Janmastami Vow to Take Krsna-bhakti Seriously

September 5, 2015 |

English; Manchester, England

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Question: 1) I once saw a visiting devotee who was reading Gita Press edition of Bhagavad-gita. When I asked why he was reading that not Srila Prabhupada's Bhagavad-gita, he said that because his guru said it was good for word to word translations. And then again I saw this with an initiated Indian lady devotee. She was from Delhi but based in Dar es… Expand>

Question:

1) I once saw a visiting devotee who was reading Gita Press edition of Bhagavad-gita. When I asked why he was reading that not Srila Prabhupada's Bhagavad-gita, he said that because his guru said it was good for word to word translations. And then again I saw this with an initiated Indian lady devotee. She was from Delhi but based in Dar es salaam. When I queried her about this, she said the same thing, that the word to word meanings are good (or better? I can't remember exactly what she said).

This didn't seem right, but I wanted to ask your holiness. Are we meant to be referring to Gita Press's Bhagavad-gita at all for any reason?

2) I was in an ISKCON temple here in Africa and saw a compact, one inch size Bhagavad-gita which was from Gita Press and which has slokas in devanagari only and no commentary. I thought that this would be good for carrying around and for chanting Bhagavad-gita slokas as that would be the same anyway in all versions of Bhagavad-gita. Is it OK to just chant the slokas only from this compact Gita Press's Gita or other any other non-ISKCON Bhagavad-gita?

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Question:

Is it acceptable for a girl, whose parents don’t arrange her marriage, to arrange her own marriage by meeting different men and working it out like that? 

Answer by HH Bhakti Vikāśa Swami:

According to Manu-saṁhitā it is the duty of the father to marry a daughter before her first menstruation.

And Manu also says that after, I think it’s two menstrual periods or maybe three, if the father hasn’t done that, then the girl can arrange her own marriage.

The emphasis is very much on what they nowadays call child marriage. Śrīla Prabhupāda recounts that his eldest sister was almost 14 and she was not married, and that their mother was so upset that she told their father that: “If you don’t marry her right away I’m going to drown myself in Ganga.“

Śrīla Prabhupāda’s first child was born when his wife was 13. Nowadays it’s called child abuse.
So, it’s acceptable according to śāstra. You’ve asked according to śāstra. I’ve answered according to śāstra.

Gradually it’s become accepted within Indian culture that girls go to school, and then they have a career, but still there is idea that parents should arrange the marriage. But that’s breaking down now.

Still, maybe most marriages in India are arranged, but it’s breaking down. Thousands and thousands of marriages are negotiated on the Internet. They have sites shaadi.com. Shaadi is Urdu word for marriage. Muslimmatrimony.com is an Indian site.

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