1. Good advice about marriage, but they will not take it

    Radha-vallabha: He is nineteen years old, the boy that wrote that. And he made arrangement with another devotee to marry her daughter at a later date. She's only twelve. So I've told him not to do anything until I spoke to you, because I don't think this has ever been done in our movement yet, the Vedic system. So I had a few questions about it. First of all I told them that they shouldn't associate until the actual time that they get married. That's true, isn't it?
    Prabhupada: No, no, [before] marriage, they do not speak. That is the disease in your country, that… There is no objection nineteen-years-old boy and twelve-years girl, it is very good combination, but the culture is so bad that after few days they will separate.
    Radha-vallabha: Yes. That's the actual problem.
    Prabhupada: If they stick to have one husband and one wife, it is very good. Or even the man can marry more than one wife. That is allowed in the Vedic system. The difficulty is nobody remains as wife, nobody remains husband. It is very dangerous. That is against Vedic… Otherwise man can have more than one wife, but woman cannot marry more than one husband. But the system — the boys and girls intermingle so freely, and in your country there is no restriction — naturally it becomes adulterated. That is the danger.
    Radha-vallabha: So he wanted to know that…
    Prabhupada: Knowing or no knowing, they'll not do it even. So what is the use of consulting me? They'll break. They'll promise and they'll break. How you can make them standardized? They will break.
    Radha-vallabha: They have to be responsible people.
    Prabhupada: They'll never become. That is my experience. So what is the use of consulting me? They'll never become. Almost impossible. They'll not keep standardized.
    Radha-vallabha: So then it should just be up to them.
    Prabhupada: What is the use of consulting? They'll promise and they'll break.
    Radha-vallabha: Yes, you were telling me in Hawaii about that, that that is the difficulty. They have no responsibility. All right, I'll tell him that.
    Prabhupada: Otherwise there is no objection. I married; my wife was eleven years old.
    Radha-vallabha: You were responsible, though.
    Prabhupada: Everyone in India responsible. That is Indian culture still.
    Radha-vallabha: When they agree at this young age, they should wait till they get older, right?
    Prabhupada: Yes. Generally a girl attains puberty at fourteen years, thirteen years. In India, because it is tropical climate… I think in Western countries they attain puberty not before fifteen, sixteen years. So although a girl is married before puberty, she is not allowed to go to the husband until she has attained puberty. Formerly, in our days also, after attaining puberty there is another, second marriage. Then the husband and wife live together.
    Radha-vallabha: Is there a minimum age for the man?
    Prabhupada: Minimum age means generally the husband must be older than the wife, at least five years' difference.
    Radha-vallabha: What is the most amount of years they can be different? What is the maximum amount of years there can be difference?
    Prabhupada: Man has no maximum. Even an eighty-years-old man can marry a sixteen-years-old girl. [laughter]
    Radha-vallabha: Because this one devotee has a daughter twelve, and he wanted to marry her to a man twenty-six, but he thought that was too much difference.
    Prabhupada: Yes. That is too much difference. But eight years, ten years usual.
    Radha-vallabha: Eight or ten years is best. So he also wanted to know if…
    Prabhupada: That is healthy.
    Radha-vallabha: He wanted to know also…
    Prabhupada: And in no case… The girl must not be older than the boy. That's not good at all.
    Radha-vallabha: At the time of the agreement, when they are not yet old enough, they do not associate at all. So not until the actual marriage do they associate or wear white or anything like that.
    Prabhupada: No, even they can be married, but no association.

    >>> Ref. VedaBase => Room Conversation — February 27, 1977, Mayapur