Dearest Rishan and Ramapriya dasi:
Please accept my blessings. All glories to Srila Prabhupada.
As I mentioned to you before I left South Africa I am sending a letter of encouragement to you both on this auspicious day of your marriage. I have asked Swarup Damodar prabhu to read it out loud.
Marriage is a sacred ceremony in every religion and spiritual tradition. That is why it is generally performed in a church, a mosque or a temple. But the sanctity of marriage is especially true in Vedic culture, and more specifically in our Krsna Consciousness Movement, because going back Home, back to Godhead is the primary goal of both husband and wife. Awakening love for Krsna is the shared interest and deeper bond that makes husband and wife inseparable from the moment they tie the sacred knot during the vivaha-yajna. Understanding this, husband and wife know that for their marriage to work they can never be too busy with their individual pursuits, such as work and personal skills, to find time together to chant their rounds, read scripture and share their Krsna conscious realizations with each other.
Being fixed in sadhana, or spiritual practices, allow husband and wife the opportunity to deepen their love and appreciation for each other exponentially – far beyond whatever relationship a non-devotee couple may have. As a result, there is never a question of divorce for the simple reason that husband and wife have a deep and satisfying spiritual relationship. The happiness they experience together on the path of transcendence ensures that no material differences in their makeup can disturb their higher commitment to each other. By their spiritual practice – done daily together in the early hours of the morning – they truly come to understand that Krsna consciousness is the solution to all problems.
Another outstanding feature of Krsna conscious marriage is that devotee couples find time to share their good fortune with others. Preaching always gives devotees the ‘param drstva nivartate” – the higher taste in spiritual life. Experiencing that joy together, husband and wife are happy together — happy in the true sense of the word. Thus their marriage is full of joy and mirth. They relish inviting people, both devotees and non-devotees, to their home for the simple, yet sublime activities of chanting, dancing, Krsna katha and prasadam. Thus their relationship never becomes old or hackneyed; rather it remain ever-fresh, as does their love and devotion for each other.
I pray you will remember these open secrets for a successful marriage. Find time to practice the basic spiritual activities of hearing and chanting together before going to work or school. Arrange your lives in such a way that your recreation is never something mundane, but is always about sharing your good fortune with others, within and outside your home. Srila Bhaktivinode Thakur wrote: “One day while performing devotional practices, I saw my house transformed into Goloka Vrindavan.” May the same come true for both of you!
I apologize that because of other responsibilities I am not present for your marriage today. But know that I am with you in spirit and through the words of wisdom I have given you. Perhaps you may want to frame these valuable instructions and revisit them from time to time as you both, together, advance on this wonderful path of Krsna consciousness.
My blessings are with both you on this sacred day – and so to with those fortunate souls who will soon take birth in your family. Such children will surely be a light in this world, meant to destroy the darkness of ignorance that pervades this iron age of quarrel!
With affectionate regards,
December 9, 2017