Arrangements made by the Matha
(HinduDharma: Part 11, Kalpa (1 chapters))

Girls must be married at least at the age permitted by the law if not at the age of seven or eight. Towards this purpose we have started the Kanyakadana Trust. Daughters of poor parents must not remain unmarried after they have attained puberty merely because they have no money. The Trust extends help to conduct their marriage on a modest scale. Much merit will be earned by contributing towards such marriage expenses.

Other communities have not degenerated to the same extent as have Brahmins. Among non- Brahmins the dowry system is not as oppressive. Their women do not go to college in such large numbers as their Brahmin sisters do, nor do they, like the latter, go about as freely wherever fancy takes them.

The Trust was created to help daughters of poor families. In my opinion, donations for the Kanyadhana Trust and the Veda Raksana Nidhi Trust must be accepted from Brahmins alone. The reason is that others ought not to be made to pay a penalty for the wrongs perpetrated by the Brahmin. The biggest offence he has committed is that of forsaking Vedic learning. By not conducting the marriage of his daughter at the minimum age permitted by the law he commits an offence equally grave. So it is his responsibility to support the arrangements made to remedy the wrongs done by him. Other communities must not be made to pay for the same. To do so would be to add to the list of his sins. After all, he takes up any calling today, does any job so long as it brings him money. He spends lavishly on clubs, on entertainment, and so on. So is it not reasonable that he should be asked to contribute to the two Trusts?

The Kanyakadana Trust meets the expenses of the tirumangalyam (mangalasutra), the 18- cubit sari, the dhoti for the groom, etc. It is ready to help in conducting a simple, inexpensive wedding.

The arrangements made for the Kanyakadana trust have not yielded the same satisfactory results as those made for the Veda Raksana Nidhi Trust. Not much has been done to solve the problem for which the former body was started. I say this with great regret. The little bit we have done for the corrupted Brahmin community is like administering a concoction made of dried ginger to a man who has swallowed a crowbar. Parents do not in the least worry about damming the swollen stream of adharma. So not many come forward to make use of the Trust. They are no longer worried about their daughters not being married at the right time. They take it easy while their daughters work and earn. What do we do with the Trust? Instead of looking for a groom, parents look for a man who can recommend their daughter for a job. Things have become so bad in our land- it is all so unfortunate. We extend help at best to hold some 50 marriages. Every year 5, 000 women go to work. Ten times that number go looking for a job. So only some 50 girls come to us for help to be married at the minimum age according to the law. The only purpose served by the Trust is that of giving me some satisfaction that I have not failed in my duty.

I have spoken frankly, without mincing words, in the hope that, with their sense of self- respect and sense of urgency aroused, parents will take timely steps to celebrate the marriage of their daughters without losing a moment after the girls are old enough for the same according to the law.

"Hindu Dharma" is a book which contains English translation of certain invaluable and engrossing speeches of Sri Sri Sri Chandrasekharendra Saraswathi MahaSwamiji (at various times during the years 1907 to 1994).
For a general background, please see here