How a wife can be divorced for illicit affairs, since divorce is not allowed by scriptures?

How a wife can be divorced for illicit affairs, since divorce is not allowed by scriptures?

Four questions from a woman devotee about divorce:

“Hare Krsna Prabhuji, Please hide my name. Thank you for answering my doubt, I have few doubts in that:
1)You say sctiptures do not allow deserting the first wife except if she has extra affairs or if she leaves the home without the permission of husband.  Can you explain the two above points.
2) What is adultery and extra marital affairs? Please explain according to scriptures.
3)Even though it is Kaliyuga, a wilful violater of discipline should not be divorced, my parents say this. There is no concept of divorce in scriptures.
4) And lastly, which is the standarised scriptural references in this Kaliyuga, that we can follow to go back to Godhead, without the feeling of guilt of disobedience to scriptures. That is for daily life.

Please clarify them. Thank you for answering all my questions patiently.”


Divorce is allowed in scriptures, but, not the today’s form.  In the scriptures, it is mentioned as separation from the spouse.

As far as the family and social rules are concerned, Manu Samhita is taken as the reference scripture. I have given reference from the Manu Samhita from THIS POST and THIS POST in the past.

A man marries a woman on the platform of trust and purity. When that trust and purity is violated, there is no meaning in the marriage.

Marriage means bearing the association of spouse till the death. Though the spouse becomes ill, the other should bear it because there is no fault on the side of the diseased person. Diseases are natural.

But, illicit affairs is not like that. When a wife or husband has secret relations with another man / woman, he/ she is violating the loyalty rules of marriage.

When the spouse has deviated from the loyalty rules of marriage, why should the other person live with that spouse with pains each and every second? Can he / she live peacefully after that?

Hence the separation is allowed in such a case of indiscipline.

Another reason is going away from home without the permission of the husband.  As per the scriptures, a girl should be under the protection of father before marriage and husband after marriage. Therefore, a girl requires their permission to go anywhere outside her home.

If a girl stays outside for a night without the permission of her husband, it is considered as a violation of the protection. Then, the husband is not responsible for that girl because in case anything happens to that wife, he can’t go and save her since she did not inform him where she goes, before going.

We have read in Ramayana about a wife is deserted by a man for staying outside more than a day. For that, that wife asked about how Sita devi was accepted by Rama though she stayed in Lanka for months. This later became a cause for Lord Rama leaving Sita devi in the forest.

Of course, this second cause may be misused because some times, the wife might have gone out for a genuine cause.  However, the purpose of that rule is to protect the wife from security threats. Nothing else.  When that wife violates it, it was seen as violation of the protection of husband. Hence separation was allowed. However, the wife was allowed to go anywhere after informing her husband. The husband should know her whereabouts. That’s all.

I tell you even now without hesitation:   A husband need not live with a wife who has illicit relations. Similarly, the wife need not live with her husband if he has extra affairs. Take some corrective steps for one or two years.  If not corrected, leave the spouse. No need to live with him/ her.  That is the best punishment for violation of oaths before marriage.

You have asked what the extra affairs are.   Extra affairs means, (i) loving someone else even by heart other than spouse. It need not even be sex, but, even lusty thoughts. Once the heart is given, everything is given;  (ii) having sex with a person other than the spouse.

Having both (i) and (ii) or any one of them is called extra affair.  That is why, male – female friendships should be avoided after marriage because friendship may turn to attraction at any time and it may become an illicit affair.

Sita devi did not even see Ravana face to face.  She always replied assuming that Ravana has come to the place of Ahoka van where she was sitting.  This is the purity as per the scriptures.  However, we can’t maintain that much of purity. So, Once two persons marry, both of them should not even think of any other person with wrong motive. Treating others as brothers or sisters or mother is advised.  If this is followed, it is enough for kaliyuga.

Your last question on the scripture to be followed to go back to Krishna:
Just follow the following scriptures that will give you definite success:

(1) Bhagavad Gita – The ONLY scripture having the DIRECT WORDS OF KRISHNA (Purported by Srila Prabhupada)

(2) Srimad Bhagavatham – The ONLY authorized scripture about Krishna (Purported by Srila Prabhupada)

(3) Nectar of Devotion (Bakthi Rasamruta Sindhu) to enhance the devotion and purify ourselves as per the recommendations.

(4) Sampradhaya Scripture:  Sri Caitanya Caritamruta to know the kaliyuga avatar of Krishna in the mood of Radharani.

(5) Life histories of the acharyas and pure devotees.

The first four scriptures are very important to be read and followed to go back to Krishna at the earliest.

Hope this helps.

Author: RAJAN

RAJAN from Tamil Nadu, India, a Life Patron and an Initiated Devotee being in ISKCON for nearly three decades, serves anonymously to avoid Prominence and crowd as an insignificant, Humble and Neutral Servant for all the devotees of Krishna! He promotes Social media forums and this blog-website as e-satsangha (e-forums) blessed with Lakhs of followers, to give Spiritual Solutions for all the Material Problems of the devotees since 2011! He writes friendly and practical tips to practice devotion (i) without hurting the followers of other paths, (ii) without affecting the personal and career life, and (iii) without the blind, superstitious and ritualistic approach! He dedicates all the glories and credits to his Guru and Krishna.

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