Graceful acknowledgementsTo the Existence SupremeTo the Sadgurus, Rishis , Masters and SaintsTo Sadguru PrabhuTo Guruji SatyanarayanTo Guruji SuryanarayanTo All AtmajyothisTo Chandru Adiga and familyTo Gopalkrishna BhatTo Subramanya AdigaTo my parents Smt Sai Lakshmi and Shri Nanda KumarTo my in-laws Smt Subbalakshmi and Shri Chandramouli RaoTo my brother Mohan Kumar and sister-in-law Vijeta PrabhuTo Smt Champakamala and Shri BhagawanTo Smt Ramya and Shri Arun
Contents 1. Introduction 2. Rukmini Kalyana 3. Contemplation on the story 4. Types of Vivah 5. Samskaras 6. Grihastashrama 7. Purpose of Marriage 8. Process and Spiritual meaning 9. Spirituality and Marriage 10. Great people on Marriage
IntroductionA Zen student asked his master:“Where can I find peace of mind?”“Find the point where the past is over and the future is yet to begin,” replied the Master.The truth is, we are seekers, all of us. We may seek at many different levels. We may seekconsciously or unconsciously, but we all seek. What do we seek? Well that’s a tough questionyou might think, millions of people, millions of minds, and the same mind seeks infinitely! Ifwe look deeper we will find that we all seek the same thing, which can be simply put as ‘Peaceand Happiness’. We all want many different things, wealth, women, success, fame etc….why?Because we think if we get that we will be happy, which is true, the mind becomes happywhen its desire is met, it becomes peaceful, temporarily though. We do things for ourselvesand others, in both the cases, rather in all cases the deeper intention that we have is our ownpeace and happiness that is what we all really want. Well there’s nothing wrong in that, butthe problem starts when we let our peace and happiness depend on something outside of us,for the simple reason that….everything changes! Nothing lasts, most people learn it the hardway. Now, how is one to find this permanent peace and happiness? Firstly, is there such athing called permanent peace and happiness? Yes there is, and only the people who havefound it can show the way. In this book we will see how marriage can be the path to thishighest goal of mankind.To begin with, one needs to know where he or she is. This comes from questioning, why am Ilike this? Why is the world like this? Who am I? Why do these things happen to me? Who isgod? How did creation happen? What is the truth? So on and so forth. The questioningcomes from either of the 2 causes, confusion within or calamity without, disturbance. This iswhere seeking for the higher begins. One might be comfortable outside but within himself, inhis mind he might be disturbed, example Buddha. He was a king, he had everything, yet hewas shaken within.
Secondly, you might be ignorantly blissful within but disaster is struck outside. But please dobear in mind that even though you are confused or disturbed, within or without or both,only if the seeking is from deep within will you find a permanent way out.After realizing where he or she is the person plans where to go, they look forward to the end,of finding permanent peace and happiness. Finally comes the step of ‘how to go?’This is what is illustrated in the above story. A seeker approaches a living master, who is theembodiment of the highest truth, and asks him the way to be at peace. A true master is aperson who is the master of himself, this is how he is able to guide you. The master will bemost helpful if you have deep respect and faith in him. His unsaid promise is that that he willhold up his end, the rest is in your hands. We are not at peace because we are not in the present moment. All actions we do are only for2 reasons and 2 reasons alone! It is either, to get something that we don’t have or to maintainwhat we already have. The mind is always running between the past and future, when it istruly in the present, you are at peace. But how can we get the mind to always be in thepresent? How can we master our minds? The mind is just a bundle of thoughts, the thoughtsare the cause and thoughts are the effect. Our thoughts make us who we are, if we have tochange we have to change our thoughts. The thought creates the thinker, if there are nothoughts where is the thinker? Where are you? What remains is only the highest reality. LikeAdi Shankaracharya said in the Bhaja Govindam – “Parame brahmani ko’pi na saktah” noone thinks about the Supreme Reality, the highest truth, which is beyond all names andforms, beyond the mind and its experiences, a state of just being, infinite bliss, stillness,compassion, unconditional love and highest wisdom. This is the divinity within each andevery being, human beings have the potential to realize this. This is the highest goal, this isthe purpose of life, the purpose to be complete, the purpose to be wise, to be compassionate,to just be! What you constantly think of you become that.Talking about purpose lets now come to the purpose of this book. As the Sadgurus say, thepurpose of life can be narrowed down to just one phrase “Atmano mokshartam, jagathitayacha”. This is the formula, anything that you do, if you keep this as the reference youwon’t go wrong. Atmano Mokshartam- what you do for your own purification, for your ownliberation. Jagat Hitayacha- what you do for other to bring peace and happiness in theirlives. It’s all about purifying the mind, the cleaner you get, more the divinity shines throughyou.Marriage is discussed about in many ways, as an institution, as a security, as a socialobligation, as a custom, as a ritual etc. In this book we will try to understand marriage as apurification process, as a yajna. This is what it was meant for. ‘Vivah’ is one of the 16Samskaras in Hinduism. Samskara means that which purifies. In ancient times theyconsidered marriage as purifying. Purifying a man and a woman so that they can individuallyevolve to their best through each other. The ritual, the process of the marriage ceremony canbe purifying if one knows what they really mean. This book will help those seekers who seekthe highest truth by giving them a vision of how we can be free from our concepts and seedivinity within and in the world and realize what great wisdom has been left behind for us bythe great Rishis and Masters. We will try to look deeper into some of the rituals and see thespiritual dimension of marriage.
