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Marriage and living together


Marriage and living together


Marriage, the invisible sacred thread that binds the hearts of man and woman for the well-being of the family and the society. Marriage contributes immensely to the development of values in life. It develops the sense of responsibility; it brings peace in volatile mind. It develops different kind of love in man and woman.  This love has no comparison at all. Fidelity, emotional attachment,  mutual dependence, understanding, adjustment, promise to carry on the relation unhindered, to face all kind of problems jointly,  to consider faults of each other sympathetically , avoidance of over reaction, to show mutual respect,  avoidance of dominance on each other are the key factors of making conjugal life happy and fruitful. It completely depends on the balance of some good habits and sense of values of husband and wife. Values can be learnt from the culture of family tradition, from the atmosphere in which they live, from good association, and habits through regular exercise of good sense and restrained life-style.
In Indian married cople are called ‘dampatī –combination of wife and husband. In Sanskrit grammar it is derived as ‘jāyā ca patiḥ ca –dampatī  (dvandasamāsa). jāyā—wife, patiḥ--husband .  It is a never breakable combination. If it is broken, then the very word loses its connotation and significance. To glorify the uniqueness of this relationship, it is said that the sacred bonding of husband and wife meant for seven births.
I do quote hereby some beautiful pictures about ideal form of conjugal love from the writings of two great dramatists of Sanskrit literature, Kālidāsa and Bhavabhūti.  
In the Raghuvaṁśa, canto VIII, Kālidāsa depicted the ideal conjugal relationship of Aja, the great king of solar dynasty and his beloved wife Indumati. After the death of Indumati, Aja lamented and expressed his feelings about Indumati
‘gṛhiṇī saciva sakhī mithaḥ priyaśiṣyā lalite kalāvidhau
karuṇāvimukhena mṛtyunā haratā tvāṁ vada kiṁ na me hṛtaṃ. (sloka—67)
Here mentiond Indumati as gṛhiṇī (housewife), counseller and friend.
In Bhavabhūti’s drama ‘Malatimadhavaṃ’, one of the characters Kamandakī said about the ideal form of conjugal relationship—
 Preyo mitraṃ bandhutā vā samagrā
Sarve kāmāḥ śevadhir jīvitaṃ vā
strīṇāṃ bhartā dharmadārācca puṃsāṃ
ityonyaṃ vatsyayor jῆātaṃ astu. (6.18) 

--The husband to women and the lawful wife to men are the dearest friends, all relatives put together, all things that the heart covets a treasure and life itself; let this be mutually known to my dear children.
 In the drama ‘Uttararāmacaritaṃ’ Rāma’s feeling about conjugal love—
advaitaṃ sukhaduḥkhayor anugataṃ sarvāsu avasthāsu yad
viśrāmo hṛdayasya yatra jarasā yasmin ahāryo rasaḥ
kālenāvaraṇātyayāt pariṇate yat premasāre sthitaṃ
bhadraṃ tasya sumānuṣasya kathamapyekaṃ hi tat prārthyate. (1.39)

--Happy is that fortunate man who, somehow, obtains that one thing (viz. pure matchless love) which is the same in happiness or misery, which adapts itself to all conditions, where the heart finds its solace, the flavour of which is unaffected by old age, and which matures, as time removes the veil (of reservedness), into permanent deep affection.

Conjugal love is peerless, matchless, no dual sense in it. It remains unchanged in happiness and sorrow. Despite the body decayed due to infirmity and old age, real conjugal love, attainable by good-natured man, never changes.
In the verse 1.38 of Uttarāmacaritaṃ,  Rāma, having  seen sleeping Sītā,  said —
‘iyaṃ geha lakṣmīr iyaṃ amṛtavartir nayanayor
asāvasyāḥ sparśo bapuṣi bahulaś candanarasaḥ
ayaṃ bāhu kaṇṭhe śiśira-maultikarasaḥ
kimasyāḥ na preyo yadi paraṃ asahyastu virahaḥ.

--She is the very Lakshmi (wealth) in my house, and a pencil of nectar to my eyes; her touch is a thick sandal-paste to my body; this her arm twined round my neck is as cooling and smooth as a pearl-string; what about her would not be pleasing (only), but separation from her is exceedingly unbearable.
This uttering is uncomparable and the rarest one.

Rāma expressed his emotional reaction after hearing Sītā’s words—
mlānasya jībakusumsya vikāśanāni
santarpaṇāni sakalendriya-mohanāni
etāni te suvacanāni sararuhākṣi
karṇāmṛtāni manasaśca rasāyānāni. (Uttararāmacaritaṃ--1.36)

--These thy sweet words, O lotus-eyed one, cause the withered flower of life to bloom, gladden me, lull all my senses into peace, serve as nectar to the ears and as a sovereign balm to the heart.
This kind of sincere deep feeling is really unheard.

