DIVORCE AND REMARRIAGE FOR MEN AND WOMEN – VERDICT OF INDIAN SCRIPTURES!
Actual Question by a woman devotee (Name hidden):
“Are men allowed to marry second time, for what reasons as per Scriptures? Thank you for enlightening us through your counselling. It has certainly changed my life in lot of ways.”
This is a very sensitive topic because the vedic system can’t be understood by the present day generation. However, let me explain the instructions of scriptures about this matter of divorce and remarriage.
Our scriptures do not support divorcing a wife or husband except for valid reasons. This is the fact.
Read this in our another site: Should a wife not divorce even a drinking, smoking and abusing husband?
Only if the wife is unchaste, the men should abandon her. Not for any other reasons. However, he can have two wives simultaneously with certain conditions. Or, he can marry an unmarried girl after the death of his first wife.
As per the scriptures, men are allowed to marry more than one girl with certain conditions. If he marries another girl, he should protect his both the wives with dignity and should not make them suffer. Therefore, it is to be understood that a man can marry more than one girls ONLY IF he has the CAPACITY AND VALID REASONS. He should not leave any debts to his wife or children.
This is confirmed by Manu Samhita and Srila Prabhupada in Srimad Bhagavatam Lecture on 22.09.1972:
“Therefore Canakya Pandita says, “The father who dies a debtor, he is an enemy.” Rna-karta pita satruh. Rina means debts. Karta means one who has committed so many debts and dies. A father… Instead of enjoying father’s property, he has to pay the father’s debts. So therefore that father is called enemy. Rna-karta pita satruh mata satruh dvi-carini. “And mother, if she marries for the second time, she is enemy.” Rna-karta pita satruh mata satruh dvi-carini, rupavati bharya satruh. “And very beautiful wife, she is enemy.” And putra satrur apanditah. “And if the son is a fool, rascal, he is enemy.” Four kinds of enemy in the family.”
If he deserts his first wife who is chaste, or, allows his first wife to suffer, then, it is not approved by the scriptures.
Also read in our another site: What are the duties of husband in a marriage life?
Why men were allowed to marry more than one girls?
Because, even during those days, the population of women is more than the men. Since most of the men were involved in protecting the countries and died in wars, there were always scarcity of men and there were more women who did not marry.
If the capable men are allowed to marry two girls, the extra women will get married. This prevented the women from remaining unmarried because of lack of the availability of men.
Now a days, the divorces happen even for sense related reasons. This is condemned by the scriptures.
Srila Prabhupada has said that only sudras divorce and remarry. A person with brahminical qualities are not expected to divorce and remarry. Because the woman he is going to marry again could have married another unmarried man. Even if he marries another woman who is also divorced, she is the wife of another man. Marrying the wife of another man is considered as adultery.
Srila Prabhupada says in his morning Walk in Rome, May 28, 1974:
“The divorce is also dog’s business. Dog is having sex intercourse with this female dog and another, another, another, another. It is animalism, That’s all.”
Srila Prabhupada has said that one should follow the instructions of varnashrama dharma and Manu Samhita.
Also read this in our another site: My husband is addicted to Social media. How to correct him?
He says in his purport to Srimad Bhagavatham 7.8.48:
In many places in Bhagavad-gita, the Supreme Lord, Krsna, refers to the varnashrama-dharma of four varnas and four ashramas. He teaches people about this varnashrama-dharma so that all of human society can live peacefully by observing the principles for the four social divisions and four spiritual divisions (varna and ashrama) and thus make advancement in spiritual knowledge. The Manus compiled the Manu-samhita. The word samhitä means Vedic knowledge, and manu indicates that this knowledge is given by Manu. The Manus are sometimes incarnations of the Supreme Lord and sometimes empowered living entities. Formerly, many long years ago, Lord Krsna instructed the sun-god. The Manus are generally sons of the sun-god. Therefore, while speaking to Arjuna about the importance of Bhagavad-gita, Krsna said, imam vivasvate yogam proktavan aham avyayam vivasvan manave praha: “This instruction was given to Vivasvan, the sun-god, who in turn instructed his son Manu.” Manu gave the law known as Manu-samhita, which is full of directions based on varëa and äçrama concerning how to live as a human being. These are very scientific ways of life, but under the rule of demons like Hiraëyakaçipu, human society breaks all these systems of law and order and gradually becomes lower and lower. Thus there is no peace in the world. The conclusion is that if we want real peace and order in the human society, we must follow the principles laid down by the Manu-samhita and confirmed by the Supreme Personality of Godhead, Krsna.”
MANU ABOUT REMARRIAGE BY MEN:
Manu Samhita 9.41 states that men of good quality must never lay down with another man’s wife.
WHEN CAN A MAN REMARRY?
Manu says that a man can marry more than one man, but, should get the approval of his guru. If he is capable to have additional wife, he can remarry, but, should protect allhis wives.
Manu Samhita 9.80 states that a wife who drinks alcohol, or is non submissive and is rebellious toward her husband, or a wife who is wasteful, the husband may at any time take another wife and make the new wife prominent.
