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Wedding Ceremony and Lecture
given by His Divine Grace A. C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada
Boston, May 6, 1969
Prabhupāda: Hare Kṛṣṇa. So this is very simple method: chant, dance, eat nicely, and realize God. First of all give to the audience, then…
(devotees chanting japa) Why don’t you collect something, door? Right side bride, left side bridegroom.
Jāhnavā: Right side bride.
(wedding fire sacrifice begins)
Prabhupāda: Yes. That’s all right.Devotee: Your right side. (devotees chanting japa)Prabhupāda: And who is going to be this grain ceremony?Himāvatī: Dayal Nitāi?Prabhupāda: Little, little. You have not learned your hand? Left-handed. Three times. Just see. You are old. You should learn it. One, two, three, four. That’s all. One, two. You don’t see? What I’ll do? Come on. I’ll show you again. One, two, three, four. Do it again. Is it open? (devotees chanting japa)
Prabhupāda: Anyone’s father, mother has come?
Rukmiṇī: My father and mother.
Prabhupāda: Your father, mother? Any other? No. (chants with devotees responding:)
oṁ apavitraḥ pavitro vā
sarvāvasthāṁ gato ‘pi vā
yaḥ smaret puṇḍarīkākṣaṁ
śrī viṣṇu śrī viṣṇu śrī viṣṇu
Chant it three times. Three times
vande ‘haṁ śrī-guroḥ śrī-yuta-pada-kamalaṁ śrī-gurūn vaiṣṇavāṁś ca
śrī-rūpaṁ sāgrajātaṁ saha-gaṇa-raghunāthānvitaṁ taṁ sa-jīvam
sādvaitaṁ sāvadhūtaṁ parijana-sahitaṁ kṛṣṇa-caitanya-devaṁ
śrī-rādhā-kṛṣṇa-pādān saha-gana-lalitā-śrī-viśākhānvitāṁś ca
[I offer my respectful obeisances unto the lotus feet of my spiritual master and of all the other preceptors on the path of devotional service. I offer my respectful obeisances unto all the Vaiṣṇavas and unto the six Gosvāmīs, including Śrīla Rūpa Gosvāmī, Śrīla Sanātana Gosvāmī, Raghunātha dāsa Gosvāmī, Jīva Gosvāmī and their associates. I offer my respectful obeisances unto Śrī Advaita Ācārya Prabhu, Śrī Nityānanda Prabhu, Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu, and all His devotees, headed by Śrīvāsa Ṭhākura. I then offer my respectful obeisances unto the lotus feet of Lord Kṛṣṇa, Śrīmatī Rādhārāṇī and all the gopīs, headed by Lalitā and Viśākhā.]
(chants standard prayers for fire sacrifice)
This evening we are going to hold a marriage ceremony for three couples of our students. The Kṛṣṇa consciousness movement is to understand to always bear in mind or always be in consciousness that we are eternally related with the Supreme Personality of Godhead. So the process is to utilize this human form of life for elevating oneself to the highest perfectional stage. There is evolution of life from lowest animal in the water and up to the highest platform or highest planetary life, where the duration of life is many, many millions of years. The highest planetary system is called Brahmaloka, or where the first created being, Brahmā, lives. The duration of Brahmā’s life is explained in the Bhagavad-gītā that forty-three hundred thousands of years multiplied by one thousand makes one twelve hours of that Brahmaloka. Just like there is distinction of the duration of life between the microbes and the human being, similarly, there are different grades of different duration of life in different stage of planetary system. So the life is evolving. Now after evolutionary process from the lower animals, from the aquatics to plant life, vegetable life, then microbes, reptiles, birds, beasts, then we come to the human form of life, this civilized form of life. Now here it is just like crossing. Where we should go next life? Whether I shall promote myself to the higher planetary system or into the spiritual sky, Vaikuṇṭhaloka, or I shall go down again in the evolutionary process of lower animals? That is to be decided. So if we want to go to the higher planetary system, we can go there. If we want to stay here, we can do that. If we want to go down, that we can do. And if we want to go back to Godhead, that also we can do. So this facility is given in this human form of life. Now it is our choice, where shall I go? Shall I go down to hell, or shall I go up to heaven, or I shall go back to Godhead, back to home? Everything we can do. So our this Kṛṣṇa consciousness movement is directly approaching the spiritual sky, back to home, back to Godhead. No more evolutionary process.
