What is “Spiritual Marriage?”

—A Devotee

Marriage is God-made, not man-made, but man has abused the high purpose of marriage. Spiritual marriage means to marry your soul to the eternal love of God. Without God no marriage can be successful. The purpose of marriage is to know God, to be with God together, but this has been forgotten.

If you attract a person by spiritual magnetism, you will then find your soul companion. Marriage is the communion of half-souls. In God we find the highest communion. Unless human love is spiritualized, it will be a canker on your soul. Unless you are spiritually-minded and your mate is the same, you can never be happy.

Do not try to attract the opposite sex through physical qualities, but through soul qualities. You cannot attract a spiritual soul through animal magnetism.  Living too much on the sex plane causes health and happiness to fly away. When you have formed a deep friendship with a person that nothing can destroy, a friendship that increases constantly and has no compulsion in it — then you will have found a true mate.

In women, feeling is uppermost and in man, reason is uppermost. In married life, men and women bring out the hidden feeling and reason in each other, each becoming more perfect. Every man or woman who has tried to substitute sex for these spiritual qualities has been disappointed. Reason and feeling in man and woman should be balanced. Like the softness of flowers, and the strength of steel, they are divine qualities.

God is the love of all those who ever loved. If you learn the higher forms of meditation, you are able to experience true spiritual marriage — that communion with God which is the most beautiful of all love. Remember, no marriage can find its true purpose without man and wife first seeking God together. In marriage, love also grows through service to each other. When a husband and wife serve each other with the eternal inspiration of God — that is spiritual marriage.

People who rise above the physical plane and continuously strengthen their devotion find their oneness in God. When the love of two people burns as one flame, above the physical plane, it then has intoxicating eternal qualities. The marriage that is lived in self-control and intense spiritual preparation becomes emancipated.

Men and women should understand that within themselves is the germ of the Infinite. If you cannot find your soul companion, do not marry. It is better to remain single than to enter into a wrong marriage. Transmute matrimonial love into divine love, and uplift your consciousness from the sex plane to the plane of paradise.

You may also unite your feeling and reason by serving humanity. For all those who are unmarried and wish to remain so, their greatest duty in life is service to humanity. By having a larger family, you have earned the right not to have a smaller, more limited one.  If you have no children of your own, you can adopt or teach someone else’s children; live an ideal life, and instill in them your soul qualities. What you instill in the souls of children is imperishable. Anything you do that perpetuates your life is, in a sense, your child. Thus you fulfill your true purpose in life.

Yogananda Performs a Wedding

From Inner Culture, May 1940.