What about children? Wonderful, they can be seen as Krishna’s children that have been put in your care to take care of them for Him. You raise them to know Him and to love Him as part of your spiritual life and part of your service to Krishna.
Every aspect of married life can be an act of devotion to Krishna. If it is actually done like this, there will be no divorce, no disappointment, no broken illusions and all the things that go with the other kind of marriage. When the inevitable does come and death do us part, it will be understood, “Yes, our bodies are temporary but we will continue on in our service to Krishna.” If the role of each partner has been properly fulfilled, then you will feel good, “I have helped my loved one come closer to Krishna,” and vice versa. This is spiritual marriage, very different, this is real marriage.
A few things that are necessary for this to be a reality and one of the main requirements is respect. Respect for Krishna, respect for the spiritual master, respect for others and respect for each other. Respect for each other is very important.
A woman who was born and raised in Iran told me that when she was young her grandfather was one of the elders in the village and he was well respected as a man of wisdom. When young people decided to get married they would often come to him for advice. When they came to him, he would take them to a private room to talk and then later they would come out and leave. She always wanted to know what went on in this room but the door was shut and locked so she couldn’t get in there. One time she had decided she would get in there so she went into the room and hid behind the curtain because she knew there was a couple coming. She was hiding behind the curtain and the couple came in. They sat down, the door was locked and then her grandfather started to advise the couple and he told them, “When you get married, there must be an invisible curtain of respect between you two. As long that curtain is in place, your marriage will be successful but if you ever allow that curtain to fall, your marriage will be ruined. Then somehow she had made some noise and they discovered her and took her out. (Laughs) But she got the essence. So remember that, respect, there must be respect.
Sometimes that is not easy because familiarity breeds contempt. Usually it deteriorates to a point where the husband is the last person the wife would listen to or the wife is the last person the husband would listen to. They will listen to a bum in the street before they listen to their wife or husband; they will listen to a dog. (Laughs) So you have to be careful.
How wonderful it would be if we could fulfill all those! But I’m hoping that you will, and then you will have an exemplary marriage. Don’t forget to serve Krishna; that is most important, every day you must be very aware of this and do it. It takes a big effort, so I’m hoping that you will make that effort. If you do your part, I can promise you, and Krishna declares it also, if you do your part, Krishna will more than do His part. Every day in service to Krishna is a festival, not just weddings, birthdays and holidays. So that is the life that we should all hope for, where every day in our heart is a festival.
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