How to choose the right life partner

A disciple, Dilip Kumar Roy, wrote a letter in 1924 to Sri Aurobindo asking certain questions regarding marriage.  The answer depends on many factors, as Sri Aurobindo indicates in the following text.  He outlines the three kinds of bonds which usually form in a marital union: (a) vital or physical, (b) psychic and (c) spiritual.  His insights must be read with the understanding that no cut and dried answers can be given to such intricate questions.

Painting: Priti Ghosh@Sri Aurobindo Ashram. Click image for the artist’s page

Bonds of union between man and woman are generally of three kinds. The first is the vital and the physical bond. This is very common and ninety nine out of every hundred marriages result in this type of union.  This is the only possible bond among men and women of ordinary type and there is absolutely nothing wrong in it. In fact it is neither right nor wrong, but is rather necessary for them for gaining experience in their progress of life. It is also there for fulfilling a great purpose of Nature, that is, reproduction or the continuity of the race. You ask why sexual impulse is so strong in man making him almost a helpless tool in its hand. Because, as Sri Aurobindo has said, it is there placed by Nature for fulfilling her most primary and primitive purpose, that of reproduction, and it is strong in order to compel man to do it in spite of himself. For ordinary men it is the only principle and in fact the sole impulse, however man may try to cover it with his emotional and aesthetic ideas and ideals.

(Note on terminology: by vital and physical bond, Sri Aurobindo implies a marriage which thrives on the general enjoyment of life – La Dolce Vita – having sex, traveling to exotic places, eating good food, socializing, making money and so on.)

The second type of union between man and woman is the psychic bond. Those who are extraordinary in type, of rare refinement and culture and have a call for a greater ideal in life than the average man and woman, as for instance, for art, music, poetry, patriotism, they should seek their life companion not from sexual desires but from a higher outlook so that their union may result in this type of pure and psychic bond. In such a case of an extra-ordinary man a psychic woman alone can be his real partner of life. She alone can help him to fulfil himself and add to his power and Ananda. A wrong choice for him spells a set-back, and even ruin. A vital and physical union with a lower type of woman may blunt his aspirations and even wreck his life according as the woman is.  This psychic union is very rare in the world and is so difficult to find — especially as your seeking for a partner is always coloured by your clamouring of desires and lower impulses. On the other hand, when found, your life is extremely happy and both of you grow in power and purity and may even develop the highest type of bond — the spiritual out of this psychic one. Because psychic union is so rare and a real companion of life is so hard to find for a man of higher ideal, they generally remain single. Some of them find their mate late in life like Mustafa Kamal. Some are fortunate like Browning and are very happy all their life.

(Mustafa Kamal: These observations by Sri Aurobindo were recorded in 1924 at a time when Mustafa Kamal Ataturk was married to Latife Uşaklıgil.  They were divorced a year later in 1925, after being married for 2-1/2 years.)

(Browning: Sri Aurobindo is probably referring to Robert Browning, the poet who was married to poetess Elizabeth Barrett from 1846-1861.)

K.D: What about Napoleon and Josephine? Isn’t that relation psychic ? .

SRI AUROBINDO: Not entirely; it is half and half. Something in Josephine’s luck helped Napolean. Josephine had a better chance of being an Empress than Napolean had of being an Emperor. It was by marrying her he made his chance secure.

The spiritual bond is the third and the highest and is for him who feels the true call for spiritual life and has to find his Shakti or complementary soul who will be at once his partner and guide in his sadhana(askesis). If you have spiritual life as an ideal in view, you must not seek either an ordinary woman or a mere psychic one but a woman of that spiritual type who is also psychic and something more. This spiritual bond between man and woman is still more difficult to find and only one per cent of the marriages in the world, if at all, result in such a union. When found, a spiritual companion doubles your life and power and increases your speed of progress tenfold. It is really the Purusha and Prakriti fulfilling themselves in their world and raising themselves to the Divine plane by their united power. A wrong choice in the type of one who seeks spiritual greatness is worse than in the psychic bond, the fall is swifter and the result may be fatal. Where there is spiritual union, the psychic is sure to be, but where there is psychic, the higher may not be; only in some cases the higher can be evolved out of it. But out of the lowest the highest cannot certainly come and even the psychic is hardly possible.

What Ramakrishna Paramahansa (the 19th century Bengali mystic) had in his mind Sri Aurobindo cannot say, but he thinks Ramakrishna dreaded marriage from the point of view of the ascetic life. If one’s ideal is to renounce the world he has to avoid woman, she being like wealth and ambition, one of the great forces in Nature which drag down man’s consciousness to the lower planes of vital and physical desires. Ramakrishna’s insistence on renouncing woman was from a moral and ascetic standpoint. You can very well see that Sri Aurobindo does not tell you anything from this ascetic or moral point of view, but because of the above facts.

These are general truths relating to union of man and woman. In your own case everything depends on your ideal. If it is to be the ordinary life of vital and physical enjoyments you can choose your mate just wherever you like.

If it is a nobler ideal of art or music or patriotism, the seeking for a companion of life must not primarily be from the sexual desire but from something higher and the woman must have something in her in tune with the psychic part of your being. If on the other hand, your ideal is spiritual life you must think fifty times before you marry: Sri Aurobindo has already told you how rare a fit mate is for such a spiritual union. You are here given the general principles only. From its complexity you can easily imagine how difficult it will be for Sri Aurobindo to give you any clear-cut answer. With these data before you you must decide for yourself.

K.D: How can one know when he meets his psychic mate?

