My dear disciples,

Please accept my blessings. All glories to Srila Prabhupada.

When you are trying to find a prospective spouse there are four things to consider:

1) Whom to Look for

2) Where to Look for

3) How to look for

4) What to Look for

The sequence of the above steps is of the essence. You cannot mix and match the steps. They are in a specific sequence.

1) Whom to look for

I have instructed my disciples over the years that they should look only among ISKCON devotees for a prospective spouse. Otherwise I have seen that the prospective spouse maybe favorable to your Krishna Consciousness before marriage but after marriage everything changes and marriage which was meant to help you in your Krishna Consciousness would become filled with difficulties. I am sure that you do not want that in your marriage.

I can give you many examples of that. Suffice it to say that one of my male disciples got married to a lady, a non-devotee who was favorable to Krishna Consciousness but after they had a child, she began to feed the child non-vegetarian food. What can be done in these situations? So please be careful to avoid getting entangled like that.

2) Where to look for:

My office in Mayapur offers a matrimonial service called VMB (Vaisnava Marraige Bureau). You can register with them and they can help you shortlist some profiles. There are also other devotee websites which you may wish to look at. However I would like to add a word of caution that when you look at a profile on these websites, please check if the profile also contains a reference to some senior devotee of ISKCON so that you can verify with them whether the candidate is a devotee in good standing or not. Else you would be pursing the proposal at your own risk.

3) How to look for:

Once you have received some profiles from my office and/or found some suitable profiles from devotee websites, please decide which profile you would like to proceed with. It is not recommended that you proceed with all profiles simultaneously. You should proceed with only one proposal at a time.

Please note: The more your requirements are in your profile, the harder it gets to find a suitable match. So it would be always useful to seek the help and advice of senior, experienced grhasthas who can tell you what the essentials really are and help you out.

4) What to look for:

Once you have decided which profile you would like to proceed with, the next is to check for astrological compatibility. I wish to inform you in this regard that Prahladananda Maharaja who has studied and has experience of over 20 years in astrology told me that he has observed that astrology contributes to only 20% of the success of a Krishna Conscious marriage. The other 80% involves devotional inclinations, service attitude, seriousness in taking up the mission of Srila Prabhupada etc. So even if the astrological check does not throw up a favorable result, you can still exchange expectations(which I have outlined a little later in this approach) and check what areas are unfavorable and how they can be handled/mitigated so that they do not become an obstacle in Krishna Consciousness. The general guidelines in this regard about how to handle/mitigate astrological incompatibility can be given by senior experienced grhasthas whom you may wish to consult. If the incompatibility is too serious like for example if it says that there is chance of death of one of the partners etc, then you may decide to drop it if you wish to.

When you are past the astrological compatibility check, the next step is to check whether the spiritual master of the prospective spouse if it happens to be someone else than me, would be willing to accept you as his siksa disciple. Similarly the prospective spouse with the permission of his/her spiritual master can write to me requesting to become a siksa disciple. Like this if both the partners are accepted by each others respective spiritual masters as siksa disciples, then it is favorable for a smooth situation post-marriage. HH Radhanatha Maharaja and HH Gopal Krishna Maharaja have given their pre-approval to accept my disciples are their siksa disciples in such marriage combinations. Likewise their disciples also have my pre-approval to be accepted as my siksa disciples. After these two steps are done, the next step is to exchange expectations. The VMB has a marriage questionnaire which you can use. Do not try to meet up with the prospective spouse first or start communicating through phone, What's App etc without exchanging expectations. What normally happens when prospective devotee partners try to meet up first or start communicating with each other is that their harmones overpower them clouding objective assessment about each other. So please do not try to meet up with your prospective spouse or start communicating without exchanging expectations.

Once you exchange expectations, it would be helpful if you have senior experienced grhasthas to help you to process both your answers. Sometimes some expectations may be unrealistic or some of the expectations may change. I have one male disciple who told his prospective wife that when children are born, she should handle the children and that he would not carry them around. But after he was married and he had a child, I saw that he was happily carrying the child around.

Like this, some expectations may change. Senior experienced grhasthas can tell. They can also see others things through their experience which you may not be able to see. So in this way their wisdom would be useful for both partners while processing answers to the questionnaire.

After you are satisfied with the answers, you can meet up with the prospective spouse and thereafter decide if this proposal should end in marriage or not. Again at this stage the wisdom of the senior experienced grhasthas may come in useful for you to make your decision.

Hope that you are able to find a suitable Krishna Conscious spouse. You have all my blessings in this regard.

Sometimes disciples think that I would personally choose a spouse for them. As a Sannayasi, Srila Prabhupada instructed me not to get involved in marriage matters. So I do not choose a spouse for any of my disciples. My secretaries have told me that some disciples think that although I do not choose a spouse for my disciples in general, I would make an exception for them. I am a follower of Srila Prabhupada and so why should they think that I would disregard what Srila Prabhupada told me and make an exception for them? They should give up such thoughts and instead of delaying their efforts to get married by such unreasonable imaginations, they should adopt the steps that I have outlined above.

Some times disciples approach me whether I know of any prospective spouse for them. Since I travel around the world, I know many different devotees and if anybody comes to my mind I may suggest a name. However you should not treat such a suggestion as special coming from the spiritual master. Neither is it my desire or order to finalize your marriage with the prospective spouse suggested by me. I am merely passing on information that I know. So treat it like that and process the proposal according to the normal process that I have outlined above.

Sometimes devotees, especially boys after going through the whole process finally revisit astrology and drop the proposal. This has a very devastating effect on the girl. We should avoid putting Vaisnavis into distress. That is why it is very important to follow the sequence that I have outlined and not try to sidestep it or undo it at a later stage. Ofcourse devotee girls may also revisit astrology at a later stage and drop a proposal affecting the boy, which is again improper. So please avoid these things.

Your Well Wisher Always,

Jayapataka Swami

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