Rukmini KalyanaBelow is a short narration of Lord Krishna’s marriage with Rukmini.Rukmini was the daughter of Maharaja Bhismaka, the King of Vidarbha. The King had 5 sonsand one daughter. The sons were, Rukmi the eldest, Rukmaratha, Rukmabahu, Rukmakeseand the fifth Rukmamali. The brothers had one young sister, Rukmini. Rukmini was a verybeautiful young girl and pure of heart. Many great men visited the palace, like Narada Muniand other saints and sages. When Rukmini would interact with them she would hear storiesof Krishna and his transcendental qualities. She had never seen him, she grew great respectfor him and desired to marry him. All of the King’s family members and relatives decided togive Rukmini in marriage to Krishna. However her elder brother Rukmi was against it. Hewanted to get her married to his friend Sisupala. Sisupala was not a good man but the Kinghad to agree to this because of Rukmi his eldest son. Rukmini was very sad about this andshe decided to do something about it. She wrote a letter to Krishna asking him to come takeher away if he felt that she deserved him. She gave the letter to a noble Brahmana and askedhim to deliver it to Krishna in Dvaraka. The Brahmana took the letter and left to Dvaraka.Reaching there he informed the doorkeeper of his arrival, and the doorkeeper led him toKrishna. Krishna received the guest with great respect. Later they discussed the purpose ofthe Brahmana’s visit. The Brahmana explained the situation and gave Krishna the letter fromRukmini. In the letter Rukmini had confessed her unconditional love for the Lord and howshe has surrendered to this divine nature, she also confessed her desire to marry him andnow that her marriage was fixed with Sisupala she wanted Krishna to come kidnap her fromher Kingdom. She explained that it was a custom in her family to visit the temple of thegoddess Durga, their family deity before marriage. She suggested that it would be easier forhim to kidnap her either while she is on her way to the temple on her way back to the palace.Krishna was very pleased with Rukmini’s letter and he decided to leave immediately toVidarbha. Meanwhile, all the wedding arrangements were in progress at Vidarbha. Somerumours had spread about Rumini sending a secret messenger to Krishna so the soldierswere prepared. Inside the palace Rukmini was waiting for Krishna and the Brahmana tocome, she became anxious. She then saw that the Brahmana had returned and she was veryhappy, the Brahmana told her that Krishna is in the Kingdom and is willing to take her away.
Rukmini got nicely dressed and left for the temple with her family guarded by a lot ofsoldiers. After the prayers in the temple when she came out, among a lot of princes who wereoutside waiting to see her was Krishna. He took her by hand and drove away in his chariot.He fought many men, he was supported by his brother Balrama who had come there with hisarmy.When Rukmi learnt about this he immediately left to kill Krishna and get Rukmini back.Rukmi stopped them on their way to Dvaraka and fought Krishna, but in vain. He lost thebattle and Krishna would kill him, then he saw Rukmini at his feet requesting him to spareher brother’s life. However Krishna shaved Rukmi’s head and moustache, a humiliationwhich was worse than death.Krishna and Rukmini reached Dvaraka and had a grand marriage ceremony according toVedic ritualistic principle. The entire city was very happy with their marriage. People camefrom all over to see their marriage ceremony, even Rukmini’s family and relatives were there.It was an auspicious and glorious day, the Lord of all beings and goddess of fortune wereunited.
Contemplation on the story janma karma ca me divyam evam yo vetti tattvatah tyaktva deham punar janma naiti mam eti so ’rjuna Bhagavad Gita -Ch4 Verse 9"One who knows the transcendental nature of My Birth and activities does not, upon leavingthe body, take his birth again in this material world, but attains My eternal abode, O Arjuna."The Lord says in the Gita the above shloka which means, that a man attains the highest if hetruly understands the Birth and activities of the Lord. The lord is infinite, when he says ’My’,it refers to all who have realized the highest, the Sadguru, the Jnani. ‘Guru sakshat para-brahma’ , A Sadguru is the Lord himself in Human Form. So, try to understand the life, theliving, the actions, the love, the compassion, the wisdom of a Jnani, of Buddha or Mahaveeror Ramakrishna Paramahamsa, of Krishna, of Rama. They had attained the highest, theyhave completely dissolved in Pure Consciousness, and they had nothing more to do forthemselves, nothing to gain materially or spiritually. What we need to understand is theintention behind their action, the wisdom behind it, and their compassion behind it. Weneed to be in tune with their nature. Their true nature is of bliss, unconditional love,compassion and highest wisdom, which is actually the true nature of everybody, but we haveforgotten it. On this path to go back to our true self we can take the help of these stories. Avery long time ago when the great beings realized the highest they wanted to pass it down tous all, they knew that it needed to be protected if it had to last a very long time, and that’swhy they hid the truth in stories, and it worked! We all know the stories, so do our elders andso will our kids. But does anybody know the truth? Can anyone see the greatest treasure thathas been left for us in these stories?Since the book is about marriage, we have taken a story relevant to it. Now, all these storieshave two aspects to them, one, let’s call it a Macro aspect, this refers to what actuallyhappened, outside, example, war or magic, about kings and drama etc, basically the storyoutside what you can see, that which you have understood from reading the above story.
However, more importantly there is a Micro aspect, the second one, the spiritual aspect, thisis what the story was meant for in reality which we don’t know, until now. The micro aspectdeals with how the story applies within you. All the characters are within you. All thesestories are about ‘you’.Let’s now try to understand the truth in the story. Krishna represent the highest, pureconsciousness, the one who is one with infinity, the one who’s ego is destroyed, a jnani, aSadguru. Rukmini represents that part of us which is inclined towards God. On hearingabout the Guru or reading about him, maybe through any medium that we get to know aboutan Evolved person, we grow closer to them, we desire them. If we do meet such a divinebeing, one would want to always be with Him or Her, because there is so much peace in theirpresence, something inexplicable happens.Within oneself both Krishna and Rukmini are there. We first try to be Rukmini seeking theLord who is within. Tragically there are other characters as well, Rukmi, the Ego. The Egowants its way, Rukmi, the Ego wants its Sister Rukmini, the intellect, to get married toSisupala, the desire. We don’t allow ourselves to be at peace, we are afraid of Satsangs,spirituality, meditation, silence. No, we can’t do it. We want to run! We want to become verypowerful, our desires are endless, and so we allow our minds to wander outside. The mindgoing outside is Rukmini marrying Sisupala, the mind going to the Self within is Krishnamarrying Rukmini. How will the mind go within? Ah, like in the story Rukmini has to send aletter to Krishna to come take her. She sends a Brahmana, which refers to all you good deeds,your good karma and sincere seeking is your calling the Lord, the Sadguru. He will come andkidnap your intellect, he will come and save you from suffering, he will put an end to it. Butno, the Ego won’t give up, it will try to fight the Highest, it will try to fight with ‘No Ego’, andthat is when it will fail miserably and die. The Ego can fight with another Ego, the mind canunderstand another mind but it can’t stand against the universal mind. The Sadguru willdestroy your Ego and you will unite with Him, this is Jeevan Mukti, Liberation.The story of Rukmini Kalyana actually sets and example, it conveys the purpose of marriageand the types of marriage too. What we can see at first is the kidnapping and the shaving ofthe head and the fighting, have we tried to see beyond all these? Have we tried to understandwhat Dharma is from Krishna’s action? Do you think, the Lord who sang the Bhagavad Gitafor mankind, would do Adharma? No, there must be something that we are missing. Let usnow try to understand the story in a Macro aspect better.
