View Full Version : Should one marry?

06 January 2011, 10:25 AM
Could anyone post some anecdotes or reasons from scriptures should one marry at all?

06 January 2011, 10:32 AM
namaste rdm.

Perhaps this booklet could be of help:
'Marriage' by KapAli shAstri

Could anyone post some anecdotes or reasons from scriptures should one marry at all?

06 January 2011, 03:41 PM

I do not know the exact scripture injunction as to why one should not merry but i do know that we have a duty to our parents but that is not what you are looking for.
At the same time one has even bigger responsibility if one is going to enter the grihastAshram. Saidevo has provided a good link thanks.

one story comes to mind that off Guru Ramdas the guru of the great Maratha Shivaji. He was sitting in the mandap about to get married when the priest proclaimed as he would when the bride is called to enter the mandap, the priests chanted "Kanya padharo Sawadhan!' (be alert ), Ramdas bolted away from the place and disappeared within the twinkling of an eye, as he understood the meaning of being sawadhan.

Jai Shree Krishna

07 January 2011, 10:38 AM
Thanks saidevo and Ganeshprasad for your replies

07 January 2011, 10:47 AM
hariḥ oṁ


We know of the 4 fold order (cātur-varṇyaṁ¹) and we also pay the same attention to the 4 stages of life:

brahmacarya - student-hood
gārhastya - householder
vānaprasta - forest dweller ( even with wife)
saṁnyāsa - renunciate
If there is great interest in gārhastya - householder , considered the cornerstone of society, one
can spend time with the śānti parvan section of the mahābhārata.


4 fold order (cātur-varṇyaṁ)


08 January 2011, 05:27 AM
Thanks yajvan,
Lord Krsna in Gita gives a choice saying in one of the verses that one can reach ultimate truth without having to go through a married life, so obviously there is no rule that one should get married.

I read in one of the books about Lord Shiva where the Lord tells Parvati Devi that one who runs away from the marriage life for the fear of responsibilities is a fool and everyone should get married.

14 January 2011, 08:00 AM
In my view the question raised is particularly important because answers to it lie at the heart of Hindu dharma and therefore of profound significance. Underlying it is the notion that the pursuit of artha and kama may attract Ahamkara and therefore run contrary to the aims of Hinduism. Below I point out my humble opinions on the matter:
First of all the Hindu life, as we all know, is itself a grand samskara. Each of the samskaras that defines the Hindu has the same objective – to subsume ahamkara and achieve moksha. Vivaha must be seen in the same light. First, and foremost, Vivaha gives the man a god-given friend. This is exactly what Yudhisthira states in his reply to the Yaksha (Yaksha prasna) - Bhaariyaa daivakrita sakha. It is this divinely ordained friendship which, through Bhakti and Karma and eventually Jnana, ultimately yields Moksha. It is to be remembered that it is the married couple who cross from the Grihasta to the Vanaprastha stage because it takes a divinely-ordained friendship to make this happen. What this means, of course, is that the spiritual compatibility of a potential couple must be weighed carefully before Vivaha - hence the need for Jyotisya.
Any state of existence is the consequence of the accumulation of punya and papa across countless lives and its unravelling is a prerequisite to Moksha. As we know, this process must involve the complete discharge of obligations and duties without the attracting of any further karma. I think, by modern standards, the achievement of this goal requires an almost super-human level of spiritual evolution. For the vast majority who function within the world the difficulties faced in the evolutionary process towards this goal are compounded by the apparent indiscriminate demands of the society in which he or she is placed. This is where a spiritually compatible couple, who understand their separate responsibilities in the joint pursuit of subsuming ahamkara, is so vital. The couple are meant to work together to exhaust their respective sanchita karma’s and, in doing so, achieve “their” ultimate goal. [Those sanyasi’s who achieve this are exceptional souls and (by definition) have already exhausted their karma, subject to the residue, in their previous life. It is worth noting here that even the Gods recognised Bhishma’s Bhishana pratigya (terrifying oath) to remain a life-long Brahmacharya. It is said that the Gods caused a shower of flowers rain upon Bhishma on his uttering the oath].
The wife and husband are also both bound together by their respective accumulated karma. Here we can note that both parties have lived as both man and woman in numerous lives and have attracted different papa and punya. The consumption of this sanchita karma is met through the discharge of obligations and duties – to mother, father, Guru and God and of course to Pitrs (by having children). Thus, Karma defines the respective gender of the husband and wife, their Vivaha as well as defining their respective obligations and duties. Failure to adhere to their karma and, therefore, failure to discharge their obligations must invoke a rebirth of those vasanas in a sthula sharira to experience the impact of the failures.
Thus, I believe for example, that a wife who fails to discharge her responsibilities to her husband is likely to be born as a man to experience being the husband at the receiving end of the failure to discharge obligations. This must occur prior to a further rebirth to enable the extinguishment the original vasanas – this time as a woman again. This of course applies vice versa. The process is predicated on the existence of consciousness outside the physical body – that is to say, chit must precede and supersede the sthula sharira. What this does suggest is that the achievement of Moksha is an extremely difficult task.
Finally, how do we reconcile the apparent contradiction between Dharma, Artha and Kama? Yudhisthira also answers this in the Yaksha prasna: "When a wife and Dharma agree with each other then all three reconcile". In fact I would posit that the purpose using Jyotisya for sthree-purusha matching is ultimately to achieve this very purpose. Artha and Kama and Vivaha are a means to an end.

