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Magazine Web Edition > September 1992 > Marriage is Forever

Marriage is Forever

Subramuniyaswami, Sivaya



There is a breakdown that has been occurring among Hindus today all over the world. Complaints as well as suggestions come in daily to my publisher's Desk. These are some of the problems: Mothers are no longer teaching righteousness, Vedic dharma, worship and puja to their children for fear their little ones won't fit into the alien cultures in which they are living. That's one! Fathers are no longer taking their sons into the family business or profession but giving them choices of their own, for fear that the "dominant" parent figure will not fit in with the society in which they are living. That's another. There's more.

Children are orphaned in their own homes because the minds of both mother and father are in the work-a-day world in which the children play no part. Kids content themselves within the asuric realms of arcades and TV. Families have given up dharma and even the hope of moksha, liberation from rebirth. Instead, they are immersed in the insatiable search for artha and kama, and the many other magnetic pulls so that they too are able to blend into modern society. Hindu people, we are told in the many letters, have almost all become followers, with few leaders among them. No one wants to stand out over another. All fear affirming the dharma, if it conflicts with so-called modern society. Society as we know it today is the doctrine of materialism, governed by anarchy. Lay down a rule and someone will break it, no matter what it is. Kali Yuga?

There is one institution that is worth saving, however. It has been cherished in scripture, in living cultures and in all the major religions for thousands of years. It is the precious institution of marriage. It is the binding contractual agreement between the man and wife who have come together to take on the responsibility of birthing, raising and educating a new generation. How are we going to have a brave new world, a new world order, a new age based on anarchy within the family itself? Yet here, too, Hindus are taking their examples from those who do not understand dharma - they are seeing divorce as a solution instead of a problem. When the institution of marriage breaks down, everyone suffers. We see this happening all around us. A husband and wife bound by holy sacraments are physically attached to each other. To even separate for a day, a week or a month can be painful on the part of one or both. They reach out to each other during the time of physical absence in dreams and longing. How painful then is their permanent separation? And how much anguish does it bring to their beloved children whose wounds never really heal? How is it that the priest, a person who invokes God and the Gods, can sanctify a marriage and a judge, a man of the world, can cancel the divine contractual agreement? Impossible. Only in the Kali Yoga.

Yes, the Supreme dwells within the lotus of the heart. And, a long and joyous life is theirs who remain firmly on the faultless path of the control of the five senses.

There are still a few elders left today who speak out whether listened to or not. Their fire or righteous indignation, their love for dharma is making an impression upon the younger generation and their parents alike. We appeal to these elders to take courage and proclaim the ancient values whether their children and grandchildren listen to you or not. Some part of them will be hearing you. Preach the dharma. There is little to lose and much to gain. We also appeal to the elders to speak against divorce, and to patiently work to harmonize matrimonial tensions, and diffuse difficult situations. Divorce only begins problems.

Couples have been trained to look to psychiatrists, psychologists and family counselors for solutions to their marital problems. Who can give better solutions than our elders who know the karmas, who know the dharma involved in divorce. Their experience has great value.

The plea is to hang on to one thing, the family life. Marriage is forever. Indian culture has within it all the solutions to maintain proper relationships of a man being manly and a woman being womanly. Today men are confronted by women who have released their masculine qualities. Naturally they will fight, compete and suffer.

Write, and I will send a copy of some of the traditional duties for the wife and for the husband. They are magical formulas which, when practiced, balance the forces within the home. Publisher's Desk, P.O. Box 157, Hanamaulu, HI, 96715 USA. Yes, the ancients had it all worked out.

Article copyright Himalayan Academy.


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