Now she had made the bold decission to enter married life, even though she has already grown-up children. I was impressed with her mood of accepting this challenge. She had shared with me: "This is what I need in order to actually do some internal work. On this person I want to practice giving up my independance. I need this lesson - learning to put myself below somebody, to dissolve my false ego, to give up my pride and become a humble servant."
I marvelled at her understanding of marriage, truly seeing it for what it is meant to be: a purifying journey, where we can learn tolerance and humility, and cultivate a selfless mood of service. I could not detect in her any great expectations for sense gratification or romance. No, it was clear to her that it is all about purification. I wish all devotees would enter married life in this spirit. Maybe then we would have a better success-rate of our marriages. One of the main things which makes married life so difficult is indeed all these false hopes, demands and expectations on this man-woman relationship, thinking it to be the fulfillment of our longing for perfect and sublime love. But this we will only find in our relationship with Krsna - nowhere else.
Unless we manage to uproot and purify all those unresolved matters within our heart and thus let go of them, we will easily take them with us into our next existence. To actually go back to Godhead does not seem to be such an easy thing. All the material aspects of our subtle body of the mind, intelligence and false ego have to be entirely transformed and spiritualized. Our subtle body has to be surcharged with spiritual impressions, experiences, desires and attachments. And in order to be able to achieve this, we have to be properly situated in one of the ashrams, according to our nature. Unless we are properly situated, we can find ourselves stuck - unable to move forward within our spiritual practice. Prabhupada explains this in the story with Gajendra the elephant, who is fighting in the water with the crocodile. Since water is not the natural environment for an elephant, Gajendra became weaker and weaker, whereas the crocodile, even though a smaller animal, became stronger and stronger. And Prabhupada explains the importance of being properly situated in one's ashram, which gives us a solid footing to continue in our fight against maya, with full vigor and spiritual strength.
Over the years I have also observed how important it is especially for ladies to be well balanced emotionally. If our emotional needs are not fulfilled in a balanced and healthy way, then we can easily become emotionally very dry. The feeling of loneliness enters our life, and as a result we can lose enthusiasm and energy for our devotional life. Even our physical health can seriously be affected. Interesting to note, that many diseases actually begin within the subtle body, and only later manifest in the gross body.
I tried my very best to conduct the function nicely, endeavoring to create a sweet and devotional atmosphere, and adding here and there a few uplifting words on the purpose of married life. Some senior devotees and disciples of Srila Prabhupada spoke and gave their blessings, and gifts and good wishes were offered to the newly wedded couple, and charity received in return - in an envelop with a funny picture of a cow on it. After all, at such functions one is meant to give cows in charity.....
The entire event was very sweet and wonderful, bringing the whole community together. Senior devotees commented: "This was so nice! We should have weddings more often....!"
On the 8th of October I flew back to Germany and traveled out to Goloka Dham....
Your servant, Devaki dd