Marriage: Inner and Outer
A Talk given by Kirpal Singh on 27 January, 1964
All Masters say that marriage is a sacrament, not a contract. This system began ages back. We are entering into life. For that, Masters always enjoin that we must have good lives: we should be righteous; that is, have good thoughts, good words and good deeds. All scriptures tell us that outer marriage means taking a companion in life for weal or woe on this earthly sojourn to help each other to know God, which is the Highest Aim before us in the man-body. One duty of marriage may be that of begetting children; it is not 100% of our duties. We need a companion in life. Whoever God unites, let God disunite. It is the unseen hand of God working behind it, that brings two souls together to wind up the give and take of the reactions of their past.
But marriage is meant for a higher purpose of the union of soul with God. All scriptures and all religions tell us that. The Sikh scriptures have given as the first step that we should have righteous lives: good thoughts, good words and good deeds; and Love for all: not to hurt the feelings of anybody. Naturally, Love knows service and sacrifice. One who loves knows only to give, give and give: to help himself and to help others, too. An ethical life, with the normal duties of a householder, is a stepping stone to Spirituality. The Ultimate Goal is to know God, and we should help each other to know God. The first step is an ethical life.
We have joined various schools of thought or religions for the purpose of having Spirituality. What is Spirituality? We are spirit in man. Spirituality is the subject of analysing spirit from the bondage of mind and outgoing faculties, to know ourselves and then to know God. God cannot be known by observation:
You cannot enter the Kingdom of God by observation.
These are the elementary steps of the outer religions we have taken up; the main purpose is to have Love and devotion to God. Also, as God resides in every heart, and we are spirit in man, we should have Love and regard for everyone: even of creatures, not to speak of men.
With that object in view, what have we to do? The Ultimate Goal of union of the soul with God is the True Marriage. Naturally, to be married in the outward way, you have to call for the minister. Here a minister is supposed to be a very holy man, and he knows about the marriage business. Similarly, for the Inner, True Marriage of soul with God, we need Somebody Who knows the Way and Who is Adept in there, in that subject. So, learn to sit at the feet of Somebody Who has known God, because we want to know God. Those Who have known God have all said the same thing; of course, in Their own languages. But the purpose is the same. What do They say? Man is the highest in all creation, and the Highest Aim before us is to know God. Remain in any religion you like. This outer union of two bodies – embodied souls – together, is the first step towards the ultimate.
The second step is to help each other to have union with God. That is the True Marriage: the soul with God Eternal.
Mira Bai said,
I now have the Eternal Marriage with God; now I have nothing to fear. He is unchangeable permanence; so I have a marriage that will never break.
For that marriage, you will naturally need Somebody Who has that Inner Contact or Achievement. Call Him by any name you like: you might call Him a minister or a Master or anything. He is supposed to have known God. In all churches, ministers are meant for that purpose. They should unite with God and help others to unite with God.
So, have pure lives and guidance: sit at the feet of Somebody Who has known God. What will He do? Naturally, if He has known God, He will know what are the helping and what are the retarding factors to the union of the soul with God. He will tell you how to withdraw the outward attention, which is the expression of the soul and which is now devoted to the world, from the outside and then how to rise above body consciousness and come in contact with God, Who is already there. Such a soul becomes enlivened, you might say; the other souls are dead. – The attention of the soul, which is diffused in the world, becomes so identified with it, that it materialises. They have died from the sense of consciousness; they are always thinking of matter and of outside things, they will know nothing further than that.
Guru Nanak says,
Only he is alive, oh Nanak, who is awakened, who is conscious of God:
as I see you and you see me. Only such a man is living; others are dead.
This is also what Christ meant by soul dies.
Soul does not die; this is the meaning behind it.