Is marriage necessary or unnecessary for the devotees?
The query was like this: “I want answer 2 one of my query: Is it really important to get married and have children which I see as sheer wastage of time that make u more involved in worldly affairs, does it amount to committing a sin?”
I have noticed that some devotees after coming to devotional/ spiritual way of have no clear opinion about entering into marriage life. After enjoying the highest taste of devotion to Krishna, some devotees start hating all the material things and relations. They even skip their marriage in haste but go on fighting between senses and mind! Though it is your right to remain unmarried for ever, there should be a valid/ sound reason for skipping the marriage life. It should not be in haste!
When there is a higher taste, we lose interest in a lower taste. It is natural. But, we should utilize every organization (forum) in the service of Lord, including the organization (forum) of marriage! The fact is that this is the issue to be discussed case to case! Not as a common advice for all! Let us see one by one:
(1) The problem arises only when a person is confused that Spiritual life and material life are different! If the materials are involved in Spiritual life, everything becomes Spiritual! We ourselves are not these bodies, but spiritual souls. If we learn seeing Lord in everything available/ happening in this world, we won’t hate or escape from anything. See your spouse as a soul, not a body.
(2) Of Course, Many face difficulties in balancing family and Spiritual practice comfortably in this highly competitive world. But this depends on the way of approach and consciousness! It is very easy to overcome it. How?
(3) Both Being a Brahmachari (Bachelor) or being a Grahastha (married man) is allowed in Devotional Service. But many think that Brahmacharya is just skipping the marriage life. No! It is both physical and mental purity. A true brahmachari avoids eight forms of subtle violations. He should not even think of women; Then, what about indulging in them? He should not ‘unnecessarily’ talk to the women. He should dress very simply. He should always be in the company of devotees. He should not remain alone. He should not think of or indulge in any form of violations.
(4) Is this possible? This is possible ONLY WHEN you fully divert all your thoughts and activities in Lord! You can not fully stop thinking, but can divert them in the service of Lord’s service. You can develop a higher taste and totally forget lower taste. But, here too, there is a risk. If your decision to be a brahmachari is weak, and you miss the association of sincere devotees for some time or days, there are chances that you fall back in the hands of MAYA who takes you back to the material affairs. This, some times, leads to the confusion in mind.
(5) Therefore, If you are really willing to be a brahmachari and not willing to enter into marriage life, you can adopt that path ONLY IF you are very confident that you can remain a true brahmachari throughout your life! You should not choose to be a brahmachari thinking that marriage is wrong, or, fearing to bear the burdens of the grahastha (householder) life! Because, marriage is allowed in the devotional way of life! So, ask yourself!
(6) If you prefer to be a brahmachari, you should be very sincere and dedicated in your the devotional way of life. You should strongly hold your Spiritual master’s hands and pray to him to help you to protect yourself from the attractions of Maya and advance in Lord’s Service. You should be very careful in dealing with women and material things. All your actions should be centered at Krishna. Any wrong you do, will spoil the image of the organization/ spiritual master you are attached to.
Therefore, Be sincere. If you need a wife, go ahead and marry a girl. Don’t pretend as if you don’t need her! Speak to your Spiritual master (Guru) about this frankly and act as per his directions. If you are not initiated (diksha,ie committing to a guru), ask your siksha (Educating) guru, or seniors in your forum.
(7) If you are not confident that you may be able to follow the above principles, Better, enter into marriage. Getting married is safe to fight Maya, compared with skipping it and indulging in illicit relations. O.K?
(8) It is ADVISABLE to marry a girl/ boy, without hesitation and shyness, if you fall under any one of the following cases:
(i) If you can develop your children as Good citizens and Devotees.
(ii) If, even after many attempts, you are not able to control your senses!
(iii) If you are not able to concentrate in Devotional Practice because of the fight with your senses!
(iv) If you fear that your desire to get married may disturb other devotees.
(v) If you need a person to assist you in your devotional practices and services.
(9) But, there is no compromise in a condition: If you marry, you should develop your children as good citizens and devotees. In other words, If you can give such a Devotee Children to this world, don’t hesitate to get married. It is welcome.
(10) You may ask: “If I get married, I will have to spend time with my spouse and hence cannot concentrate in devotional Service. What shall I do?”
