Vaishnavis, Preaching, and Family Responsibility


Question

I’ve seen many husbands in our society whose wives are so busy serving the society/guru that they have no time for family. They expect the husband to assist them in a service which the husband has no inclination for. This is one form of neglect/abuse.

Answer

H.D. Goswami Profile Picture

I agree, but everything said below for women also applies to men. We have seen too many men neglect their wives and children in the name of “preaching.” The entire family depends on the woman, and the entire family depends on the man. I have had to help many women and children abandoned by physically healthy good-for-nothing husbands.


Actually, the relationship between men and women, husbands and wives is mutuality. Obvious proof: the very Sanskrit word for ‘couple,’ mithuna is from the same root as mithas, “mutually, reciprocally.” One excellent example: in the Maha-bharata, Pandu tells Kunti to call more Devas to make more sons. She refuses. He tells her, “A woman must follow her husban whether he is right or wrong.” I’m sure conservatives have quoted that. But what then happens? Kunti gives a stronger argument and he submits to her will. Mutuality. Reciprocity. The real world.


As Prabhupada said, husbands and wives must respect each other and listen to each other. Large social science studies shows that the in the most successful, enduring marriages, both man and woman have their sphere of leadership.