Formerly, in our days, younger days, although the girl was married at an early age, she was not allowed to see her husband unless she is grown up fully. Unless she has attained puberty, she is not . . . she lives with her parents, but she knows that, "I have got my husband." This consciousness is a great pleasure for a women psychologically that, "I have got husband." A very nice system. And when the girl grows up, puberty, then again another ceremony is taken. That is almost like second marriage. The girl goes to her husband, to live with her husband. This was the system.
So women were taken so much care by the Vedic civilization. Still they are taken. It is the duty of the father . . . until she is married, it is the duty of the father to give her all protection. Therefore the father wants to get her married, to get relief from the responsibility. He has a great responsibility. It is called kanyā-dāya. Actually, the word is called kanyā-dāya. Putra-ṛṇa. Ṛṇa means debt. If you are debtor to somebody you may not pay it, saying, "Sir, I have no money.
Whatever you like, you can do." But dāya means a great burden. It must be get relief from. Dāya means a great responsibility. Dāya. Dāya-bhāk. Just like a son inherits the property of the father . . . it is called dāya-bhāk, law. Similarly, this is the, I mean to say, most obligatory duty of the father, to get the daughter married. And then it is the duty of the husband next. Just like we get . . . when we perform marriage ceremony in our Society, we get the husband promise that he takes charge of the girl for life. And the girl agrees to serve the boy for life. There is no question of divorce.
So the father hands over the charge to a nice boy. Never mind he is rich or no. That doesn't matter. He must be a responsible boy, who knows his responsibility. Not that, "Today I marry, and tomorrow I go away. That's all." Not like that. Still you will find in India even the poorest man, living with husband and wife very happily. Still you will find. I have seen, Ahmedabad. One day I saw in the street one husband and wife pulling on a ṭhelā, hand-cart, with great load, and the small child is on the load. That means their child. They are laborer class. But ordinary laborer class, poor man, but they are living, husband and wife and children, happily. Still.
So marriage is very compulsory in Vedic system, because who is to take charge of the woman? They require protection. The father must take charge naturally, or the husband. And when she is old . . . just like Caitanya Mahāprabhu was taking charge of His widow mother. So when He took sannyāsa, so mother became very much upset: "Oh," that "I have no husband, and this boy is going to take sannyāsa." Naturally. But that is a different case. For Kṛṣṇa's sake we can forsake our obligatory duties. For Kṛṣṇa's sake. In the śāstra it is said that one who has fully surrendered to Kṛṣṇa, he has no more any material duty. Neither he has got any obligation that he must perform. But so long he is not fully surrendered to Kṛṣṇa, he has to execute each and every duty as obligatory.