Formerly, young, very young girls were married. Even an... My eldest sister was married at the age of nine years. So I heard that my mother-in-law was married at the age of seven years. I was gṛhastha, and I was also married... My wife was eleven years. So in that minor ages, there is no actually love between husband and wife. But still, formerly, the system was that the young girl, minor girl, was giving some eatable foodstuff to the husband, and sometimes pān, like that. But unless they were major, they were not allowed to live together. But these things are going on. So similarly, gradually, we develop our love for Kṛṣṇa. As the same example, in the young age the minor girl and the young boy, they do not come to the love platform, but in mature time, they become so lovable each other that they cannot be separated. Similarly, we have to practice. This arcana-mārga means practice. Immediately you cannot expect that your mind is completely fixed up with Kṛṣṇa. But if we follow the regulative principles, then it will mature. Mature. And mature stage, there will be love.
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I was married when my wife was only eleven years old. And at the age of fourteen years she gave birth to first child
- 1 Lectures
- 2 Conversations and Morning Walks
- 3 Correspondence
Bhagavad-gita As It Is Lectures
Practically, I'll say, in our childhood age, my sisters were married between nine to twelve years. My eldest sister was married when she was nine years old, before my birth. She is the eldest. And my second sister was married at the age of twelve, twelve years. And my third sister was married at the age of 11 years. So by the (indistinct) 12 years, the marriage must be finished. That was the duty of the father. I remember, because my second sister was going twelve years, my mother said to my father that "I shall go to the river and commit suicide. The daughter is not married." (laughter) You see. The father was very sorry, "Yes, I am trying. What can I do?" (laughter) And then next generation, when my... I was also married man, you know. I was married when my wife was only eleven years old. And at the age of fourteen years she gave birth to first child. And next generation, when my eldest daughter was married at the age of sixteen years—it is little increased—but I was also very much upset that the daughter is sixteen years old.
Now, we are teaching devotional service by the order of spiritual master: "Our spiritual master has said this; we must follow." That is required, routine, practice. Just like in India, formerly, the boys and girls were married at very early age. So I was also married very early age. My wife was only eleven years old. So I have heard my mother-in-law was married—she was seven years old and my father-in-law was eleven years old. So this marriage was performed, but it is not that the husband and wife live together unless they are mature, grown-up. So there was a system to, in order to... Because premixing is still not allowed in India, but the husband and wife... The wife by the elderly members was asked that "Just take this foodstuff, tiffin, to your husband." So she comes, offers little foodstuff, pan. In this way they gradually develop their relationship, loving relationship. But actually, when that love is mature, there is no need of introduction. In the beginning it is required. So devotional service is divided into two portions. Vidhi. Vidhi-mārga, rāga-mārga. Vidhi means by according to the order of the spiritual master. Then, when it is fully developed, then no more vidhi. Automatically one will be anxious to serve Kṛṣṇa: "How I shall make nice dress. How I shall serve Kṛṣṇa. How I shall cleanse the temple." There is no question of ordering. Spontaneous love. By rendering service, he feels transcendental bliss. That is spontaneous.
Conversations and Morning Walks
1971 Conversations and Morning Walks
Śyāmasundara: Children should be allowed to have sex life at fourteen years old.
Prabhupāda: Yes. That is psychological. They develop... Sex life, sex urge is there as soon as twelve years, thirteen years old, especially women. So therefore early marriage was sanctioned in India. Early marriage. Boy fifteen years, sixteen years, and girl twelve years. Not twelve years, ten years. I was married, my wife was eleven years. I was 22 years. She did not know what is sex, eleven years' girl. Because Indian girls, they have no such opportunity of mixing with others. But after the first menstruation, the husband is ready. This is the system, Indian system.
1974 Conversations and Morning Walks
Prabhupāda: The difficulty is that the Māyāvādī philosophy, they do not accept the form of the Lord. And they do not know how to behave with the form. Of course, there is no difference between Kṛṣṇa's face and Kṛṣṇa's feet. There is no difference. But still, the system must be followed. Pāda-sevanam. It is very important verse. Śravaṇaṁ kīrtanaṁ viṣṇoḥ (SB 7.5.23). When one has heard, when one has properly chanted, he has little experience of the transcendental form of the Lord, then his service beginning. Just like I engage one servant. So gradually he is given service. "First of all this, first of all that, then..." Again and again, again, again. The same example can be given, that the husband and wife. Formerly, when I was married, my wife was eleven years old. So (laughing) an eleven years old girl and I was at the same time twenty-one, twenty-two. One day I captured her hand. She began to cry. A little girl, you see? So gradually, gradually. I know... When my brother-in-law, sister's husband, used to come... In the beginning, the girls were very... My sisters were same age. So they would meet the husband, offering a little pan or little sandeśa. (break) ...after this. Then niṣṭhā. Then he has got a firm conviction that "Kṛṣṇa is the Supreme Personality of Godhead and my duty is to serve Kṛṣṇa." That is called niṣṭhā. Then ruci. Then he increases taste.
Prabhupāda: Well, suitable cannot be. There is no suitable.
Indian man: Difficult to find.
Prabhupāda: Yes. Formerly, as the girl is grown up, any boy.
Indian man: We used to marry at the age of ten, eleven. That is... Those days have been forty years back.
Prabhupāda: I was also married. My wife was eleven years old.
Indian man: My wife was eleven when she was married. I was only sixteen when I was married. Only a difference of four or five years.