Types of MarriageLong ago in ancient India the mode of marriage was ‘Swayamvara’, which meant that the girlwould chose whom she would marry. The girl would undergo her education at home fromthe Father, when the time came she would chose a man more spiritually evolved than herand get married to him. They would then live their life seeing the Lord in each other and inall and work hand in hand in Dharma, Artha, Kama and Moksha. This is what happened withRukmini too. She chose Krishna for all the right reasons, not out of lust or infatuation orignorance, but out of deep love and Respect, out of Bhakti.Rukmi wanted to get Rukmini married to Sisupala against her will, here we can see two moretypes of Marriage. First is ‘Asura Vivaha’, which means when a girl is to marry a man withAsuric(Demonic) qualities, this type of marriage is against the girl’s will. Like in the story,Rukmini had to marry Sisupala who was not at all suitable for her, but because of the Rukmiher brother she had to agree. Secondly, there is ‘Rakshasa Vivah’, in this type of marriage thebride is taken away by force against her will, she is kidnapped and persuaded to marry.Krishna did not kidnap Rukmini, Sisupala was trying to kidnap her! Krishna saved her.Rukmini was more than willing to go with Krishna. Krishna had to act fast, at that momentin time he did what was necessary, to be righteous is to be able to do what is right, to doDharma. How do we know what is right? By doing what you do, if your peace is not disturbedand you do not bring disturbance to others then that is the right thing to do. It was a fightagainst good and evil, evil losing is also good.The next type of marriage that we see in the story is ‘Gandharva Vivah’, when a man and awoman marry with each other’s consent but may not have the consent of their family thenthis wedding is called Gandharva Vivah. After reading Rukmini’s letter when Krishna acceptsand decides to marry Rukmini, that is the moment when they got married. Marriage is notwhat is put on paper or what is done socially, it is the inner bond between two matureindividuals. When they both decide in silence then that is it, the rest is for the world.We finally come to the last type of marriage that we see in the story and that is ‘BrahmaVivah’ In Brahma marriage once the boy completes his Brahmacharya Ashram (studenthood), he is eligible to get married. His parents then approach the parents or guardian of agirl belonging to a good family and same Varna and ask them for the hand of their daughterfor their son. The father of the girl also carefully chooses the groom who is well versed inVedas and of a noble character. This is how Brahma marriage was arranged. There was nodowry system at that time, a girl came with two garments and a few ornaments only.According to Dharmashastras, "Brahma Vivah" is the best marriage among all.
When 2 evolved beings come together to get married, understanding its purpose andunderstanding the process, the rituals and their deeper meaning, understanding the spiritualdimension of marriage then it is called ‘Brahma Vivah’, and this is what Krishna andRukmini had when they went back to Dvaraka.There are a few more types of marriages mentioned below.-Daiva Vivah: In this type of marriage the girls family wait for a reasonable period for asuitable man for their daughter but when nobody turns up they go looking for a groom insuch places where a sacrifice is being conducted and they used to get her married to a priest.-Arsha Vivah: In this type of marriage the bridegroom gives a cow and a pair of bull to theguardian of girl. Marriages of this type used to happen because the parents of the bridecouldnt afford the expense of their daughters marriage at the right time according to thebrahma rite. So the girl is married off to an old sage. The cows, which were taken in exchangeof the bride shows that even the groom does not have any remarkable qualities. According tosastras noble marriages had no monetary or business transactions so this kind of marriageswas not considered noble.-Prajapatya Vivah: In this type of marriage, the brides father goes in search for a groom forhis daughter. The protection of the bride or daughter is handed over by the father to thebridegroom during the Panigrahan ceremony or the acceptance of the brides hands. Theactual wedding ceremony takes place after Panigrahan(Details are disucess further in thebook).-Paishacha Vivah: In this type of marriage the girls wish is not considered whether shewants to marry or not instead she is forced to marry and even the brides family is not givenanything in cash or kind. It is considered as the most inferior type of marriage.
SamskarasTwo monks were returning to the monastery in the evening. It had rained and there werepuddles of water on the road. At one place a beautiful young woman was standing unable towalk across because of a puddle of water. The elder of the two monks went up to her, carriedher and left her on the other side of the road.The younger monk who was watching all this was in confusion, he was in his mindquestioning the actions of his brother monk, but he did not find the courage to ask him. Allthe way he was thinking about the incident, he just could not figure it out. When theyreached their destination the younger monk managed to gather strength and he asked theelder monk, "Sir, as monks, we cannot touch a woman?” The elder monk answered "yes,brother". The younger monk asks again, "but then Sir, how is that you carried that womanon the Roadside?”The elder monk questioned "which woman brother?”“The one you left on to the other side of the road!” exclaimed the young monkThe elder monk smiled at him and told him “I left her on the other side of the road, why areyou still carrying her”.Just like the young monk, we all carry forward so much suffering, so many memories, hate,pain, accomplishments, impressions, and we get into a vicious cycle. If we look at medicalcase histories we see that most of the diseases are because of carrying, suppressed emotions,anger, envy etc. And these are of not just of one lifetime, millions of births that we havetaken. It is by the grace of the lord that we do not remember the past lifetimes, otherwiseimagine, there is so much pain just with the memory of this lifetime, what would be our stateif we could recall all!