SRI AUROBINDO: How do you know a spiritual experience? How do you know when you have the right leader? It is all a matter of feeling and inner perception. It is an art and not a science. When she walks into your life you will know her right enough. As I have told you again and again, no rigid and hard and fast rule is possible in things like this. Union with woman is right in one case and perhaps wrong in other 99 cases. In that one case again without his Shakti (i.e. feminine counterpart) the man’s progress will be very slow and he may even go wrong. In the other 99 cases contact with woman itself may prove an obstacle. There are so many hostile powers working against the right union of complementary souls that very often, you can seldom meet your right mate. Of course I am talking of the path and not of the goal. When you reach the highest you will have to see whether you can get your Shakti. Without a Shakti you can yourself be perfect, in the sense that you can attain full knowledge, power and Ananda and change your entire organised being into its divine nature, but when you want to throw your powers on the world for creation, it is different. Take my instance. It may so happen that I reach the highest all alone, my Shakti falling in the way. Then I cannot create without her. I can by my highest siddhi only prepare the way for others to follow and accomplish the rest in the future. It is not only the dark forces who obstruct and make it impossible for the twin souls to meet, but even when they actually meet their life may get wrecked owing to mental and vital impediments. It is only when the psychic or the spiritual part is predominant in both, the two can really fulfil one another and progress higher and higher.  The hostile powers working against the siddhi of yogis are difficult to conquer. Ordinarily we are in complete darkness or ignorance with only flashes of knowledge now and then, even when the sadhaka has risen into a continual glow of knowledge and can discern the play of all the dark forces, he is not exempt from attack. Only when he reaches full illumination and is in serene and revealed knowledge he is beyond them and safe.

(Champaklal. Champaklal Treasures, pp 224-226)

In the last passage above, Sri Aurobindo stated, “Take my instance. It may so happen that I reach the highest all alone, my Shakti falling in the way. Then I cannot create without her.”  He is alluding to the Mother Mirra Alfassa, who was his Shakti or twin soul.  It was she who organized the Ashram and served as the Guru to all the disciples.  See an earlier article Twin souls.

Related Posts

  1. Twin souls
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  3. Four stages in human love
  4. Anandamayi Ma as the Guru
  5. Some disciples of Sri Aurobindo and the Mother
  6. The transmutation of sexual energy
  7. Sublimation of the sexual urge through Yoga
  8. Sri Aurobindo and the Mother on Astrology 
  9. The Aurobindonian model of Karma
  10. Why are artists irregular in their conduct?
  11. True family and True country
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73 thoughts on “How to choose the right life partner

  1. DR. CHANDRAVADAN MISTRY

    These are the High Philisophical view of Arbindo.
    The Union of a MAN & a WOMAN happens as per the circumstances, the Environmental infuences, and possible with the Divine Gudance……..and if that union is broken then the Parters invoved were coming into that Union on on the Free Will or had some delusion Post Union….being not compatible it was desined to fail.
    Human Being had the capacity to alter Events…..There are many examples of the Long Lasting Marriages even when the Parters were not the willing individuals to that Union..This is where “flexibility”& the Respects of Eachother play an important Role.
    Lasting Marriage is the Gift of God !
    DR. CHANDRAVADAN MISTRY (Chandrapukar)
    http://www.chandrapukar.wordpress.com
    Inviting you & your Readers to Chandrapukar.

    Reply
  2. Sandeep Post author

    Sonnet 116 by Shakespeare

    Let me not to the marriage of true minds
    Admit impediments. Love is not love
    Which alters when it alteration finds,
    Or bends with the remover to remove:
    O no! it is an ever-fixed mark
    That looks on tempests and is never shaken;
    It is the star to every wandering bark,
    Whose worth’s unknown, although his height be taken.
    Love’s not Time’s fool, though rosy lips and cheeks
    Within his bending sickle’s compass come:
    Love alters not with his brief hours and weeks,
    But bears it out even to the edge of doom.
    If this be error and upon me proved,
    I never writ, nor no man ever loved.

    Reply
  3. Sandeep Post author

    Binu Mukherjee grew up in the Sri Aurobindo Ashram and is currently Emeritus Professor of Physics at Royal Military College of Canada(see his webpage). In the following video starting at 5 min, Binu Mukherjee describes how the Mother Mirra Alfassa guided him to marry a person with whom he shared a psychic bond.

    The transcript of relevant part of the speech is as follows:

    “…There was another interaction which has really helped me greatly and perhaps a bit of an exception here in that as I was finishing my PhD, Mother (Mirra Alfassa) actually asked me to get married, and I had not really planned on this. And she told me whom to marry. I found out later why this was because I was lucky to have a wife who had an extraordinary aspiration and a very deep inner contact, and it was clear to me that Mother wanted her here (in the Ashram). I was just the means of getting her here. But in that process I have been helped enormously and we have had a life which has been remarkably free of any complications”

    Reply
    1. Sandeep Post author

      Thanks. Roy Posner at the link you gave seems to have compiled an exhaustive list of cases encountered in real-life situations. The Mother used to say “External circumstances are a reflection of who we inwardly are” and Roy’s suggestions for attracting the right partner given below seem aligned with her assertion.

      Attracting Love through Higher Consciousness
      When we rightfully deal with other issues in our life, we also tend to attract positive circumstance, including the right romance person.

      Once when I was young, I decided to join a house painting and woodworking group instead of being idle, as I normally would, having been spoiled during those years. Soon after, I met the girl of my dreams from out of nowhere through another friend.

      Often, when we make a decisive change to the positive in one area of our life, we attract something special in another, such as the love of our life. Sometimes, it is because we change an attitude, such as my attitude toward work, though it can also be a wanting attitude toward others or even life itself. Sometimes, the response comes because we finally come around and act through psychological strength instead of weakness. Other times it happens because we are self-giving in another area, such as toward a friend in need. There are countless opportunities in life where we can act out of higher consciousness, and thereby attract powerful positive circumstance in another area of our life, including a deep aspiration to draw the right romantic partner.

      A Plan to Attract the Right Partner
      -Immerse yourself in doing the thing/work you enjoy.
      -Aspire for a deep relationship where there are shared interests, yet that has complementarity for scope for growth
      -Give up any negative feelings to others, including family.
      -Be patient.
      -Stay positive (i.e. be cheerful about the matter).
      -Offer the details of your intention to the Spirit and do it through “Thy Will Be Done”.
      -Aspire for the highest form of relationship you can imagine for yourself.
      -Believe that you can attract the world to you, including a love partner.

      Reply
      1. ipi

        But this is a personal observation one does not get the peace,happiness or anything that the inside of the human being want from anybody in the world except from God.Thats the way god has intended as god is our real need in life.Also the fullfillment of life comes in by following and doing all that which can take us close to Mother and Sri Aurobindo.

