SB 1.9.27, Translation: He then explained, by divisions, acts of charity, the pragmatic activities of a king and activities for salvation. Then he described the duties of women and devotees, both briefly and extensively.
SB Canto 4
The words bhartur vrata-dharma-niṣṭhayā indicate that a woman’s duty, or religious principle, is to serve her husband in all conditions.
SB 4.23.20, Translation and Purport: Although she was not accustomed to such difficulties, Queen Arci followed her husband in the regulative principles of living in the forest like great sages. She lay down on the ground and ate only fruits, flowers and leaves, and because she was not fit for these activities, she became frail and thin. Yet because of the pleasure she derived in serving her husband, she did not feel any difficulties. The words bhartur vrata-dharma-niṣṭhayā indicate that a woman’s duty, or religious principle, is to serve her husband in all conditions. In Vedic civilization a man is taught from the beginning of his life to become a brahmacārī, then an ideal gṛhastha, then vānaprastha, then sannyāsī, and the wife is taught just to follow the husband strictly in all conditions of life. After the period of brahmacarya, a man accepts a householder’s life, and the woman is also taught by her parents to be a chaste wife. Thus when a girl and boy are united, both are trained for a life dedicated to a higher purpose. The boy is trained to execute his duty in accordance with the higher purpose of life, and the girl is trained to follow him. The chaste wife’s duty is to keep her husband pleased in householder life in all respects, and when the husband retires from family life, she is to go to the forest and adopt the life of vānaprastha, or vana-vāsī. At that time the wife is to follow her husband and take care of him, just as she took care of him in householder life. But when the husband takes the renounced order of life, namely sannyāsa, the wife is to return home and become a saintly woman, setting an example for her children and daughters-in-law and showing them how to live a life of austerity.
SB Canto 6
A woman’s duty is to be very chaste and faithful to her husband. Then without separate endeavor she will share in all the profit the husband earns.
SB 6.6.1, Purport: After the incidents concerning the loss of his many sons, Dakṣa repented his misunderstanding with Nārada Muni. Lord Brahmā then saw Dakṣa and instructed him to beget children again. This time Dakṣa was very cautious to beget female children instead of male children so that Nārada Muni would not disturb them by urging them to accept the renounced order. Females are not meant for the renounced order of life; they should be faithful to their good husbands, for if a husband is competent for liberation, his wife will also achieve liberation with him. As stated in the śāstra, the results of a husband’s pious activities are shared by his wife. Therefore a woman’s dutyis to be very chaste and faithful to her husband. Then without separate endeavor she will share in all the profit the husband earns.
SB Canto 7
Although the duties of a woman are different from those of a man, a chaste woman is not meant to serve a fallen husband
SB 7.11.28, Purport: Specifically, if one is not a soul surrendered to the Supreme Personality of Godhead, he is understood to be contaminated. Thus a chaste woman is advised not to agree to serve such a husband. It is not that a chaste woman should be like a slave while her husband is naradhama, the lowest of men. Although the duties of a woman are different from those of a man, a chaste woman is not meant to serve a fallen husband. If her husband is fallen, it is recommended that she give up his association. Giving up the association of her husband does not mean, however, that a woman should marry again and thus indulge in prostitution. If a chaste woman unfortunately marries a husband who is fallen, she should live separately from him. Similarly, a husband can separate himself from a woman who is not chaste according to the description of the sastra. The conclusion is that a husband should be a pure Vaisnava and that a woman should be a chaste wife with all the symptoms described in this regard. Then both of them will be happy and make spiritual progress in Krsna consciousness.
CC Antya 7.106, Translation: Hearing this, Lord Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu said, “My dear Vallabha Bhatta, you do not know religious principles. Actually, the first duty of a chaste woman is to carry out the order of her husband.
Other Books by Srila Prabhupada
Krsna, The Supreme Personality of Godhead
In this way, Kṛṣṇa explained the duty of a woman. He also stressed the point of serving the husband
Krsna Book, Chapter 29: In this way, Krsna explained the duty of a woman. He also stressed the point of serving the husband: “Even if he is not of very good character, or even if he is not very rich or fortunate, or even if he is old or invalid on account of continued diseases, whatever her husband’s condition, a woman should not divorce her husband if she actually desires to be elevated to the higher planetary systems after leaving this body. Besides that, it is considered abominable in society if a woman is unfaithful and goes searching for another man. Such habits will deter a woman from being elevated to the heavenly planets, and the results of such habits are very degrading. A married woman should not search for a paramour, for this is not sanctioned by the Vedic principles of life. If you think that you are very much attached to Me and you want My association, I advise you not to personally try to enjoy Me. It is better for you to go home, simply talk about Me and think of Me, and by this process of constantly remembering Me and chanting My names you will surely be elevated to the spiritual platform. There is no need to stand near Me. Please go back home.”
