9 January, 1973
My dear Karandhara,
Please accept my blessings. Your letter dated December 28, 1972, is in hand and I have noted the contents carefully. According to our Vedic process, polygamy is allowed. For example, Krsna married 16,000 wives, Arjuna married 3 or 4 wives, Krsna's father Vasudeva, married 16 or 18 wives, like that. So according to the Vedic system polygamy is not prohibited. But it is not a farce also. Every wife must be provided for sufficiently. Krsna married 16,000 wives, but each wife was provided a palace and He was personally present at each palace. It does not meant to marry many wives and maintain none of them. If anyone is able to keep more than one wife and give them all comforts of life, there is no objection for having more than one wife. But if he creates trouble by marrying, he should not marry even one wife, this is my judgment. Now you can do the needful, taking into consideration the circumstances of the laws of your country, the customs of your people, the reputation of our society, the example which will be set for future devotees to follow, like that. For karmis, the Vedic system of marriage was given by Krsna so they may come gradually to the point of becoming devotees. But for devotees, it is advised to minimize sex life to the point of nil. So if that cannot be done, then there is regulation of sex life by marriage. Actually the system of polygamy is natural because the human entity is meant for transcending the animal forms of life and going back to home, back to Godhead. Therefore there should remain a class of men who do not marry in the society. But that will create an unfavorable situation of excessive population of unmarried women. Therefore it is advised that all women get themselves married, and if there is any man who is better able to maintain wife and family, he is advised to marry as many women as he can maintain and thereby free other men in the society to remain brahmacari. So I can understand that many men of our society have got themselves married only for some disastrous result. That means that not all of our men are meant for married life, but because there are so many women we may not leave them unprotected without husband, that will also not serve us well. Therefore it will be the best idea if those who are well-qualified as husbands to keep more than one wife very much satisfied in every respect, if such men can marry more than once. That will free the others to remain brahmacari. But you must consider very carefully the possibility of becoming scandalized in the public for breaking their laws in this way. And in future also the devotees who are neophyte may not understand our policy in this connection, and we gradually could wind up attracting only a class of men who are very eager for unlimited sex life only. These things must be avoided at all cost.