Our mind is like a garden, due to our unawareness and ignorance a lot of weeds have grown,unwanted plants, poisonous plants, which are harmful for oneself and the garden of others.What we need to start doing is take the responsibility of a gardener. Your garden is the way itis because of you. If you want beauty then start working. First start with chopping of theunwanted plants and start planting new seeds. This is the process of purification. Purpose ofpurification is so that you can have a beautiful garden, a beautiful mind, which bearsdelicious fruit, someone somewhere will eat it. Example Buddha, Buddha was one such greatgarden, we are still eating his fruits, and it’s still growing. Our mind is our responsibility, weneed to understand that we need to clean it, otherwise it’s no good for us and others. Just goon chopping unwanted plants and put good seeds, don’t worry about the fruits and who willeat them and how tasty they will be. Just be the gardener.Our Rishis, the great gardeners gave a structure to this gardening process, and they arecalled Samskaras. A Samskara is that which purifies. All that is required for a man to reachhis highest evolution. It is a continuous process, birth to death. They laid down 16 samskarasin the Vedas. Here we are interested with the 15th Samskara, which is ‘Vivah’ marriage. Asmentioned before Marriage is a purification process, it is Gardening, to create two beautifulgardens, to create two beautiful human beings, internally, who will benefit the world in thebest possible way.Marriage becomes a samskara when it becomes internal. Marriage is not about sex, it is notabout security, it is not about success, it has got nothing to do with anything outside. But youmight ask, the wife or the husband is outside, how is it not about anything outside? In anignorant marriage there are two, in a wise marriage there is only one. This is how it becomespurifying, marriage is the process of two becoming one. Because we do not have the ancientapproach towards marriage it is what it is today. Instead of two becoming one, two havebecome many! Instead of purifying it has become polluting, one and many minds. All weneed to do is to have a little understanding. On one side there is a wise old man who has seenlife and has all kinds of experiences, has made mistakes, has evolved, has found peace. Onthe other side you have a young chap, ignorant, driven by his impressions and false conceptsof life and love. Now, if you are disturbed, who do you go to for advice? India is such an oldnation. Here is where we have ‘Sanatana Dharma’, ‘Sanatana’ means very old, ancient. Allour scriptures and Shastras are on the foundation of the highest truth realized by the greatmaster who left us these messages so that even we can see what they saw, so that even we canexperience and realize the highest and come out of suffering by finding the Lord within.Unfortunately we have chosen to listen to the younger chap, and we join him in his fatalerrors and create a future of more suffering for all.Marriage as a Samskara has certain code of conduct, certain rituals to be performed,however all of these are just sign boards pointing to the highest reality. They carry deepmeaning which will be discussed in further chapters. One might think that they haveperformed all the rituals correctly and are steadfast in their daily religious activities, yet theyare not at peace, why?What purifies or pollutes the mind are not the actions, it’s the intention behind the action. Ifyour intentions are selfish they pollute. Krishna says in the Gita
kayena manasa buddhya kevalair indriyair api yoginah karma kurvanti sangam tyaktvatma-shuddhaye - Ch 4 Verse 11"The yogis, abandoning attachment, act with body, mind, intelligence and even with thesenses, only for the purpose of purification” Yoga means to unite. Unite the individual with the supreme. Marriage can be yoga. One onthis spiritual path is called a yogi. As mentioned earlier, all the actions we do are only for tworeasons, either to get something that we do not have or to maintain that which we alreadyhave. When our actions are because of our desires, our desires arise from thought and ourthoughts arise from our impressions, impressions are left because of our attachments of ‘I’‘Me’ and ‘Mine’.Hence, when you engage in selfless activity with awareness, you create no more impressions,cleaning starts happening within and disturbance of the mind reduces. When the mind issilent the Lord can be seen. Marriage becomes purifying when the husband and wife see thedivine in each other, when they help each other selflessly, when they serve each. Whateverthey do together becomes purifying when they both do it in awareness, when they both haveunderstood the purpose of marriage and life.
GrihastashramaUnlike recent time, in the olden days in India there were no educational institutions. Youngboys were sent to the forests and young girls would be taught at home by their father. Theboys would reside at the house of the Guru, this place was called ‘Ashrama’. Ashrama meansa place where you get protection. Wherever a Jnani is, a Sadguru is, that is Ashrama. Andwhat is protected is your inner peace, your state of mind. The outside situation might changeor be the same, but because of the grace of the guru, you will be still. Jesus was tortured andcrucified, the situation outside was horrific, but within, he was peaceful, he was calm, he wasloving and compassionate. From the moment Krishna was born there were so many out tokill him, but he was never disturbed. What we must learn is that outside situations are notthe cause for your peace and happiness, it is what you have inside. We read in the papersabout deaths, killing, suicide, and who are these people? Celebrities, students, educated menand women etc. If one can find peace within, then no calamity outside can disturb him.Ashrama was a place where one would learn this. The guru would teach the students how tolive a life of Dharma.Griha means Home, Sta means ‘to stay’, so Grihasta would mean, one who stays at home.Now let’s understand what home is. Home is a place where you are at peace. The only placewhere you will be at peace is deep within you, in your true self, when you mind is silent. Youexperience that when you are in deep sleep, you go home, but you are not aware of it. A Jnanior a Sadguru has realized his true self he is settled in his ‘self’ that is why nothing outsidebothers his peace. Grihasta is a man who is in tune with his real self, who works within theframe work of Grihasta Dharma, then, his life becomes Grihastashrama. When his evolutionwithin compliments outside living, then it becomes Grihastashrama.Marriage should be Grihastashrama, it should bring peace within both husband and wife,and they intern should work together to bring peace to the world. Grihastashrama involvescertain code of conduct aligned with the purpose of purification and service. It is said thatGrihastashrama is the best of all ashrams because it is the one that feeds the other ashramas
A Grihasta is a Karma yogi, yajnarthat karmano ’nyatra loko ’yam karma-bandhanah tad-artham karma kaunteya mukta-sangah samacara - Ch 3Verse 9"The world is bound by actions other than those performed for the sake of Yajna. Dotherefore, O son of Kunti, earnestly perform action as Yajna alone, free from attachments.”Everything in Nature exists as an offering to everything else. The wind blows, expectsnothing. The trees give shade, fruit, wood, and expects nothing. River flows, and provides lifeto many, and expects nothing for itself. The nature of nature is to give, to offer, for thebenefit of all. This is Yajna. Yajna is not only the ritual but all your actions can be Yajna. Allofferings are not Yajna, you can offer your friend a smoke, you don’t expect anything, yet,that is not Yajna. Actions done selflessly that purifies oneself and benefits others is calledYajna.For a Grihasta the following 5 Yajnas are prescribed. 1. Rishi Yajna- Teaching about the higher reality 2. Pitru Yajna- Taking care of Parents and elders 3. Deva Yajna- Protecting nature, planting trees etc 4. Bhuta Yajna- Taking care of animals 5. Manushya Yajna- serving other people in whatever way possible.
