GUIDE FOR DEVOTEES : WHO SHOULD COMPULSORILY MARRY? WHY?
Question from a male student devotee:
“hare krishna prabhu. dandavat pranams. AGTSP. my thoughts does not allow me to marry. i am doing m.b.a in ………….university. problem is, i see many girls are not serious in knowing about krishna consciousness. if i talk about that, they go away from me. so, i fear, if i marry in life my wife will also desert me if i follow krishna consciousness seriously. so, i want to avoid marriage in life. i can not bear if my wife will not recognize my krishna. is it right to avoid marriage? what can i do to get a cooperating wife? here, some brahmacharis tell me if i marry, life will be a hell. i am totally broken. what shall i do? i need your advise n i will act as you advise. hk. thank you”
Those devotees should not have advised you like that. If all boys follow their advices, then, why Krishna has given birth to girls in equal numbers? Is Krishna un-intelligent? Has Krishna said in any place that marriage should be avoided? He has just said to avoid attachments, not marriage.
I BEG THE DEVOTEES NOT TO GIVE A CLEAR CONCLUSION ON THIS MATTER OF MARRIAGE TO THE YOUNG GUYS LIKE THAT. A SINGLE ADVICE WILL NOT MATCH EVERYONE. Marriage advices must be given case to case. All marriages are not failures. If you enter into it after complete review, you can make marriage life meaningful.
First we should keep in our mind:
The marriage happens or does not happen for a person only based on one’s karma. If a person is destined to have a marriage no one can stop it. It will definitely happen. If a person is destined for no marriage it will not happen whatever he tries. Marriage is strictly subjected to the approval of karma.
All the advices given here are just to give the points to consider before taking any decision about marriage. After analyzing all the points/ choices given by me you should take the final decision that will be best fit for your family background.
I have noticed that some devotees have no clear opinion about entering into marriage life. After enjoying the highest taste of the devotional way of life, some devotees start hating all the material things. They even skip their marriage in haste but go on fighting between senses and mind! But 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 Krishna, 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!
Also read Is marriage necessary or unnecessary? here
WHICH DEVOTEES SHOULD COMPULSORILY MARRY?
It is ADVISABLE to marry without hesitation and shyness, if you fall under any one of the following cases:
(1) If you are not confident that you will be able to follow the principles of brahmacharya, better, enter into marriage. Getting married is safe to fight Maya, compared with skipping it and indulging in violations. Don’t pretend as if you don’t need her! Speak to your Guru about this frankly and act as per his directions. If you are not initiated, ask your siksha guru, or seniors in your sathsangha.
(2) If you can develop your children as Krishna Devotees and gift them to Krishna as new devotees.
(3) If, even after many attempts, you are disturbed by your senses!
(4) If you are not able to concentrate in Krishna Consciousness Practices because of the fight with your senses!
(5) If you fear that as a brahmachari fighting with the senses, you may have a risk of disturbing other devotees of opposite gender.
(6) If you need a person to assist you in your services to Krishna.
(7) Most commonly every person needs a person to take care during his/ her last days or old age. This also necessitates marriage to avoid expecting the costly paid services in the old age.
(8) If you have old parents to take care or a family that depends on you for money or moral support should not leave the family to stay in temples without marriage.
(9) But, there is no compromise in a condition: If you marry, you should develop your children as Krishna Conscious. In other words, If you can give Krishna Conscious Children to this world, don’t hesitate to get married. It is welcome.
(10) Both Being a Brahmachari (Bachelor) or being a Grahastha (married man) is allowed in the Spiritual Service. But, many think that Brahmacharya is just skipping the marriage life. No! It is both physical and mental purity. A true brahmachari should not even think of and/ or indulge in ANY FORM of violative act – including masturbation;
Then, what about indulging in them with others? He should not ‘unnecassarily’ talk to the opposite gender. He should dress very simply. He should always be in the company of devotees. He should not remain alone.
(11) Is this possible? This is possible ONLY WHEN you fully divert all your thoughts and activities in Krishna alone! You can’t fully stop thinking, but can divert them in the service of Krishna. 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 confusion in mind.
(12) So, 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 brammachari throughout your life! You should not choose to be a brahmachari thinking that marriage is wrong, or, fearing to run a grahastha life! Because, marriage is allowed in spiritual service! So, ask yourself!
(13) If you prefer to be a brahmachari, you should be very sincere and dedicated in your spiritual service. You should strongly hold your Guru’s hands and pray to him to help you to protect yourself from the attractions of Maya and advance in Krishna’s Service. You should be very careful in dealing with opposite gender and material things. All your actions should be centered at Krishna. Any wrong you do, will spoil the image of the Guru or the organization you are attached to. So, Be sincere.
(14) You may fear: “If I get married, I will have to spend time with my spouse and hence cannot concentrate in Krishna’s Service. What shall I do?” No Problem! If you marry a same level devotee after frankly discussing with her/ him even before marriage, there may be 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 Krishna Consciousness, take her to temples and associate her with other devotees who are practising Krishna Consciousness after marriage. Gradually, she will also become Krishna Conscious. Association makes everything possible. I suggest you to discuss with your proposing girl about your future way of devotion centered married life, if that girl is not accustomed to serious spiritual life so far.
(15) In addition to the association of devotees, involve her in Chanting Hare Krishna Manthra as many rounds as possible daily. Sure, She will overtake you in Spiritual advancement. Then, Your life will be so meaningful. Both of you can cook food & offer it to Krishna. Both of you can wash the dresses & utensils of Krishna use them in Pooja. Both of You can chant more rounds. Both of you can involve in Temple Services. Both of you can preach; Distribute Srila Prabhupada’s 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.
(16) 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.
(17) Don’t marry a girl or boy only for Sense Gratification. 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.
(18). Even after marriage, never indulge in unwanted discussions with the people of opposite gender, that may lead to diversions and offences. Always Pray sincerely to Krishna to protect you from indulging in offences. If you Chant Hare Krishna sincerely, you will gradually become purified. It is the tested fact. Don’t doubt in it! Krishna, the King Of Senses, will protect you.
(19) As Srila Prabhupada stipulated, follow four regulative principles: No meat eating, No Gambling; No intoxication; No Illicit Affairs.
(20) WARNING: I write this after observing the devotee world closely: In case you like to follow spiritual practices seriously, NEVER MARRY A GIRL WHO DOES NOT LIKE SUCH SERIOUS DEVOTEE LIFE. MARRY HER ONLY IF SHE CAN INVOLVE IN DEVOTIONAL SERVICES ALONG WITH YOU.
If a serious devotee marries a girl who does not have a taste in K.C and who does not like to follow it seriously, the life will be hellish with quarrels and upsets. She may expect FREQUENT PHYSICAL relations, but, you will restrict it as per rules. So, misunderstandings. That is why, such marriages who marry NON COOPERATIVE persons fail even among devotee communities.
So, DISCUSSION & UNDERSTANDING EACH OTHER’S LIFE STYLE “BEFORE FIXING THE MARRIAGE” IS IMPORTANT. VERY IMPORTANT! DO THAT.
Thus, the conclusion is:
Brammacharya is not a path full of flowers; If you are not serious about it, don’t choose to be a brammachari. It is Good and safe to marry a girl (if possible, marry a devotee, otherwise marry a girl who agrees to follow your way of devotion and 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, evaluate youself genuinely as advised above!
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 Gratification.
The above tips are applicable for female devotees also. However, girls are advised by acharyas to enter into marriage life to protect themselves in the society. You also can follow all the above tips to lead a meaningful marriage life!
I hope this article have cleared your confusion.