Chastity Of Srila Prabhupada

Srimad Bhagavatam 09.03.12-21 - Chastity Of Srila Prabhupada (download mp3)
by Sankirtan Prabhu at ISKCON Chowpatty

 SB 9.3.12
graham grahisye somasya
yajñe vam apy asoma-poh
kriyatam me vayo-rupam
pramadanam yad ipsitam

Cyavana Muni said: Although you are ineligible to drink soma-rasa in sacrifices, I promise to give you a full pot of it. Kindly arrange beauty and youth for me, because they are attractive to young women.

SB 9.3.13
badham ity ucatur vipram
abhinandya bhisaktamau
nimajjatam bhavan asmin
hrade siddha-vinirmite

The great physicians, the Asvini-kumaras, very gladly accepted Cyavana Muni's proposal. Thus they told the brahmana, "Just dive into this lake of successful life." [One who bathes in this lake has his desires fulfilled.]

SB 9.3.14
ity ukto jaraya grasta-
deho dhamani-santatah
hradam pravesito 'svibhyam

After saying this, the Asvini-kumaras caught hold of Cyavana Muni, who was an old, diseased invalid with loose skin, white hair, and veins visible all over his body, and all three of them entered the lake.

Cyavana Muni was so old that he could not enter the lake alone. Thus the Asvini-kumaras caught hold of his body, and the three of them entered the lake.

SB 9.3.15
purusas traya uttasthur
apivya vanita-priyah
padma-srajah kundalinas
tulya-rupah suvasasah

Thereafter, three men with very beautiful bodily features emerged from the lake. They were nicely dressed and decorated with earrings and garlands of lotuses. All of them were of the same standard of beauty.

SB 9.3.16
tan niriksya vararoha
sarupan surya-varcasah
ajanati patim sadhvi
asvinau saranam yayau

The chaste and very beautiful Sukanya could not distinguish her husband from the two Asvini-kumaras, for they were equally beautiful. Not understanding who her real husband was, she took shelter of the Asvini-kumaras.

Sukanya could have selected any one of them as her husband, for one could not distinguish among them, but because she was chaste, she took shelter of the Asvini-kumaras so that they could inform her who her actual husband was. A chaste woman will never accept any man other than her husband, even if there be someone equally as handsome and qualified.

SB 9.3.17
darsayitva patim tasyai
pati-vratyena tositau
rsim amantrya yayatur
vimanena trivistapam

The Asvini-kumaras were very pleased to see Sukanya's chastity and faithfulness. Thus they showed her Cyavana Muni, her husband, and after taking permission from him, they returned to the heavenly planets in their plane.

SB 9.3.18
yaksyamano 'tha saryatis
cyavanasyasramam gatah
dadarsa duhituh parsve
purusam surya-varcasam

Thereafter, King Saryati, desiring to perform a sacrifice, went to the residence of Cyavana Muni. There he saw by the side of his daughter a very beautiful young man, as bright as the sun.

SB 9.3.19
raja duhitaram praha
asisas caprayuñjano
natipriti-mana iva

After receiving obeisances from his daughter, the King, instead of offering blessings to her, appeared very displeased and spoke as follows.

SB 9.3.20
cikirsitam te kim idam patis tvaya
pralambhito loka-namaskrto munih
yat tvam jara-grastam asaty asammatam
vihaya jaram bhajase 'mum adhvagam

O unchaste girl, what is this that you have desired to do? You have cheated the most respectable husband, who is honored by everyone, for I see that because he was old, diseased and therefore unattractive, you have left his company to accept as your husband this young man, who appears to be a beggar from the street.

This shows the values of Vedic culture. According to the circumstances, Sukanya had been given a husband who was too old to be compatible with her. Because Cyavana Muni was diseased and very old, he was certainly unfit for the beautiful daughter of King Saryati. Nonetheless, her father expected her to be faithful to her husband. When he suddenly saw that his daughter had accepted someone else, even though the man was young and handsome, he immediately chastised her as asati, unchaste, because he assumed that she had accepted another man in the presence of her husband. According to Vedic culture, even if a young woman is given an old husband, she must respectfully serve him. This is chastity. It is not that because she dislikes her husband she may give him up and accept another. This is against Vedic culture. According to Vedic culture, a woman must accept the husband given to her by her parents and remain chaste and faithful to him. Therefore King Saryati was surprised to see a young man by the side of Sukanya.

SB 9.3.21
katham matis te 'vagatanyatha satam
kula-prasute kula-dusanam tv idam
bibharsi jaram yad apatrapa kulam
pitus ca bhartus ca nayasy adhas tamah

O my daughter, who were born in a respectable family, how have you degraded your consciousness in this way? How is it that you are shamelessly maintaining a paramour? You will thus degrade the dynasties of both your father and your husband to hellish life.

It is quite clear that according to Vedic culture a woman who accepts a paramour or second husband in the presence of the husband she has married is certainly responsible for the degradation of her father's family and the family of her husband. The rules of Vedic culture in this regard are strictly observed in the respectable families of brahmanas, ksatriyas and vaisyas even today; only the sudras are degraded in this matter. For a woman of the brahmana, ksatriya or vaisya class to accept another husband in the presence of the husband she has married, or to file for divorce or accept a boyfriend or paramour, is unacceptable in the Vedic culture. Therefore King Saryati, who did not know the real facts of Cyavana Muni's transformation, was surprised to see the behavior of his daughter.