Room Conversation

July 7, 1976, Baltimore
Rupanuga: ...how you explained that our movement is eternal.
Prabhupada: Hmm? Yes.
Rupanuga: Just so they don't think it is only ten years old. (devotees bring in a cake or Prabhupada distributes, eating, etc.)
Devotees: Jaya.
Prabhupada: Very nice.
Rupanuga: It is very heavy cake.
Prabhupada: Hm. Very nice. Anandamayo 'bhyasat (Vedanta-sutra 1.1.12). This is the movement of ananda, pleasure only. Krsna is anandamaya, and if you remain with Krsna you'll become anandamaya. A rich man, he's enjoying, and if you remain in association with the rich man, you also enjoy. Where is the difficulty? A very rich man, and his associates, they are also rich men. Is it not? And if you remain with poor man, you are also poor.
Rupanuga: You've explained that the servant in the house of the king, he is almost as good as the king.
Prabhupada: No, he is better than king. King, he eats whatever is offered to him, but they can eat whatever they like. Is it not? Who is restricting them? (aside:) You can open that. Just stand towards there. Yes.
Hari-sauri: Is that, cutting the cake, is that a Vedic..., did they used to do that in Vedic times, or is that a Western invention? We were just wondering about it.
Prabhupada: Prasada distribution. Either you cut or take with hand, the same thing. It doesn't make any difference.
Rupanuga: On the cake it was marked on one side 1966, on the other side 1976. Like a coin. They make coins celebrating, commemorating.
Prabhupada: And the cake is made very nicely. Who has made it?
Vrsakapi: This one girl, her name is Lalita-sakhi. She stayed up all night.
Rupanuga: And then it was decorated by Ambujaksa, who is an artist.
Prabhupada: Woman should be expert in cooking. That is their natural tendency. They should be educated how to cook nicely, how to please the husband, how to take care of the children. This is Vedic civilization. In the beginning a woman, childhood, she's trained up by the mother. Then as soon as she is married, formerly, child-marriage, so she's transferred to the care of mother-in-law. There she is trained up. Then she becomes very good housewife, takes care of household affairs, husband, children, and home becomes happy. What is this nonsense, divorce? There is no such thing in the Vedic civilization, divorce. You must accept whatever God has given you as husband or wife, you must. They had no thinking even, idea of divorce. One may not agree with the husband. That is natural. Sometimes we do not agree. But there is no question of divorce. When this divorce system was introduced?
Rupanuga: Comparatively recent. Because for many years the Catholic Church forbade it. When did it begin?
Pradyumna: Henry the Eighth, the King of England.
Prabhupada: Oh, he's the rascal.
Pradyumna: He had many wives, he wanted to divorce his wife and he could not under Catholic Church, so he started his own church, Church of England.
Prabhupada: Because many wives were not allowed?
Hari-sauri: No, they had a system, one wife, but he got fed up with them. He chopped off the heads of two of them and then... It was considered a bit outrageous. So then he wanted to divorce and have another wife after the third or fourth one.
Prabhupada: So he used to cut them, the head?
Hari-sauri: Yes, two of them he did. And then the Catholic Church excommunicated him.
Prabhupada: Therefore in Vedic civilization they keep, they have more than one wife. So what is the use of killing? Why one should kill? We find from the history, Dhruva Maharaja's mother and stepmother, there were some critical words, and Dhruva Maharaja became very, very angry. So the critical words and wives, different wives, that may be, but why one should cut off the head? Dhruva Maharaja's mother said when Dhruva Maharaja began to cry before the mother, mother said "My dear child, what can I do? How can I help you? Your father does not care for me, even as maidservant, what to speak of I am queen, I am the senior queen. So this gentleman does not care of me even as maidservant. How can I help you? If God helps you, then..." That was her statement. So that does not mean because the king did not like, she should be beheaded. What is this nonsense? If he is,(?)... may be... After all, he is king. He may not like first wife. Actually, there was no scarcity of comfort, but liking may not be, but that does not mean that she shouldn't be accepted as wife. Kings were allowed to marry more than one wife. Why to accept another wife means another wife should be killed? What is this? Everything nonsense. King can marry more than one wife. And at the time of marriage they were given so many woman. Because the woman population is greater than the man, always. So when the King is married, along with the queen, many other friends of the queen they would go with the king. They live in the same palace, same palace. Sometimes they had children, dasi-putra. Just like Vidura. Vidura was not queen's son. One of these women friends. So that was allowed.
Rupanuga: They were raised with the real sons.
Prabhupada: Oh, yes.
Rupanuga: Treated nicely.
Prabhupada: Yes. Not that because he is born of a dasi no care should be taken. No, equal. But he cannot inherit the throne, that's all. There was no question. Even Muhammadans, they used to marry more than one wife. Two hundred years ago, one Muslim Nawab of Lucknow, Wazel Dusayet(?), he had hundred and sixty wives. The palaces are still there, Lucknow, hundred and sixty palaces. Why the Nawab? Our Krsna, not hundred sixty but another zero, another, hundred sixty thousand, two zeros. Hundred sixty plus two zeros. They were not neglected. But He is God, He expanded Himself also, sixteen thousand forms, so that no wife would feel separation. So if one husband can maintain properly more than one wife, he's allowed. But the wife must be taken care of properly. Not that because I have got more than one wife, one is neglected, one is... No. She must be taken care of.
