Marriage as a Sacrifice for Mental Peace

Half of this lesson is a transcription of a Bhagavad-gita lecture Srila Prabhupada gave in 1966, in New York, in which he also mentions his own experience as a grihastha making the Deity the center of his household and accepting Krishna as the proprietor and the enjoyer, and offering everything to Him as a sacrifice, as an act of love:

“All the social system and orders, they are so designed that everyone is working for the satisfaction of the Supreme Lord. In a higher section of the social order, just like the brāhmaṇas and the kṣatriyas and the vaiśyas, the system is that in every household they establish the Deity… Now, what is the function in your household affairs? You have got wife, you have got children, and you require some money. And the activities in householder affair is that you have to get some store from the market, and they are brought in your house, and they are stocked, and in due time they are cooked, and you take your foodstuff and then go to your work. This is generally the whole system of household work… In India there are many families still. At least in my family, when I was family man, I was also doing this, that the Deity… Rādhā-Kṛṣṇa, established in a room. That is called the God’s room. The God’s room. So our duty is to rise early in the morning and open the door of the God’s room, offer Him some prayers and some kīrtana, and then cleanse the room and then begin our daily duty, take our breakfast and… The whole idea is that “The proprietor of this house is the Supreme Lord, and we are all workers.” The whole idea is “The proprietor is the Supreme Lord, and we are all workers.” Now, I am going to my office, to my work, to earn some money, because without money my household affairs cannot be run. So I am thinking that “This money is required; otherwise God’s service will be stopped.” So in earning that money in my office or in my workshop, my God consciousness is there. Therefore, even in earning, whatever may be the process, you are yoga-sthaḥ; you are situated in yoga. Now, you get your money. Then you go to the market. You are thinking, “Oh, this is a very nice thing. Oh, it can be offered to Lord Kṛṣṇa. It can be offered to Lord Kṛṣṇa.”… So the consciousness is love… You know that there is a word, yajña, sacrifice. Sacrifice means – it is a common word – that you dedicate, you dedicate your life for the service of the Lord, this life. You’ll not be sufferer… Just the prescription or the formula I have just cited… your householder life… you are doing everything. You are earning money; you are getting from the store; you are cooking. Everything… Nothing is stopped. Simply change your mentality; that everything is being done for God.” (Lecture on Bg 2.48-49, New York, 1 April 1966).

This is an excerpt from the Bhakti Marriages Course “Get Ready for Married Life for Women” from ISKCON Congregational Development Ministry, prepared by Sri Radha Govinda Dasi.