-Balakhilya das, could you please explain about family life? What sort of family life can be called spiritual and harmonious? –
-Well, real family life is spiritual, but, unfortunately, this is very rare today. Because now family life, again, based on the illusion that we are our bodies, is simply two or more people coming together (it could be a husband, wife, but also, of course, children) and trying to enjoy each other.
And usually this is how a family begins: one person is attracted to another person physically, maybe mentally, maybe not, maybe they like the personality. But it’s all the material qualities that attract one person to another.
And as we’ve mentioned earlier about happiness, everybody is seeking happiness. So the concept is that if I marry this person, then this will make me happy. And, as I have also mentioned, in the material consciousness my idea of happiness is sensual pleasure. So the partner, the husband or the wife, becomes my object of pleasure. And so I try to find my happiness in this other person.
And, unfortunately, this doesn’t work. Because even though the other person may satisfy me sensually, materially… Maybe they are a fantastic cook, maybe they take care of the house very nice and, of course, the main concern is how physically attractive they are. But nonetheless, I, the spirit soul, do not derive happiness from this.
So here is the person who was supposed to make me happy, but they don’t. I’ve contemplated this concept, I’ve actually developed an attachment for this concept and this person, and out of this attachment I develop some lust for this person which we call “love”. But my object of pleasure, my scheme for happiness doesn’t work.
So sometimes I will think the problem is: I don’t have any children. If we had children, this would complete the family and this would actually make us happy. So we have our children. But they also are now additional objects of pleasure.
This is the idea, “Our children will make us happy, or my wife and my children, or my husband and my children.” But, again, we’re disappointed. They don’t. Maybe temporarily, maybe to some degree, but not fully, I’m not fully satisfied.
So somewhere along the line because of this attachment and this lust and the disappointment that I don’t get what I expected, anger enters in. And now a major part of family life is anger. Subtle or not subtle. And that is why domestic violence is the number one crime in the world today.
You say, “Well, wait a minute, the family is supposed to be where there’s love.” This is where you’re supposed to go and find your happiness and be with the one you love or your whole family unit, and that’s supposed to be the unit of love and care. Why is it that in this supposed institution there is violence?
It’s because my lust has not been satisfied and therefore I become angry about it. And out of anger comes all of the violence and things that we do that we would never do to someone else.
-Well, that’s somewhere later. But before divorce, there are arguments, there is quarrel, there is the desire to actually hurt the other person with words or maybe physically. Anger makes us do crazy things. We’ll be completely insane.
And after some time then the conclusion is: I have to get out of this, and of course, that means divorce. So divorce is more and more, and more common. Now at some places over 50% of marriages end in divorce.
So the reason is because it’s a materially based marriage, based on “I will be happy from this person, these children, this institution,” this whole scenario.
But the reality is: a marriage is supposed to be spiritual. It’s a spiritual institution. And if you have ever noticed, marriages are done in churches.
-Even atheists who never go to church. They never go to a church in a whole life, but when they get married, they go to church.
-And get married in the church, and then they leave the church and never go back. But the concept is still there. It is a spiritual institution.
Now, the only successful marriage, really successful marriage, will be that marriage where both parties understand who they really are: I am a spirit soul, my husband or my wife is a spirit soul, they are a child of God, I’m a child of God. And therefore this is a spiritual platform that we can stand on and engage as a team, as a partnership in our service to God.
And the children are seen not as our children, but as God’s children who we have been given the opportunity to take care of. So we take care of them. Of course, we take care of them materially, but, even more important, we take care of them spiritually. We from the very beginning educate them to the idea, “You are not your body. You are actually a spirit soul. You are a child of God. Your ultimate goal in life should be to love God.” You train them from early, early on. And you guide them in their spiritual growth.
Now, the family is a spiritual unit working together as a team, and this is very pleasing to God, and He becomes very, very happy with us. We bring God into the centre of the family, He is the focus, and the family revolves around Him. Not I’m in the centre and my wife and children or my husband and children revolve around me, I’m the enjoyer and they are my objects of pleasure. No. God is in the centre, He is the Enjoyer, and our position is to serve Him, to bring happiness to Him. And in this way the marriage will be successful.
Yes, there’ll be arguments, there’ll be disagreements, but it’s mellow, it’s shallow, it’s not deep, it’s not heartfelt. It’s just temporary things that quickly are resolved and you have a real solid foundation for your married life. And then this is a successful marriage.
-And you’ll be happy as a result.
-OK. Thank you very much.
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