Montreal, July 22, 1968

Krishna conscious marriage should help devotees make progress
further and further towards spiritual realization of Krishna.

Srila Prabhupada

Prabhupada: Alola-candraka-lasad-vanamalya-vamsi-ratnaìgadam pranaya-keli-kala-vilasam [Bs. 5.31]. In this verse, the description of Govinda, the Supreme Personality of Godhead is given. Govinda is not impersonal, and is distinctly stated here: “The Lord is decorated with flower garland, and He has a flute in His hands.” And pranaya-keli-kala-vilasam: “And He is engaged in transcendental, conjugal love, Radha and Krishna.” So this love, which we see between man and woman in our experience within this material world, is not unnatural. It is there in God also. And the Brahma-sutra, Vedanta-sutra, says in the beginning, “Who is Brahman, the Supreme Person or the Absolute Truth?” Athato brahma jijnasa: questioning “What is that Absolute Truth?” The answer is janmady asya yatah:  “The Absolute Truth is that from whom everything emanates.”[Bhag. 1.1.1] Very simple definition, that means the fountainhead of everything, the source of everything. Here in this material world we see that the attraction between man and woman is so prominent. Not only in human society, but even in the society of cats, dogs, birds, etc., there exists attraction between the male and the female. Why? The answer is in the Vedanta-sutra. Janmady asya yatah: Because it is there in the Absolute Truth. Without being present in the Absolute Truth, how it can be manifested in the relative truth?


This world is called relative world; it is not Absolute. There is difference or duality. We cannot understand a man without knowing a woman. We cannot understand father without understanding the son or mother. Relativity. But in the Absolute world, everything is one.

According to the Vedic system, everyone has to follow the Vedanta-sutra. There are two section of philosophers in India, namely the impersonalist and personalist. The Vaishnavas accept that the Absolute Truth is a person, and the Mayavadi philosophers say that the Absolute Truth is impersonal. That is the difference. Otherwise their process is almost the same. Now our Vaisnava philosopher’s argument is that how can the Absolute Truth be impersonal? Because here, in this world, in our experience, we see everything is personal. So unless the personality, the individuality, or the individual attraction are there in the Absolute Truth, how can they be represented here in the relative truth?

Our presentation is that this conjugal love between man and woman is not unnatural. It is natural, because it exists in the Absolute Truth. We find from Vedic description that the Absolute Truth, Personality of Godhead, is engaged in conjugal loving affairs, Radha-Krishna. But the same Radha-Krishna love matter has permeated through matter. Therefore it is a perverted reflection. Here in this material world, the so-called love is not actual love; it is lust. Here the male and female are attracted not by love but by lust. So in this Krishna consciousness society, because we are trying to approach the Absolute Truth, the lust propensity has to be converted into pure love. That is the proposal. So in India still, amongst the strict followers of Vedic principles, this lust affair is adjusted spiritually. How is that? The boys and girls are not allowed to mix freely before marriage. Here, one of our students, when he was in India, tried to talk with a young girl on the street, and she was insulted. He was surprised. Because the practice is that young boys and girls do not talk with each other. Of course, now it is different. Even up to our young time we have seen that without being married, girls and boys couldn’t mix together. So this lust affair, this attraction, was little bit controlled. The parents of the girl and the parents of the boy would select the partner; the childeren had no personal selection. And that selection was made very scientifically, taking the horoscope of the girl, taking the horoscope of the boy, and calculating, “How this boy and girl will amalgamate? How their lives will be happy?” So many things were considered. And when everything was settled, then the marriage would take place. That is the system of old Indian, Vedic principle.

So far free love is concerned, as we understand, that was allowed only in very high circles, or princely order because the girl was educated and grown up and she was given to select her husband, but not directly. We find in so many historical evidences from Vedic literature that the girl used to express her desire, “I want to marry that boy.” This was amongst the ksatriyas, the princely order, not with others. And the father would give a challenge, a bet. And if somebody would come and become victorious, then the girl would be offered. That was in special cases.