Any way my husband may be, whatever he may be, because I have accepted some gentleman as my husband I must look to his comforts, and whatever his position, it doesn’t matter.” This is the duty of the woman
Lecture on SB 3.28.1 — Honolulu, June 1, 1975:Now, this Devahuti’s position is a perfect woman. She got good father, she got good husband, and she got excellent son. So woman has got three stages in life. Man has got ten stages. These three stages mean that when she is younger, she must live under the protection of father. Just like Devahuti when she was grown up, young, she proposed her father that “I want to marry that gentleman, that yogi.” And the father also offered. So, so long she was not married she remained under the protection of the father. And when she was married she remained with the yogi husband. And she was troubled in so many ways because she was princess, daughter of king. And this yogi, he was in a cottage, no food, no shelter, nothing of the sort. So she had to suffer. She never said that “I am king’s daughter. I was raised in so opulent condition of life. Now I have got a husband who cannot give me a nice apartment, nice food. Divorce him.” No. That was never done. That is not the position. “Any way my husband may be, whatever he may be, because I have accepted some gentleman as my husband I must look to his comforts, and whatever his position, it doesn’t matter.” This is the duty of the woman. But that is Vedic instruction. Nowadays, as soon as there is little discrepancy, disagreement-divorce. Find out another husband. No. She remained. And then she got the nicest child, Personality of Godhead, Kapila. So this is the three stages. Woman should aspire first of all, by his (her) karma one is given the place under a suitable father, and then under suitable husband, and then produce a nice child like Kapiladeva.
Conversations and Morning Walks
1967 Conversations and Morning Walks
A woman’s duty is not to give up her husband even he is not of good character or if he is unfortunate, if he is old, or if he is diseased. Still, husband is worshiped by the wife.
Discourse on Lord Caitanya Play Between Srila Prabhupada and Hayagriva — April 5-6, 1967, San Francisco: Prabhupāda: So one Kṛṣṇa and one gopī, they are dancing. That should be, scene should be… Then the rāsa dance should be stopped and Kṛṣṇa will talk with the gopīs. Kṛṣṇa will say to the gopīs that “My dear friends, you have come to Me in this dead of night. It is not very good because it is the duty of every woman to please her husband. So what your husband will think that you have come in such dead of night? A woman’s duty is not to give up her husband even he is not of good character or if he is unfortunate, if he is old, or if he is diseased. Still, husband is worshiped by the wife. So you have come here, it is very sinful. So you… People will decry it. Please go back. Now we have finished.”
1972 Conversations and Morning Walks
It is still man’s duty to become the husband and woman’s duty to become the wife.
Interview with the New York Times — September 2, 1972, New Vrindaban: John Nordheimer: What is the role of women in Kṛṣṇa consciousness?
Prabhupāda: There is no distinction between men and women.
John Nordheimer: I keep hearing about certain propensities women have that would separate them from propensities men have.
Prabhupāda: Well, it is still man’s duty to become the husband and woman’s duty to become the wife; so these propensities are there. But all this can be adjusted. I have many students and am getting them married, and they are living peacefully and advancing in Kṛṣṇa consciousness. Not that everyone is brahmacārī. We have many gṛhasthas and children. In this way the propensities of the women and those of the man are adjusted. A man wants a woman, and a woman wants a man, so we say, “All right, take it. Live peacefully, but don’t change partners.” We don’t allow divorce; once they’re married there is no separation. Nor do we allow boys and girls to live together as friends. If a man wants a woman and a woman wants a man, they should become united by marriage, live peacefully and advance in Kṛṣṇa consciousness. That is our proposal. In this way all facilities are there in this movement. Our program is to make people become godly, and everyone should help us. Every sane man should help this movement for the good of society.
1975 Conversations and Morning Walks
Woman’s duty is to follow husband. So if the husband is first-class, the wife is first-class, if she sticks to the husband.
Room Conversation with Mr. & Mrs. Wax, Writer and Editing Manager of Playboy Magazine — July 5, 1975, Chicago:
Mrs. Wax: I realize that we’re all considered spirit souls. But can a woman be first-class if she…
Prabhupāda: Anyone can become first-class. Woman can become first-class if she is chaste and very much attached to husband. And if the husband is first-class, she becomes first-class. Because woman’s duty is to follow husband. So if the husband is first-class, the wife is first-class, if she sticks to the husband.
Mrs. Wax: But she can never be first-class unless she has a first class husband.
Prabhupāda: No, she is first class by following faithfully husband. And if the husband is first-class, then woman is first-class.
The duty of the woman after the husband takes sannyāsa is to remain a devotee, widow.
Morning Walk — November 2, 1975, Nairobi:
Brahmānanda: What is the duties of the woman after the husband takes sannyāsa?
Prabhupāda: So remain a devotee, widow. She is not allowed to marry.