Married Life and Spiritual Progress
If after marriage a woman gives her entire love to her husband and the husband gives all his love to his wife then what is left to give others? A faithful wife or husband is ready to do everything possible for the other. How can they then love the Lord or His creation? They cannot consider the entire humanity as their family as they themselves are moving on a narrow sphere. As their progeny increases, their love for the all-pervading Lord decreases. How then can they attain truth?
What then is the remedy for married persons? How can they realize the Lord? There is only one way — it is that their connection with or devotion to each other should not be based on satisfaction of their lust, but they should lead a life of restraint, having sex with the sole object of producing offspring.
Their sexual desires should be on the basis of scriptural injunctions. They should have marital relations only once a month until such time as a child is conceived, whom they should be able to bring up and make self-supporting.
They should completely avoid meeting each other during pregnancy and up to the end of the lactation period, which is generally two and a half years.
Indulgence during this period would have a bad effect on the child. He would be of bad character and of weak mind. Moreover, frequency could be the cause of several female ailments.
If there are one or two children by three or four connections in a lifetime they do not retard spiritual progress.
By leading a pure life, the health of wife and husband is maintained.
Married couples should lead their lives as if they had never been married. They should have pure feelings for each other. They should bring up the children properly. They should lead their lives doing meritorious deeds. Such a person stands on the same footing as a celibate.
He who has only one wife is a celibate.
Guru Gobind Singh
Saint Paul said: "Love your wives as Christ loved the Church." This means that the life of married couples should be on the basis of pure and religious thoughts.
People did not fully understand the implication of this precept and followed a life of sex and sense enjoyments.
He again wrote and said: "Love the Lord as if you have never had any wives."
The aim of human life is not the production of children alone. Our main aim is to unite the soul with God.
A person on the spiritual path should always have this goal in view. The relationship of man and wife after a certain age, say 40 or 50 years, should be discontinued.
One should then, while earning his living with his own labour, dedicate his time to the service of the Lord and His creatures.
All Saints and great souls have followed such a path. They led a married life of restraint up to a certain age and thereafter they gave up this aspect of their activity.
Swami Ram Tirath said that as long as men and women do not learn to live as brothers and sisters and lead lives of purity they cannot hope to make any progress. Lives of persons, who have tasted purity of existence, have been happy, healthy and without worries. To consider our elders as mothers and others as sisters or daughters will raise a man to a high moral ideal and will relieve him of many troubles of the world. It also increases his mental and physical strength. Others remain weak, unhealthy and are victims of many troubles.
This continence cannot be practised by control of body alone, for control of mind is essential for the control of the body. Continence should, therefore, be observed with mind, speech and action. If one controls the body but thinks of sensual pleasures, it is harmful, for the mind pushes the body in that direction.
Tulsi Das says, "Adhere to truth and humility and treat other person's wife as mother. I guarantee that you will meet God."
Speak the truth, be humble; and regard the wife of another as mother, if you do not even then realise the Lord hold Tulsi Das responsible.
Continence does not mean that one should merely control his lust and sensual passions. It means actually to withdraw oneself from all the sense desires. If we listen to sensual talks with our ears and see things with our eyes that stimulate passions and yet avoid the sexual urge, it would be like putting one's hand in fire and hoping that it will not be burnt. One should therefore withdraw one's attention and thought from all things which stimulate passion in order to achieve success in one's celibacy.
The aim of continence is to try to seek God because it is a powerful medium for the goal of His realization. If we lead a life of sensuality it will have a bad effect upon our children. They will try to copy our actions.
The children of today know everything about sense pleasures. This was not so thirty to forty years ago. It is the polluted atmosphere of schools and colleges which affects them. The parents are responsible for leading a sensual life. There is then the education imparted by the teachers and the effect of their degraded lives.
Many students lose their continence even before leaving the school and thereby contract many ailments. They lose their attractiveness because of loss of vital fluid. Firmness and sweetness leave them. They cease to be beautiful and comely. Their memory is impaired. They find it difficult to understand a subject. They are listless. There is pallor on their faces and no lustre in their eyes. They have defective eyesight. They have green and black rings below the eyes. They become flabby and suffer from pain in the head, back and spinal cord. They suffer from stomach-ache, lack of sleep, palpitation of the heart, slow fever and tuberculosis. They have spermatorrhoea and gonorrhea, constipation, urinary disorders, piles, diarrhoea and dysentery.
There are many advertisements about general and sex tonics by doctors and physicians in the newspapers and there is a brisk sale of such medicines running into millions of rupees. All this points to our debased state.