A Sacred Bond

In this age, according to our Vaisnava principles, marriage is allowed because there is male, there is female. Why should they not unite? But not illegally. When I first came to New York, some of the boys and girls offered to become disciples. I saw that most of them were keeping boyfriends and girlfriends, so I requested them, “If you want to make progress in spiritual life, you have to refrain from four kinds of sinful activities: illicit sex life, nonvegetarian diet, intoxication, and gambling.” Unless one is free from these four principal activities, one cannot make progress in spiritual life. Because God is pure pavitram paramam bhavan no impure soul can approach Him. This body is the sign of impurity because soul has no material body. So anyone in this material world who has this material body is to be considered sinful. But how to get out of this? By dovetailing everything with spiritual life. Nirbandhe Krishna-sambandhe yukta-vairagyam ucyate. Take, for example, milk. If you take too much milk, then you will have bowel disorders. But if you approach a physician an Ayur-Vedic physician he will prescribe curd or yogurt with some medicine. So the disease caused by drinking milk is cured by the same milk preparation under the direction of the physician. The patient cannot argue to the physician, “I have become diseased by drinking milk, and you are prescribing another preparation of the milk?” Yes, the doctor prescribes because it treats the disease. Similarly, this lust propensity between man and woman, if it is properly treated, can turn into love of Godhead.

So I am a sannyasi; I have renounced my family life. I have children, grandchildren, and my wife still living, but I have separated from them. This is called sannyasa. Why am I again taking interest in the family life of my students? Because I want to see them properly progress in spiritual life. Therefore, although it is not the business of a sannyasi to take part in marriage ceremonies, in this country, just to save my students from sinful activities, I am personally taking interest, so they may become good gentlemen and ladies by marriage. I am very happy to see that those boys and girls who have got married, and are having children are very happy. Many of them are present in this meeting. From their face, from their activities, it appears they are very happy.


A Sacred Bond

So in this Krishna consciousness society, if a boy or a girl wants to get married, I help. But the bride and bridegroom must know certainly that this marriage is not for sense gratification. This marriage is for purification of life. So there is no question of divorce. Don’t get married if you have got this propensity. Our first principle is to become Krishna conscious, and other things are secondary. Putrarthe kriyate bharya. If you can produce nice Krishna conscious children, you will do the greatest service to human society. Because the human society is now producing children like cats and dogs, there is great trouble. How can you expect peace and prosperity in a society of cats and dogs? Therefore there is necessity to produce Krishna conscious children, to train them from the very beginning. You will be all glad to know that some of our students, very small boys in San Francisco, are being trained, and they are making wonderful progress. So there is no fault of these hippie boys and girls. They have not been trained. Not only here, every part of the world, the educational system is not very satisfactory. From the very beginning of their life they are allowed to mix freely, and they are allowed to enjoy sex life unrestrictedly. This is neither good for their health nor for education. Therefore we are getting now the result of education: communists and hippies. So people, those who are guardians of the society, should take serious note of it and make life very regulated.

Because we have this material body, we must eat, sleep, defend, and mate. These are the demands of this body. But they should be so regulated in Krishna consciousness that it will not become disturbing elements, but instead help us make progress further and further towards spiritual realization of Krishna. Therefore the best service to human society is to produce nice children. Don’t produce cats and dogs. That is my request. Otherwise don’t produce. Remain separate. Separate means there is no separation, but don’t produce children. pita na sa syaj janani na sa syat. The Bhagavata says, “One should not become a father or a mother, unless one is able to protect the children from the imminent danger of death.” [Bhag 5.5.18] What is that? The cycle of birth and death. If you can train your children to become Krishna conscious, then your child will go back to Godhead in this life. That should be the aim. As you will try to go back to Godhead in this life, similarly, you shall take charge of your children, so they can also go back to Godhead in this life. The mother must think, “This child is born out of my womb, and this is the last phase of his life to come into this womb of any animal or man. No more material body.” That should be the responsibility of father and mother.

So my dear children, please live happily. There is no restriction. We don’t restrict eating, sleeping, mating, or defending. But do it in relationship with Krishna, and be happy in this life and next life.

Thank you very much.