Haṁsadūta: Swamiji, did you say that householders should not associate with brahmacārīs?
Prabhupāda: Who said?
Haṁsadūta: Did you say that? Did you ever say that?
Prabhupāda: No. No.
Haṁsadūta: A brahmacārī should not associate with brahmacāriṇīs. But you did say that brahmacārīs should not associate with brahmacāriṇīs.
Prabhupāda: Actually, there is no... Brahmacāriṇī is not allowed in the śāstra. Where is the question of brahmacāriṇī? Because according to Vedic system, as soon as a girl is fourteen years old or sixteen years old, she is at once married. According to Vedic system, no girl should be allowed remaining unmarried. So there is no question of brahmacāriṇī. Every girl is supposed to be married. That is the Vedic system. A father's duty is that as soon as the girl is grown up, she must be married. She must be given in charge of a suitable boy. That is Vedic system.
Striyaḥ śūdrās tathā vaiśyāḥ. A woman is meant for being protected. So long she is not young, she is under the protection of the father. And as soon as she is young, she is given in charge, in charity. Kanyā-dāna. Dāna means charity. He should find out some suitable boys and give in charity: "My dear boy, take charge of this girl. So long she was under my charge. Now it is under your charge." So where is the brahmacāriṇī? There is no question of brahmacāriṇī. And when he is old enough, then the husband leaves the home and gives charge to the elderly son: "My dear boys, take charge of your mother." So she is always in charge of somebody. So according to Vedic system, there is no independent life of woman. Na strī svātantryam arhati. Manu-saṁhitā, that "Strī"—strī means woman—"should not be allowed independence." They should be given all protection. That's a very nice system. Not... Independence does not mean their position is very lower, no. Just like children. Children has no independence. No independence means they are well-protected. No independence does not meant that he has no independence to act. No. She has got. But under the protection. Just like there are some nation still now, protectorate. America is protecting. America is a big nation, and protecting another small nation. That does not mean they have no independence. They are also independent. They are acting like that. But because weaker, they should be given protection. Similarly, woman, children, brāhmaṇa, cow, old men, diseased men, they are to be protected. That is the social order.