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pautrīṁ rukmy ādadād dhareḥ
rocanāṁ baddha-vairo ’pi
jānann adharmaṁ tad yaunaṁ
Śrīla Śrīdhara Svāmī explains that according to worldly standards one should not give one’s beloved granddaughter to the grandson of one’s bitter enemy. Thus we find the following injunction: dviṣad-annaṁ na bhoktavyaṁ dviṣantaṁ naiva bhojayet. “One should not eat an enemy’s food or feed an enemy.” There is also the following prohibition: asvargyaṁ loka-vidviṣṭaṁ dharmam apy ācaren na tu. “One should not execute religious injunctions if they will obstruct one’s journey to heaven, or if they are odious to human society.”
It should be pointed out here that Lord Kṛṣṇa is not really the enemy of anyone. As the Lord states in the Bhagavad-gītā (5.29), suhṛdaṁ sarva-bhūtānām jñātvā māṁ śāntim ṛcchati: “One achieves peace by understanding that I am the well-wishing friend of every living being.” Although Lord Kṛṣṇa is everyone’s friend, Rukmī could not appreciate this fact and considered Lord Kṛṣṇa his enemy. Still, out of affection for his sister, he gave his granddaughter to Aniruddha.
Finally, we should note that, contrary to the prohibition quoted above, one may not give up the basic principles of spiritual life merely because such principles are unpopular with people in general. As Lord Kṛṣṇa states in the Gītā (18.66), sarva-dharmān parityajya mām ekaṁ śaranaṁ vraja. The last word in spiritual duties is to surrender to the Supreme Lord, and that duty takes precedence over all secondary injunctions. Moreover, in this age Śrī Caitanya Mahāprabhu has kindly presented a sublime process that will attract all sincere people to come to the point of surrendering to the Lord. By following Lord Caitanya’s blissful process of chanting, dancing, feasting and discussing spiritual philosophy, anyone can easily go back home, back to Godhead, for an eternal life of bliss and knowledge.
Still, someone may argue that the members of the Kṛṣṇa consciousness movement should not practice in the Western countries those ceremonies or activities that displease people in general. We respond that even in the Western countries, when people are properly informed of the activities of the Kṛṣṇa consciousness movement, they generally appreciate this great spiritual institution. Those who are especially envious of God will not appreciate any type of religious movement, and since such persons are themselves little better than animals, they cannot impede the great Kṛṣṇa consciousness movement, just as the envious Rukmī could not impede the performance of Lord Kṛṣṇa’s pure pastimes.