All our Rishis were Grihastas, and they all prospered as they lived a selfless life of Yajna.Why to perform Yajna? Because everything is the Lord, we are all different forms of the lord.Like in a chocolate factory the chocolate is made into different shapes and forms, oneelephant, one is a tiger, one is a bird etc, but all of them are chocolate. Everything isconsciousness, everything is the lord, in all the same lord dwells‘One moon shows in every pool, in every pool the one moon’ If whatever you do you offer to the lord, how long can you do wrong? To serve the world is toserve the Lord. Become peaceful and spread peace. Find love within and spread love. Theworld is at deficiency of compassionate beings, and they are created through Yajna.
Purpose of MarriageWhat is Life? Why are we here? Why do we have to do anything, we are all going todie one day. Many more good questions. Here is the answer! Life by itself has nomeaning, it’s like water, it just flows. What you make of it, what meaning you give it,it becomes that. If you say life is beautiful, it is beautiful, if you say life is a suffering,it is a suffering.But, is it really in our hands, do we really have the power to chose what kind of a lifewe have. Yes, you can, only if you are aware. Only if you are conscious. Only if yourdecisions are not influenced by your impressions. Only by the grace of the Lord. Likewe mentioned in the introduction, the purpose of life, is to find permanent peace andhappiness. If you can think of anything else, then just put this question to youranswer, ‘why?’, example,’ no that is not the only purpose of life, it is also to achievegreat things’, now say, why?‘Because you do great things and help the world’.Why?‘Because you become successful and rich’Why?‘Because you will be happy then’.Simple isn’t it. Now, don’t get discouraged by this, we are not saying here not to doanything, we are saying that you don’t have to do all that for peace and happiness. Allyou have to do for Peace and happiness is just go within.Why go within? Here is the answer. There can only be two schools of thoughtregarding past life and after life. The first school of thought would say that yes thereis after life and there was past life. That means you have been there since thebeginning of time. You have lived as all creatures. You have lived as a human being amillion times. In those million or more births, you have played all roles, man,woman, husband, wife, son, daughter, uncle etc. You have lived in all parts of theworld. You eaten all types of food, you have had many women, you have endured allkinds of pain, suffered from all kinds of disease, you have committed all crime, doneall good, and finally you are here, this birth. Now because of the history we can saythat this will continue for yet another million births, unless, you do that one thingthat you haven’t done in all the lives, that one thing, having done which you wouldnot take birth again, that one thing is, going within, finding your true self. Findingwhich you are freed from all bondages. Liberation. So, that proves that SelfRealization is the purpose of life according to the first school of thought.
The second school of thought would say that there is no after life, there was none, thisis the only life we have and we need to make the most of it. Fair enough.If this is the only life, and you chose to live it, then you are actually choosing to do allyou can, earn all you can, have as much as fun as you can. You want to be successfulyou want to be rich you want to be great, you want to be famous, you want love, youwant happiness, you want peace. But, whatever you get, won’t last long. Here’s a storyof Alexander the Great. Like any one of us even he desired. He wanted to conquer theworld. Accumulate as much as wealth possible and become the most powerful. Itwent well for him in the beginning, and then he came to India and fell sick. He had toreturn. On his way back home he died. Before dying he had 3 death wishes. One, thathis coffin should be carried by his doctors there. Two, that they should throw awaythe wealth that they stole on the way. And three, that he should be buried with hishands out of the coffin. The first wish was to say that even the best doctors of theworld could not save him from death. We do not know when we will die, we go ondoing things that our mind says, why do we do it? To silence the mind. So the priorityshould be to silence the mind not to do what it says. His second wish was to tell thatall the wealth in the world was as good as stone to him now. If you are not peacefulwhat is the point if you are in a palace or have all expensive things. A child is happierthan you playing with a stupid stone by the road. Thirdly, he wanted to say to theworld, that the man who conquered the world, left the world empty handed. So if thisis the only life, what is the greatest purpose? That, we can learn from another greatman, Buddha. A king who had everything, yet felt incomplete. He renounced it alland set out on a search for a way out of suffering, after years he found it, withinhimself. The greatest bliss, contentment, infinite love and compassion, and truewisdom. Is there a greater man than Buddha, is there anything greater to achievethan what he achieved? If this is the only life, then to wake up should be the purpose,to realize the highest should be the purpose. And Buddha’s life is an example. Helived until the age of 80, teaching, travelling. He helped over a thousand peoplerealize the truth. He spread peace to half the world. He lived in bliss, in peace. Hedied in peace. He had a beautiful life. The best life.Therefore, from the above, we can summarize that, the purpose of life is selfrealization. All that we do should be to serve this purpose. Now the question is, isgetting married going to serve this purpose? If yes, how?There is a reason why marriage was introduced and included as a Samskara. The firststage of a boy’s life was Brahmacharya, associated with the first 14 Samskaras. Theboy was being prepared for the highest reality, to realize the highest truth. To alwaysthink about Brahma(The lord) is Brahmacharya. At one end the boy would beundergoing education in the gurukul and the girl would be educated about the sameat home. After all the knowledge transfer from the great gurus and wise parents, asindividuals they were still incomplete. For the simple reason that a child is born fromthe union of a man and a woman, one cell of a man and one cell of a woman, togethercreate a newborn. Now, if the newborn is a boy, he is less in touch with his feminineside, and if it is a girl she lacks on the masculine side.
