This article is shared by SP Sharma
The better half of a male is considered to be a woman, and some people are lucky enough to get support, while others have to cope with compromises and seem to be doomed to separation, or even suicide.
In India marriages are still mostly arranged. When I was married in 1969 the prevailing custom was not to show the bride to the groom before the marriage, nor during the marriage ceremony. Only some designated relatives of the groom could see the unmarried girl. The relatives, after seeing the girl, used to express mixed feelings about the girl and usually by weighing pros and cons the marriage was settled.
I didn’t wish to marry (See the article: God knows what I really want), but when the third proposal arrived I agreed without a second thought, for whatever reasons. I was not interested in seeing my would-be sweet-heart, as I needed only a companion as a nondescript lady. I could see my partner’s face only 20 hours later, after we had arrived at our home. I am not going into the details of her body but she has proven that it was bound to happen for the betterment of my spiritual pursuit later. After all, beauty is only skin deep!
Since then the customs have been changing substantially and the major thrust of people now is on worldly achievements, sometimes by hook or by crook. Many of them need a bride or groom, fit for being a center of attraction at parties, and to quench their lust and passion, besides being a source of income and children. Otherwise for them there is no meaning to married life.
In former days marriage was considered a sacred duty of man, to produce offspring and continue the chain. Unless a man had a grandchild his sacred duty was not considered over; hence they pressed even their sons to get married.
Now, researchers have found that the success percentage of arranged marriages is better than of marriages that happened after being mutually agreed. Secondly, those who got married for the fourth or fifth time after successive divorces expressed that the first partner was the best.
Do the above views support the old saying that marriages are made in Heaven and take place on Earth? Whether it is an arranged marriage or a mutually agreed upon one, its success or failure is another matter.
Below is an example in favour of the arranged marriage of a couple from India who managed with some compromise.
A married couple around 70 years old had not been on speaking terms for the last 25 years, but used to take care of each other’s requirements without speaking. They had three sons in different cities and usually they were staying separately with sons, and sometimes together at any son’s place or in their village at the time of harvesting. In presence of others they used to address other family members or guests and visitors separately. Whatever the cause, I appreciate that both of them never spoke ill about the other. Once the wife, traveling alone to her son’s place where the husband was already staying, lost her golden earrings at the hands of a cheater, and when the old man came to know about it he was restless. However, he didn’t console her personally, but through a grand daughter he conveyed that he would make up for her loss with his personal funds. Perhaps their bond was very strong for whatever reasons.
In human beings there are many shortcomings and anyone of these in a partner may lead to separation, i.e., divorce by the other partner.
In spirituality, we need a sincere partner to support us when we are on the right path according to the scriptures, and to save us from falling prey to temporary illusions. Who will help us in getting such a partner? For this an established assurance is available that marriages are made in heaven and get materialized in the world at right time.
What about a devotee, male or female, who considers himself/herself a would-be bride of the Lord of the Universe? (Readers may please excuse me for considering a male devotee to be a bride but many saints in India and elsewhere have compared their love towards God as such.) Presently, the future bride is engaged to Him through the arranged marriage by the father (Spiritual Teacher) and is longing for the day when she finally goes to Him. This will happen when the physical body is left behind. Till that time they (God as well as the devotee) feel pangs of separation. Before that, the Lord would also like to see whether the would-be bride is able to deal with worldly companions amicably.
The pleasure in a relationship with God is immense, endless and ever increasing. The devotee enjoys such pleasure with the Lord through the mind in various relations (See the article: The spectrum of the love of God).
We can now say that the better half of God is a saint, or a spiritual teacher!
SP Sharma, India