Eastern Mind
16 January 2011, 10:54 AM
Vannakkam: Traditionally, there are only two paths: householder, and renunciate. So one or the other. That is not to say that a third path, not married not renunciate doesn`t exist. We all know people in this situation for many varied reasons such as inability to find a suitable spouse, or married to a career etc.

So I would say that if you are not inclined to a renunciate path ... I mean a true one within or without a specific order, not just a beggar on a street donning the orange robes because of laziness, then if at all possible, one should marry.

But he real question is no matter what, are you contributing to the general welfare of mankind in some way.

Aum namasivaya

18 January 2011, 12:25 PM
Could anyone post some anecdotes or reasons from scriptures should one marry at all?

Although not scriptures,I suggest you to read http://www.dlshq.org/download/brahma_nopic.htm#_Toc441556990

19 January 2011, 10:04 AM
The only reason I'm against marriage is there is no love between husband and wife.. it's a conditional emotional bondage...and a pure selfish driven activity. People are driven by fear what would happen when they get old and die alone by no one their side.. and fool themselves into getting married

Eastern Mind
19 January 2011, 10:27 AM
The only reason I'm against marriage is there is no love between husband and wife.. it's a conditional emotional bondage...and a pure selfish driven activity. People are driven by fear what would happen when they get old and die alone by no one their side.. and fool themselves into getting married

Vannakkam realdemigod: Wow! That's quite the generalisation. How about the extra duty and dharma of taking care of another embodied soul, or if there are children, several more embodied souls. Were you born of a non-marriage?

Sometimes there is no love between husband and wife, but that is rare. In the marriage samskara, man worships wife as Shakti, and woman worships man as Siva. For me, there are literally hundreds of good reasons to marry.

- a companion in worship
- shared duties of family raising
- a constant friend to discuss philosophy
- a sexual mate, if that is where your consciousness is
- partnership economically
- help and support in times of distress
- a coffee buddy
- a cooking buddy
- someone to share a movie with
- many many more
- an intricate intimate way to understand and observe the other gender to advance learning

Aum Namasivaya

19 January 2011, 11:42 AM
Sir, I'm afraid you are generalizing too like I did. The intention I wanted to drive was ..for your own selfishness you choose someone or you marry someone your parents choose.. and for your own happiness you will keep your spouse happy or you compromise with her at times.

All the activities you mentioned not every couple does.. of course the basic ones they do.. companionship and togetherness. And the activities you mentioned are dependent on each other in a marriage (perhaps must have evolved in a way to include your spouse) and for sure since you have someone in your life you are bonded to forever or however long you intend to stay with that person.. you have someone to depend on.

And for the sense pleasures which you get out of marriage..what's wrong in doing the same things without getting married. Marriage is driven by the need to mate with a person and since humans were long civilized they managed to consummate the activity with an act of marriage and pass it down the generations..so that we don't behave like animals.

Marriage is interesting and delightful for first few years and the magic goes away and again it's dependent on each individual what he or she expects out of marriage.

There must be several caveats in scriptures .. why one should get married.. once I read somewhere I don't remember that.. "Only when you get a son..you will be delivered of your sins". Things like these must have driven fear in the minds of people over eons.

