Marriage reservations

Bhutan royal couple

Bhutan King Jigme Khesar Namgyal Wangchuk with bride Jetsun Pema

Bhutan’s royal wedding: How the king proposed when she was just seven years old – ADAM PLOWRIGHT – Oct 13, 2011

The royal couple apparently met when aged 17 and seven respectively at a family picnic in Thimphu.

The then-prince got down on his knees and said “when you grow up, if I am single and not married and if you are single and not married, I would like you to be my wife, provided we still feel the same,” he told students in August Go to story

First love, lifelong love

excerpt from lecture on Bhagavad-gita, Chapter 1, Text 40, London, July 28, 1973:

The psychology is that woman, the first man she meets and if she is kept carefully, she becomes staunch lover. This is psychology. There is good psychology in maintaining the society. Therefore a woman, especially in India, especially in Bengal, before attaining puberty, she was married. Not to meet the husband unless she attains puberty. But she remained at father’s house, but she must know that: “I am married. I have got husband.” This psychology. Then she becomes very chaste. Because she thinks of her husband, and becomes more and more devoted. So this arrangement that woman must be married before puberty… Or even after puberty, she must get a husband. So if this dharma [religious principle, or duty]… It is called kanya-daya, kanya-daya. Kanya-daya means it is very obligatory that the father must get the daughter married. This is dharma. So if this dharma, or this religious principle is violated, that is… Arjuna is remarking: adharma-abhi, abhi-bhava. When people become neglectful of the family tradition and religious principles, adharma abhibhavat krishna pradushyanti kula-striyah [Bhagavad-gita 1.40: “When irreligion is prominent in the family, O Krishna, the women of the family become corrupt, and from the degradation of womanhood, O descendant of Vrishni, comes unwanted progeny.”].

Women require protection

excerpt from lecture on Srimad-Bhagavatam 1.8.51, Los Angeles, May 13, 1973:

So woman is protected in childhood by the father, and when she is grown-up girl, youth, although the father is ready to give her protection in every respect, but she has developed by that time sex desires. Under the circumstances, it is the duty of the father to hand over the girl to a nice young boy to take her protection. This is marriage. Kanya-dana. According to Vedic system, kanya, means daughter, is given in charity. To find out a suitable… Practically, I’ll say, in our childhood age, my sisters were married between nine to twelve years. My eldest sister was married when she was nine years old, before my birth. She is the eldest. And my second sister was married at the age of twelve, twelve years. And my third sister was married at the age of 11 years. So by the 12 years, the marriage must be finished. That was the duty of the father. I remember, because my second sister was going twelve years, my mother said to my father that “I shall go to the river and commit suicide. The daughter is not married.” (laughter) You see. The father was very sorry, “Yes, I am trying. What can I do?” (laughter) And then next generation… I was also married man, you know. I was married when my wife was only eleven years old. And at the age of fourteen years she gave birth to first child. And next generation, when my eldest daughter was married at the age of sixteen years—it is little increased—but I was also very much upset that the daughter is sixteen years old.

But now things have changed. Nobody cares whether the daughter is married or not. But that is not good.

Another difficulty is that everywhere, all over the world, the female population is greater than, on the average, than male population. So if each and every woman has to be married, then there is no sufficient number of male population. Therefore, according to Vedic rituals, those who are higher caste, just like the kshatriyas or the brahmanas, especially, others also, polygamy is allowed. Polygamy is allowed. Just like our most exalted personality, Krishna, He has married sixteen thousand wives. He is God. (laughter) Unless you have got so many wives, how you can be God? Not that sixteen thousand wives, one wife is to be seen one day, so that the turn will come after sixteen thousand days. No. That is God. He expanded Himself into sixteen thousand forms also, so that every wife was happy to live with the husband. And for Krishna, why sixteen thousand? If He marries sixteen millions, still, it is not sufficient. Because in the Bhagavad-gita it is said, ishvarah sarva-bhutanam hrid-deshe ‘rjuna tishthati: [Bg. 18.61] “The Supreme Lord is situated in the heart of all living entities.” So all living entities… if Krishna can expand Himself to live in the heart of all living entities, and from the heart He comes out to become some woman’s husband, is it very difficult for Krishna? That is not difficult.

Anyway, the point is that Maharaja Yudhishthira, how responsible a king he was, just think over. Arjuna was also thinking before fighting. He was arguing with Krishna that “If I kill my brothers, all my sister-in-laws, they’ll be widows.” And there was no such thing as widow marriage in India. No. No widow can marry. Why? Because the woman population is greater than the man. If widow again marries, then the unmarried girl does not get chance to have another husband. Therefore there was no widow marriage. Widow marriage was especially allowed only when the girl did not see her husband at any time or she had no children.

Formerly, in our days, younger days, although the girl was married at an early age, she was not allowed to see her husband unless she is grown-up fully. Unless she has attained puberty, she is not… She lives with her parents. But she knows that “I have got my husband.” This consciousness is a great pleasure for a women psychologically, that “I have got husband.” A very nice system. And when the girl grows up, puberty, then again another ceremony is taken. That is almost like second marriage. The girl goes to her husband, to live with her husband. This was the system.

So women were taken so much care by the Vedic civilization. Still they are taken. It is the duty of the father… Until she is married, it is the duty of the father to give her all protection. Therefore the father wants to get her married, to get relief from the responsibility. He has a great responsibility. It is called kanya-daya. Actually the word is called kanya-daya. Putra-rina. Rina means debt. If you are debtor to somebody you may not pay it, saying, “Sir, I have no money. Whatever you like, you can do.” But daya means a great burden. It must be get relieved of. Daya means a great responsibility. Daya. Daya-bhak. Just like a son inherits the property of the father… It is called daya-bhak, law. Similarly, this is the, I mean to say, most obligatory duty of the father, to get the daughter married. And then it is the duty of the husband next. Just like when we perform marriage ceremony in our society, we get the husband promise that he takes charge of the girl for life. And the girl agrees to serve the boy for life. There is no question of divorce.

So the father hands over the charge to a nice boy. Never mind he is rich or no. That doesn’t matter. He must be a responsible boy, who knows his responsibility. Not that “Today I marry, and tomorrow I go away. That’s all.” Not like that. Still you will find in India, even the poorest man, living with husband and wife very happily. Still you will find. I have seen in Ahmedabad. One day I saw in the street one husband and wife pulling on a hand-cart, with great load, and the small child is on the load. That means their child. They are laborer class. But ordinary laborer class, poor man, but they are living husband and wife and children happily. Still.

So marriage is very compulsory in Vedic system because who is to take charge of the woman? They require protection.

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