        Most of the issues arise in once life because of oneself as Mother has said there is greatest victory in controlling oneself.Anything or Anybody less than Mother and Sri Aurobindo will not be satisfying to the soul.And no human can replace the love of divine as none is build to be bound by human love all are created to love Lord.Any human relation in normal level is based on expectation and all human liking and disliking based on their need so the disappiontment will come if one get attached to any human in any relation , but if one follow all that is said spiritually to do one will bring harmony in any relation as it is no more based on own selfish need.That can lead to lot of good things in life.

        Reply
        1. Sandeep Post author

          Aphorism of Sri Aurobindo: To commit adultery with God is the perfect experience for which the world was created.

          Reply
        2. Sandeep Post author

          When we are offended at any man’s fault, turn to yourself & study your own failings. Then you will forget your anger.
          -Epictetus.

          Reply
          1. ipi

            The offending man if wise enough will learn one’s own fault seeing why others are getting mad and sad then full cycle of learning will be done , action and reaction and learning from own action and learning from own reaction applies to both party for integral learning. A collective learning evolves making both of them more conscious of their faults and concentrating on changing by surrendering to Mother their nature.

          2. ipi

            Anger does not go away that way practically. Its a process. In practical life things are not as if stories of movies are written like this will happen and then next. What happens is in months or a year or years, people get out of contact with the person and then from the distance done, people with years just do not get angry, as it has passed a phase where the people are gone in life and living their life. Once in a while when people think of the person even that does not happen over years, but if when they do by that time so much time and other events in life has happened and one being with own life there is no more much in it. Its like in school: friends you remember but then they being out of touch now things are not anymore. But once in a while one remembers but no intensity nothing remains on anything at all, life has moved on so much by then.

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  5. Sandeep Post author

    A dialogue from the Gospel of Ramakrishna between M (a disciple of Ramakrishna) and a visiting doctor on the choice of the right life-partner. Ramakrishna used to speak of two kinds of spouses – avidyashakti (one who leads to darkness) and vidyashakti (one who leads towards light).

    M : Ramakrishna used to say: “There are two classes of women, one vidyashakti and the other avidyashakti. Vidyashakti helps in God-realisation and avidyashakti takes one away from God, binds one in sensory pleasures.” Rare indeed are women with vidyashakti-they can be counted on finger tips. Thakur said: “Even if a woman rolls on the ground with bhakti, a male aspirant must not mix with her.” Women cannot live without men. Perhaps this is the reason why they are called abala (weak).

    The Doctor : There is no distinction between man and woman in the West – both have equal rights. Many women have asked me whether they have no right to God­-realisation.

    M : They certainly have – if they are vidyashaktis. Let them love Him, they will have His darshana.

    From : http://www.kathamrita.org/apostle/m5.html

    Reply
    1. Sandeep Post author

      The remarks made by Ramakrishna on women were once the subject of an exchange between Sri Aurobindo and a disciple Nirodbaran:

      Nirodbaran: How is it that Ramakrishna always used to ask his disciples to avoid kamini-kanchan(women and gold)?² Buddha was no less strict.

      Sri Aurobindo: That is the old monastic idea. It arises from the extreme sexuality of men. They see in women the Narakasya dvāram (the gate of Hell) because that door is so wide open in themselves. But they prefer to throw the blame on women.

      (Nirodbaran. Correspondence with Sri Aurobindo, p 107)

      Reply
  6. Sandeep Post author

    In his own way, Swami Vivekananda expresses the nature of the psychic bond described by Sri Aurobindo:

    Alberta Sturges: Is there no happiness in marriage?
    Swami Vivekananda: Yes, Alberta, if marriage is entered into as a great austerity — and everything is given up — even principle!

    (From Josephine MacLeod’s February 1908 letter to Mary Hale)

    Reply
  7. ipi

    It is the ordinary nature of vital love not to last or , if it tries to last, not to satisfy, because it is a passion which Nature has thrown in in order to serve a temporary purpose ; it is good enough therefore for a temporary purpose and its normal tendency is to wane when it has sufficiently served Nature’s purpose. In mankind, as man is a more complex being, she (Nature) calls in the aid of imagination and idealism to help her push, gives a sense of ardour, of beauty and fire and glory, but all that wanes after a time. It cannot last, because it is all a borrowed light and power, borrowed in the sense of being a reflection caught from something beyond and not native to the reflecting vital medium which imagination uses for the purpose. More over, nothing lasts in the mind and vital, all is a flux there. The one thing that endures is the soul, the spirit. Therefore love can last and satisfy only if it bases itself on the soul and spirit, if it has its roots there. But that means living no longer in the vital but in the soul and spirit.

    (— SRI AUROBINDO, On Yoga, II, tome I, part 11,7)

    Reply
  8. mike

    Thanks for this post. l’ve been looking for confirmation about Twinsouls [within the integral yoga] for quite a while. l read the section on twinsouls but it was only through a link there that l found this post. l wanted confirmation about twinsouls from Sri Aurobindo or Mother but l could only find the term mentioned once in Savitri. l wasn’t clear from that if twinsouls actually exist [still not sure if Sri Aurobindo is referring to Plato's version about the Splitting of an original soul into two twinsouls]. l believe there is mention of two flames somewhere, though [twinflames]…
    The quote below has clarified this. So, many thanks to sandeep and Champaklal.

    “It is not only the dark forces who obstruct and make it impossible for the twin souls to meet, but even when they actually meet their life may get wrecked owing to mental and vital impediments”

    Reply
    1. Sandeep Post author

      The article clearly states “However, please be aware that both social and biological compatibility are important for a lasting and satisfying relationship.””

      Reply
      1. ipi

        Nothing is lasting and satisfying relationship except the one with the god.God is wise enough and otherwise there would be no evolution at all if all is that great what is the necessity of spiritual life.One has come alone to this world and will go alone from this world and only thing remains is the love one develops for divine in each life and that alone is lasting and satisfying.Well one can go for merry go around and each and every moment of life still will realise one is missing something even if one get everything as the soul is looking for no one else or nothing else ans we as human being are divine in origin.

