How to Marry the Goddess of Fortune
by Dhamesvar Mahaprabhu Das
Krishna is surrounded by thousands of breath-takingly beautiful goddesses of fortune, so unless a devotee learns to respect all women as belonging to the Lord, then he cannot enter the spiritual world. Some may think that this means that one should only aim to become a brahmachari or sannyasi. But in the spiritual world most of the devotees are married, even with the Lord’s goddesses. Krishna is the most generous father.
Shrila Prabhupada writes that, “In the Brahma-samhita it is stated that the Supreme Lord, Govinda, is always served in His abode by many, many millions of goddesses of fortune. Laksmi-sahasra-sata-sambhrama-sevyamanam [Bs. 5.29]. These millions and trillions of goddesses of fortune who reside in the Vaikuntha planets are not exactly consorts of the Supreme Personality of Godhead, but are the wives of the devotees of the Lord and also engage in the service of the Supreme Personality of Godhead.” -SB 3.15.21
So how does a woman in this world become like the goddess of fortune, and how does a man become her husband? When a man and woman individually take full responsibility in seeking to be satisfied, without illicit sex, in a balanced life favorable to Krishna consciousness, then they live like Laksmi and Narayana in Vaikuntha. Illicit sex means masturbation, contraceptive sex, and sodomy. There is nothing inherently wrong with the attractiveness of women, sex life, or family, but misusing them for enjoyment outside of Krishna’s intentions for how we can be happy with Him is a spiritually fatal illusion.
The main enemy of pursuing a Vaikuntha marriage is not lust, but fear. It is only out of fear that jivas resist surrender to Krishna, and His complete and perfect arrangement for their happiness. Illicit sex life is the greatest attachment in the material world, life after life, and neophyte devotees fear what life would be like without it. But Krishna says, “Do not fear”. That is an instruction because spiritual life is such that one can only realize the happiness beyond sense gratification after the leap of faith of practically applying Krishnas words in Bhagavad-Gita. It is a spiritual science.
Lust is never satisfied, leads to suffering, and is based on using others for one’s own sense gratification. But affection without illicit sex is a physical and emotional expression of trust and intimacy. And that trust is earned by taking care of each other spiritually, physically, and emotionally. It may not be pure devotional service, but giving hugs, kisses, and sweet words, rather than selfishly exploiting, can be a healthy and safe means to contain and direct natural desires. It also challenges one to have empathy and patience in negotiating differences between husband and wife without acting outside that sacred union, or demanding.
But it is a gradual process. Liberation is instantaneous when one sincerely says, “Krishna, I am Yours.” But the renewing of the mind in His Name while developing a lifestyle favorable to devotional service is an ongoing journey. So perfection is not expected, but one has to trust that everything will be perfect simply by taking complete shelter of Krishna. Even if a devotee makes mistakes, as long as he remains sincere then he will quickly become purified. Sincere means that he never gives up and he keeps asking, “How can I overcome this obstacle in my service?”
To marry a woman who is like the goddess of fortune does not mean to have impossible expectations of her, but to treat her according to her highest potential, which is who Krishna already sees her to be. It means to not use her for sense gratification, but rather treat her like the valuable companion in self-realization that she is. The goddess of fortune is greater than literally any other woman, not cheap. So a both men and women have to realize that the greatest value in women is not sexual, but spiritual and relational. She is a Vaishnavi, daughter, sister, mother, and friend to many people.