Prabhupāda: Yes. And before that, I heard my father-in-law, he was eleven years old, and my mother-in-law was seven years old. My eldest sister was born at nine years old. And I was born after her marriage.
Indian man: Those old days are finished.
Prabhupāda: All right, thank you. (end)
1975 Conversations and Morning Walks
Prabhupāda: In the beginning, what the child knows about love? No. But they are allowed to remain as husband and wife. They are thinking that "I have got my husband," "I have got my wife," and as the age increases, the dealings become intimate. Then they become affectionate. That is quality. Not in the beginning there is any quality. It is by the parents' arrangement. That's all. In our day, the marriage was performed when the girl is ten years, twelve years, nine years. Twelve years is very late marriage. My second sister, she became twelve years old. So my mother became so disturbed that "This girl is not being married. Shall I commit suicide?" Yes. You see? My eldest sister, she was nine years old, older than me, and she was married before my birth. And my mother-in-law was married at the age of seven years, and my father-in-law was eleven years. I was married... My wife was eleven years. So in this age there is no question of love. It is not that the husband and wife lives together, no. Unless the girl is grown up, she is not going to the husband. She remains with the father and mother. Sometimes they meet, and the wife is taught, giving some sweetmeat to the husband-official. Official. The parents of the girl: "Just go up to your husband and offer this." So she comes as obedient servant. But gradually they get the connection. In this way the love develops, and when they are fifteen, sixteen years old, they are allowed to live together. Because both of them have already developed that "She is my wife," "He is my husband," psychologically. And there was no question of divorce. The love is so strong, they cannot dream even that "I have to leave my wife," "I have to leave my husband." They cannot dream it. They may fight. The husband and wife fighting, that is not unusual.
1977 Conversations and Morning Walks
Prabhupāda: No, in my marriage, it was already settled. So one day I was going in cycle. So my father-in-law forcibly took me. (chuckles)
Dr. Patel: So those marriage, sir, sometimes they never forget.(?)
Prabhupāda: No. My wife was eleven years old.
Dr. Patel: My wife was sixteen years when I married her. I was nineteen.
Trivikrama: Eleven years!
Dr. Patel: That was nothing! They would marry at the age of five.
Prabhupāda: My mother-in-law was married at seven years. And my father-in-law was eleven years.
Rādhā-vallabha: Yes, you were telling me in Hawaii about that, that that is the difficulty. They have no responsibility. All right, I'll tell him that.
Rādhā-vallabha: I will tell him that.
Prabhupāda: Otherwise there is no objection. I married; my wife was eleven years old.
Rādhā-vallabha: You were responsible, though.
Rādhā-vallabha: But you were responsible.
Prabhupāda: Everyone in India responsible. That is Indian culture still.
So I very much appreciate both yours and your brother's activities and it appears that both of you were in your previous birth advanced in this line of Krishna Consciousness, and here is another chance to complete it. So by the Grace of Krishna you have got good intelligence, you are born of a great nation, and good family; just utilize the opportunity to finish the business of Krishna Consciousness, without waiting for further incarnation. Srimad-Bhagavatam says that we should try for the highest achievement, and complete it before the next death comes. I think that your separation from Karunamayi is Krishna's desire. So don't be sorry for it. In this connection I may tell you my personal life experience. When I was married at the age of 21 with a wife who was only 11 years old, practically I did not like my wife. And as I was at that time very young man, and an educated college student, I wanted to marry again, in spite of my wife being present. Because amongst the Hindus one can accept more than one wife (of course the law is now changed). So, whenever everything was all ready for my marriage with another girl, my great father who was a great devotee of the Lord, called me and instructed me in the following words:
"My dear boy, I understand that you are trying to get yourself married again, but I would advise you not to do this. It is Krishna's Grace that your present wife is not just according to your liking. This will help you not to become attached with wife and home, and this will help you in the matter of your future advancement of Krishna Consciousness."
Now, I accepted my father's advice, and by his blessings, only, I was never attached to my wife or home which resulted in my complete liberation from worldly attachment and devote myself fully in Krishna Consciousness.
So children have parents, elderly persons must have grown up children to protect them, and woman must have husband. And it is recommended they should be married at very early age, then the wife will remain always chaste and devoted to her husband. At such young age, from the first night onwards, she can never for a moment forget him, being still child and unspoiled, therefore she becomes the perfect chaste wife, and in those times the wife was so much devoted to her husband that she would voluntarily die in the fire of his cremation, unable to live without him. Myself, I was very young when I got married, and my wife was 11 years only. But there is no question of separation in our marriage belief, neither your daughter will ever be separated from that boy, that is their vow. Rather, it is when people are a little grown-up, when they have got little independence and their own ways of doing things, then if they marry there is often difficulty to adjust, just as it is more difficult to bend the bamboo when it is yellow. So I can assure you that you may have nothing to fear that your daughter has married such a nice boy: bahunam janmanam ante, jnanavan mam prapadyante, vasudevah sarvam iti, sa mahatma sudurlabhah (BG 7.19). Krishna assures us that "After many many births and deaths, he who is actually in knowledge surrenders unto Me, knowing Me to be the cause of all causes and all that is. Such a great soul is very rare."
|Compiled by||Visnu Murti +|
|Completed sections||ALL +|
|Date of first entry||November 1, 0012 JL +|
|Date of last entry||November 1, 0012 JL +|
|Total quotes||11 +|
|Total quotes by section||BG: 0 +, SB: 0 +, CC: 0 +, OB: 0 +, Lec: 3 +, Conv: 6 + and Let: 2 +|