That is the advantage of this Kṛṣṇa conscious… If you make your consciousness completely absorbed in Kṛṣṇa, if you understand what is Kṛṣṇa, what is your relationship, how you have to act in that relationship, simply if you learn this science in this life, then it is assured by the Lord Himself, Kṛṣṇa, in the Bhagavad-gītā, tyaktvā dehaṁ punar janma naiti mām eti kaunteya: [Bg. 4.9] “After leaving this body, one does not come again back to this material world to accept one of the 8,400,000’s of species of body, but he goes directly unto Me.” Yad gatvā na nivartante tad dhāma paramaṁ mama [Bg. 15.6]. “And if one can go back there, then he does not come back again in this material world to accept this material body.” And material body means three kinds of miseries, threefold miseries always. And at least threefold miseries are exhibited in four kinds of distresses, namely birth, death, old age, and disease.So this Kṛṣṇa consciousness movement is not a new movement.
It is there always in the Vedic scriptures, but people have forgotten. So we are trying to revive that movement, although in India the movement is there always, especially since the last five hundred years, introduced by Lord Caitanya Mahāprabhu. In your country it is introduced since 1966. But people are appreciating. We have got many books and literature, magazines, to convince people about the importance of this movement. And those who are coming to be a serious student of this movement, initiated, they require to follow four principles of regulation. That one, first regulation, is that the student is not allowed to have illicit sex life. In this country, the guardians, the teachers, the government allows the boys and girls to meet together and have illicit sex life without marriage. That is not allowed in Kṛṣṇa consciousness movement. If any boy or girl wants sex life, then he should regularly be married. That is civilized way. Because in the civilized society there is marriage ceremony. According to Vedic system, the father and mother’s responsibility is for the child unless they are married. It is the duty of the parents to see that the girl and the boy is married by the supervision of the parents. That is the Vedic way of civilization. In India the… Especially for the girls. If the girl is above the age of 13 years old, and if she is not married by the father, or in the absence of father, the elder brother… Mother has not so much responsibility. But the father or the elder brother… Then it is said that that man, father or elder brother, will go to hell. So it is a great responsibility to take care of the girls. According to Manu-saṁhitā, Vedic principle, woman has no independence. She must be taken care of by somebody. In the early age the father is to take care, in the younger age the husband, a good husband has to take care, and when she is old, the elderly son, he has to take care. But a woman is never allowed to remain independent. That is Vedic principle of life. Actually, the woman is the weaker sex. They require protection by good father, good husband, and good child also. In my case also… There are many cases. I’ve left my home. I have got my wife, my elderly children, my grandchildren. So they are taking care of my wife. She has no concern. So that is the way of social system. And especially in our Kṛṣṇa consciousness movement, we want to give the students complete peace of mind, because without peace of mind nobody can cultivate Kṛṣṇa consciousness. That is stated in the Śrīmad-Bhāgavatam.
There is a process. This science of understanding God, the science of God, is a great science. People have no knowledge about it, but it is a great science. And the ways and means of understanding God is different from ordinary material science. So the ways and means and the process of understanding the science of Godhead is to hear.