I do not believe you have to sacrifice your life for someone .. for taking care of your spouse and children. Your purpose in life is to attain freedom and enlightment. One can attain enlightment without any of these.

Marriage is a choice an individual has to make.. not to be driven by fear by parents or society. It's not you should marry..you may marry if you want.

Eastern Mind
19 January 2011, 12:16 PM
Vannakkam realdemigod: I have nothing against non-marriage. I do think it unwise to practise a promiscuous lifestyle. Of course becoming a monastic or renunciate is another matter altogether. From observation, and as you say, marriages vary a lot. Some seem to further the soul's evolution whilst others seem to just be working out of some nutty karmas form lifetimes past.

Indeed for some people it is pure selfishness, but not for all.

Marriage is no bond forever. Its for a lifetime, but when this body drops off, the soul continues on and may become the brother or sister of the former partner, or indeed could remarry from the opposite genders, or become brother monks in some order. Who knows on that?

I believe marriage is more of a dharmic commitment than a sacrifice. If you state before God and the community that you're going to do something, then you should live up to it. Those who drop that commitment like the drop of a hat, or buying a new car, I believe are breaking dharmic codes of ethics. There could be certain extenuating circumstances such as insanity of abuse that would mean one should, but these are th exceptions.

The marriage samskara, in and of itself, unless done in a proper way by a good priest with proper attention paid by the couple, is indeed pointless. Some people put more money and effort into the rite than they do into the next 50 years combined. A bit absurd if you ask me. Attendees at such social functions have often forgot about the religioisity of the event and hang about discussing politics of pretty saris, and forget to pray for the welfare and success of the marriage itself, which would be the only valid reason to attend. After that they get drunk.

There is a certain sanctity to virgins marrying virgins that is basically a lost art these days. But I see things from a more mystical viewpoint, and once a gain, to each his own. I'm just an old fashioned traditionalist, I suppose. For the record, I've been married 35 years now and each year has been better than the previous ones, so my experience biases me somewhat (or maybe a lot)

Aum Namasivaya

19 January 2011, 12:23 PM
I find it really weird all this view of marriage as an excuse for sex. It's obscure and doesn't sound Dharmic at all.

Marriage even at the mode of rajas can wield good fruits. My siksha guru repeats this every time: "I was the fruit of a marriage in the mode of passion and here I am".

So what to expect from a marriage of two parents aware of the Purusharthas? It must bring great beings to this planet.

My parents are a great example for me. Perhaps I never fullfil this specific duty on this planet, but I'll never demean and dismiss the importance for a healthy spiritual society.

The interaction of a male with a female has great importance psychologically. The male and female figures are of great importance to raising a kid. Marriage is a great thing and in my opinion, not just a sociological phenomena.

So what happens when religions begin preaching that marriage is an excuse for sex, marriage is for people of low intelligence? People get scared!

Of course, if a person in the beginning of his spiritual journey hear this... He'll want to pretend to be dettached and then the negation process starts.

And Realdemigod, while I do not agree with the way you put some points, I think it's also fair to consider that we're not on a perfect varnashram dharma society, aware and already organized for this. So the real placing of marriage on one's life gets a little confusing and asks for more attention to internal contents and better discernment.

Om Tat Sat

Eastern Mind
19 January 2011, 12:44 PM
I find it really weird all this view of marriage as an excuse for sex. It's obscure and doesn't sound Dharmic at all.

Vannakkam Pietro: I agree totally. It belittles the whole concept. My wife and I were platonic friends for a bout 3 years. Whatever happened to conversation over coffee, and non-sexual company for a long while before jumping into the sack? Now its almost the other way around. In the long run, sex is just a tiny bit of it. Take after pregnancy, for instance. Abstinence for about a 6 week period, perhaps longer, is recommended for the woman's health. I can honestly say I have gone long periods without it even entering my mind. The western mind has a huge focus on it. During pilgrimage, as mentioned on other threads, 40 days of abstinence is the NORM. Such are the differences between eastern (read Hindu, perhaps Asian) and the western (read Abrahamic) world views. Probably half of my Sri Lankan married male friends moved here for up to 2 years before they were able to bring over their wives and children. The economic and harsh reality of escaping a war certainly overrode any idea of maintaining steady intimacy in the sexual realm.

Aum Namasivaya