In some traditions a lifelong marriage is recommended. How is it in bhakti yoga?
In all spiritual teachings it is stated that there is no divorce. You get married for a lifetime. That is in any… I was raised Christian originally and that was certainly the teaching in Christianity. In the Vedas, bhakti yoga – yes, that is the same. In the Vedic teaching there is no divorce.
This is all modern stuff that we have… We have changed the rules because it was not convenient for us to enjoy in the traditional rules, so we changed the rules. Because we want to satisfy our senses and, you know, have the freedom to do what we want to do kind of thing. Nobody tells me what to do, so out of that comes divorce; and of course as we progress further and further marriage is disappearing, it is just find somebody, live with him until the honey moon is over, how many years or moments that is, and then move on. And this is what we have got.
It is basically a throwaway society. Every aspect of society. It’s basic just disposable. But this is not pleasing to God. What God says in the scriptures, Bible or the Vedas or whatever it is His guidance. That is His teaching. This is how it should be. If I want to fulfill my position as pleasing Him, following His truth, then this is what I do.
But the same teaching should go into the marriage itself. Not just leave it at the doorstep, “Okay, we cannot ever divorce, we must just stay together till we die, so we will just suffer through it.” That is not the teaching either. The teaching is inside this marriage which we have chosen to engage in we should live properly. That is to base our marriage on service to God. That should be the reason we get married. That should be the first consideration when we go to choose a partner. How interested are they in spiritual life. Do they want to dedicate their life to making spiritual growth, do they want to engage a life that is guided by scripture, do they want to raise children in this teaching of truth. So the children will grow up from the very beginning knowing who the Supreme Person is and who they are and what the goal in life is.
These are very, very serious questions we should ask each other before we jump into this marriage. If you do these things and it is determined that yes, both of us are serious, we want to grow spiritually in this way, we want to work as a team and help each other – fantastic, it will work. God is in the center and we are circulating around Him. That is a spiritual marriage, that is only marriage that is really successful. The other is not necessarily.
My parents were married for 63 years and I will not say it was a perfect marriage by any means, but a lot of the things that they did or did not do were based on Christian teaching. I mean it just was the way they were raised and the way they lived. And I had that example. They never even thought of getting divorced. There was not even a thought. Yes they liked each other a lot. But my dad would have never divorced my mother I do not care what happens because it was just “that is not what you do” kind of thing.
But now like I say none of that stuff has any weight in our life and we get a very bad result from this. Kids grow up from divorced families, you can hardly even find anybody whose parents are not divorced. A home is supposed to be a stable environment for a child to find a real shelter, protection and feel safe there. Kids are actually feeling love for both mom and dad. They do not want to make a choice of who I go with. Who is right and who is wrong. How much damage it does when the parents fight in front of the children and they see this.
All of this is coming from lust. It is not as it supposed to be. So we have taken a thing, that is actually a spiritual institution; you may have noticed that even atheists get married in church. Have you ever notice that? It is kind of like traditional that you get married in a church. You may never go to that church before and after. But for marriage you go there and have a big ceremony in the church. Because it is traditional, right. It is a spiritual institution, that is what it is. That is part of the divine system of coming together a male and a female and living as they should, providing the opportunity to have children as they should be and so on, so on.
That is how it is. And the further we get away from that the more problems we have. And we are gone pretty far. We are still running far away. Like I say, God is here and we are running, running, running. Get away from that and we call it freedom. That is how covered our vision is. We call it freedom. We are running to absolute bondage, binding our self more and more by the jackals of lust and desire and we call it freedom.
What does HARIBOL NITAIGAUR mean?
HARI is one of God’s names, it means “to steal away”. Actually it means to steal us away from illusion, to steal our hearts that are so owned by the world. To steal our hearts and come to Him. Anyway. HARIBOl. Bol means “to chant”. HARIBOL actually means “chant the Holy Names, chant the Names of God.” NITAI means “eternal” and GAUR means “golden.” That is what the mantra NITAI GAUR means. The eternal, golden.