society there is marriage. Everyone has got sex appetite. Therefore, marriage is allowed by the Vedic system. And Kṛṣṇa says in the Bhagavad-gītā that dharmāviruddho kāmo 'smi, "Kāma, lust, which is not against religious principles, that is I am."
So marriage is essential. So far our society is concerned, we don't allow anybody to remain in our society as friends, girlfriend or boyfriend. No. They must be married. And these boys and girls, after being married, they are preaching nicely Kṛṣṇa consciousness. All my students who are married, they are doing preaching work more than sannyāsī. Yes. In the Kali-yuga, practically it is forbidden. Sannyāsaṁ pala-paitṛkam kalau pañca vivarjayet, aśvamedhaṁ gavālambhaṁ.
Formerly there was a system: if the husband is unable, then a son can be begotten by the husband's younger brother, devareṇa. But in this age, Kali-yuga, that is forbidden. Similarly, aśvamedha yajña, gomedha yajña is also forbidden, because there is no yajñic brāhmaṇas. Formerly when an animal was put into the fire, sacrificed, and by Vedic mantra it was given a new, fresh life. That was the test of Vedic mantra pronouncing. But that is not possible nowadays. In the Kali-yuga, the only yajña is the sañkīrtana yajña.
kṛṣṇa-varṇaṁ tviṣākṛṣṇaṁ
yajñaiḥ saṅkīrtana-prāyair
yajanti hi su-medhasaḥ
[SB 11.5.32]
Those who are highly intellectual, su-medhasaḥ, they perform the saṅkīrtana yajña, and by that saṅkīrtana yajña, the Lord, whose complexion is not black and who is always chanting Hare Kṛṣṇa mantra and is accompanied by His associates, sāṅgopāṅgāstra-pārṣadam, yajñaiḥ saṅkīrtana-prāyair yajanti hi su-medhasaḥ.
So in this Kṛṣṇa consciousness movement, everything is being performed according to the scriptural injunction. It is not that we are manufacturing something.
So our initiation, our accepting a disciple as brāhmaṇa, they are all strictly according to Vedic injunctions. In this Kali-yuga, there is no vaidika dīkṣā because vaidika dīkṣā depends on the persons being a—I mean to say—sanctified brāhmaṇa. A sanctified brāhmaṇa means that before his birth, the garbhādhāna-saṁskāra is observed. If it is not observed, then he immediately falls down to the category of śūdra. Kalau śūdra sambhava. But there is pāñcarātrikī-vidhi given by Nārada, who said that one should be accepted in the category of brāhmaṇa, kṣatriya, vaiśya, and śūdra according to symptoms. Yasya hi ya svabhāvasya.
yasya hi (yal) lakṣaṇaṁ (proktaṁ)
(puṁso) varṇābhivyañjakam
yad anyatrāpi dṛśyeta
tat tenaiva vinirdiśet
[SB 7.11.35]
There are symptoms of brahminical qualification, there are symptoms of kṣatriya qualification. So if these symptoms are observed in a different place, namely if the brahminical qualification is observed in the person of a śūdra, then that śūdra should not be called a śūdra, he should be accepted as brāhmaṇa. Similarly, if the śūdra qualification is observed in the family of a brāhmaṇa, then that person should be accepted as śūdra. This is the definition given by Nārada Muni while he was speaking about varṇāśrama-dharma to Mahārāja Yudhiṣṭhira.
So this Kṛṣṇa consciousness movement, the initiation ceremony, the marriage ceremony, the sacred thread ceremony, whatever we observe, they are strictly according to the śāstra. That is our point. So for spiritual progress of life, it is necessary that all kinds of sinful activities must be stopped. Without being free from contamination of sinful life, nobody can make progress in spiritual life. Therefore, who is strictly observe these four principles to avoid sinful life, one of them is avaida stri saṅga. Therefore marriage is necessary. [break] (Hindi) (end)
Address at Wedding of Bali-mardana

Los Angeles, December 4, 1973
Locana dāsa Ṭhākura, he sings that "This Nitai-Gaura incarnation, parama karuṇa—very, very merciful." Parama karuṇa, pahū dui jana: "Two lords, Nitai-Gaura." Parama karuṇa, pahū dui jana. Dui jana means two. Parama karuṇa, pahū dui jana, nitāi gauracandra: "Nityānanda and Caitanya Mahāprabhu, or Gaura Hari." Saba avatāra, sāra śiromaṇi kevala ānanda-khanda: "There are many incarnation, but Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu and Nityānanda—simply ānanda, bliss." Ānanda, bliss, kevala ānanda-khanda. Now, for spiritual advancement, generally according to the Vedic system, so one has to accept the order of renounced life. Caitanya Mahāprabhu personally taught it, but He never condemned gṛhastha life, householder life. He rather said,
One may be a gṛhastha or sannyāsīit doesn't matter—but he must be Kṛṣṇa-tattva-vit. He must know the science of Kṛṣṇa. That is required. So in our Kṛṣṇa consciousness movement, we have got four orders: brahmacārī, gṛhastha, vānaprastha, sannyāsa. Whichever position one can find himself suitable, he can accept that, and... But the main business is kṛṣṇa-tattva-vettā, and preach the cult all over the world, sei guru haya. Guru means preacher, to enlighten. One who can enlighten, he is guru.
cakṣur-unmīlitaṁ yena
tasmai śrī-gurave namaḥ
Guru means one who can open the eyes of the ignorant by the light of knowledge. He is guru.
So our this Kṛṣṇa consciousness movement is all-round movement, all-round movement. Just like Kṛṣṇa, He took part in everything. Not that Kṛṣṇa simply was interested in Vedic ritualistic ceremony. Of course, everything is based on Vedic ritualistic ceremony. But Kṛṣṇa also took part in everything. He was a politician, He was a philosopher, He was a socialist, He was a communist—everything. That is Kṛṣṇa. That is Kṛṣṇa. So we recommend that in whatever position you feel comfortable, you can accept that, but, I mean to say, spread this Kṛṣṇa consciousness movement. Parama ānanda-khanda. People will be happy. Our mission is to see sarve sukhino bhavantu: everyone become happy. We don't want to see that we exploit somebody else and I become happy. No. We want to see everyone happy. But they do not know how to become happy. Therefore we are trying to spread this Kṛṣṇa consciousness movement that everyone will be happy. Su-sukhaṁ kartum avyayam [Bg. 9.2]. In Bhagavad-gītā it is... Su-sukham; to execute this Kṛṣṇa consciousness movement is very easy. Kartum avyayam: and whatever you perform, it is permanent. Avyayam and su-sukham, very pleasing. There is nothing very painful in this Kṛṣṇa consciousness movement. Because Kṛṣṇa is ānanda, ānandamayo 'bhyāsāt (Vedānta-sūtra 1.1.12), we are going under the protection of Kṛṣṇa, there must be always ānanda. But people do not know how to enjoy ānanda. They have been put into ignorance. The so-called leaders, so-called politicians, so-called philosophers, scientists, they are simply keeping the people in darkness. So we want to counteract this action of keeping people in darkness. Lokasya ajānataḥ vidvān cakre sātvata-saṁhitām. Vyāsadeva compiled this Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam...
So people do not know it. So we are trying to spread this knowledge, how to become happy. So everyone should come forward and cooperate with this movement.
Thank you very much. (end)

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