Householder Life

What If Your Wife is More Advanced?

Srila Prabhupada wrote:

“The actual system is that the husband is Spiritual Master to his wife, but if the wife can bring her husband into practicing this process, then it is all right that the husband accepts wife as Spiritual Master. Caitanya Mahaprabhu has said that anyone who knows the science of Krishna, that person should be accepted as Spiritual Master, regardless of any material so-called qualifications; such as rich or poor, man or woman, or brahmana or sudra.” (Letter to Silavati, 14 June 1969)

In some cases the wife happens to bring her husband to Krishna consciousness or she is just more steady and dedicated to advancing in bhakti-yoga. For peace’s sake she may still formally respect the husband as pati-guru, but the husband should understand that it would be in his best interest to also listen from her, if she shows wisdom and her advice is sound. Ultimately for a devotee the whole goal of any stage of life – brahmacari, grihastha, vanaprastha
or sannyasi – is spiritual advancement; if your wife has a good idea, why not embrace it?

The husband and the wife might discuss where to go for vacation; if the husband has a desire that is not too Krishna conscious and wishes to go to some mundane place while instead the wife suggests, for instance, a pilgrimage to a holy place, isn’t it better for both if she “wins” the argument?

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.