• Caitanya Chandra dasa

How to get a good devotee as a husband

Marriage is a natural necessity for most. Life is hard and most feel they need a life partner, who can give them love and care. A supportive spouse not only makes life much easier, but it can also be fundamental for one's spiritual life, bringing one stability to sustain his spiritual pursuits. Just like a person that is too hungry will have difficulty concentrating in his japa, a devotee that has the necessity for marriage, but can't find a suitable partner will have difficulties focusing on his or her sadhana. When one's basic necessities are not satisfied, things become difficult. Sometimes this strong need may even force a devotee to marry some non-devotee, which may jeopardize his Krsna Consciousness.

This is an issue for both sexes, but it's especially difficult for ladies. Not only more ladies than men join nowadays, but some of the men remain brahmacharies. From the ones that are available for marriage, some don't want to work, and thus are not capable of maintaining a family, some are not responsible, etc. In the end, the number of men that are suitable for marriage is actually small. There are cases of abusive or irresponsible husbands, there are husbands that fall from the regulative principles, or even abandon Krsna Consciousness, causing much distress for the wife, without even speaking about cases of "devotees" that just want some enjoyment without commitment and just use ladies as disposable objects. Most probably heard many of such stories. We don't need to start giving examples.

As one progresses in spiritual life, he naturally develops the qualities of a vaishnava. The list includes qualities like: always merciful, humble, truthful, equal to all, faultless, magnanimous, mild, clean, respectful, grave, compassionate, without false prestige, friendly, poetic, expert, completely in control of the six bad qualities — lust, anger, greed, etc.

In other words: the perfect vaishnava is also the perfect husband. A neophyte may be able to imitate some of the externals, but only a real vaishnava is going to really manifest true qualities. The secret to finding a good husband is, therefore, to find a proper vaishnava. It may sound simple enough, but how can a lady attract such a husband? There is actually a secret.

It's said that the men are like bees and a lady is like a flower. By following the process of spiritual life and developing good qualities, a lady can attract some qualified men and choose her husband from amongst them. If, however, a lady cultivates negative qualities, like lust, envy, anger, etc. the bees are going to stay away and instead flies will be attracted: lusty men who are going to bring her only suffering. If a lady can cultivate good qualities, attract a good husband and be faithful to him, her married life is going to be a success.

Another point is that marriage should be between equals: Parvati needs to be married to Lord Shiva, Sita needs to be married to Rama, etc. (Shurpanakha, who lacked good qualities, wanted to marry Lord Rama, but we can see that it did not work very well). Husband and wife need to have a similar mentality and share similar goals for the marriage to be successful. Just as a pure devotee lady will not be happy with a materialistic husband, a materialistic lady will not be happy with a pure devotee. Not only they are not going to be compatible, but probably they are not even going to be attracted to each other. One of the secrets to be able to find a partner with good qualities is to cultivate such good qualities ourselves.

Thus, the first prerequisite to enter and maintain a successful marriage to a good devotee is, interesting enough, to become a good devotee!