The general procedure of Vedic marriage is that a father offers his daughter to a suitable boy. That is a very respectable marriage. A boy should not go to the girl’s father and ask for the hand of his daughter in marriage. That is considered to be humbling one’s respectable position. Svāyambhuva Manu wanted to convince Kardama Muni, since he knew that the sage wanted to marry a suitable girl: “I am offering just such a suitable wife. Do not reject the offer, or else, because you are in need of a wife, you will have to ask for such a wife from someone else, who may not behave with you so well. In that case your position will be humbled.”
Another feature of this incident is that Svāyambhuva Manu was the emperor, but he went to offer his qualified daughter to a poor brāhmaṇa. Kardama Muni had no worldly possessions — he was a hermit living in the forest — but he was advanced in culture. Therefore, in offering one’s daughter to a person, the culture and quality are counted as prominent, not wealth or any other material consideration.
(Srimad-Bhagavatam 3.22.13, Purport)
Just as intelligence is always within the heart, so a beloved chaste wife should always have her place on the chest of a good husband. This is the proper relationship between husband and wife. A wife is therefore called ardhāṅganī, or half of the body. One cannot remain with only one leg, one hand or only one side of the body. He must have two sides. Similarly, according to nature’s way, husband and wife should live together.
(Srimad-Bhagavatam 4.26.17, Purport)
A wife is necessary to assist in spiritual and material advancement. It is said that a wife yields the fulfillment of all desires in religion, economic development, and sense gratification. If one has a nice wife, he is to be considered a most fortunate man.
(Srimad-Bhagavatam 3.21.15, Purport)
“Cyavana Muni was very irritable, but since Sukanyā had gotten him as her husband, she dealt with him carefully, according to his mood. Knowing his mind, she performed service to him without being bewildered.”
This is an indication of the relationship between husband and wife. A great personality like Cyavana Muni has the temperament of always wanting to be in a superior position. Such a person cannot submit to anyone. Therefore, Cyavana Muni had an irritable temperament. His wife, Sukanyā, could understand his attitude, and under the circumstances she treated him accordingly. If any wife wants to be happy with her husband, she must try to understand her husband’s temperament and please him. This is victory for a woman. Even in the dealings of Lord Kṛṣṇa with His different queens, it has been seen that although the queens were the daughters of great kings, they placed themselves before Lord Kṛṣṇa as His maidservants. However great a woman may be, she must place herself before her husband in this way; that is to say, she must be ready to carry out her husband’s orders and please him in all circumstances. Then her life will be successful. When the wife becomes as irritable as the husband, their life at home is sure to be disturbed or ultimately completely broken. In the modern day, the wife is never submissive, and therefore home life is broken even by slight incidents. Either the wife or the husband may take advantage of the divorce laws. According to the Vedic law, however, there is no such thing as divorce laws, and a woman must be trained to be submissive to the will of her husband. Westerners contend that this is a slave mentality for the wife, but factually it is not; it is the tactic by which a woman can conquer the heart of her husband, however irritable or cruel he may be. In this case we clearly see that although Cyavana Muni was not young but indeed old enough to be Sukanyā’s grandfather and was also very irritable, Sukanyā, the beautiful young daughter of a king, submitted herself to her old husband and tried to please him in all respects. Thus she was a faithful and chaste wife.
One who is situated in household life and who systematically conquers his mind and five sense organs is like a king in his fortress who conquers his powerful enemies. After one has been trained in household life and his lusty desires have decreased, he can move anywhere without danger.
(Srimad-Bhagavatam 5.1.18, Purport)
According to Ṛṣabhadeva, one should not become a father or mother unless one is confident that he can beget children whom he can deliver from the clutches of birth and death. Human life is the only opportunity to get out of the material scene, which is full of the miseries of birth, death, old age and diseases. Every human being should be given the opportunity to take advantage of his human form of life, and a father like Kaśyapa is supposed to beget good children for the purpose of liberation.
(Srimad-Bhagavatam 3.14.12, Purport)
A faithful wife is supposed to cooperate with her husband in fulfilling all material desires so that he can then become comfortable and execute spiritual activities for the perfection of life. If, however, the husband is progressive in spiritual advancement, the wife undoubtedly shares in his activities, and thus both the wife and the husband profit in spiritual perfection. It is essential, therefore, that girls as well as boys be trained to discharge spiritual duties so that at the time of cooperation both will be benefited. The training of the boy is brahmacarya, and the training of the girl is chastity. A faithful wife and spiritually trained brahmacārī are a good combination for advancement of the human mission.
(Srimad-Bhagavatam 3.14.17, Purport)