Prabhupāda: There are many stories of chaste woman. Many stories. There was one disciple of Rāmānujācārya, a very poor. So Rāmānujācārya came in that poor disciple's house and he saw there was no one in the house. So he thought: "What is this? This is my disciple's house. He's family man. Why there is none?" That means he could understand that the door is not locked. Door was closed only. Then he could understand that within the door his wife is there. Therefore he knocked the door, and there was response also, knocking, but she could not come out. That means she, she was so poor that she had no garment. She was keeping herself within the room, naked. So Rāmānujācārya could understand that "There is his wife. Maybe she has no sufficient clothing." So immediately, his own cloth he gave her, within the room, and the woman came out, putting on that... And then offered obeisances. So he could understand the position. They were very, very poor. Even no clothing. So after putting on the cloth, she went to the grocer's shop. Because Rāmānujācārya is there. She must receive. Grocer shop. The grocer knew that this woman is very woman, uh, very poor, so his business was to entice her. But she never agreed, although she was young. Now this woman went to the grocer's shop that: "You know that I am very poor. I require immediately some grains, ghee, and other things. My Guru Mahārāja has come at home. I must receive. So tonight I agree with your proposal. Please give me. Even at the sacrifice of my chastity I want this." So the grocer was very glad. "Oh, this woman, I have canvassed her, I have tried to induce her. She never agreed. And now she's agreeing." So: "All right, you take, whatever you like. Take." So she was given all kinds of food grains, as much as she wanted. And she cooked and gave to the spiritual master and his associates, his servants. Everything was very nice. In the meantime, the husband came, working whole day. And he saw that everything was nicely done. "Guru Mahārāja is fed, and his associates, they're fed." So he asked his wife: "How did you get all these things?" Then she narrated the whole story. Then husband also said: "Yes, you have promised. All right. Take some prasādam and go to him. Because you have promised to meet him this evening. So go." Then the grocer heard the whole story and his mind became changed. "Oh, such a chaste woman. Such a faithful... You are my mother. You take more ingredients, grains, as much as you like, you shall..."
So there are still. That is not very long ago. So this was the training. And the psychology is that woman, the first man she meets and if she is kept carefully, she becomes staunch lover. This is psychology. There is good psychology in maintaining the society. Therefore a woman, especially in India, especially in Bengal, before attaining puberty, she was married. Not to meet the husband unless she attains puberty. But she remained at father's house, but she must know that: "I am married. I have got husband." This psychology. Then she becomes very chaste. Because she thinks of her husband, and becomes more and more devoted. So this arrangement that woman must be married before puberty... Or even after puberty, she must get a husband. So if this dharma... It is called kanyā-dāya, kanyā-dāya. Kanyā-dāya means it is very obligatory that the father must get the daughter married. This is dharma. So if this dharma, or this religious principle is violated, that is... Arjuna is marking: adharma-abhi, abhi-bhava. When people become neglectful of the family tradition and religious principles, adharma abhibhavāt kṛṣṇa praduṣyanti kula-striyaḥ (BG 1.40). Kula-striyaḥ. Kula-striyaḥ means... Kula means family, and striyaḥ means woman. So woman must be belonging to a respectable family. Therefore it is said: kula-striyaḥ. Not society-girls. Kula-striyaḥ. Of the family. We have got experience in our school, college days. I was sitting in a friend's house and one sweeper woman, sweeper, with broomstick and with, what is called, covering?
Prabhupāda: She was standing, say, about twenty yards distant from our sitting place. So I asked my friend that: "Your, this sweeper woman wants to come in. She's waiting because we are sitting. She is ashamed to come. So let us come here." So we stood separately. That means although she was a sweeper woman, still we had to honor her to enter. We stood up separately. She was feeling that; "How can I go between two men?" This we have seen in our... So this is Vedic culture. Woman should not be allowed to mix with man. Not allowed. In Japan also, the same system. Before marriage, they can mix. But after marriage they cannot mix. In Japan also I have seen. But in India still the system is there. Woman, without husband, cannot talk with any man. That is also psychological. In the Bhāgavata it is stated that man is like ghee, butterpot, and woman is like fire. Therefore, as they, as soon as there is fire and butter pot, the butter pot must melt. Therefore they should be kept aside. These are the statements. And the śāstra says that in a solitary place you should not remain even with your daughter, even with your sister, even with your mother.
- na viviktaḥ sanevaśet
- balavān indriya-grāmo
- vidvāṁs api karṣati
Either your mother or sister, or daughter. No, nobody becomes lusty with mother or sister or daughter. But śāstra says: "Even your mother or sister or daughter, you should not live in a solitary place." Then one may question that "How it is possible?" No. The śāstra says: balavān indriya-grāmaḥ. The senses are so strong that it becomes polluted. "Now it may be, some rascal fools may be polluted like that." No. Śāstra... Vidvāṁs api karṣati. Even the most learned, he can be polluted. So sometimes in India, I am criticized that I keep women and men in the same temple. In India, that is not allowed. No women can live at night. They can come and go. But I defend myself that this is the system of the country, the women and men, they intermingle. How can I check it? Then the women, shall I not give them any chance for chanting Hare Kṛṣṇa? No, I shall do this chance, I shall give this chance to woman even at the risk. That is my reply.