śṛṇvatāṁ sva-kathāḥ kṛṣṇaḥ
hṛdy antaḥ stho hy abhadrāṇi
vidhunoti suhṛt satām
God is situated in everyone’s heart. Simply you do not know. He is situated. He is everywhere. Within the atom also, He is present. Andantarastham paramanu cayantarastham. God is present within this world, within everything, everywhere, even within the atom. Now, at the present moment, the atomic theory is very prominent, but in the Vedic literature it is said that God is existing even within the atom. Aṇḍāntara-stha-paramāṇu. Paramāṇu means atom. Therefore īśvaraḥ sarva-bhūtānāṁ hṛd-deśe ‘rjuna tiṣṭhati [Bg. 18.61]. Ṅśvara, the Supreme Lord, is sitting within your heart. I am also sitting. This is dress. This body is dress, but my place is within the heart. The medical science also says all the energy is coming from the heart. The heart stops to work, that means man is dead. So the soul and the Supersoul both are sitting in the heart. We get this information from Vedic literature. So as soon as we begin hearing about the Supersoul or the Supreme Lord, then the contamination which are accumulated on the covering of our heart for so many years of our past work, by simply hearing, by electrifying or by lighting, it becomes clear.
Śṛṇvatāṁ sva-kathāḥ kṛṣṇaḥ puṇya-śravaṇa-kīrtanaḥ [SB 1.2.17].
To hear about God is itself a pious activity. Even if we do not understand, simply if we hear this chanting, Hare Kṛṣṇa, Hare Kṛṣṇa, Kṛṣṇa Kṛṣṇa, Hare Hare/ Hare Rāma, Hare Rāma, Rāma Rāma…, one becomes gradually a pious man. Apart from any other realization, he becomes a pious man. In this way, as soon as we hear about God, we become cleansed of all material contamination. Then our three modes of material nature, namely we are… This world is moving under three modes: the modes of goodness, the modes of passion and the modes of ignorance. So generally, people are influenced by the modes of passion and modes of ignorance. Very few people are on the modes of goodness. But this process of hearing about God will gradually place one on the platform of the modes of goodness. Sthitaṁ sattve prasīdati. And the symptoms, as soon as he’s placed on the modes of goodness, the symptom will be that he’ll feel satisfied. He’ll feel satisfied. Prasīdati. In this way, when he is satisfied, when he is on the platform of goodness or the platform of satisfaction… That is wanted.
Prasanna-manaso. Evaṁ prasanna-manaso [SB 1.2.20].
How it is attained? Simply by hearing, the process. Process is simply hearing, submissively hearing. Then he comes to the platform of goodness, and at that time, the passion and ignorance is completely moved out. And then he can understand what is the science of God, what is God, what is relationship.So we want to give chance to all to raise oneself on that platform of goodness. And on the platform of goodness, there is no chance of indulging in passion and ignorance. Therefore although it is not my duty… Because I am a sannyāsī, I have nothing to do with social activity. Still, because in this country, mostly I see the boys and girls are not married, I have introduced this marriage system in our society, and the result is very good. You’ll be very pleased to know that in London I have sent six boys and girls who were married by me in my presence. Formerly, they were not married. You know as the other boys and girls lived, they were also living in that way. But the result has been very excellent. They are preaching there Kṛṣṇa consciousness. They are not very big philosopher, nor Vedantist, neither, I mean to say, born in the Vedic civilized way—just like ordinary way—but they have been trained only under my direction for only two years. But they are working in London very wonderfully, so much so that people have come to know that there is a movement, Kṛṣṇa consciousness, and London Times, in big heading, they wrote, “Kṛṣṇa Chanting Startles London.” So formerly many sannyāsīs went there to introduce this movement, but they failed. But these sincere boys and girls… They are not very aged also—not more than twenty-six years, any one of them. But they are doing very nice. So the platform of purity is so nice that they can play tremendous…So we want such pairs in our society. We are not dry. Everything is there. The hedonists, they want eat, drink, be merry and enjoy. These four things for the hedonists, they are going to hell. But our, the same things are there. We are dancing, we are chanting, we are eating, and we have love also between husband and wife, between boys and girls. We allow everything. But everything is targeted to achieve to the highest goal of life, Viṣṇu, or Kṛṣṇa. That is the significance of this life. We don’t stop anything, but we regulate everything to achieve the highest perfection of life. That is our aim.
