by Jai Maha Dev
From the point of view of universality, we are all manifestations of That Supreme All-pervading Consciousness, which is beyond all religious persuasions and caste distinctions. If two people are to be married, they should only be married from this universal point of view. In this case, ‘universality’ is itself the manner, or conduct, of both the marriage ceremony and the marriage. There is no need or concern of any manmade or religious images (mental superimpositions and false expectations).
Like the drama of life, marriage should be beautiful, fulfilling, and uplifting. In other words, we should raise our consciousness. Marriage should expand our understanding and depth of experience. Marriage is self-sacrifice. Marriage is all about giving up our ego.
To give up our ego we have to let go of our images, especially our own self-image. Our ego has nothing at all to do with our integrity or character, and in the same way, our religious beliefs have little or nothing to do with our principles. Marriage must be based on commitment and true love which can never come from images and ego --- they can only come from our high principles and from rising above our small self.
According to the universal point of view, one’s background (as in caste and religion) is not as important as one’s foreground—the direction in which one is moving in life. If two people are moving in the same direction, like the two wheels of a chariot, then the journey will be steady and their marriage prosperous.
Never should anyone give up their principles for the sake of marriage, or for the sake of anything. Our principles are rooted in our Dharma, which is our True Nature. Our Dharma is NOT our religion (unless, by religion we simply mean discipline). Unfortunately, many people mistake their principles for their religious beliefs which may have nothing at all to do with their Real Nature.
It is our Higher Nature (True Nature, Real Nature, Dharma) to be non-violent, which means to be vegetarian. It also means to be kind, caring, forgiving, open-minded, and imageless. We can never change our Dharma, but we can certainly change our belief system. “A wise man may change his mind, but he will never change his principles.”
No one has to give up their religion to be married, but they do have to give up their ego. The Vedic marriage ceremony (Havan) is an affirmation of our True Nature, and for this reason it is undoubtedly the best form of marriage ritual. Therefore, let a man and woman be united in matrimony, irrespective of their religious background but fully aware of one another’s qualities, actions, and behavior. Let them be wed according to the Vedic rites which are universal, and let them understand fully the duties and responsibilities that devolve upon the husband and wife.
One’s decision to marry should be a careful choice, not a casual choice. We need to have the foresight to be able to see the consequences of our choices. If our intelligence is sharpened with Wisdom we will be able to cut through all the red tape and religious trappings. But if we are infatuated with false pride, ego, and vanity we are bound to stumble.
All of us are human beings and no one is perfect. It is but natural to stumble from time to time. Life will always be filled with challenges. But there are some challenges where the margin of error is very slim. Marriage is like that—it is a balancing act, and if we lose our balance the fall can be deadly. Hence, it is extremely important who you choose for your life partner.
Now, having said all of this, let me conclude with just the following:
A marriage ceremony should be natural,
not superstitious and not ostentatious.
The marriage ceremony should be an affirmation of our True Nature,
and the marriage should be an exploration into the understanding and
experience of the True Self.