During my visit in Brisbane I found time to continue working on my next book "Family Life As an Ashrama - Secrets of Success."
One of the purposes of family life lies in fulfilling our emotional needs. If we find emotional satisfaction within family relationships, that frees our other relationships from these essential needs and thus keeps them more selfless and purer. For this reason, affectionate exchanges between husband, wife and children are a vital aspect of our interactions within home life. Warm-hearted and loving dealings create an affectionate atmosphere in the home, which acts like the glue that keeps the family members together - even in rough times of misunderstandings and conflicts.
In "Krishna, The Supreme Personality of Godhead", Chapter 59, Srila Prabhupada describes the loving exchanges between Krishna and His queens:
"In their dealings as husband and wife, Krishna and His queens would smile, talk, joke, embrace and so on, and their conjugal relationship ever-increasingly developed. In this way, Krishna and the queens enjoyed transcendental happiness in their household life."
Similarly, in the summary to Chapter 90, Srila Prabhupada gives a description of Krishna acting like a loving husband with his wives: "Krishna's behavior with His wives - His movements, His talking with them, His smiling, His embracing and similar other activities, which are just like those of a loving husband - kept them always very much attached to Him."
Furthermore, in Chapter 60, Srila Prabhupada illustrates the loving exchanges between husband and wife, when Lord Krishna told Rukmini: "My dear beautiful wife, you know that because we are householders we are always busy in many household affairs and long for a time when we can enjoy some joking words between us. That is our ultimate gain in household life." [Srila Prabhupada comments further:] Actually, householders work very hard day and night, but all fatigue of the day's labor is minimized as soon as they meet, husband and wife together, and enjoy life in many ways. Lord Krishna wanted to exhibit Himself as being like an ordinary householder who delights himself by exchanging joking words with his wife."
In the Srimad-Bhagavatam (6.17.5), Srila Prabhupada gives further insights into the affectionate dealings in the husband-wife relationship: "For Parvati to be embraced by Lord Shiva was natural in a relationship between husband and wife; this was nothing extraordinary for Chitraketu to see."
In other words, affectionate exchanges and embraces are a natural part of a conjugal relationship - after all, it is not a brother-sister relationship. Srila Prabhupada confirms this once again in his purport to the Srimad-Bhagavatam (4.26.17):
"We always speak of the goddess of fortune as being placed on the chest of Narayana. In other words, the wife must remain embraced by her husband. Thus she becomes beloved and well protected. Just as one saves his money and places it under his own personal protection, one should similarly protect his wife by his own personal supervision. Just as intelligence is always within the heart, so a beloved chaste wife should always have her place on the chest of a good husband. This is the proper relationship between
husband and wife. A wife is therefore called ardhangani, or half of the body. One cannot remain with only one leg, one hand or only one side of the body. He must have two sides. Similarly, according to nature's way, husband and wife should live together."
In "Krishna, The Supreme Personality of Godhead", Chapter 70, entitled Lord Krishna's Daily Activities, we find yet another sweet example illustrating the loving exchanges between husband and wife: "Although Srimati Rukminidevi, the first queen of Lord Krishna, knew that brahma-muhurta is the most auspicious time in the entire day, she would feel disgusted at the appearance of brahma-muhurta because she was not very happy to have Krishna leave her side in bed. Despite Srimati Rukminidevi's disgust, Lord Krishna would immediately get up from bed exactly on the appearance of brahma-muhurta. An ideal householder should learn from the behavior of Lord Krishna how to rise early in the morning, however comfortably he may be lying in bed embraced by his wife."
In a conjugal relationship within Krishna consciousness, such affection based on mutual acceptance develops into deep trust and understanding between husband and wife - they both feel secure, valued and cared for. On the foundation of their affectionate bond, their friendship grows and deepens, allowing them to enjoy each other's company. Such endearment melts down the frustration, anger and blame we may at times feel, empowering us to conduct ourselves in compassion, understanding and kindness.
On the 7th of July I flew to Christchurch/New Zealand....
Your servant, Devaki dd