Vrsakapi: We were talking the other day, not in our society though.
Prabhupada: Huh?
Vrsakapi: Not in the ISKCON society, though.
Prabhupada: In the Kali-yuga one cannot maintain even one wife, what to speak of more than one. They are afraid to marry one wife. I first heard this, one elderly lady in New York. At that time, I was newcomer. I asked her, "Why don't you get your son married?" "Yes, he can be married, provided he can maintain wife," she said. So these things were unknown to us. In India, whether he'll be able to maintain... Just like I was married when I was third-year student. Where is the income? There is no income, but still I was married.
Hari-sauri: That was formerly the Western system, that the prospective son-in-law would be checked first to see whether he would be able to maintain the girl.
Prabhupada: No, that is everywhere. But expectation, he is educated, he'll be able. The first thing is in due time, either the girl or the boy must be married, that is Indian system. In due time. Boy not exceeding twenty years or twenty-five years, at most, and girl not exceeding fifteen years, sixteen years, must be. Samskara, this is one of the samskaras. Just like garbhadhana-samskara, this is also one samskara, and marriage is also samskara. Must be married. Dasa-vidha-samskara, ten kinds of samskaras, out of which marriage is one of the samskaras. And kanya-daya. Kanya-daya, daya means by law the father is bound to get his daughter married, by law. He cannot escape the responsibility. This is father's duty.
Rupanuga: You gave the example that if sometimes the man becomes bankrupt he goes to court and the judge says, "You must take this money you have left to your creditors and be satisfied," and he can escape in that way. But the one duty that a father has is getting the daughter married; that he cannot escape.
Prabhupada: No, therefore it is called daya, daya-bhak, legally he is bound. He may not get his son married, but the daughter must be married. This is father's duty.
Rupanuga: It is sinful, actually considered sinful, if he doesn't do that.
Prabhupada: Yes. Because without father the daughter cannot be properly married. Daughter or son, everyone, if the father, mother, by their supervision, the boys and girls get married, that is very good. They see how they will be happy. And without father, mother, simply by lusty desires, that selection may be wrong and that becomes actually happened. Therefore there is divorce.
Rupanuga: In this country the father and the mother, they tell the daughter that "You go out and bring a husband home. You go out and find a young boy and bring him home." And they make them go out in the street to find a husband.
Prabhupada: I know that. Sometimes they are advised to do business. I know that. When, in our society, in the beginning, I started marriage, the father, mother, did not like it. Nowadays it has become custom, in India also, let the girl have many friends, but don't marry unless you find out a suitable man. Society degrades. Actually the Indian system is that when the girl is utmost twelve years, not more than that, ten to twelve years, she must be married. And the father would see, not necessarily in every case the boy is rich man or educated. If he's healthy and if he can work, he'll "Take charge." Then fortune, faith.
Rupanuga: That is responsible.
Vrsakapi: How should we do this in our ISKCON society with these young girls?
Prabhupada: Of course, we are not very much concerned with the social affairs, but still, if we can organize society, that will be very good. That will be peaceful.
Pusta Krsna: Might be possible on the farms.
Prabhupada: Yes.
Pusta Krsna: Away from the bad social environment of the cities.
Prabhupada: The system is the boys and girls should be married earlier, and they should work, and there should be no divorce. But whether your country law will allow, that is another difficulty. You may introduce something, but the state law may not approve of it.
Pusta Krsna: I don't think there is any minimum age for marriage, simply the parents have to give their consent under a certain age. There's no minimum age.
Hari-sauri: There is in England. In a lot of countries now there's a minimum age. No, they cannot be married under that age. Women sixteen, men eighteen.
Pusta Krsna: But with parents' consent.
Rupanuga: ISKCON parents, if the girl is fifteen, like you said, fifteen, then the ISKCON parent may give permission, that is legal. Not only that, but our own men, as I have done in Virginia, I have registered as minister in the state, and I can perform marriages. So our own men can register to perform marriages.
Prabhupada: Another difficulty is the boy and the girl, they also do not stick. That is another difficulty.
Rupanuga: That is the biggest one.
Vrsakapi: Every father, he wants his son to stay brahmacari and become sannyasa. So who will be willing to give up their son for marriage at a young age? (pause)
Prabhupada: Hmm. (laughter)
Hari-sauri: You were saying the other day, actually the only solution is if everybody chants.
Prabhupada: That is the only solution.
Pusta Krsna: We were experiencing it just now, everyone was so happy chanting.
Prabhupada: If one can remain without marriage, that is first-class.
Rupanuga: Women also?
Prabhupada: Women also. What is the use of this material husband? Make Krsna husband. Krsna's prepared to become everythinglove Him as husband, love Him as son, love Him, friend. Krsna is prepared.
Rupanuga: I have see in our society that if the preaching is strong amongst the leaders and there's serious chanting, leaders see that everyone is chanting and happily engaged, that there is no disturbance. If the preaching is weak, there is sexual disturbance.
Prabhupada: Then the material desire becomes prominent.
Rupanuga: Then everyone becomes lusty. (end)

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