11 Sep Married Life is Serious Business- Srila Prabhupada
The following is a letter by Srila Prabhupada (dated December 17, 1972) to a devotee explaining the responsibilities of married life and not taking the sannyasa order whimsically.
My dear Danavir,
Please accept my blessings. I beg to acknowledge receipt of your letter dated November 27, 1972, and I note that you are requesting to take the sannyas order of life. But if you have got wife, that will be difficult. If someone devotee has got wife, that will not become a very popular policy to grant so easily sannyas. And if your wife wants many children, that is the only purpose for getting married to wife, to have facility for sex-life, otherwise what is the use for taking so much botheration of married life? So now you are married man, that decision you have made. That is great responsibility, and that should not become so light matter that anyone may think, Oh, let me get married and if I don’t like my wife, or there is anything difficulty, I will write Prabhupada for taking sannyas, finished. Never mind wife, let her go to hell. That is not very nice proposal. Married life is serious business. If you have taken wife, you must be completely responsible for her throughout your life. She shall always serve and obey you without fail, and you shall instruct her in Krishna Consciousness and act as her spiritual master. Otherwise, without husband, women have great difficulty to make spiritual advancement. So if we have to develop a perfect society of scientific arrangement for making spiritual progress, then so many women will be there, so what shall they do? They have also come to Krishna, we cannot reject them. Therefore I have advised my students to get themselves married. I was householder, my Guru Maharaj was life-long brahmachary. But we are doing the same work of preaching Krishna Consciousness, so what is the difference, grihastha and brahmachary? Actual sannyas means that he has given everything to Krishna, so practically you are already sannyas. But if you have got wife, and if she is very desirous to raise children, she will not be very happy if you go away. That is not our business, to create havoc, no. If wife is very strong, she will appreciate if you take sannyas, but if there is question at all, that should be avoided. Just like I never liked my wife, but I knew it was my duty to stick until my sons were grown-up, then I left. But if you give your wife one child, then she will be happy and she will have some life-long occupation, that you must consider. But at least you can wait until I come there next time, then we shall see further.
Hoping this will meet you in good health.
Your ever well-wisher,
A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami