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The Spiritual Purpose of Marriage

Sangita
India

Question

Hello!! What is the purpose of marriage in growth? Marital status is given a lot of importance in all societies, and also by governments all over the world. There are columns of marital status everywhere in all forms, in social networking sites, employment forms and everywhere. Why exactly is that so? Married men and women are considered to be more respectable than single women...why is it so?

Nayaswami Parvati

Nayaswami Parvati

Ananda Village

Answer

In regard to spiritual life, the purpose of marriage is to expand our awareness from simply thinking about ourselves to thinking about others. In marriage we look after a wife or husband with love and support. We protect and care for our children when they are young, and help them to make their way in life through providing a good education and support for them as young adults.

But there is a deeper aspect of marriage that applies to spiritual growth specifically. It provides us with the opportunity to balance the male and female energies within ourselves. A marriage can help us to develop qualities within ourselves that we need for our own inner balance and further spiritual growth. This happens as a couple engages in their spiritual life together on a daily basis. Since the purpose of the spiritual life is inner freedom in God, we need to understand how to work toward this inner freedom in marriage. Only by becoming complete within ourselves is inner freedom possible.

This explanation is not what most people have in mind when they think about the purpose of marriage. But it is the spiritual purpose, and it is what gives a marriage deep fulfillment and meaning. It is this deeper purpose that can make all the effort that goes into a successful marriage truly worthwhile. Knowing this also helps us understand how to choose a marriage partner that can help us in this particular way.

As a marriage matures, and the people in it grow spiritually (from their own daily spiritual efforts), there develops a feeling of divine friendship between a couple, rather than a strictly male/female relationship.

All the other things you have asked about are the socially accepted norms and uses for marriage. They are not what the deeper, spiritual purpose of a marriage actually is.

 

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