Getting Married is Not a Failure

Some people – especially men – think that getting married means to fail. Perhaps they strongly valued their identity as a brahmacari or aspired to become one; perhaps they dreamed of taking sannyasa early in life; perhaps they have been preached to that getting married is just maya, illusion… Be whatever it may, some young men feel it somewhat as a flop when they finally decide to enter the grihastha-asrama. The central point, though, is not ‘marrying or not marrying’; but situating oneself in the most favorable, progressive position – and that’s different for different people.
Of course, full dedication to devotional service without the duties of family life, as a brahmacari or sannyasi, offers an extraordinary opportunity for advancement; but many have realized they were not suited for that lifestyle.

Srila Prabhupada wrote:

“We have actually seen that many sannyasis who accept sannyasa prematurely, not having satisfied their material desires, fall down because they are disturbed. Therefore the general process is to go through grihastha life and vanaprastha life and finally come to sannyasa and devote oneself completely to the service of the Lord.” (SB 9.18.40, purport)

Generally, the “general process” is most suitable for most people.

“If we find it suitable that by marrying one will be able to serve better, than by not marrying, then one must marry – that is our principle.” Srila Prabhupada wrote,

“So as you are thinking that accepting Jyotirmayi as your wife you will be happy and your duties in Krsna consciousness will be enthused, then I have got all sanction, and you do it. I know that all my spiritual children are doing very nicely as Grhasthas, and similarly I hope you shall be doing better after your marriage.” (Letter to Tamala Krsna, 4 March 1970).

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