        Reply
        1. MT

          Ipi: One has come alone to this world and will go alone from this world and only thing remains is the love one develops for divine in each life and that alone is lasting and satisfying.

          So true! As one develops this love for the Divine, all desire for wordly enjoyment starts falling away of itself.

          Reply
  9. mike

    “Well one can go for merry go around and each and every moment of life still will realise one is missing something even if one get everything”

    Very True ;)

    Reply
  10. ipi

    “..there is nothing pleasant in desiring anything. It only puts you in an unpleasant state,that’s all.”
    ~~~
    “Take for instance…..you see something…which seems to you or is – very beautiful,very harmonious,very pleasant;if you have the true consciousness,you experience this joy of seeing,of being in a conscious contact with something very beautiful,very harmonious, and then that’s all.
    It stops there.You have the joy of it – that such a thing exists, you see.This quite common in artist….

    ……
    An ordinary consciousness,altogether ordinary,dull like all ordinary consciousness – as soon as it sees something beautiful, whether it be an object or a person, hop! ‘I want it!’ It is deplorable,you know.And into the bargain it doesn’t even have the joy of the beauty,because it has the anguish of desire. It misses that and has nothing in exchange,..

    Book: Living Within by A.S DALAL, p.xx

    Reply
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  12. mike

    “The spiritual bond is the third and the highest and is for him who feels the true call for spiritual life and has to find his Shakti or complementary soul who will be at once his partner and guide in his sadhana(askesis). If you have spiritual life as an ideal in view, you must not seek either an ordinary woman or a mere psychic one but a woman of that spiritual type who is also psychic and something more. This spiritual bond between man and woman is still more difficult to find and only one per cent of the marriages in the world, if at all, result in such a union. When found, a spiritual companion doubles your life and power and increases your speed of progress tenfold”

    lt’s strange but l seemed to have completely missed the part about how a ‘Spiritual Companion’ actually doubles your life and power. The part about ‘increases your speed of progress tenfold’ had sunk in, but the rest of that statement by SA had somehow eluded me till now.
    l remember reading by SA that even in His sadhana it was only when the Mother arrived, did it ‘progress tenfold’. So, even though we may have great meditations or progress on our own, it’s only when the Spiritual Companion aka the Twinsoul arrives that we make incredible progress – the kind that breaks barriers.
    l had also missed the part about the Companion or Twinsoul being a Guide as well. lt’s amazing how we can be blind to right information until we’re ready for it lol.

    Reply
    1. Sandeep Post author

      Mike: lt’s amazing how we can be blind to right information until we’re ready for it lol.

      I assume this implies that you are at the point where you are ready for this information. That’s good news :-)

      Reply
  13. mike

    Yes, Sandeep,
    lt seems to indicate that. I’ve noticed it happen throughout my life with other things too. Something only makes an impression or we only notice it at the right time – probably at the time our Psychic Being wants us to have that information. Timing seems to be important. God’s Timing l suppose.

    Reply
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  15. Sandeep

    An examination of marriage vis-a-vis the spiritual path by Gopal on his blog

    CATEGORY 1. People with desire for marriage, but no desire for lifelong celibacy even in a married life
    CATEGORY 2. People with strong aversion to marriage since beginning and having the inborn capacity for lifelong celibacy
    CATEGORY 3. People with strong aversion to marriage since beginning, but without the inborn capacity for lifelong celibacy
    CATEGORY 4. People with desire for marriage as well as desire for lifelong celibacy even in a married life

    For more, read http://gopal4mission.com/2012/02/05/brahmacharya-and-marriage-the-dilemma-before-every-spiritual-aspirant/

    Reply
  16. RJ

    I’m not sure that this is a useful classification of the possibilities. Now, of course, everyone can be classified on whether they have an “inborn capacity” or an “inborn aversion/desire”. But that is knowable only in retrospect, or from some “timeless”/absolute position, or if you happen to be aware for some other reason. For example, I myself can’t yet say what category I fall in. Brahmacharya is an important goal, and is essential for the supramental transformation as far as we know. But I have not yet reached the point of extinguishing all desire and therefore don’t know yet whether I have the “inborn capacity” for brahmacharya.

    The advice given seems about keeping brahmacharya seems to be very oriented towards the “old style” spirituality where it’s completely possible to live in the world while avoiding having a woman in one’s field of vision for 12 years. Is there anywhere in the world, besides cloistered away in an ashram(not even SA’s), where this is possible? Regardless, I am finding that the best strategy for me is to aspire for Love, rather than focus too much on austerities, because this seems to be most practical and effective. (Again, for me.)

    As for the issue of “marriage”, I’ve always felt a strong desire for romantic love, but have never found the idea of being married(in the sense of the social/domestic institution, but this may just be semantics), being a householder, or raising a family to be particularly appealing. This might be a samskara that needs to be overcome. But as I (slowly) grow closer to the psychic I’m finding that this desire is becoming purer rather than going away. Being in my early 20′s, it’s too early to say anything for sure .

    Reply
    1. Sandeep Post author

      Those are Gopal’s answers which are born out of his spiritual struggle. You may arrive at a different set of answers. To be honest, I didn’t really analyze what he had written before posting the link here :-)

      You have to factor in “reincarnation” into this analysis. As the soul becomes more mature and sattwic over several incarnations, the desire for sex decreases and the purpose of a particular incarnation becomes more focused as well as revealed earlier in life. Some require a phase of sexual fulfillment before the soul turns to higher possibilities; others are born relatively free of sexual desire.

      RJ: Regardless, I am finding that the best strategy for me is to aspire for Love, rather than focus too much on austerities, because this seems to be most practical and effective.

      That could be the natural orientation of your soul. The Bhakta(devotee) sees something as a offering of Love, while the Jnana Yogi sees the same as a perfection of austerities. These are two ways of arriving at the same solution.

      RJ: have never found the idea of being married(in the sense of the social/domestic institution, but this may just be semantics), being a householder, or raising a family to be particularly appealing. This might be a samskara that needs to be overcome.

      No, it could be just a sign that you have evolved to a stage where the charms of the phenomenal life have lost their hold on your soul, but you still need a companion soul.