Adānta-gobhir viśatāṁ tamisram [SB 7.5.30].
One who does not know this technique… Everyone, every living entity, is by nature hankering after joy, joyful life. That is his nature. Because… Kṛṣṇa and Rādhārāṇī, you see. They are also transcendental unity. Kṛṣṇa is representing as a young boy, sixteen years. Similarly, Rādhārāṇī is also a young girl. They are chanting and They are playing on flute and They’re enjoying life. They have got Their associates. So it is not dry, but it is highest perfectional stage, in purity. Not in the material modes of passion and ignorance. So everyone is hankering after that pure, joyful life, but he does not know where to get it. That is the defect. That information we are giving. Here is the life. You just try to approach Rādhā and Kṛṣṇa and you’ll have full life of enjoyment.
Ānandamayo ‘bhyāsāt (Vedānta-sūtra 1.1.12).
In the Vedānta-sūtra it is stated that the Supreme Person, the Supreme Lord, is full of enjoyment. He’s not morose. He’s not old. He is not without a joyful life. He is full of joyful life. So this Kṛṣṇa consciousness movement is to transfer everyone to that platform of full joyful life. So in order to give them facility for acquiring this highest goal of life, we have introduced the marriage… The marriage system is there also according to our Vaiṣṇava smṛti. Smṛti means regulative, the law book, the statute book. Married life is there. We are preaching the cult of Lord Caitanya Mahāprabhu. He also married. All the five associates of Lord Caitanya, they also married. Kṛṣṇa also married. So marriage is not bad. Marriage is… It is not that unless one becomes a sannyāsī or a strict brahmacārī, he cannot attain the highest perfection of life. No. Even in married life. But one has to adjust it. Married life means not sex enjoyment. It is not a license for sex enjoyment. Although it is some sort of license, but it can be utilized. It can be utilized for producing children of Kṛṣṇa consciousness. And at least, one should be satisfied. The husband will help the wife, the wife will help the husband advancing in Kṛṣṇa consciousness for the benefit of their country, for the benefit of the total human society.
Thank you very much.
Devotees: Hare Kṛṣṇa. (obeisances)
Prabhupāda: You’re, nobody is guardian? First of all, you come here. Both of you, come sit down. Satsvarūpa? Where is Satsvarūpa?
Prabhupāda: Come here. So you can say that “Śāradīyā, my Godsister, was so long under my care. Now I give Śāradīyā to you, Vaikuṇṭhanātha, in your charge.”
Satsvarūpa: Śāradīyā, my Godsister, has so long been in my charge. Now I give you unto my Godbrother Vaikuṇṭhanātha.
Prabhupāda: Now you say that “I accept her as my wife.”
Vaikuṇṭhanātha: I accept her as my wife.
Prabhupāda: “And take charge of her…”Vaikuṇṭhanātha: And take charge of her…Prabhupāda: “…throughout her life…”
Vaikuṇṭhanātha: …throughout her life…
Prabhupāda: “…and shall see to her comfort, provide with all necessities of life, without thinking of any personal gratification.”
(Vaikuṇṭhanātha repeats) You say that “I accept you as my husband.
(Śāradīyā repeating) I shall serve you throughout my life as your most obedient servant.”
(chuckling) Yes. “And we shall live together peacefully for prosecuting Kṛṣṇa consciousness, forgetting everything else, and live happily.”
Now change your garlands.
Prabhupāda: Now you sit down and cover the head. Yes. Cover the head. Yes. Just like… There is no, that red? Vermillion?
Himāvatī: Where is that red crayon?Prabhupāda: Now you can sit down there, next her. No, you sit left. Now change. You sit here. Yes. Now she’ll always remain on your left. You come forward. Now you say…
Satsvarūpa: Jāhnavā has so long, my Godsister, has so long been in my care. I now give her over to Nanda Kiśora prabhu.
Prabhupāda: You say you shall “take charge of Jāhnavā, my wife,
(Nanda Kiśora repeating) and I shall look after her comforts throughout her life, and I shall supply her all necessities of life.” And you say that “I accept you as my husband.
