𝗝𝗮𝗴𝗮𝗱𝗴𝘂𝗿𝘂 𝗦𝗵𝗮𝗻𝗸𝗮𝗿𝗮𝗰𝗵𝗮𝗿𝘆𝗮 𝗦𝗿𝗶𝗺𝗮𝗱 𝗔𝗯𝗵𝗶𝗻𝗮𝘃𝗮 𝗩𝗶𝗱𝘆𝗮𝘁𝗲𝗲𝗿𝘁𝗵𝗮 𝗠𝗮𝗵𝗮𝘀𝘄𝗮𝗺𝗶𝗻: 𝗗𝗼𝘄𝗿𝘆, 𝗮𝗻𝗱 𝗦𝗶𝗴𝗻𝗶𝗳𝗶𝗰𝗮𝗻𝗰𝗲 𝗼𝗳 𝗠𝗮𝗿𝗿𝗶𝗮𝗴𝗲

10/13/2023

Devotee: The expenses of marriages rise sky-high if dowry is involved. Many parents suffer as a result. What is Acharyal’s view about dowry?

Acharya; Dowry is not sanctioned by the śāstra-s. Kanyā-dāna (gift of a girl) itself is a great gift. No dowry is necessary to make that gift complete. The śāstra-s say that kanyā-dāna can be done even during the impurity period of one year after the death of the girl’s father. From this, one can understand how worthy that gift is. The practice of accepting dowry has arisen only because of greed. It should be eliminated.

D: Does Acharyal advise disciples to refrain from seeking dowry?

A: That is My advise to all, whether they are disciples or not. Nowadays, many say that dowry should not be accepted but only a handful put their statement into practice. Only when people choose to abstain from demanding or giving dowry will this evil practice come to an end.

- From 𝙀𝙭𝙖𝙡𝙩𝙞𝙣𝙜 𝙀𝙡𝙪𝙘𝙞𝙙𝙖𝙩𝙞𝙤𝙣𝙨

𝙈𝙖𝙧𝙧𝙞𝙖𝙜𝙚 𝙖𝙣𝙙 𝙞𝙩'𝙨 𝙫𝙤𝙬𝙨:
In the Rāmāyaṇa, we see that Rāma had Sītā for His wife while He was at Ayodhya; She was His wife in the forests and He continued to have Her as His wife even when Rāvaṇa abducted Her. Thus, Rāma, under all circumstances, had only one wife. Further, Sītā was the crest jewel amongst chaste wives. Rāma and Sītā were an ideal couple. By imitating Them, people can lead a grand, married life.

During the marriage ceremony, it is said, “While engaging in any religious act, while earning money and while enjoying worldly pleasures, you should not desert me.” Making this promise, the couple get married. However, nowadays if it is asked, “Who uttered these words?”, the answer would be “The priest who conducted the marriage.” This is because the boy and the girl are unaware of the promise; it is the priest who has learnt, by rote, the words concerned, who utters them. This is the level to which we have degenerated. Just because the import of a rite is not obvious to someone, it does not follow that the rite is without significance.

𝙎𝙥𝙞𝙧𝙞𝙩𝙪𝙖𝙡 𝙨𝙞𝙜𝙣𝙞𝙛𝙞𝙘𝙖𝙣𝙘𝙚 𝙤𝙛 𝙈𝙖𝙧𝙧𝙞𝙖𝙜𝙚:
One possessed of strong vairāgya and a burning desire for liberation from the snares of samsāra would do well to lead a life of brahmacarya. To such an aspirant, married life is a mere obstacle serving no useful purpose. This is not to derogate married life. Even Śrī Rāma and Śrī Kṛṣṇa led lives of householders. It is the householder who sustains a saṁnyāsin. By leading a life of detachment, in spite of being in the midst of worldly activities, the householder not only raises himself up spiritually but also becomes a great source of good to the world. By dedicating all actions to Īśvara and acting as an instrument in His hands, the married man is not tainted even though he is in the midst of the world. By constantly performing vicāra and dhyāna, he can definitely go along the path of spirituality. There have been householders who have been jñānin-s and such people are there even today. The scriptures sanction saṁnyāsa for those householders who have attained strong dispassion with regard to worldly life.

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