I immediately understood that many new people had come here to Krishna consciousness, and I could perceive a nice and lively mood. Later I heard that they have formed various 'clubs' - a Women's Club, a Men's Club, a Vegetarian Club, etc, which is a great way to reach out to people and gradually cultivate them until they are ready to come to the temple and start chanting.
I was also here for Balarama's appearance and offered the main lecture in the evening. The program was well attended, even though the temple is far outside of the city, and the event fell on a working day. I was especially impressed by the well cooked feast - remarkable for this part of the world: with traditional preparations!
Of course, these principles are not only there for the girl, but also for the boy: unless receiving the guidance and advice of seniors, he may also accept an unsuitable girl as a wife - out of the urge of sex desire.
Today, our parents may not be devotees and thus they may not be able to help us find a suitable partner. However, we can extract the principle: a well-wishing friend or mentor should search for a possible candidate, and in this way we can minimize the risk of getting emotionally and sensually attached to a person who is not compatible on deeper levels. If we have the help of a trusted and capable matchmaker, a preliminary sifting process and pre-selection can already be done, and thus it will take much less time for the two persons involved to determine whether they will be a good team for married life.
* We get more and more attached and emotionally entangled. If we don't end up marrying, we may suffer a broken-heart experience and get hurt, which makes it more difficult to once again be open to another candidate.
* It may become very difficult to control the senses and not engage in any physical exchanges before getting married.
* The social pressure increases, and the community members may expect those devotees to marry, even though they have not even decided yet. If they don't marry, there will be great embarrassment and shame.
It is becoming more and more common in our ISKCON society, that devotees live already together before they are married - legally or through a ceremony in the temple. They want to try each other out how much fun and satisfaction it will give before signing the marriage contract. It almost seems devotees forget, that such practice means they break their initiation vow of 'no illicit sex life'. Of course, a materialist considers it to be so normal to live together before getting married - in fact, he cannot even imagine to marry a person who he has not lived together! It is unheard of! And thus we easily take this attitude into our spiritual life - the power of materialistic conditioning.
Traditionally, the first physical touch between a husband and wife should take place in the vivaha yajna: when he covers her head with her sari and applies the bindi and sindhu to her forehead. Then such physical exchange becomes very deep and meaningful, almost electrifying - something which we want to experience only with one person in our life. Krishna's culture makes everything so special, extraordinary and deep, whereas materialistic culture makes everything very ordinary and shallow - chewing the chewed....
On the 18th of August I flew on to Kharkov/Ukraine....
Your servant, Devaki dd