Vedas are learned during the years of student-bachelorhood. Then
the "theory" taught has to be put into practice; in
other words the rites prescribed in the Vedas must be performed.
For this purpose a man has to take a helpmate after he has
completed his brahmacaryasrama. This helpmate is a
"property" that can never be separated from him. She is
not meant not only to be a cook for him, not only one to give
sensual gratification. She is called "dharma-patni" and
also "yajna-patni". She has to be with her husband in
the pursuit of dharma and has also to be a source of
encouragement in it. As a dharma patni, she has to be by his side
during the performance of sacrifices; she must also play a
supportive role in all those rituals that have the purpose of
making the divine powers favourable to mankind.
must be noted that a wife creates well-being for the world even
as she does the work of cooking or as a source of sensual
gratification for her husband. I will tell you how. It is not
that she cooks for the husband alone. She has to provide food
every day to the guests, to the sick and to the birds and beasts
and other creatures. This is how she serves the purpose of
"atithyam" and "vaisvadevam". The
children born to here are not to be taken as the product of
pleasure she affords her husband. She gives birth to them to
perpetuate the Vedic dharma. Yes, even the raising of sons is
intended for the dharmic life of the future. No other religion
has before it such a goal for the marriage samskara.
our religion the man-wife relationship is not concerned with the
mundane alone. It serves the Atman as well as the good of
mankind. In other religions too marriages are conducted, say, in
a church with God as witness. But ideal of marriage is not as
lofty as ours. The purpose of marriage in our religion is to
purify the husband further and to impact the wife fullness as his
devoted and self-effacing companion. There is no such high
purpose in the marriage of other religion. In other countries the
man-woman relationship is akin to a family or social contract.
Here it is an Atman connection. But this very connection is a
means of disconnection also - of freeing the Atman, the self,
from the bondage of worldly existence. There is no room for
divorce in it. Even to think of it is sinful.
sum up and further explain] the three objectives of a samskara of
so elevated a character as marriage. The first is to unite a man
with a helpmate after he has completed the study of Vedas. This
helpmate is expected not only to run his household but assist him
in the practice of the Vedic dharma. The second is to bring forth
into this world children of noble outlook and character who are
to be heirs to the great Vedic tradition, citizens of the future
who will be the source of happiness in this world. The third is
to create a means for women to be freed from worldly existence.
A man who is not yet fully mature inwardly is assisted in his
karma by his wife. By doing so, by being totally devoted to her
husband, she achieves maturity to a degree greater than he does.
The fourth objective is the subordination of sensual
gratification to the other three.
have forgotten the first three important objectives. All that
remains is the fourth, the enjoyment of carnal pleasure. If
people take my advice in respect of the noble ideals of marriage
as taught in the sastras a way will open out to them for their
inner advancement. May Candramaulisvara bless them.
"Hindu Dharma" is a book
which contains English translation of certain invaluable and
engrossing speeches of Sri Sri Sri Chandrasekharendra Saraswathi MahaSwamiji (at
various times during the years 1907 to 1994).
For a general background, please see here