So no matter how much they evolved individually, there would be something missing, something that they cannot understand, something that they don’t even know exists, and that something they will find after marriage. So the purpose of marriage is to complete a human being so that he can grow faster to be a divine being. The purpose of marriage is to serve the purpose of life, as our great sages put it, the 4 Purusharthas. Dharma, Artha, Kama and Moksha. This is the purpose of life and this is the purpose of marriage. A marriage should be on the foundation of Dharma. All the other 3 purposes should be worked towards having Dharma as the foundation What is Dharma? ‘Dharate uddharyate iti dharma’ – That which protects and helps evolve is Dharma.Dharma is the Truth! Dharma is reality. Dharma is that which protects your peace, it is thepromise of Dharma. You protect it, it protects you. *Dharmo Rakshati Rakshitaha.* There isno disturbance in a life led on the foundation of Dharma nehabhikramanaso sti pratyavayo na vidyate svalpam apy asya dharmasya trayate mahato bhayatKrishna says in the Bhagavat Gita that, no effort that you make to protect Dharma is lost, nordoes it cause you any disturbances A little practice of Dharma will destroy the greatest ofyour fears. To know what we have to do we need to go deeper into Dharma.Having Dharmaas the foundation one should strive for the other 3 Purusharthas. We have many differentroles to play on life, that of a father, mother, daughter, son, sibling Husband, wife,professional, Indian, Chinese, Hindu, Buddhist, man,woman…..so many, Each have their own Dharma! If you are a Ghrihasta you have code ofconduct,if you are a sanyasi you have A code of conduct etc but in all these roles one iscommon…’you’ , you will understand dharma if you figure out What your true nature is, freefrom any concept. Doing things to realize your true and helping others with the same isDharma What is our true nature? What is the truth in us? Lets figure this out with the help ofan example Fire, has certain properties, if the properties are absent then fire is not fire. Fireis what it is because of its properties. The same way, everything in nature has its ownproperties, tree, stone, wind, tiger… What are the properties of Human Beings? Let us firstaddress the difference and then the similarity in all of us.Each individual is unique. There is nobody in the universe like you. What makes you ‘you’ iswhat kind of qualities you have, your talents, your feature your intellect etc But these arebecause of your Karma, because of your impressions(vasanas). This is called Swadharma.Your own Dharma. That you have created unconsciously But this is not the truth. You are notyour impressions, you are not your creation, you are the Creator. Free from everything, youare consciousness. That nature of consciousness is peace, bliss, wisdom, love. To express thisis Dharma To live a life of peace, whatever action you do, if it brings peace to you andbenefits the world, then it is dharma
The second Purushartha is Artha, Artha is to make money, for ones own prosperityand to pool in money for Yajna. Kama, refers to desire, to fulfil dharmic desire is alsothe part of the purpose, it is a part of evolution. Finally Moksha, liberation. Marriagehas to become a path to liberation. A path to understand Dharma, a path to live a lifeof Dharma. To go deep within oneself and to serve the world.
Process and Spiritual meaningThis chapter would shed some light on the meaning of some of the rituals performedin the Hindu marriage ceremony. These rituals like the stories are sign boards thatpoint towards the higher. Now, the rituals vary from place to place so we have justtaken a few important rituals. These rituals were formed bearing in mind the truthabout marriage and that the bride and groom meaningfully perform it bearing inmind its purpose. The primary attitude towards the marriage ceremony not that aman and woman are getting married but 2 divine beings are coming together. Thegroom was seen as Lord Vishnu himself and the bride was considered GoddessLakshmi. And the rituals were performed with great respect and devotion. It wasbelieved that the gods were witness to the marriage ceremony. The most importantelement of any Hindu ceremony is Agni(Fire). Agni is considered the purest. Itsymbolizes the supreme lord. All the other elements can be polluted but not fire. Agnialso represent wisdom, that which burns ignorance. Hence, as Agni as the witness,meaning the lord as the witness, they start the ritual. The Agni in a marriageceremony is called ‘Yojaka Agni’. Yojaka means unite. It means to say that the manand the woman will be united by the grace of the lord. Below is a brief discussion ofsome of the main ritualsKanyadaana- Daana means to give charity. Generally in Daana one loses what hehas, however Kanyadaana is a ritual where the girl who represents the goddess ofwealth lakshmi is given away to Lord Vishnu, having united they the parents do notlose their daughter but gain a son and along with him his family members.Ashmaropana- In this ritual, the Bride and the groom are made to step on a stone.This is to teach that both of them should be strong as a stone and face the ups anddowns of life together.