      As an aside, I always find it amusing when people raised in Western culture refer to “marriage” as an “institution”. I guess its because over the past 4-5 centuries, people in the West have fought to reclaim their individuality against the artificial diktats of the Church (no divorce, no sex for recreational purposes, etc) as well the cumbersome rules of government.

      In India, people see marriage not as an institution but as a natural stage of life. Since ages, people have been taught that there are four stages of life :
      1) Brahmacharya Ashrama(student life)
      2) Grihastha ashrama(householder)
      3) Vanaprastha ashrama (hermit or withdrawal to the forest stage)
      4) Sannyasa ashrama (ascetic)

      The Mother had to battle against these ancient ideas as well. Old and retired people would come to her asking for admission to the Ashram. From her perspective, it was too late for any yogic transformation. She used to tell them to apply to the graveyard instead (or some such thing). Its somewhere in the Agenda but I can’t find it right now.

      Reply
      1. RJ

        Yes, I certainly didn’t mean to sound dismissive of Gopal’s experience – or of “old style” spirituality for that matter! That wouldn’t be fair or correct. I just mean to say that as an aspiring Integral Yogi growing up in the 21st century, I don’t resonate with this approach, and I imagine that others in similar positions may feel the same way.

        You may be right about my natural orientation being towards bhakti. When I started out on the spiritual path, I was drawn towards jnana-based paths like Buddhism and formless meditation and so on. (I think that these approaches are most appealing to the Western “intellectual”/skeptical point of view because from this point of view, they can be seen as sterile processes of psychological investigation, removing all of the threatening aspects of religion and spirituality.) But as I opened more to the idea of Bhakti-oriented practices I found that I resonated more with them and found the jnana approach to be too dry. And then I began to see that maybe that is my natural tendency – I’ve always been interested in expressions of bhakti in music and other art forms and, at the end of the day, I find Love to be the basis of knowledge and the real impetus of spiritual practice.

        As for “marriage” as an institution: you’re right, I’m referring to a Western conception where marriage is a formal, legal agreement. But I’m also talking about a very conventional approach where marriage and family are “goals” to be attained, things that are just “expected” of you because “that’s what life is about”. That’s a sense of marriage as a social/domestic institution that I also find unappealing. As you have probably figured out from our correspondence, I’m 2nd generation Indian American, so I know that this mindset is present in modern Indian culture(acknowledging, of course, that these are probably old forms that have rigidified and lost their meaning from some earlier, less “fallen” version of society) and many (if not all) cultures that are extant today. This mindless pragmatism born of social conditioning has its place(just as everything does), but I have always found it to be distasteful.

        That’s a funny comment about the elderly applying for admission to the ashram – I also remember reading it,but don’t remember where. It’s inspiring to me, even at a purely human(not necessarily spiritual) level, how SA and M were doing their deepest work at a time when most people are getting ready to throw in the towel and relax. Even at 80, 90 years old Mother was forging ahead, creating a new species.

        Reply
        1. Sandeep Post author

          But I’m also talking about a very conventional approach where marriage and family are “goals” to be attained, things that are just “expected” of you because “that’s what life is about”. That’s a sense of marriage as a social/domestic institution that I also find unappealing.

          You may have grown out of it but there are people who are at a stage of evolution where they require that experience. For them, it is better to live by some norms rather than get drunk in bars and have casual sex with many different partners over time.

          That is why Hinduism recognizes four goals of life: Dharma (virtuous living), Artha (worldly success), Kama (pleasure) and Moksha (liberation). Only a few are conscious and capable of the last goal.

          It is for these reasons that Sri Aurobindo’s advice on marriage differed from person to person. He had to ascertain a person’s potential for Yoga (i.e. Swadharma – imperfectly translated as personality orientation) before giving a recommendation.

          In one case, he encouraged a person to get married:
          It is not helpful to abandon the ordinary life before the being is ready for the full spiritual life. To do so means to precipitate a struggle between the different elements and exasperate it to a point of intensity which the nature is not ready to bear. The vital elements in you have partly to be met by the discipline and experience of life, while keeping the spiritual aim in view and trying to govern life by it progressively in the spirit of Karmayoga. It is for this reason that we gave our approval to your marriage.
          (Letters on Yoga SABCL vol. 23, section on Sadhana in the Ashram and outside, p 849

          In another case, he dissuaded a promising individual from marriage:
          Regarding your question about a complementary soul and marriage, the answer is easy to give; the way of the spiritual life lies for you in one direction and marriage lies in quite another and opposite. All talk about a complementary soul is a camouflage with which the mind tries to cover the sentimental, sensational and physical wants of the lower vital nature. It is that vital nature in you which puts the question and would like an answer reconciling its desires and demands with the call of the true soul in you.
          (Letters on Yoga SABCL vol. 23, section on Human Relationships In Yoga, p 811

          Reply
      2. Sandeep Post author

        Old and retired people would come to her asking for admission to the Ashram. From her perspective, it was too late for any yogic transformation. She used to tell them to apply to the graveyard instead (or some such thing). Its somewhere in the Agenda but I can’t find it right now.

        Update: I have no citation for the Mother having said such a thing. It is not true for now.

        Reply
      3. Sandeep Post author

        The Mother had to battle against these ancient ideas as well. Old and retired people would come to her asking for admission to the Ashram. From her perspective, it was too late for any yogic transformation. She used to tell them to apply to the graveyard instead (or some such thing). Its somewhere in the Agenda but I can’t find it right now.

        Found the passage !

        Mother:…But this is not for lazy folk. It’s for people who like progress. Not for those who come and say, “Oh! I have worked hard in my life, now I want to rest, will you please give me a place in the Ashram?” I tell them, “Not here. This is not a place for rest because you have worked hard, this is a place for working even harder than before.” So, formerly, I used to send them to Ramana Maharshi: “Go there, you will enter into meditation and you will get rest.” Now it is not possible, so I send them to the Himalayas; I tell them,“Go and sit before the eternal snows! That will do you good.”

