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Question: Is it mandatory for girls to enter grihastha ashram? Can a girl practice pure Krishna consciousness and serve spiritual master, ISKCON without marriages? Isn’t marriage an obstacle in advancement in her spiritual life?

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Jayapataka Swami: You ask several questions. Is it obligatory to get married! Usually girls get married, it’s very rare not to get married. But, we don’t force anyone. Your second question was is marriage an obstacle. It doesn’t have to be, especially if one can marry a devotee and engage in serving Krishna together, the husband and wife as a team then it can be very positive to help raise up a child in Krishna consciousness. I went to many houses of many grhasthas, so how they have the Deities, they offer their meals to the Deities and the husband and wife, they are serving the Deities together, that is ideal. So, Prabhupada once said that a lady can be Krishna Conscious in any situation. I don’t understand that, but I accept it. (She also asked if it is possible to serve the spiritual master without being married and advance in devotional service like this?) So, whether married or not married, one should serve the spiritual master. And how one can maintain Krishna Consciousness in any circumstance is also one of the opulences. But ideally you should try…I was in a hospital in Bombay, the Hinduja Hospital and there one of the ladies was a technician and she said she was practicing devotional service, she was chanting Hare Krishna, but she was married to someone who thought he was a Marathi ksatriya and he said I want to eat meat, I want to eat meat, I am a ksatriya!!! And you have to cook it for me. And she was such a humble lady that she cooked for him, then she took her bath and cooked for the Deities. So, hopefully you will all find nice Krishna Conscious husbands and not crazy husbands that insist to cook non-veg, so, I try to help all my disciples anyway and I hope that you will find a proper life partner. You can serve the guru in any case, married or unmarried.