Arranged Marriages


What does Yogananda say about arranged marriage? I am in love with a man who must marry another. He says I am his soulmate and I feel he is mine. He wants both his bride to be and me to be in his life. Am I blocking his true path and his duty to honor his tradition?

—Sophia, USA


Swami Kriyananda writes, “The Master was commenting to the monks on the high divorce rate in America. ‘Too many people marry for the wrong reasons: sex and physical beauty, usually. I sometimes think of it as a union between an elegant bow tie and a nice shade of lipstick!’ He went on, ‘In India, there are many more happy marriages. Marriage there is arranged by the parents, whose first concern is for their children’s happiness. The hypnosis of adolescent infatuation isn’t a factor. It is different, of course, when parents want to marry their children off for mercenary reasons, such as the bride’s dowry. Money is as much a hypnosis as sex. If, however, the parents are sincerely interested in their children’s happiness, there is a greater likelihood that the marriage will be a success. Physical attraction is both superficial and fleeting.'”

On the other hand, Master, himself told the stories in the Autobiography of a Yogi about how he escaped three arranged marriages. This was, of course, to put himself solely into finding God. Even his Guru, Yukteswar, teased Yogananda one day, asking him if he will miss the company of a wife and children in his old age. Yogananda was horrified at the idea and said (paraphrased) “oh no, you know I do not want that kind of life.”

So you see there are choices. The time-honored tradition is important, but so is personal karma and fulfillment of direction. This is a situation that will need your prayers and heartfelt surrender to God’s will and His plan for you and this other person. Pray in self-offering of your heart for the answer. Ask God and Guru for their love and guidance. Listen carefully and try not to be attached to what the outcome will be.

This affirmation will establish for you an attunement with God, and you will find a suitable companion, whomever that may be. The Divine Father will bring about the circumstances that will prevent your making a wrong choice. Practice this affirmation after meditation. Be patient with your efforts.

Heavenly Father, bless me, that I choose my life companion according to thy law of perfect soul union.

Many blessings,
Nayaswami Hassi