QA with Sri Sri
Q: What is the purpose of marriage?
Sri Sri Ravi Shankar: You are asking the wrong person. Ask those who are married, ask them this question.
I would say, it is an important institution. And if you want to have children, then definitely you should get married and have children and give them a good education right from the beginning.
And marriage is an institution where you melt and tell your partner, ‘All my desires I give it to you and I take all your desires from you.’ You exchange all your desires, so each one has the responsibility to fulfill the others desires and not their own.
A devotee gives his desires to God. ‘These are my desires. It is not my job, you fulfill this. I am free. I give away my desires to you.’
When you give away your desires, it does not bother you. In the same way, in a marriage, a husband says, ‘All my desires I give to you and I am free from desire. I will only do what you want.’ And the wife says the same thing, ‘My desires I have given away to you. I will only do what you want.’
So, each of them gets committed to doing what other wants. It is a sacrifice of your own will and desire with the faith that the other cares for you.
There is a very small story about two Japanese travelers in a boat. A newlywed couple was in a boat. They were going for their honeymoon and then suddenly the boat was rocking and there was big storm. So the lady got perturbed but the man was very calm and just smiling as usual. The lady asked him, ‘I am so nervous and so afraid that this boat may capsize but you are so calm. You are not bothered we may drown and die.’
Suddenly, he took out his dagger and put it on her neck, but then she started laughing and said, ‘Is this the time to play? Come on, think about our future. This is not the time to tease.’
He said, ‘Why are you not scared? I am putting a dagger to your neck. I am going to kill you.’
She laughed, ‘When the dagger is in your hand why should I be worried? I know you won’t do any harm to me.’
He said, ‘I have the same relation with nature and with God. When my life is in his hands, he won’t let me die in a storm like this. He won’t let me down. I am not afraid because the strings of my life are in his hands. So why should I worry?’
That very moment she also turned very spiritual, and as the story goes the sea calmed down immediately. The sea calmed and both of them became prayerful.
Faith comes to play only at time of crisis, and the funniest thing is, at the time of crisis the first thing one loses is faith. When it is most needed that is when people lose faith. That is why even faith is a gift. It is not your making.
Nobody can say, ‘I believe so much, but why did this happen to me now?’
What big thing you did? The faith was given to you. It is like you were given a boat and you were given an oar also. Boat is given to you and the oar is also given to you. So even faith is not something you cultivated, but it was most needed at those times of crisis. Even that is a gift. It is a very, very, very important thing to notice.
So now comes, ‘Then what?’ Then nothing!
‘How do I increase my faith?’ Nothing, relax. You can’t do anything.
All that I am saying is to take away the doership from you. Again you ask, ‘How do I drop my doership?’
This is the silliest question people ask, ‘How do I drop the doership?’ You are not the doer my dear, I am telling you.
First of all, there should be doership for you to drop it. You are not even the doer, yes! So there is no way, none whatsoever, all roads are blocked and everything done. There is nothing you can do about anything, got it?
This brings enormous freedom, ‘I can’t do anything about anything.’
Now don’t ask me, ‘What can I do when I can’t do anything about anything?’ (Sri Sri laughs)