Questions and Answers

September 3, 2016 |

English; Manchester, UK

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I saw a murti of Ganesh on the altar next to Nrsimhadeva at a neighbours' place. There was an argument between devotees. Some say that in Srila Prabhupada's Nectar of Devotion it is said in Chapter 8, One should begin the worship of the demigod Ganapati, who drives away all impediments in the execution of devotional service. In the Brahma-samhita it is stated that Ganapati worships the lotus feet of Lord Nrsimha-deva and in that way has become auspicious for the devotees in clearing out all impediments. Therefore, all devotees should worship Ganapati. Thus my neighbours placed Ganesha next to Nrsimhadeva on the altar. Other devotees cite Srila Prabhupada letters in which he says that there's no need to worship Ganesha. So what is the proper understanding?

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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.

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