The following is a lecture by Śrila Prabhupāda that he gave during the wedding ceremony of Śrīman Hayagrīva brahmacārī and Śrīmatī Śyāma dāsī.
Prabhupāda: So today’s wedding ceremony between Śrīman Hayagrīva brahmacārī and Śrīmatī Śyāma dāsī is practically negotiated by me. I am the marriage maker and I am the negotiator also. How? Because I have started this Kṛṣṇa consciousness movement in this country to make people happy: happy in this life, happy in next life. This is not temporary sense happiness. In the Bhagavad-gītā it is stated that,
mām upetya kaunteya
saṁsiddhiṁ paramāṁ gatāḥ
“Anyone who comes back to Me,” Kṛṣṇa says, “anyone who goes back to Godhead, then he does not require to come back again to this place, which is full of miseries.” Duḥkhālayam aśāśvatam (BG 8.15). Duḥkhālayam means it is a place of misery, this material world. And aśāśvatam. Aśāśvatam means temporary. Even if I agree, “All right, it is a miserable place. Let me live here perpetually,” no. That also will not be allowed. As soon as there will be order, “Please get out,” you have no power to remain. Suppose… We are Indian. We are poverty-stricken or we are not very happy materially. You American people, you are very happy. But the nature of law is stringent both for the Indians and Americans equally. So our Kṛṣṇa consciousness movement is particularly to go back to Godhead, giving up this material world, which is full of miserable life. It is actually full of miseries, but those who are thinking that “I am happy,” or “We are happy,” they are under illusion, māyā. That is called māyā. Actually, there is no happiness, because the Supreme Personality of Godhead says it is a place of misery. How you can make it comfortable place?
So this is one side. Another side, that some way or other, since I have begun this movement in this country, generally, the youngsters, they come to me. Maybe to some other reasons. But my disciples up to date, they’re all from twenty to thirty years old. Those who are thirty, thirty-two years, they’re old. They’re amongst the elder generation. But I see the boys and girls, they come to me as friends. But according to our Kṛṣṇa consciousness movement, we do not allow boys and girls living without any marriage bondage. Illicit sex life we don’t allow. We prohibit four things: illicit sex life, intoxication, and meat-eating and gambling. Those who become our student, we prohibit first of all these four things. And if we find some of the girls and some of the boys, they are strictly following, and if they are agreeable, then we arrange for their marriage. So there are many instances of marriage like this. They were living very irresponsibly in the former life. Now they are preaching this Kṛṣṇa consciousness movement. Some of my students, they are married couples, young men. Six of them have gone to England. They are preaching very nicely. Very nicely. They have attracted the attention of respectable gentlemen like Lord Mountbatten, Lord Sorenson, and the High Commissioner of India, Mr. Dhavan. So they’re doing very nicely. So our principle is to make people God conscious; thereby they will be happy. And the method is very simple. Just like we do not deny anything. We give nice wife, we give nice husband, we give nice foodstuff, we give nice philosophy, and at last, we give the nicest thing, Kṛṣṇa. So our program is very nice. Any gentleman come and discuss with us. We shall prove this is the nicest program at the present moment.
So I am very happy that Professor Howard Wheeler, he is very obedient student. And by God’s grace, Kṛṣṇa’s grace, we practically met on the street. You see. When I first started my class in New York, 26 Second Avenue, I was just going out after entering the storefront and this boy met me. He asked me, “Swamijī, you are coming from India?” And I told him, “Yes, my dear boy.” So that was our first acquaintance, and I think that is eternal.
Similarly, this girl also met me in San Francisco, and she is very faithfully living with this society. She is very mild. So I have selected, “Śyāma dāsī, you should marry Hayagrīva.” So they have agreed. And there is no separation. Our relationship is eternal. There is no separation. And this marriage is primarily for advancing Kṛṣṇa consciousness. Bodily relationship is secondary. That is not a very important thing. Our first engagement is Kṛṣṇa consciousness. So in this happy ceremony, I have got my heartfelt blessings upon you. You be happy. Our parents are present here. It is a very nice arrangement. And forget… In any circumstances… This material world we have to pass through many circumstances, but sometimes, even it is intolerable, we have to tolerate. So according to Hindu conception of life, even there is some misunderstanding between husband and wife, it is not taken very seriously. Never taken very seriously. But in your country, in the name of liberty and freedom, there are so many things. I do not wish to discuss all those things. But according to Vedic system, husband and wife, united together, there cannot be any separation. Perhaps you have heard the name of Mahatma Gandhi. He was married when he was student, sixteen years old, and his wife was also of the same age. Later on Mahatma Gandhi became a very famous man. So one day there was husband and wife quarrel. So Mahatma Gandhi, he has written in his own biography, he drove away the wife: “You get out from my house.” So the wife got out of the house and was crying in the street, “Where shall I go?” And again Mahatma Gandhi went there, “Come on.” So even there was quarrel between Mahatma Gandhi and his wife. So this quarrel of husband and wife is not very serious thing. So I’ll request you, even there is some misunderstanding, forget it. Don’t take it seriously. Simply you concentrate on Kṛṣṇa consciousness business. You have got nice business now, both of you, conjointly working for editing my Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam. You consult in that business and live peacefully. You are educated, she is also educated. If there is any misunderstanding, don’t take it seriously. That is my request. Besides that, I am always at your service, I am always (here) to help you. So this marriage ceremony is very happy occasion. I shall request all friends, relatives, parents, to give their blessings to this nice couple and let us perform.