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sukanya cyavanam prapya
prinayam asa citta-jña
Translation by His Divine Grace A. C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Srila Prabhupada:
Cyavana Muni was very irritable, but since Sukanya had gotten him as her husband, she dealt with him carefully, according to his mood. Knowing his mind, she performed service to him without being bewildered.
Purport by His Divine Grace A. C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Srila Prabhupada:
This is an indication of the relationship between husband and wife. A great personality like Cyavana Muni has the temperament of always wanting to be in a superior position. Such a person cannot submit to anyone. Therefore, Cyavana Muni had an irritable temperament. His wife, Sukanya, could understand his attitude, and under the circumstances she treated him accordingly. If any wife wants to be happy with her husband, she must try to understand her husband’s temperament and please him. This is victory for a woman. Even in the dealings of Lord Krsna with His different queens, it has been seen that although the queens were the daughters of great kings, they placed themselves before Lord Krsna as His maidservants. However great a woman may be, she must place herself before her husband in this way; that is to say, she must be ready to carry out her husband’s orders and please him in all circumstances. Then her life will be successful. When the wife becomes as irritable as the husband, their life at home is sure to be disturbed or ultimately completely broken. In the modern day, the wife is never submissive, and therefore home life is broken even by slight incidents. Either the wife or the husband may take advantage of the divorce laws. According to the Vedic law, however, there is no such thing as divorce laws, and a woman must be trained to be submissive to the will of her husband. Westerners contend that this is a slave mentality for the wife, but factually it is not; it is the tactic by which a woman can conquer the heart of her husband, however irritable or cruel he may be. In this case we clearly see that although Cyavana Muni was not young but indeed old enough to be Sukanya’s grandfather and was also very irritable, Sukanya, the beautiful young daughter of a king, submitted herself to her old husband and tried to please him in all respects. Thus she was a faithful and chaste wife.