|Canto 5: The Creative Impetus||Chapter 18: The Prayers Offered to the Lord by the Residents of Jambūdvīpa|
Bhaktivedanta VedaBase: Śrīmad Bhāgavatam 5.18.19
striyo vratais tvā hṛṣīkeśvaraḿ svato
hy ārādhya loke patim āśāsate 'nyam
tāsāḿ na te vai paripānty apatyaḿ
priyaḿ dhanāyūḿṣi yato 'sva-tantrāḥ
striyaḥ — all women; vrataiḥ — by observing fasting and other vows; tvā — you; hṛṣīkeśvaram — the Supreme Personality of Godhead, master of the senses; svataḥ — of your own accord; hi — certainly; ārādhya — worshiping; loke — in the world; patim — a husband; āśāsate — ask for; anyam — another; tāsām — of all those women; na — not; te — the husbands; vai — indeed; paripānti — able to protect; apatyam — the children; priyam — very dear; dhana — the wealth; āyūḿṣi — or the duration of life; yataḥ — because; asva-tantrāḥ — dependent.
My dear Lord, You are certainly the fully independent master of all the senses. Therefore all women who worship You by strictly observing vows because they wish to acquire a husband to satisfy their senses are surely under illusion. They do not know that such a husband cannot actually give protection to them or their children. Nor can he protect their wealth or duration of life, for he himself is dependent on time, fruitive results and the modes of nature, which are all subordinate to You.
In this verse, Lakṣmīdevī (Ramā) shows compassion toward women who worship the Lord for the benediction of possessing a good husband. Although such women desire to be happy with children, wealth, a long duration of life and everything dear to them, they cannot possibly do so. In the material world, a so-called husband is dependent on the control of the Supreme Personality of Godhead. There are many examples of a woman whose husband, being dependent on the result of his own fruitive actions, cannot maintain his wife, her children, her wealth or her duration of life. Therefore, factually the only real husband of all women is Kṛṣṇa, the supreme husband. Because the gopīs were liberated souls, they understood this fact. Therefore they rejected their material husbands and accepted Kṛṣṇa as their real husband. Kṛṣṇa is the real husband not only of the gopīs, but of every living entity. Everyone should perfectly understand that Kṛṣṇa is the real husband of all living entities, who are described in the Bhagavad-gītā as prakṛti (female), not puruṣa (male). In Bhagavad-gītā (10.12), only Kṛṣṇa is addressed as puruṣa:
paraḿ brahma paraḿ dhāma
pavitraḿ paramaḿ bhavān
puruṣaḿ śāśvataḿ divyam
ādi-devam ajaḿ vibhum
"You are the Supreme Brahman, the ultimate, the supreme abode and purifier, the Absolute Truth and the eternal divine person. You are the primal God, transcendental and original, and You are the unborn and all-pervading beauty."
Kṛṣṇa is the original puruṣa, and the living entities are prakṛti. Thus Kṛṣṇa is the enjoyer, and all living entities are meant to be enjoyed by Him. Therefore any woman who seeks a material husband for her protection, or any man who desires to become the husband of a woman, is under illusion. To become a husband means to maintain a wife and children nicely by supplying wealth and security. However, a material husband cannot possibly do this, for he is dependent on his karma. Karmaṇā-daiva-netreṇa: his circumstances are determined by his past fruitive activities. Therefore if one proudly thinks he can protect his wife, he is under illusion. Kṛṣṇa is the only husband, and therefore the relationship between a husband and wife in this material world cannot be absolute. Because we have the desire to marry, Kṛṣṇa mercifully allows the so-called husband to possess a wife, and the wife to possess a so-called husband, for mutual satisfaction. In the Īśopaniṣad it is said, tena tyaktena bhuñjīthā: the Lord provides everyone with his quota. Actually, however, every living entity is prakṛti, or female, and Kṛṣṇa is the only husband.
ekale īśvara kṛṣṇa, āra saba bhṛtya
yāre yaiche nācāya, se taiche kare nṛtya
(Cc. Ādi 5.142)
Kṛṣṇa is the original master or husband of everyone, and all other living entities, having taken the form of so-called husbands, or wives, are dancing according to His desire. A so-called husband may unite with his wife for sense gratification, but his senses are conducted by Hṛṣīkeśa, the master of the senses, who is therefore the actual husband.
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His Divine Grace A. C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupāda, Founder Ācārya of the International Society for Krishna Consciousness