|Canto 3: The Status Quo||Chapter 23: Devahūti's Lamentation|
Bhaktivedanta VedaBase: Śrīmad Bhāgavatam 3.23.4-5
sa vai devarṣi-varyas tāḿ
daivād garīyasaḥ patyur
kālena bhūyasā kṣāmāḿ
saḥ — he (Kardama); vai — certainly; deva-ṛṣi — of the celestial sages; varyaḥ — the foremost; tām — her; mānavīm — the daughter of Manu; samanuvratām — fully devoted; daivāt — than providence; garīyasaḥ — who was greater; patyuḥ — from her husband; āśāsānām — expecting; mahā-āśiṣaḥ — great blessings; kālena bhūyasā — for a long time; kṣāmām — weak; karśitām — emaciated; vrata-caryayā — by religious observances; prema — with love; gadgadayā — stammering; vācā — with a voice; pīḍitaḥ — overcome; kṛpayā — with compassion; abravīt — he said.
The daughter of Manu, who was fully devoted to her husband, looked upon him as greater even than providence. Thus she expected great blessings from him. Having served him for a long time, she grew weak and emaciated due to her religious observances. Seeing her condition, Kardama, the foremost of celestial sages, was overcome with compassion and spoke to her in a voice choked with great love.
The wife is expected to be of the same category as the husband. She must be prepared to follow the principles of the husband, and then there will be happy life. If the husband is a devotee and the wife is materialistic, there cannot be any peace in the home. The wife must see the tendencies of the husband and must be prepared to follow him. From Mahābhārata we learn that when Gāndhārī understood that her would-be husband, Dhṛtarāṣṭra, was blind, she immediately began to practice blindness herself. Thus she covered her eyes and played the part of a blind woman. She decided that since her husband was blind, she must also act like a blind woman, otherwise she would be proud of her eyes, and her husband would be seen as inferior. The word samanuvrata indicates that it is the duty of a wife to adopt the special circumstances in which the husband is situated. Of course, if the husband is as great as Kardama Muni, then a very good result accrues from following him. But even if the husband is not a great devotee like Kardama Muni, it is the wife's duty to adapt herself according to his mentality. That makes married life very happy. It is also mentioned herein that by following the strict vows of a chaste woman, Princess Devahūti became very skinny, and therefore her husband became compassionate. He knew that she was the daughter of a great king and yet was serving him just like an ordinary woman. She was reduced in health by such activities, and he became compassionate and addressed her as follows.
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His Divine Grace A. C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupāda, Founder Ācārya of the International Society for Krishna Consciousness