Marriage is Not a Social Prescription, Part 1
“When you have fallen, you will make bad partnerships, desperate partnerships.
When you are well, when you are at the peak of your life, that is when you must make a partnership which will take you through all those ups and downs.”
In the first part of this series, Sadhguru strips down the institution of marriage to its fundamentals. He explains to us that marriage may no longer be a social need, but a highly personal one; it is a decision that individuals must make for themselves after carefully considering their own needs.
First of all, let us understand, “Why Marriage?” As a human being, either as a man or a woman, you have certain needs. When you were eight years old, if I had asked you about marriage, the question would not have meant anything to you, yes? If I had asked you when you were fourteen, you might have been a little shy because you were considering. Because your body started growing in a certain way and hormones started infecting your intelligence, you were thinking about it. If I had asked you at eighteen, there would have been a clear “yes” or “no, not now” or “not at all”, depending on what happened to you between the ages of fourteen to eighteen.
So the word marriage might have acquired a very negative aura around it in certain parts of the world now, because there is a sense of juvenile freedom. Young people in some societies perceive marriage as a bad thing. When you are young, you are against it, because your physical body is in a certain mode. Marriage looks like a bondage, a chain. You want to do things in a certain way. But slowly, when the body weakens, once again you wish there was somebody with you in a committed way, isn’t it? This is a very juvenile feeling – when I’m strong I don’t need anybody, when I become weak, I wish there was somebody with me. No, I think a partnership should be formed when you are at the peak of your well being. When you have fallen, you will make bad partnerships, desperate partnerships. When you are well, when you are at the peak of your life, that is when you must make a partnership which will take you through all those ups and downs.
Now, it is good if, after passing through all these stages, you are asking yourself about marriage. Not me asking you, or your parents asking you. You are asking yourself the question, “Do I need to marry?” As a human being you have physical needs, emotional needs, psychological needs, social and economic needs. People may not want to consciously think about these things because they think their marriage will become ugly if they do. But anyway, these needs and considerations are there.
For women today, the world has changed to some extent. She need not necessarily get married for social and economic reasons. She has a choice. She can take care of her own economics and social situations. It was not so 100 years ago. So that’s a little bit of freedom now. At least two of the reasons why you need to get married are out. Now, you have to consider the other three. Psychologically, do you need a companion in your life? Do you need emotional companionship? And how strong are your physical needs? You must look at this as an individual. This is not a social prescription – everybody gets married or nobody gets married. It is not going to work that way. As an individual, how strong are your needs? Is this some kind of a passing need that you can easily go beyond? If it is, don’t get married, I’m telling you. Because it is not worth getting tied up. If you do, it’s not just two people but a family that has to face the consequences. I’m not saying marriage is wrong. Do you want it, that’s the question. Each individual should consider this for himself or herself. Not by the social norm.
Stay tuned for the concluding part of this series, where Sadhguru looks into how we can better understand our needs and arrive at a decision about marriage. He also delves into other aspects such as live-in relationships.