        (CWMCE vol 8, p 21)

        Reply
  17. mike

    “Regarding your question about a complementary soul and marriage, the answer is easy to give; the way of the spiritual life lies for you in one direction and marriage lies in quite another and opposite. All talk about a complementary soul is a camouflage with which the mind tries to cover the sentimental, sensational and physical wants of the lower vital nature. It is that vital nature in you which puts the question and would like an answer reconciling its desires and demands with the call of the true soul in you.”

    What SA there about ‘complementary souls’ obviously doesn’t apply to the Spiritual Bond He talks about below, otherwise it’s a total contradiction and all talk about complentary souls and twinsouls is just a camouflage for the satisfaction of the lower nature – as He says above. l have a feeling that the disciple in the above statement had not really met a ‘complementary or twin soul’, but was just using that label as a pretext for marriage and living an ordinary vital life. This is obvious from what SA told him:
    “the way of the spiritual life lies for you in one direction and marriage lies in quite another and opposite”.
    lf he’d met a TRUE complementary soul [as in the case of satprem and sujata] there wouldn’t be this duality IMO.

    “The spiritual bond is the third and the highest and is for him who feels the true call for spiritual life and has to find his Shakti or complementary soul who will be at once his partner and guide in his sadhana(askesis). If you have spiritual life as an ideal in view, you must not seek either an ordinary woman or a mere psychic one but a woman of that spiritual type who is also psychic and something more. This spiritual bond between man and woman is still more difficult to find and only one per cent of the marriages in the world, if at all, result in such a union. When found, a spiritual companion doubles your life and power and increases your speed of progress tenfold”

    Look at that last sentence ‘a spiritual companion doubles your life and power increases your speed of progress tenfold’. Why would that be anathema to the practice of lntegral Yoga?

    Reply
    1. Sandeep Post author

      Mike: l have a feeling that the disciple in the above statement had not really met a ‘complementary or twin soul’, but was just using that label as a pretext for marriage and living an ordinary vital life.

      Yes, that was the problem.

      Reply
  18. Sandeep Post author

    Ramakrishna Paramahansa used to say that “after having one or two children both husband and wife must live together as brother and sister”. Social psychologists through their experiments have observed that long-term relationships follow the pattern recommended by Ramakrishna above!

    According to them, marriages evolve from passion to romantic love and finally onto companionate love, which is a combination of friendship, understanding and concern for the welfare of the other.

    See
    1. Sternberg’s Triangular theory of love
    2. Elaine Hatfield’s article “Passionate and Companionate love” in Psychology of Love by Sternberg and Hatfield
    3. Discussion on Companionate love in Elliot Aronson’s Social Animal, page 391.

    Reply
  19. Gordana

    I will post several excerpts from the Agenda (I did a brief search through to most of the volumes with the key words: marry, marriage, – so, all of the posts are not exactly about the choosing of a partner but still not far of the main topic)
    One line from the first post got stuck in my mind and it’s been many, many years I still remember it and recall it. It’s striking indeed and I will confess that there were times when I observed this kind of hidden(astral) courtship play of people around me, and I did spot signs of the play she talked about. This is the line: “. But I was looking, and as I looked I saw what had happened: one day she had a sort of sentimental and emotional formation coming through her, and it so happens that that day she met this man, who was exactly in need of that. He said to himself ”
    Yes, it’s a common ‘female game’ – although often subconscious… many women hook men in this way, and at the end are caught up in their own fishing net,
    Here are the excerpts from the Agenda:

    Reply
    1. Gordana

      “They are always sending me photos of people who went to get married (it has become a craze), and I am asked if they are well-matched, if it’s all right. And I immediately see – I immediately see the sort of life they will have together, it’s very funny! Today there were three couples like that. In the first, the man was intelligent, sensitive, with an emotional side in need of something, of a response. The woman, rather stupid, rather ordinary too. Not at all made for one another. But I was looking, and as I looked I saw what had happened: one day she had a sort of sentimental and emotional formation coming through her, and it so happens that that day she met this man, who was exactly in need of that. He said to himself, “This is it!” All his friends told him, “No, no, don’t marry this woman, it will never work,” and they are right. But he said, “I felt something.” And that was just a day when it caught hold of her and he happened to be there. So I saw it all (it was very amusing), and off I went!”

      (Agenda February 4, 1967)

      Reply
      1. Gordana

        “Yesterday I got a line from M.H. (quite polite, besides) asking me why marriage, which was forbidden in the Ashram, is now permitted since people are marrying and having children …. That must be some gossip, or else he saw some of the pregnant women in Auroville. But I sent him my explanation; I told him that if it were true that marriage is now permitted and children are born here, I would simply say, “It’s because the Divine so willed it.” (Which is a way of telling him that it’s a very ordinary consciousness that asks that question.) But then, when I wrote, I put the word “Divine” because I didn’t know what else to put …. Afterwards, I told him how things are, that they’re not at all that way, but that in Auroville people have children; in my reply I even wrote that Auroville’s maternity home had been created for all those who want their child to be a world citizen! (Laughing) And there are lots of them!
        But at the time of writing “the Divine” … What’s to be done? What should we say? … It’s a convention, but words … In one of his Aphorisms, Sri Aurobindo said that atheism is necessary to counterbalance religions which had caused so much damage! … And that’s why using the word “God” is unfortunate.
        Often I say “Truth,” often “supreme Consciousness,” but I am perfectly aware that it’s not the thing. “Divinity” too … The Ancients said That – but Ça in French? …
        It can be used, but not everywhere …. The rishis said, “The Vast” [Brihat].

        (after a silence)
        What might possibly best render the impression is “the supreme Divinity,” because that’s not too … I don’t know how to put it. Everything has a mental stamp, you can’t help it….”