No Problem! If you marry a devotee, there are no problems in the Continuance of Lord’s Services. Otherwise, if you marry a non devotee or a new devotee, you MUST first explain her about the devotional way of life, take her to temples and associate her with other devotees who are practising the devotional path after marriage. Gradually, she will also become devotional. Association makes everything possible. I suggest you to discuss with your proposing girl about your future way of devotional grahastha life, if that girl is not accustomed to serious spiritual life so far.
(11) In addition to the association of devotees, involve her in Chanting Lord’s names as many rounds as possible daily. Sure, She will overtake you in dev0tion. Then, Your life will be so meaningful. Both of you can cook food & offer it to Lord. Both of you can wash the dresses & utensils of Lord and use them in Pooja (prayers). Both of You can chant more rounds. Both of you can involve in Temple Services. Both of you can preach; Distribute Krishna related Books. Both of you can support your temple. You can go for a job, earn and donate a part of it to Krishna’s Service. How meaningful your life will be! Just imagine.
(12) Before entering into marriage, please convey all the details of your involvement in Krishna Consciousness and your expectations, to the girl and her parents. It MUST be done. Discuss everything before marriage and seek their cooperation. Marry her ONLY IF HE PROMISES that she will cooperate with your practices.
(13) Don’t marry a girl or boy only for Sense enjoyment. Our Acharyas have warned us about this. This rare human life should not be wasted only in the Sense gratification. Be careful in getting addicted to the bodily attractions. The meaning of the Marriage is: Before marriage, She loved Krishna; You also loved Krishna; After marriage, Both of you Say, “We love Krishna”. Both of you should live for Krishna’s Service.
(14) Even after marriage, never indulge in unwanted discussions with the people or women, that may lead to diversions and offences. Always Pray sincerely to Krishna to protect you from indulging in offenses. If you Chant Lord’s names sincerely, you will gradually become purified. It is the tested and proven fact. Don’t doubt in it! Krishna, the King Of Senses, will protect you.
(15) As Srila Prabhupada, the founder of ISKCON stipulated, follow four regulative principles: No meat eating, No Gambling; No intoxication; No Illicit Relations.
(16) WARNING: I write this after observing the devotee community closely: In case you like to follow devotional practices seriously, NEVER MARRY A GIRL WHO DOES NOT LIKE SUCH SERIOUS DEVOTEE LIFE. MARRY HER ONLY IF SHE CAN INVOLVE ALONG WITH YOU. If a serious devotee marries a girl who does not have a taste in devotional way of life and who does not like to follow it seriously, the life will be hellish with quarrels and upsets. She may expect FREQUENT close relations, but, you will restrict it as per rules. Hence, misunderstandings. That is why, such marriages who marry NON COOPERATIVE person fails.
Therefore, DISCUSSION & UNDERSTANDING EACH OTHER’S LIFE STYLE “BEFORE MARRIAGE” IS IMPORTANT. VERY IMPORTANT! DO THAT.
Thus, the conclusion is:
Is marriage necessary or unnecessary?
Brahmacharya is not a path full of flowers; If you are not serious about it, don’t choose to be a brahmachari. It is Good and safe to marry a girl (if possible, a devotee, otherwise make her as a devotee after marriage. You are giving a new devotee to Krishna. Isn’t it?). However, if you are 100% confident that you REALLY like to be a brammachari, you can go ahead. But, be genuine as advised above for aspiring brahmacharis!
Krishna Says in Bhagavad Gita (Ch-3, Text-6):
“One who restrains the senses of action but whose mind dwells on sense objects, certainly deludes himself and is called a PRETENDER”. So, if you fear that you may be a pretender, immediately get married.
Thus, MARRIAGE is permitted in Spiritual Life. It protects us from going into illicit activities. The condition is: Both Of You & your children should live for Krishna; Not for Sense Enjoyment. O.K?
Similarly, being a brahmachari is also allowed in spiritual life. But, it should have valid reasons. That’s all.
The above tips are applicable for girls also. However, girls are advised to enter into marriage life to protect her in the society. You also can follow all the above tips to lead a blissful marriage life!
I hope this article have cleared your doubts.