Arundathi Nakshatra Darshana- Rishi Vashista and Arundathi were an ideal couple.Arundathi was a Pativartha and to advice the new bride to live a life of a Pativratha isthe purpose of Arundathi Nakshatra Darshana. Let us try to understand whatPativratha means. It just doesn’t mean being loyal to the husband and taking care ofhim. Seeing the lord himself in the husband and serving him with the intention ofserving the lord is a real pativratha. Being an active part of the Yajna he undertakes,making a meaningful life for both of them is to serve him.Tying the Mangal Sutra- Mangal means Auspicious, sutra means knot. This is theprocess of tying the holy thread around the bride’s neck with three knots.The Shloka goes:Mangalyam Tantunanena mama jeevana hetunaKhante badname Shubhage tvam jeeva sharadamshatamThe groom ties the holy thread as a symbol of their union in Kaya(action),Vaacha(Speech) and Manasa(Mind), that is why the 3 knots. To say that in actionthey will be one, they will be on the path of dharma. In speech they will be one, theywill speak the truth and about the truth. And finally in mind they will be one, theyboth have the same goal, the same supreme lord to reach.The shloka is translated as, ‘hey auspicious goddess lakshmi, I tie this thread aroundyour neck for my life’s purpose and so that you live for a hundred years’Even in the shloka we are remind that the purpose of the union is for realizing the‘self’, wishing 100 years is wishing immortality. The ‘self’ has no birth and death,when one is liberated he becomes immortal realizing he is only pure consciousness,pure awareness.
Saptapadi All these rituals are meant so that we discover something inside. This is our journey of self discovery. It is said, death is known by dying. The truth is known by diving, Diving within deep inside you, But how do we dive inside? Outside is easy. Where do we dive inside, if we take the mind deep with will find bladder down, intestines etc. How do we find the truth within? There are 2 paths as Krishna says in the Gita. loke ’smin dvi-vidha nistha pura prokta mayanagha jnana-yogena sankhyanam karma-yogena yoginam"The twofold path was given by me, O sinless one, to the world in the beginning- the path of knowledge to thediscerning, the path of work to the active."Path of wisdom and path of action/bhakti,Path of wisdom is also known as path of selfenquiry and Path of action is path of surrender. Wisdom and purification is the way, bothcompliment the other. Now wisdom and purification are at 2 places, within one self and forthe world. What you do for your own purification or wisdom and how you help the worldwith the same. By helping the world you are purified or by you growing you will help theworld, they are complimentary. That is where is derived the purpose, atmano moksharatamjagat hitayacha. Any decision you take if it is going with the purpose then there is evolution.Saptapadi is actually considered a Sadhana. Let us first understand what Sadhana meansthen what saptapadi means and relate them.
Dhana means wealth, Sadhana means spiritual wealth. Purpose of Sadhana is to earn 6spiritual wealths as follows 1. Shama - Control of the mind away from sense objects, and focusing on the goal ( Brahman,Self, Sadguru, Lord). 2. Dama - The sense organs are directed outwards, toward the sense objects; so they naturally seek out sense objects. Diverting the sense organs and organs of action away from the sense objects is Dama. Dama is complimentary to Shama in that, success in Dama enhances Shama. 3. Uparati – Is developing uplifting thoughts, growing deep desire for the Highest reality. 4. Titiksha - is the forbearance. Cultivating the ability to tolerate the dualities of life, like heat and cold pain and pleasure, profit and loss, friend and foe, honour and disgrace etc. These dualities are a part of life. Spiritual discipline becomes impossible by being agitated by these dualities. 5. ShraddhA - The nature of the lord cannot be understood by inference or any physical or mental effort. The lord has to be understood only through faith. 6. SamAdhAna - Seating the mind firmly in the lord is samAdhAna. Samadha is great patience. One who is patient is always vitorious These are the 6 spiritual wealths, Purpose of 6 wealth is to serve the purpose of life. The question is how is Saptapadi or understanding it is going to lead to the serving the purpose. Saptapadi means 7 steps. It is a ritual of taking 7 steps around fire, according to Hindu law , when the couple completes the 7th step they are married. Saptapadi as we mentioned is 7 steps, 7 promises are associated with 7 steps. Promise that the couple do to each other and promises they together do to the lord to achieve the 4 goals. Promises mean taking responsibility. Holding of hand symbolizes responsibility, To prove their commitment, seriousness. That’s why they walk around fire. Fire is symbolic of the purest, it represents light, wisdom. Step 1:- Ekamishe - Vishnuthva - Anvethu - the couple invoke the Gods for plentitude of food. This is a prayer and a promise, where survival needs are addressed. Artha. The prayer is for basic need outside and the promise is to provide the same to each other. But what we need to see here is that this is achieved on the foundation of dharma. Artha through dharma. Now this is the outer. There is also an inner aspect to this. This inner step is got to do with the chakras in the body. The 1st step has got to do with the cleaning of the muladhara chakra, which is associatied with the basic instints.It’s a prayer to lord Ganesha. The phala or result of this is Shama
Atmano mokshartam part is to help each other evolve from the basic instincs. Jagathitayacha part is to help others do the same.Here the husband and wife promise totake care of each other at the physical level, like food clothing etc, intern they promiseto provide it to the worldStep 2.:- Dhve Oorjve - Vishnuthva - Anvethu - The couple pray to the Gods to givethem both mental and physical strength and a healthy life free from ailments.Thisstep is associated with desire, kama.But kama through dharma.So that you can beundisturbed in mind and body. At a higher level the 2nd step is cleaning ofswadistana chakra the desire chakra, it is a prayer to the 3 goddeses, for iccha ofevolution,Kriya to do necessary action and wisdom to have clarity on the subject. Onefor themselves and helping others on the path. Dama is developed through thisStep 3.:- Threeni Vruthaya - Vishnuthva - Anvethu - This step is for the fulfilment ofspiritual obligation for the couple and for the successful performance of theirspiritual duties. As the meaning itself explains this is a commitment that they makeabout being focused on the higher.This involves 3 aspects,Yagna,Dana,Tapas.Yajna and dana that the couple promise to engage in for the purpose of purificationand service.Tapas , to burn their own accumulated karma and vasanasThis step is to clean the manipura chakra where they promise to be focused on thepurpose.Uparati is developed here. This is where the couple promise to clear all theirkarmas
Step 4.:- Chathvaari Maayo - Vishnuthva - Anvethu - For the attainment ofhappiness in all walks of life. This is the promise to clean each other’s Anahata. Tounderstand the working of the heart to understand the universal heart. Tounderstand love. The husband and wife practice on each other what ultimate theygive the world. Titiksha is developed here. As you become emotionally strongerDissolving in his devotionStep 5.:- Pancha Pasubhyaha - Vishnuthva - Anvethu - The fifth step is to pray for thewelfare of all living entities in the entire Universe. This step is to clean the vishuddhichakra.The couple help each other in what they lack. They teach. Samadhana isearned. There Is simplicity,Calmness. Teaching about Sadguru, using communicationto spread his wisdom
Step 6.:- Shadru Thubhyaha - Vishnuthva - Anvethu -To make all the seasonsbountiful all over the world. This step is to clean Agna chakra. To be steadfast inwisdom. To spread wisdom, to grow. Shradha is developedStep 7.:- Sapth Sapthabhyaha - Vishnuthva - Anvethu -In other words, an invocationprayer and sacrifice for universal peace.This step represents the promise that both understand the purpose is liberation andservice. That both will strive for it and help others.Both promise that they will helpeach other become complete in oneself. Become one with the Sadguru.So having consciously taken these responsibilities they are said to be married.The couple actually make great promises to the lord and each other, knowingly orunknowingly. We might be unaware and ignorant but the lord is aware and wise. Hewill make sure you keep your promise, no matter how many lifetimes it takes! So itsbetter we are aware of it and work towards it.
