As a young boy, while playing indoors, I heard a lot of loud music and saw lights and ran to look out of the window. I saw a well-dressed young man on a decorated white horse, in a procession, with a lot of pomp and show. In the procession there were many people in colourful clothes dancing to the tune of band music. As a young boy, I asked my mother, what and who this fine man is and where is he going? My mother explained to me that he is a bridegroom going to get married. I asked when will I be a bridegroom and be dressed in all these fineries? Mother answered that when I grow up, complete my studies and work in a company like papa, then I will be a groom sitting on a beautiful horse. I went back and continued to the unfinished game I was playing with my younger brother.
Every girl as she grows up wants to be a bride or every young boy desires to be a groom someday. Have you ever wondered what makes you ready for marriage? Is it the school, college education or the professional career that will make you an eligible bachelor to get married?
Neither the school education, postgraduate degrees or professional successes ensures success as a husband or wife so then what is it? Oh, come on! The grandfather, great grandfather, uneducated gardeners, maids, all are married, so clearly marriage does not require any educational qualifications. Isn’t it?
So what prepares one to be a good parent, excellent spouse and a good son-in-law or great daughter-in-law? And what skills are required? What qualities does one need? Does one need to be a good musician, a good tailor, an excellent cook, a phenomenal dancer? So, it is neither the education, professional qualifications nor these practical skills. All these skills may be additional skills that may be good to have. Then what are the qualities without which a marriage cannot survive?
If one looks at any advertisement, matrimonial columns in newspapers or any matrimonial website, where the partner preference is specified, usually you find a typical statement such as “Want a fair, 6 footer, good looking, 25 to 28 years old, professionally qualified, well settled, groom with handsome income. And in the Art of Living Matrimony additional sentences will that he should be from the Art of Living family a devotee who has completed the Art of Living programs. Is that really sufficient to make him the best husband and father and son-in-law? May be one will further verify his family background, get some references? Make sure he has no previous relationships? Does he have clean habits? Will that make him the most wanted best qualified Husband?
Let’s take a step back and ask the questions. What makes marriages successful and what breaks the marriage? So can you list the qualities easily?
Ok, let us reverse the question and ask what qualities would you want in your spouse? Aha, and one can easily list, it may be that list is long. He/she should be understanding, loving, smiling, adjusting, keen listener, good conversationalist, take care of “my” parents and the list goes on. Ask yourself do you possess each one of these qualities? Yes? Think again!
Also, ask yourself, what qualities should the in-laws have? Oh, one can list that easily, and, ask yourselves the most important question “do I have each of these qualities in me?” If your answer is a big resounding YES!
Then, you are set to have a wonderful married life.
All this does not mean that you need to lower the standard, on what to expect from your future partner. Can you meet your standard is the crucial question? An affirmative answer to that and you are all set to achieve the most beautiful, fulfilling wedded life.
Very often, if one is a doctor, one expects one’s spouse to be a doctor. Or anyone qualified with a professional degree, prefers their spouse to be professionally qualified and pursuing a good career.
I repeat the question. All that is fine will that ensure your marriage a success? So what makes a marriage success finally?
First ask yourself, do I really want to get married? Have I made this decision independent of anyone in this world? I would not change my feelings or attitude towards marriage later? Why is this important? Because, if this query crops up in your mind at any time in the future the investment you have made in searching for a spouse will go waste, and will not be fruitful. You need to be emotionally ready, physically fit, have a firm decision and you should have accepted this decision completely and no matter who is against this thought, nothing will sway you away from this. Then you are ready and prepared to search for the right life partner. If you have the faintest doubt then you are not yet ready, do not bother about marriage and go to a premarital counselling, attend an advanced meditation program of the Art of Living to understand yourself and your needs clearly. This decision can be made only by you. Though you may ask many to provide you with answers it is finally your life and you live with your decision.
Congratulations! On the most important life decision. Now, that you have taken a firm decision, you are on the right path. If you do want to get married you can continue to read further.
How to get ready for marriage? One needs to be physically, mentally emotionally, and spiritually prepared to enter the Grahasthashrama to take responsibilities of a householder. To act according to your dharma and take care of your parents, parents-in-law, your spouse, and future children and ensure you are able to provide for their needs with love and joy becomes one of your primary goals. Yes, not just your career, not your travel ambitions, not furthering skills will remain your primary goals. We are not saying not to pursue your ambitions, career, but definitely not at the cost of your family or health. As Gurudev ( Sri Sri Ravi Shankarji) says, follow the middle path. He says just like you are riding a bicycle you will have to balance to meet your needs and your family, society needs.
So what do I need?
1. Commitment to take care and take responsibility for your existing and acquired new family.
2. Be happy, stay healthy, and take steps to ensure all in family are happy and stay healthy.
3. Be an example of being humble, emotionally stable and independent, calm, serene, good natured, good conversationalist, with good sense of humors, versatile in all aspects of knowledge. Good decision making capability in all aspects of life.
Ensure that all in the family have the opportunity to educate themselves and gain spiritual wisdom.
4. Love oneself, respect all, enjoy others company, and ensure this is possible by all in your family. Maintain equality between spouses.
5. Good attitude towards oneself, towards work, towards marriage and towards all! Love ALL! And serve ALL.
6. Meditate, with a yearning to grow spiritually, live life founded on sustainable principles.
7. Ensure you and all others are having excellent work ethics be whatever profession. And continue to be financially independent.
How do I find out if my spouse has the above qualities? Be connected to the Art of Living Matrimony via social media and read on the next few blogs in the Art of Living Matrimony and find out for yourself!