To get married is easy, to stay married to the same person is difficult and to stay happily married to the same person is even more difficult. But the difficulties in our relationships help us go deeper and search for meaning and purpose in our lives.
To help relationships flourish, right from the day of marriage and throughout our lives, we have to base these relationships on higher principles. Because the nature of human mind is sometimes we like each other and sometimes we don’t. Sometimes we are happy, at other times we are angry. The ego is flickering and the mind is even more wavering, and the senses are always agitated. If our relationship is based on these superficial standards of body, mind or ego, then our relationship has not much substance. However if we harmonize and adjust our circumstances to higher principles we will be happy.
For example, one such principle is ‘forget it’. When you are married, you live with another ego, and when two egos live close to each other it’s natural to expect conflicts and disagreements. During disputes, remember the ‘forget it’principle. Remember the conflict isn’t important but the higher principle of helping each other love God and be instruments of God’s love in this world is more sacred.
If you see this whole big picture, then little parts of our lives can be adjusted. If this vision is unclear, one little part can create a chaos in our relationship.
There is more to marriage than romance. My spiritual master Radhanath Swami once recalled how as an eight year old, he saw his parents consider divorce. He cried and later, both of them discussed about their children – their children’s future- and vowed to remain together for the children’s sake. Romance in a marriage comes and goes. It’s the heart to heart connection to a higher sense of responsibility that keeps the spark in a relationship burning. Then even the difficulties provide rich lessons to serve together.
The higher spiritual principle of marriage is seen in the vows the couple takes. Traditionally marriages were held in a temple or a place of worship so that the Lord sees us His devotees take the vow and that helps the couple centre their lives on service to God and humanity.
Mother nature teaches us that the best of all jewels, the diamond and gold, are purified when put under high pressure or fire. Similarly by faithfully passing through the good and the bad times; the easy and hard times and being with each other and for each other, that’s what marriage is meant to be. And internalizing this principle transforms marriage into a sacred act and makes one spiritually perfect.
Each of the partners in marriage considers the other to be a child of God, entrusted in his or her care. How you treat your partner is how God will receive you; how you speak, treat and protect each other on the physical, emotional and spiritual level is how you will make spiritual progress.
The foundational structure of a spiritual marriage is ‘respect’, ‘forgiveness’, ‘appreciation’ for each other, and the serious responsibility to make the other person happy.
Its practise of these principles that could make married life also a divine, spiritual experience.