My girlfriend and I love each other, we want to marry, share our lives and start a family. I would like our love to be an occasion for spiritual growing, but I cannot share my objectives with her because she is atheistic. What should I do? I think this is a wonderful occasion for both of us, and I don't want to waste it. What do you suggest me to do?

—Lorenzo, Italy


Dear Friend,

Self-proclaimed atheism often has its roots in a rejection of sectarian religious attitudes, views, and dogmatism. Sometimes an “atheist” is more agnostic than determinedly and avowedly atheistic.

So much may depend on how vehement or (ironically) dogmatic or convinced she is of her views. Put another way, can she or does she at least respect your spiritual objectives and practices?

I have seen in case after case that if the devotee spouse affirms the soul qualities and essential goodness of his spouse (putting aside doctrinal differences), a true and spiritual marriage can take place.

More than this I have seen that, over time, with patience and forebearance, the non-devotee spouse softens and perhaps begins (on her own) practicing yoga, or even meditation.

It all depends on whether the connection between you is truly of a soul level and not merely physical or pyschological compatibility or attraction.

If she possesses qualities of noble character and integrity (kindness, wisdom etc) that both attract and help you, and if your own soul qualities help her and are perceived and appreciated by her, then this is a good indicator.

If she is, on the other hand, strongly opposed or disdainful or jealous of your spiritual ideals and time spent in practice and study, then you should take pause and consider whether your desire for marriage will serve you both on the highest level.

Is there not someone of wisdom and spiritual insight who knows both of you to whom you can discuss this decision?


Nayaswami Hriman