(Jāhnavā repeating) I shall see to your comfort throughout my life. Without any separation we shall live peacefully, in happiness and distress, without any separation, for executing Kṛṣṇa consciousness.”
Change your garland and place.
Now you cover her head like that. Yes. Not in that way. From this part. All right. Change your seat. Yes.
Devotee: Should he apply it?
Prabhupāda: Yes. You apply it. That’s all right. Now you come, You, sit down here. Sit down here. First of all, sit down. Your father is present?
Prabhupāda: You may come sit here. You can say that “My daughter was in charge of me so long, now I give in charge to this boy.”
Rukmiṇī’s father: My daughter was in charge of me so long. I now give her to…
Prabhupāda: His name is Baradrāja.
Rukmiṇī’s father: Baradrāja.
Prabhupāda: So you say, “I accept”
(Baradrāja repeating) Rukmiṇī as my wife. I shall maintain her throughout my life, supply all necessities of life, and we shall work together for prosecuting Kṛṣṇa consciousness.” You say that “I accept you
(Rukmiṇī repeating) as my husband, and I shall serve you as your most obedient wife, to keep you in all comforts, in all distress and happiness, and we shall continue our life for Kṛṣṇa consciousness.” Now change. Change the garland. Mind that this promise has been made before Rādhā and Kṛṣṇa. You cannot change all these promises. Change your seat. Cover the head. Cover the head and give her this red. Cover it nicely. You see, here. You should keep your wife always covered.
(laughter) Don’t allow this miniskirt or minishirt.
(laughter) According to Vedic civilization, respectable woman cannot be seen even by the sun. Asūryaṁ paśyat. How can you avoid sun? But it is said like that. The sun will find difficulty to see one man’s woman. Yes. Asūryaṁ paśyat. Asūryam. Sūrya means the sun. Sun cannot. Sun will also hanker after her: “How can I see that woman?”
(chuckles) So woman should be always in privacy. They should be respectfully protected by the husband and the father. That is the way. All right. Then it is finished. Now let us perform yajña.
(devotees offer obeisances) Now chant Hare Kṛṣṇa. After performance of yajña. Chant Hare Kṛṣṇa. Mix it. Mix it.Satsvarūpa: …can use that?Prabhupāda: No, no. Hand. Now you can sit comfortably.
(devotees chant japa) Now take, you know, little, little, everyone. When I say “svāhā” three times, very little, little take. We’ll have to continue. (responsively with devotees:) Namaḥ apavitraḥ pavitro vā sarvāvasthām… No, why you are not chanting?
(devotees were responding softly, now more loudly) …gato ‘pi vā yaḥ smaret puṇḍarīkākṣaṁ sa bahyābhyantara-śuciḥ. Śrī viṣṇu śrī viṣṇu śrī viṣṇu.
(continues prayers for fire sacrifice). Why not take a group photo of these newly married couples? It will be nice.Guest: That’d be great. It’d be beautiful. Sure.Himāvatī: Should they go behind or should they turn around?Prabhupāda: As you like.
Guest: Could the wife be seated and the husband in back of her?
Prabhupāda: Just like they are sitting, left and right.
Guest: …if we had a better place to…
Prabhupāda: (continues chanting) Svāhā svāhā svāhā. So you want to take just now or after finishing this?
Satsvarūpa: Prabhupāda, he wants a couple there, a couple there, and a couple behind you.
Prabhupāda: That’s all right.
Guest: Or maybe two couples here and a third couple over there or something.Prabhupāda: You come here. Sit down there. Yes, sit down. Yes, like that. Why you are standing? Sit.