        Agenda Dec 24 1969

        Reply
        1. Gordana

          (A letter from Mother to Bharatidi written about 1963, at a time when Mother was not receiving any disciple, except sometimes people about to marry. Bharatidi, then seventy-three, had written to Mother to ask her if she should marry to be entitled to see her….)
          O Bharatidi, our dearest friend!
          Do not marry, that would be such a great pity for all – for you would have to leave the Ashram, at least during the honeymoon….
          Let me tell you the truth. If I do not see you, it is because I cannot speak, and worse still, cannot hear, and how could I see you without hearing all the very interesting things you always have to tell me?
          My program is generally five minutes’ meditation, sometimes even less – how can I ask you to climb two flights for that?
          If you do not mind, let us wait a little until the pressure (not the blood’s!) has subsided.
          As for me, you know this, I have the great advantage of being with you without need of the physical presence, and your voice often resonates to my inner hearing – and I always answer in silence.
          I now add this long written discourse to send you my best wishes for the new year.
          With all my tenderness
          Signed: Mother

          Agenda November 6, 1968

          Reply
          1. Gordana

            “‘Human nature is such that when you concentrate on your body you fall ill; when you concentrate on your heart and feelings you become unhappy; when you concentrate on the mind you get bewildered.’
            (Laughing) And it’s absolutely true!
            ‘There are two ways of getting out of this precarious condition.
            ‘One is very arduous: it is a severe and continuous tapasya. It is the way of the strong who are predestined for it.
            ‘The other is to find something worth concentrating upon that diverts your attention from your small, personal self. The most effective is a big ideal, but there are innumerable things that enter into this category. Most commonly, people choose marriage, because it is the most easily available (Mother laughs). To love somebody and to love children makes you busy and compels you to forget your own self a little. But it is rarely successful, because love is not a common thing.”

            Agenda February 7, 1961

    2. Sandeep Post author

      thanks Gordana. I added hyperlinks to the Agenda entries for all the comments above.

      There is a related observation on October 19, 1963 regarding a young married couple who came to see her:

      The big difficulty is that tamasic stupidity. Yesterday, in this connection, I had the experience of a young couple who came to see me. (It has become a custom nowadays that young people who are going to marry and whose families I know, or who live here, come to receive my blessings before marrying! That’s the new fashion.) So they came. The girl was educated here and the boy stayed here for quite a long time, working here; anyway, they want to marry. The boy went searching for a job; he had trust [in Mother] and found one. He is – I can’t say conscious because it isn’t like consciousness, I would call it rather superstition (!) but it’s a superstition on the right target! The movement is ignorant, but well directed, so it works; not that he has an enlightened faith, but he has faith. All right. Things are fine and he does very well. So they came yesterday to receive my blessings. Then they went. And they left behind in the room … a vital formation, very bubbly, absolutely ignorant, very bubbly with a joie de vivre, a joie de vivre so blissfully ignorant of all possible difficulties, all possible miseries, and not only for oneself but for everyone! You know, that joie de vivre that says, “Oh, it doesn’t matter to me if we are born and die – life is short, well, let it be good, that’s enough.” No mental curiosity, no urge to know the why of the world – all that is nonsense, we needn’t bother about it! Let’s be happy, have some fun, and do as well as we can. That’s all…. That formation was so strong, you know, in the room that I saw it and had to find a place for it. It put me in contact with a whole domain of the earth, of mankind, and I had to put it in its proper place, put it in order and organize it. It took me a little time (long enough, maybe three quarters of an hour or an hour), I had to order and organize everything. Then I saw how widespread it is on earth. (Note that these young people belong to the “top” of society, they are regarded as very intelligent, they are very well educated, in a word, it’s about the best you can find in mankind! Not the dregs, far from it.) And I wondered if it isn’t even more widespread in Western countries than here – I think it is. At that moment I came into contact with everywhere, and, well, the “everywhere” was really quite extensive.

      Afterwards, I asked myself, “But what the devil can be done with all this? …” Disturb these people? They are quite incapable of getting out of their condition in this life and will probably need many, many, many lives to awaken to the NEED TO KNOW – as long as they can move about, you know (laughing), as long as they can move about and things aren’t too painful, they’re quite contented! And then, in addition, there is, all the way down, that whole inert mass, you know, of men who are very close to the animal – what can be done with that? If that too has to be ready, it seems to me impossible…. Because that young couple, according to human opinion, are very fine people!

      Agenda October 19, 1963

      Reply
      1. Gordana

        Maybe someone knows if Satrprem and Sujata were couple while in the Ashram or only afterwards? I guess they got the Mother’s blessing for their relationship?!?

        Reply
  20. mike

    “A letter from Mother to Bharatidi written about 1963, at a time when Mother was not receiving any disciple, except sometimes people about to marry.”

    l wonder why Mother was giving such priveleged treatment to ppl who want to marry?
    And why is marriage so important to these ppl anyway? Unless they think they’ve found their twinsoul, of course. But, even then, marriage should be unimportant.
    Of course, if it’s with the Mother’s blessing….

    Reply
    1. Sandeep Post author

      I asked someone in the Ashram about this remark and I was told that Bharatidi was speaking in a jocular mood. The Mother was not seeing everyone at the time but made exceptions for a few people here and there. It was not a general rule that she was seeing only those who wanted to marry.

      Misunderstandings arise because emotions don’t get recorded with written words. Perhaps we need a new markup language to capture emotional content behind the writing. E-HTML anyone?

      Reply
  21. mike

    “They are always sending me photos of people who went to get married (it has become a craze), and I am asked if they are well-matched, if it’s all right. And I immediately see – I immediately see the sort of life they will have together, it’s very funny! Today there were three couples like that. In the first, the man was intelligent, sensitive, with an emotional side in need of something, of a response. The woman, rather stupid, rather ordinary too. Not at all made for one another. But I was looking, and as I looked I saw what had happened: one day she had a sort of sentimental and emotional formation coming through her, and it so happens that that day she met this man, who was exactly in need of that. He said to himself, “This is it!” All his friends told him, “No, no, don’t marry this woman, it will never work,” and they are right. But he said, “I felt something.” And that was just a day when it caught hold of her and he happened to be there. So I saw it all (it was very amusing), and off I went!”

    Yes, l remember reading this some time ago. l expect most marriages are based on this kind of vital ‘entrapment’ or ‘infatuation’. lt can take so many forms based on so many vital needs coming from the lower nature.
    ln women, l suppose there are a lot of security issues involved and a lot are probably planning their weddings from the age of twelve [in general, that is] – l don’t think that’s being too sexist lol.
    ln my experience, though, there is a world of difference between meeting the RIGHT Spiritual partner as SA describes it and what the Mother describes above.