Spirituality and MarriageSpirituality is the only reality. The reality that is out there is not the same reality that we see.The world appears to be different for different people. Spirituality is about seeing oneness ineverything. Seeing things as they are. There is only one reality, only the lord exists. Seeinghim within and without is the purpose. To become wise is to be born again, and that newbirth in that new world is full of infinite possibilities. We can do what we can do because ofthe lord’s grace, what have we really done in life? We can’t even make our heart beat.Everything is running fine, everything is given to us by the lord and we pull and push thingsaround and claim ownership. We need to be more silent, we need to be in the company ofevolved people. This was the purpose of marriage, two evolved people are put together withone goal, to make their life beautiful, meaningful and peaceful.When marriage becomes spiritual miracles happen, great changes happen in the individuals.Everything becomes lighter, you become strongerThe lord gets closerProbably if you read the book again, you might understand it better then.
Great people on MarriageOur love must not be limited to those who are near to us. The divine purpose of close relationships isto expand that love. Nature breaks the ties of family life only to teach us that the love we give ourfamily needs to be extended also to our neighbors, our friends, our country and to all nations.—Paramhansa Yogananda, Spiritual RelationshipsMarriageYoganandas teachings state that the goal of life is to know God, but That we can’t win God’s love ifwe haven’t also won the love of others.He made a distinction between personal love, often narrowlyfocused on ones own wants and needs, and divine love, which includes others happiness in onesown. When marriage is approached in this way, it can offer a powerful opportunity to expandbeyond selfishness toward greater love for all, and ultimately, toward union with God as the Sourceof all love. Yogananda emphasized the importance of choosing a life partner based primarily onspiritual qualities, rather than on physical attraction, or on the persons ability to fulfill ones needsand desires. United, as he said, in “unselfish mutual service,” marriage strengthens our highestideals, and helps us unselfishly share those ideals with others. Yogananda said that underlying theattraction between sexes is the desire for inner balance. Women learn from men how to balancetheir feelings with calm reason, while men learn from women how to balance reason with calmfeeling. In the process, women become wiser and less emotional, and men become morecompassionate and less analytical. As we become more balanced, we also become more saintlike,and our need for physical union is transformed into an ever-deepening spiritual union with theDivine Beloved.Swami Kriyananda writes in his book Expansive Marriage – A Way to Self-Realization:I have seen people who wanted, at first, to live a celibate life, but who later married, finding that itwas only after marriage that they achieved spiritual stability in their lives. Since marriage is onemore means whereby people gain an incentive to learn self-expansion, marriage is a holy institution.The key is to embrace marriage as a vehicle for expanding our love and sympathies to all. RaisingChildren, Children, perhaps even more than one’s spouse, are incentives that force us to learn torelate responsibly to others – to relate, that is, in a giving way, eschewing the thought (so instinctiveto the ego), “What’s in it for me?"–Swami Kriyananda, Expansive Marriage
Good Marriage is shortcut to EnlightenmentBad marriage is instant Enlightenment - Anonymousक या वरयते पं माता व तं पता ुतम ् । बा धवाः कल म छि त ुम टा नम ् इतरे जनाः॥क या वरयते पं = The girl is happy for the (smart) looksमाता व तं = mother is happy if the groom is wealthyपता ुतम ् = father is happy if the groom is well-read and respectedबा धवाः कल म छि त = brothers (and other relatives) are happy if ुthe family background is respectableम टा नम ् इतरे जनाः = others are happy for the feasts!!Never marry but for love; but see that thou lovst what is lovely. WILLIAM PENN, Some Fruits of SolitudeMany marriages would be better if the husband and the wife clearly understood that they areon the same side.By all means marry; if you get a good wife, youll be happy. If you get a bad one, youllbecome a philosopher. - Socrates
As to marriage or celibacy, let a man take which course he will, he will be sure to repent. - SocratesMarriage is the most natural state of man, and... the state in which you will find solidhappiness. - Benjamin FranklinA journey is like marriage. The certain way to be wrong is to think you control it. - John Steinbeck A great marriage is not when the perfect couple comes together. It is when an imperfectcouple learns to enjoy their differences. - Dave MeurerWhat counts in making a happy marriage is not so much how compatible you are, but howyou deal with incompatibility. - Leo TolstoyThe most important thing a father can do for his children is to love their mother. - Theodore HesburghWhen you love someone, you love the person as they are, and not as you’d like them to be. - Leo TolstoySuccess in marriage is much more than finding the right person; it is a matter of being theright person.