(continues prayers)namo gaura-kiśorāya sākṣād-vairāgya-mūrtaye
vipralambha-rasāmbodhe pādāmbhujāya te namaḥ
svāhā svāhā svāhā
namo bhaktivinodāya sac-cid-ānanda-nāmine
gaura-śakti-svarūpāya rūpānuga-varāya te
svāhā svāhā svāhā
(continues prayers for fire sacrifice) Now you take one banana, this part of banana, and stand up. Take each one of you. Supply. Stand up.
govindāya namo namaḥ
(repeats twice) Now take this, silently. Yes. Hare Kṛṣṇa, Hare Kṛṣṇa, Kṛṣṇa Kṛṣṇa, Hare Hare/ Hare Rāma, Hare Rāma, Rāma Rāma, Hare Hare.
(repeats) Now bow down.nama oṁ viṣṇu-pādāya kṛṣṇa-preṣṭhāya bhū-tale
śrīmate bhaktivedānta svāmin iti nāmine
(Prabhupāda repeats twice) All right. Now chant Hare Kṛṣṇa.
Devotees: Hare Kṛṣṇa!
Prabhupāda: And be happy.
Devotees: Haribol! All glories to Śrī Guru and Śrī Gaurāṅga! Haribol! All glories to Prabhupāda!
Prabhupāda: Now chant Hare Kṛṣṇa. Dance, chant now. Enjoy life.
(kīrtana-Prabhupāda talking in background) (kīrtana, prema-dhvanī) (obeisances) Prasāda? You are sitting uncomfortably?
(devotees chant japa)
Prabhupāda: Now distribute prasāda.
(bhajana: Govinda jaya jaya)Haṁsadūta: There’s no draft? The window’s not open?
(kīrtana in background)Prabhupāda: No, no. That’s all right. I have informed your brother in Germany, Kṛṣṇa dāsa, “Your sister is going to be married…” Stop. You can now eat. Stop.
(kīrtana stops)Devotee: Take prasādam.Prabhupāda: Yes. Take prasādam. You can play the records. That’s all.
(laughter) Hare Kṛṣṇa, Hare Kṛṣṇa, Kṛṣṇa Kṛṣṇa… You also eat. Everyone eat. Yes. I think it is nicely prepared. You can take one plate.
(“Hare Kṛṣṇa Happening” record comes on as everyone takes prasāda) Let me see (?).
kṛtvaiva tṛptiṁ bhajataḥ sadaiva
vande guroḥ śrī-caraṇāravindam **
The spiritual master is satisfied when nice foodstuff, prasādam, is distributed, and it is eaten by the devotees. Our is not dry speculation. Everything substantial.
Himāvatī: We need another plate.
Prabhupāda: These Press representatives, they are taking?
Haṁsadūta: Yes, they’re all from the Press.
Prabhupāda: So you have not offered them prasādam?
Himāvatī: Everyone has.
Prabhupāda: They should have been given. Anyway, something should have been given. You are going? She is going with her father?
Himāvatī: He was once in Montreal. Remember? Rukmiṇī’s father once came to Montreal?
Prabhupāda: Yes. She is her mother?
Prabhupāda: She is not elderly. Mother is eating?
Prabhupāda: Forty, thirty-five years.
Himāvatī: Yes. Rukmiṇī is only seventeen. Rukmiṇī is seventeen. She’s not very old.
Prabhupāda: She is only… She is the first child?
Himāvatī: I don’t know. I think so, first child. She has one sister.
Satsvarūpa: Just one announcement. Tomorrow night is Swami Bhaktivedanta’s last appearance, last lecture, last kīrtana in Boston, and that’s at the International Student’s Association. They have a place at 33 Garden (?) Street. He’ll be speaking there. But we’ll be carrying on this sublime teaching, especially in the form of saṅkīrtana. We’ll be chanting in the streets. We’ll be pushing this more than anything. Then the feast, of course, Hare Kṛṣṇa Love Feast. But especially if you see us in the parks and the streets, join us and feel this real transcendental bliss by chanting Hare Kṛṣṇa, all summer, as long as the weather is nice. (indistinct) a basket around. If you can give something it will help for the cost of this feast and wedding.
Thank you very much.
Hare Kṛṣṇa. (end)