Recently, I ran into a school friend on facebook.
His theory was that vairagya (dispassionateness), would come after all one’s passions were exhausted. It is not a new theory, but it put ideas in my head.
And I went and asked Sri Kunda Guruji, whether I ought to get married again.
As is her style, she smiled and looked inward and outward and up and smiled again as she reflected on the question. I am used to this, she never rushes out with an unconsidered answer. And I wait while twiddling my thumbs!
Finally she said that it was in accordance with dharma to be married, especially if that was what one wanted. And even if one was old, one might still want the companionship and support that one expects from a marriage as well as the dharmic channel for passions. So in principle she would not object to anyone’s remarriage. It was a natural thing. And it was okay if I stayed single too. It was really an individual choice.
I remember that I had asked this question of my previous guruji too.
And he said, “If you find someone willing to marry you, there is nothing wrong in getting re-married. But listen to your heart!”
Of course, I had other reasons for not wanting to re-marry before.
(See : Re-Marriage?) and I desisted, though there were two or three people who were agreeable to the idea of marrying me when I was younger.)
When I went back to yoga class yesterday, Guruji had given the matter further thought.
She said that every activity that we engage in either builds or depletes our prANa s’akti (a vital life force sort of thing.)
She said that all bhOgAs (enjoyments) are deplete-rs of prANa s’akti. We spend/dissipate prANa in all our general activities.
Then she said that just as we budget and economise our money expenditure when we have a major project like building a house, we need to budget and economise our prANa s’akti when we have a major goal like self-realisation.
All our spiritual sAdhanAs like prANAyAma, dhyAna (meditation), pArAyaNa (chanting), visiting temples and so on build our prANa s’akti.
We need to build up our prANa s’akti for bhagavad-sAkSAtkAra (literally means “seeing bhagwAn (God)”), or the Atma sthiti or brahma sthiti (– staying in the state of Atman, or state of brahman).
She also said even the nicest person has some dOSAs (doshas, as in flaws). And that even a re-marriage at a late age will bring new problems and responsibilities that will call us away from the highest goal.
My previous guru was also pleased that I had not re-married even though he did not mandate it!
My personal view on Society and Remarriage:
Gurajaada Appa Rao said – talalu bODulayina talapulu bODula? : even if heads are shaved, are thoughts similarly shorn? He wrote a lot about and against child widowhood and for their re-marriage and is the author of that superlative telugu play kanyAs’ulkam. At that time young girls were married off by irresponsible fathers to rich old widowers for a bride-price (kanyAs’ulkam) and to attach their property at a later date. (This form of marriage was termed asura by Chanakya.)
So yes I am definitely for re-marriage for all other women and men if they are so inclined.
So were Vasistha brahmarshi and Chanakya. See: https://ancientindians.wordpress.com/2010/02/15/women-sons-and-remarriage-vasistha-dharmasastra/ and https://ancientindians.wordpress.com/2009/06/05/what-chanakya-kautilya-says-about-marriage-re-marriage-and-womens-property/
That brings it to my personal case.
Society lends love and support : In India, people won’t really leave you alone and without support. I have received and continue to receive tremendous help, love and support from parents, son, friends, relatives, strangers, students, teachers, former colleagues and all. Most people are mostly lovely!
Then that brings one to the idea “talapulu bODula?”.
The honest answer is unfortunately “no”. So passions build up as lava in a volcano. So one turns into an agni parvatam.
s’ankarAcharya said etan mAmsavasadhivikAram.
manasi vi cintaya vAram, vAram. (Repeatedly think that bodies are made of flesh and pus – and thus don’t get distracted.)
Arjuna told Krishna that his mind was out of control.
Then Krishna asked Arjuna to practice control.
Krishna said that kAma (desire) and krOdha (anger), were born of rajas or passion and they would push one to pApa (vikarma) and away from sthita pragnyatva (stable consciousness).
Am I s’iva? Have I a third eye – a gnyAna nEtram, with which to destroy madana (cupid)?
Yesterday Kunda Guruji instructed me during s’avAsanam – s’ivoaham, s’ivoaham s’ivoaham.
Yes, we are s’iva! Yes, we have the third eye! Yes, we can overcome our rajas and practice true brahmacarya – actions leading to brahma gnyAna.
I need to practice the idea that I am s’iva.