Now let’s see what Sītā says—
‘ ahaṃ etasya hṛdayaṃ jānāmi  mamaiṣa.’
--I know his heart and he knows of me.
This unique feeling originated from deep trust, love and dependence.  

Bhavabhūti believes that conjugal love gets matured through offsprings. The common receptacle of affection is offspring. Affection of both husband and wife centred in the child and this child, in the form of joy, binds the hearts of parents tightly--
ʻअन्तःकरणस्य दम्पत्योः स्नेहसंश्रयात्।
आनन्दग्रन्थिरेकोऽयमपत्यमिति वध्यते।।ʼ
(‘antaḥkaraṇasya dampatyoḥ snehasaṁśrayāt
Ānandagranthir eko’yaṃ iti vadhyate.’)

Most of the sacred verses of Hindu marriage are taken from the Vedas.  In the Hindu marriage many unique customs and rituals are followed very strictly.  Both external and internal parts of this marriage are important. New bride and bridegroom are being prepared mentally to enter into newly built conjugal life. Family and society are also connected to their marriage. The sacredness of marriage is maintained through different kind of auspicious rituals. The whole ceremony is attached to the greater welfare of the society.
The young man and woman will be united in one (dampatī), don’t feel the nature of this relationship, don’t know how to take this relation in what way and don’t know their role in their new life. The priest makes utter the bridegroom the sacred verse (mantra)—

ʻओम् अन्नपाशेन मणिना प्राणसूत्रेण पृश्निना।
वध्नामि सत्यग्रन्थिना मनश्च हृदयञ्च ते।।
ओम् यदेतद् हृदयं तव तदस्तु हृदयं मम।
यदिदं हृदयं मम तदस्तु हृदयं तव।।ʼ
(o annapāśen mainā prāṇasūtre pṛśninā
Badhnāmi satyagranthinā manaśca hdayaca te
o yad ida hdaya tava tadastu hdaya mama
yad ida hdaya mama tadastu hdaya tava.’)

‘What’s your heart be mine and what’s my heart be yours’—this is the fundamental element of Hindu marriage. The two hearts are binded together with a common thread which is made with fidelity, love and honesty.  This is the most exalted thought in marriage that our ancient thinkers have invented. This is real civilisation. This is altogether true. Here lie the charm and welfare of marriage. Thus our great thinkers have glorified conjugal life by establishing the truth, the welfare and the beauty in it.
If any one of fidelity, love and honesty is spoiled, then the sacred bonding of conjugal life gets slackened and life becomes dull and cheerless.  So, we should think about it with positive mind-set.

The other side of mutual relationship of young man and woman is living together.  It is now growing very popular among young people.
There are some advantages of living together. Some think it is a trial run for marriage. Both can share the financial burdens and other household works. Sex life and romantic feeling will be more fruitful than marriage and so on.

But there are much more disadvantages in living together than married life. Living together has no such excitement as in married life. If the couple are of different religious background, then it would be very difficult to carry on their relationship further in cohabitation. Children born out of cohabitation suffer more than the children of married couple. They feel more insecured than the children of lawful marriage. If the boyfriend leaves after the birth of children, then the single mother faces troubles for upbringing them. Unemployed mother suffers badly for livelihood.  Children, born out of cohabitation, suffer also in case of personality development.  As they have no social and family bonding, so they get litle chance of learning values and ethics of life.
There are higher chances to be abused on the part of children by their mother’s boyfriends than father.
Living together is started actually for sexual enjoyment of young man and woman.  As far satisfaction persists, the relation runs smoothly and arise no problems. If there is financial problem then it is hard to keep relationship intact.
There are other darker sides of cohabitation. If the biological father breaks the relationship after the birth of a child and the mother, being helpless involves in new relationship, then the child’s suffering becomes endless.
Affection of father and mother immensely contributes to the development of children’s personality. They learn a lot from their fathers’ and mothers’ behaviour and life-style. In cohabitation this opportunity is very less. Due to lack of proper guidance they may tend to be involved in drug addiction, crime and perversed life-style.
This will surely affect the basic structure of the society.

In conclusion, it would not be unjust to say that marriage is the better solution than living together for the well being of one’s personal life, for the family and for the society.  Human beings are not beasts. They have conscience which beasts do not possess.  Beasts are equal to human being in case of sex, hunger and thrust. If we confine ourselves in these three basic instincts and bid goodby to our human qualities, then there would be no difference between beasts and us. Restraint of diverted senses is the key factor of developing human qualities. For this purpose value education should be introduced in all the streams of education and should keep a close eye for its implementation.


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