(It is to be understood that he can marry another girl and make her prominent, but, not to desert that violating wife)
Manu also says that a man can remarry under the following situations also. Our scriptures advise a man to get a son at any cost. If he is not able to get a child at all in 8 years he can marry another girl. If he does not get no boy child within 11 years of his life with his first wife or if he gets only the girl children, he can marry another girl to get a son.
Son continues the progeny (generation). Girls are given to another man in marriage and hence they will continue the progeny of another man. Only a son can continue the progeny of a husband. Hence these instructions:
Manu Samhita 9.80 states that the wife can be superseded in her 8th year if she is barren. In the 10th year if all the wife’s children die. In the 11th year if she has given birth to only girls. But for a wife who is quarrelsome, without delay the husband can take another wife to supersede her.
Manu Samhita 9.30 states that if a woman becomes disloyal to her one and only husband, all other men must shun her. (That means, all men should avoid marrying her).
HOWEVER, A MAN CAN’T DESERT A SUBMISSIVE WIFE TO MARRY ANOTHER GIRL JUST BECAUSE THE WIFE IS SICK. HE HAS TO PROTECT HER WITH DIGNITY.
Manu Samhita 9.82 states that if the wife is sickly, yet is submissive and always kind to her husband, she can only be superseded with her own consent. But she must never be disgraced.
Also read in our another site: IF A PERSON HAS THE KARMA (FATE) OF INTER CASTE MARRIAGE, HOW CAN HE AVOID IT?
REMARRIAGE BY WOMEN NOT ALLOWED BY THE SCRIPTURES:
Srila Prabhupada and the scriptures never sanctioned women to divorce and remarry.
Manu Samhita 9.64 states that no one can authorize the remarriage of a widow and a brahmana, who in his folly, authorizes such is in violation of sanätan-dharma.
Manu Samhita 9.65 states that in all sacred Vedic texts that refer to marriage, no where is found that a widow can remarry.
WHY REMARRIAGE IS NOT ALLOWED FOR WOMEN?
Srila Prabhupada says in his purport to Srimad Bhagavatham 3:23:52:
It is said that the father himself becomes the son in another form. The father and son are therefore considered to be non-different. A widow who has her son is actually not a widow, because she has the representative of her husband.
Srila Prabhupada says in his purport to Bhagavad Gita 16.7:
“Actually, a woman should be given protection at every stage of life. She should be given protection by the father in her younger days, by the husband in her youth, and by the grownup sons in her old age. This is proper social behavior according to the Manu Samhita. But modern education has artificially devised a puffed-up concept of manly life, and therefore marriage is practically now an imagination in human society. Nor is the moral condition of woman very good now.”
A MAN SHOULD NOT DESERT HIS WIFE APPLYING HIS POWER OF BEING MANLY. Read below:
Manu Samhita 9.46 states that neither by any amount of money or by legal or social repudiation (divorce) can a woman be released from her vow of being the wife of her husband. This is the law of dharma.
Thus, Manu says that there is no divorce in marriage.
WHEN CAN A WOMAN DESERT HER HUSBAND?
Manu Samhita 9.79 states that if the man is mad, an outcast, destitute of manly strength or under punishment of a crime, these are exceptions. (Then, the wife can leave him)
This does not mean that she can marry again. She has to spend her remaining life with her children.
Srila Prabhupada says in Srimad Bhagavatam 7:11: 28, Purport:
…Although the duties of a woman are different from those of a man, a chaste woman is not meant to serve a fallen husband. If her husband is fallen, it is recommended that she give up his association. Giving up the association of her husband does not mean, however, that a woman should marry again and thus indulge in prostitution. If a chaste woman unfortunately marries a husband who is fallen, she should live separately from him. Similarly, a husband can separate himself from a woman who is not chaste according to the description of the sastra. The conclusion is that a husband should be a pure Vaisnava and that a woman should be a chaste wife with all the symptoms described in this regard. Then both of them will be happy and make spiritual progress in Krsna consciousness.
EXAMPLES OF MULTIPLE MARRIAGES IN SCRIPTURES:
Though such multiple marriages were allowed for men, only the Kshatriyas were able to accept more than one wife because they alone were capable to protect more than one wife.
There are amny examples from the scriptures:
We know that the king Dasaratha, the father of Rama had 60,000 queens.
Krishna’s father Vasudeva had 18 wives.
Even Arjuna married 3 girls in addition to Draupati. However, Draupati marrying five Pandavas is an exemption and it had a strong backing reason given in Mahabharatha. The situation made her to marry five pandavas.
Since Krishna Himself has referred Varnashrama Dharma and Manu (Sun God’s son) in Bhagavad Gita, we have to take the instructions of Manu as the reference for our Sanatana Dharma.
IS REMARRIAGE TOTALLY PROHIBITED? AT WHAT CONDITION REMARRIAGE CAN BE PERMITTED?
There is a way for women to remarry if she is in genuine need:
Srila Prabhupada suggested that a divorced woman can be accepted by another man if she becomes a serious devotee of Krishna and takes initiation of Harinam from a guru. Since it is the fresh birth to her, her past life ahs ended after taking diksha. Hence, she is now eligible to remarry.
In no other circumstances, remarriage is allowed as said by Srila Prabhupada.
Same applies for men.
Hope this exhaustive article has cleared your doubts.