Unfortunately this is true. Besides that fact that “relationship between man and a woman is very complicated” as Srila Prabhupada said, there are factors which may contribute to this alarming state ISKCON grhasta asrama is in and to the devastating effect on preaching this divorce orgies have for the public eye.
It is clear what Srila Prabhupada established: “One thing you should know of course, I know that you are so nice that there is possibility amongst you for disagreement between husband and wife, but sometimes it happens so you can let Saradia know that in our Krishna Consciousness household life there is no question of separation. Our marriage is Absolute. But if sometimes some disagreement is there, they may live separately for few days, but that doesn’t mean they can think of separation. Please try to educate all the girls in that way”. (Srila Prabhupada, London, 15th of November)
Nevertheless, we have leaders and gurus in ISKCON who support divorce by either preaching to the wife separately from the husband or declaring the act of divorce to be “circumstantial”.(This is a quote). Of course soon or later ANY marriage can produce enough reasons for a “circumstantial” divorce and so by such a deviant preaching divorce becomes the rule and not the exception.
Besides deviant preaching, there might be other reasons to contribute to a divorce situation:
The same leaders who might preach “circumstantial” divorce, may also when occupying the post of a spiritual master facilitate upcoming tragedies by indiscriminate initiations, not paying attention to the devotees more knowledgeable about the background of the initiation candidates and their about their conditioning.
Ignoring any system of recommendation such a guru may by collecting entirely unqualified “disciples” not only cause harm to himself and to the local devotees, but also damage the whole image of Srila Prabhupadas movement. What he may declare as an act of “mercy” is in reality violence towards the mission of Srila Prabhupada.
To illustrate this statement with living examples from the history of ISKCON known to me alone would certainly cause any sober reader of this text a sleepless night. I doubt that average karmi would meet so many perverts and deviants in such a concentrated form as what a new bhakta meets within the “grhasta asrama” in the ISKCON world.
It is for this reason a new grhasta couple better pays attention the advice of Chanyaka Pandit regarding peaceful marriage and doesn’t allow a deviant preacher to enter his family circle.
The most wonderful philosophy Srila Prabhupada delivered to us contains guide lines for any sphere of life. As a devotee proceeds through his life, better he accepts this philosophy in a sober way, meaning that he minds first of all the instructions suitable for his varna and his asrama.
Specifically females tend to learn in academic way only, entirely ignoring their emotional conditioning and their social position as designed by the Supreme Lord. Sastra is not a tool for feminist to learn it in academic way so one can dominate the “less intelligent” males. Such attitude destroys a marriage entirely. A wife, still conditioned by her material desires, who assumes the artificial role of some sort of “sannyasini”, or “deluxe nun”, agitates the senses of her husband and then proceeds to preach to him that “we are not this body”, is not only a sadist, but a hypocrite as well.
Even there might be women who do exceed their husbands in spiritual realization, prove that they do so is that they are discrete about it and help their husbands to advance in spiritual life by dint of their chastity and loyalty. Such heroines are very few and surely highly appreciated by the Supreme Lord. Their chastity is of such a power that when abused it can lead to destruction of whole dynasties as shown in the Battle of Kuruksetra.
Grhasta asrama is a mixed asrama, there is plenty of karma to face and purify still. And so one cannot expect perfection, one can only expect purification. Once a devotee understands that there is no “accidental marriage”, as the word “accident” doesn’t exist in a Vaisnava dictionary, he becomes tolerant u to the point that when one of the partners may fall in maya so badly that he or she opposes Krsna consciousness, he or she will still not activate divorce, but tolerate the results of his previous activities, leaving it up to the Lord to deal with the situation.
Chastity is for a devotee of far higher value as his own emotional wellbeing. At least this is valid for those who may be of ksatriya or brahminical nature.
It was seen that even devotees marrying prior to entering Krsna consciousness tried to tolerate their situation. Some could co-exist despite all the expired romantic notions and some couldn’t do so. Finally the prove is how far one is a devotee and how far not. As Srila Prabhupada commented on grhasta arrangement in general: “If they are devotees, it will be OK.” And so finally the challenge is a spiritual one and not material one and divorce is a spiritual disaster and not only a material one.
At the end of His lila on this planet, Srila Prabhupada wasn’t very happy about his grhasta disciples. He tried what no sannyasi before Him did, he took part in marriage arrangements, he performed the marriage ceremonies Himself, and He encouraged grhastas to take part in His preaching mission to the degree it was never done before. Still he finally concluded:
“This is our Societys,(ISKCON) problem. Women come, and then, husband and wife, they have babies. They are not made for spiritual life. They come for sex. They want enjoyment. They find husband or wife, have sex, babies, then another husband or wife.
Just like dogs going and smelling one vagina, then another. It is not marriage. That has failed. Almost without exception, these marriages have failed. They don’t want to take responsibility, but they want sex. They want to enjoy sex and then take shelter of ISKCON.
I told them everything is arranged, living, everything, you live like a gentleman. But they cannot do. They are not gentleman at all.” (Srila Prabhupada,27th of June 1977)
Let’s prove Srila Prabhupada wrong! Let’s try to be gentleman!