If Scriptures allow man to marry more than one girl, is it not against the loyalty of first wife?
Actual Question from a woman devotee (Name Hidden):
Hare Krsna Prabhuji, I always have this doubt, If marriage is based on loyalty and fidelity between the couples, then how men in previous ages were allowed to keep more than one wife as per Shastras. In today’s age, what is the accurate and authorised recommendation according to Shadtras for men regarding marriage. You once said, Kshatriyas were allowed, so as to protect women but then how are we supposed to decide whether we are a common man or Kshatriya. There are some castes which have Kshatriya qualities in today’s age. My aim is to cross this material world, at the same time, do not wish to disobey scriptural injunctions and abide by it. Please clarify this.
Actually, there is always a conflict between the law of religions and law of the existing government.
The people are always confused about which rule to follow.
The best way to deal with this is that we should balance both of them and follow.
Because, if we follow the rules of the scriptures alone and marry another girl, it is prohibited by the country’s laws because second marriage is not permitted when the first wife objects it according to the country laws.
Even if you say that you should follow only the advice of the scriptures, there will be a confusion.
Which scripture to follow?
If you are a Hindu, you have hundreds of scriptures. Which one to follow?
Manu Samhita permits marrying another girl if the first wife is unable to give a male child within 10 years. That means, one should marry only after 10 years of marrying the first wife that too, to get a male child.
Why such permissions?
Because, only the male child will continue the progeny/ generation. The female child is given as dhan (Kannihadhan) to a boy in marriage. So, she becomes the member of the boy’s family.
Since only a male child continues the generation of his father, even Krishna as Narayana in ‘Garuda Purana’ insists a male to get a male child at any cost (even by marrying a second wife if the first wife is unable to give a male child).
At the same time, the scriptures also insist that the first wife should not be deserted because of marrying the second wife.
Thus, the rules of Indian scriptures allow the second marriage for the husband only for getting male child. Not only for the Kshatriyas, but also for the other varnas.
In general, Indian Scriptures do not speak much about One wife concept except Ramayana. They permit second marriage for men, BUT ONLY FOR GETTING A MALE CHILD IF UNABLE TO GET A MALE CHILD THROUGH THE FIRST WIFE WITHIN 10 YEARS.
At the same time, no scriptures allow deserting the first wife except if she has extra affairs or if she leaves the home without the permission of husband. Even if a good wife is diseased and bed ridden, she should not be deserted. And, if there is a son through the first wife, second marriage is not permitted for that husband.
These are the rules for the husband marrying second time.
Just because Manu Samhita and Garuda Purana allows it, we can not marry a second girl as we wish. If one marries, today’s first wife will file a case in the court. Because, today’s modern world has given all the rights to women also. If the first wife objects, the second marriage of the husband will be invalid. If the husband does not accept the verdict, he can be arrested and jailed.
That is why, I said that we should balance both the scriptures and law of lands existing as of now.
Like our Hindu religion, in many other religions, second marriage is permitted. But, most of the people do not marry second time. Why? Because, running the life even with a single wife will be difficult in this materialistic world in which the cost of living and cost of education, housing, etc, are increasing day by day.
There is only one change that has happened since the previous periods. In those days, the husband need not get the consent of wife to marry again if the first wife could not give a male child. But, now, if the husband likes to marry another girl, he should either get the consent of the first wife or divorce the first wife and marry again. But, there should be a valid reason for divorce.
So, the system is better now for women compared to the ancient period. Though this is kaliyuga, this is the good thing for women. Their rights can be discussed and proved in a forum and justice can be achieved.
Another point to keep in our mind is that this is kaliyuga. We need not follow the scriptures written in other yugas. Devotional paths are different in every yuga. For kaliyuga, it is chanting, not yagas, penances, temples, etc.
Similarly, marriage rules are also to be followed adjusting with the country’s laws. Just because the people of Dvapar yuga married two girls, we too need not marry two girls.
Now a days, the laws of democratic governments are sincere. They protect the rights of women in marriage. Therefore, in kaliyuga, we neeed not follow the advice of scriptures about marriage. If we qute a single scripture, others may quote another scripture.
This problem is not there in the country’s laws. Marry a girl and lead a grahastha life with her. If she is indisciplined, or, if she is torturous, etc, the laws permit separation. Then, he can marry another girl.
Even now, there is no barrier for having two wives, but, the natural consent of the first wife is very important and the first wife has all her shares in the properties of her husband. She can go to the court if she objects the second marriage of her husband.
Ok, what is my advice for this advancing kaliyuga?
Marry a single girl after thoroughly evaluating all the credentials. Be true and loyal to her. If she is cooperative, never think of another girl. If she is a willful violator of discipline, try atleast for two years to correct her. If she can not be corrected, divorce her and marry a girl again. This is understandable, legal and safe.
This will be the best solution for this kaliyuga. Do not confuse with the scriptures in this matter. If we follow the scripture now in the case of marriage, we will be jailed and we will have to chant in jail only.
Country’s laws must be obeyed if it is not against the rights of women. As far as India, USA, UK, and many other democratic countries are concerned, they are protecting the rights of women to much extent and hence it is good to follow country’s laws in the case of marriage. At the same time, same sex marriages or relations need not be followed though they are permitted in any country. Because it is against the basic arrangement of God in creating men and women separately to interact and develop progeny. The marriage should continue the progeny. It is not possible in same sex relationships. So, one should never follow them though country’s laws permit.
This is my humble view written without unnecessarily sticking to a few impractical advices of the scriptures in this advancing and cruel kaliyuga.
Hope you are clear now.