Tenali Raman Stories and
Secrets of Marriage

What is it that comes to your mind when you hear the word ‘marriage’? Two people, whose hearts and minds are united, who care for each other and who share a sacred bond nourished by love, companionship and faith, isn’t it?

However, have you seen sometimes that your marriage might not meet your or your spouse’s expectations? When such challenging situations constantly arise, you may require some skill to nurture your relationship. How to develop that skill? Meditation might help.

These are some practical tips which, when kept in mind, can make this journey smoother and more comfortable for both your spouse and you.

Tenali Raman, known for his wisdom and wit, sets an example for the secrets of a happy married life.

Secret 1- Pamper your man’s ego

One of the courtiers from the king’s durbar (court) was jealous of Tenali’s wisdom. One day, he approached Tenali’s wife.

Courtier – Your husband’s brain is the size of a peanut!

Tenali’s wife – So what, it’s the world’s largest peanut.

This secret is for women. Never step on the ego of your man.

Gurudev Sri Sri Ravi Shankar – “The whole world may say to him that he has no brains, but you, his wife, should never say that. You should always say, ‘You are the most intelligent person on the planet. Just the fact that you don’t use your brain does not mean you don’t have it!’ You should always pump his ego. Just praise and shower him with compliments sometimes. Even when he has made some mistake, tell him that he has the ability to do better. Just that little praise will make him feel better.“

The most important thing to a man is that at least his wife thinks that he is the best. Now, pampering his ego may require you to capture all the goodness in him and amplify it. And this skill develops with meditation.

Secret 2 - Respect your wife’s emotions

Tenali Raman gives 20 gold coins to his wife.

Wife (happily) – Now I’ll do my monthly shopping!

Seeing this, Tenali’s friend was taken by surprise.

Friend – You gave so much money to your wife, how do you manage all your expenses?

Tenali – Well, managing expenses is easier than managing emotions.

Emotions are very powerful and you can easily get caught up in them. As a man, it is important to deal with the woman’s emotions skilfully. Sometimes, you may have to nurture them well.

Meditation brings in you that skill to be sensitive and sensible at the same time while dealing with your wife’s emotions. It gives you the ability to bring that pleasantness in the atmosphere which is important for a healthy relationship.

Secret 3 - Don’t demand a proof for love

Tenali’s wife – Tenali, will you always love me?

Tenali’s – Hmm, let me think about it.

After a few seconds (smiling)

Tenali – I will love you for as long as the sun keeps shining during the day.

Do you see this? Just like the existence of the sun during the day, certain things are very obvious and do not need any proof. Love is one of those things. We look for a proof for love from our partner all the time.

Gurudev Sri Sri Ravi Shankar- “Never ask for proof of your partner’s love for you! Do not ask each other, ’Do you really love me?’ Even if you find something lacking, just say, ’Why do you love me so much?’ Take it for granted that they love you. Even if the spring has died out, it will start again.”

Meditation nurtures the qualities of contentment, giving and love in us, so naturally.

Secret 4 - As a couple, have a higher goal for the society

One evening, impressed with Tenali’s wisdom, a saint gives Tenali two fruits of happiness. Tenali decides to keep one for himself and his wife and generously decides to give the other to a worthy couple. He calls three of his closest friends and their wives to tea.

Tenali to the first couple – What do you want in life?

Man – I just want to see my wife happy all the time.

Wife – I just want to see my husband happy all the time.

Tenali to the second couple – What is it that you want in life?

Man – I want to build a nice, big house for the comfort of my wife.

Wife – I want to travel the whole world with my husband!

Tenali to the third couple – What is it that you want to do in life?

Man – I want to create a more holistic education system in our society.

Wife – I want to add to the vision of my husband.

Tenali happily gives the fruit of happiness to the third couple.

When the husband and wife are simply focused on each other all the time, they quickly enter into fights. After the initial phase of marriage, where everything is magical, faults start surfacing all too soon. Lines moving towards each other only move apart after the point of intersection.

Again, when the husband and wife are not focused on each other and their goals in life are different, they stop seeing eye-to-eye with each other and communication and trust break down. Further, when the goals are only to satisfy personal desires, there is not much fulfillment or merit that is gained.

It is only when both are moving together, with their focus on a higher goal for the society, for the world, that values are upheld in the relationship and beauty, love and faith are nourished. Parallel lines move together until infinity. We need to have both personal goals and goals for the society. Only then would we have a sense of fulfillment and higher purpose. This paradigm shift in our thinking, from “What about me?” to “What can I do for others?” happens naturally when we meditate. The skill, courage and commitment to move together, come what may, is nourished and strengthened by meditation. The deeper the foundation, the taller the building will be. Meditation brings this depth to our relationship so that our life and aspirations can reach out to the sky!

Inspired by Gurudev Sri Sri Ravi Shankar's wisdom talks

By Divya Sachdev

Based on inputs by Bharathy Harish, Sahaj Samadhi Meditation Expert

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