    Reply
  22. mike

    ““Oh, it doesn’t matter to me if we are born and die – life is short, well, let it be good, that’s enough.” No mental curiosity, no urge to know the why of the world – all that is nonsense, we needn’t bother about it! Let’s be happy, have some fun, and do as well as we can.”

    Yes, this has always irritated me and l hear it constantly. People saying ‘oh, we only have one life, so let’s enjoy it’ – it’s like their motto for life..Why would these sort of ppl want to see the Mother anyway??. Then they usually go out, get drunk, party etc… They appear to be totally self-satisfied with ordinary life.
    l don’t think the strata of the society they come from has much to do with it, though. lf you look at the young royals in the UK, they are constantly partying in nightclubs – these are the so-called cream of society. They still live like animals, so their rank in society hasn’t helped them much. Personally, l’ve never associated ‘education’ with ‘intelligence’.

    Reply
    1. Sandeep Post author

      Mike: Why would these sort of ppl want to see the Mother anyway??

      They came to see her because “The girl was educated here and the boy stayed here for quite a long time, working here; anyway, they want to marry.” The girl must have graduated from the SAICE and the boy lived in Pondicherry.

      Reply
  23. mike

    Yes, of course.
    lt just amazes me how ppl who were at the ashram or close by [and having contact with the Mother] could still be so shallow. But, unless that psychic flame is lit, nothing can done, l suppose.
    l remember Udar [udar pinto] telling me how many were trying for the Spiritual Opening at the ashram and not getting it. So, it’s not surprising that so many end up with the attitude of that couple.

    Reply
  24. mike

    ” It was not a general rule that she was seeing only those who wanted to marry.”

    That makes more sense lol.

    Reply
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  28. Kai

    //A vital and physical union with a lower type of woman may blunt his aspirations and even wreck his life according as the woman is//
    This is absolutely true and think human beings are handicapped by not having the intelligence to choose the right partner.Almost always one end up with someone with whom there is no compatibility and the bad relationship ruins the life.There may be some life lessions with th ese kind of relationships like developing patience, forgiveness etc, but overall its detrimental and energy draining

    //There are so many hostile powers working against the right union of complementary souls that very often, you can seldom meet your right mate//
    Any idea what these hostile forces are and what is that they gain by preventing the union of complementary souls. It seems that there is only a remote possibility of meeting the right mate and even if one meets the right person it would be too late because one will be already in a marital relationship (mostly with the wrong one).

    Reply
    1. Sandeep Post author

      //A vital and physical union with a lower type of woman may blunt his aspirations and even wreck his life according as the woman is//
      Kai: This is absolutely true and think human beings are handicapped by not having the intelligence to choose the right partner.

      People do have the intelligence but it is held hostage to the lower part of the body :-)


      //There are so many hostile powers working against the right union of complementary souls that very often, you can seldom meet your right mate//
      Kai: Any idea what these hostile forces are and what is that they gain by preventing the union of complementary souls.

      Don’t know for sure but Sri Aurobindo is probably referring to his own situation. Hostile powers implies the British govt which then ruled India.

      The Mother came to Pondicherry in 1914 and could have stayed on but she had to go away for 6 years because the British pressurized the French to send her away. Sri Aurobindo needed the Mother in order to distribute his attainment of the Supramental transformation to the other disciples. He couldn’t do both simultaneously – ascend to the Supermind, and take care of the disciples’ individual yogic problems. In ordinary yoga, one Guru is sufficient, but for the supramental transformation you needed two Gurus!

      Disciple : Why did you retire? To concentrate more on your work?

      Sri Aurobindo : No, to withdraw from the physical atmosphere. If I had to do the work the Mother is doing, I would have hardly time to do my own work, besides its being a tremendous labour.

      (A.B. Purani, Evening Talks with Sri Aurobindo, Third Series, 10th December, 1938)

      Similarly, the Mother said “…as long as Sri Aurobindo was in his body, it was he who did the sadhana, and I received the effects. These effects were automatically established in the outer being, but he was the one doing it, not I – I was merely the bridge between his sadhana and the world” (Agenda Oct 10 1958)

      Reply
  29. mike

    “//There are so many hostile powers working against the right union of complementary souls that very often, you can seldom meet your right mate//
    Kai: Any idea what these hostile forces are and what is that they gain by preventing the union of complementary souls.”

    Actually, SA has written volumes on what these Hostiles are – there is a large section on them in the ‘Letters On Yoga’.
    Wherever there is anything of a Spiritual Nature they are there interfering with our progress [all a Test apparently], but from what l can gather the joining of Two Souls [Twinsouls or Compliementary Souls] creates a great Energy and Light that probably attracts their attention even more than usual. l know that in the well-known book on Twinsouls, written by two followers of Sri Aurobindo, they experienced the attacks of these forces or beings and it created a lot of difficulties for them – a lot of deception and doubt is thrown at people who meet their complementary partners in order to break them up, it seems.
    Behind those british [ who kept the Mother out of lndia ] fools were probably a host of hostile powers on the lower planes. The Mother’s occult battles in WW11 comes to mind as well.

    Reply
    1. Sandeep Post author

      I was aware of the remarks made in the Letters on Yoga, but we don’t really know if the hostiles referred to in this passage are the same as the ones written about over there, because anything which is not in tune with the highest Divine can be termed “hostile”.

      Remarks made in a book on “Twin Souls” by two followers of Sri Aurobindo do not carry the same weight as direct remarks made by them on the matter.

      We don’t really know if the British action was secretly guided by any hostile occult forces. The British, after all, had their own fears and concerns about Sri Aurobindo’s revolutionary connections. They had kept the Ashram under surveillance right upto 1937 and they routinely interrogated all visitors and sympathizers, starting from Alexandra David Neel in 1912 and many others later.

      I prefer to be circumspect about the exact cause of twin souls not meeting rather than extrapolate based on certain words and phrases.

      Reply
  30. mike

    Also, SA has said that meeting your Twin or Complementary Soul increases our Life and Progress x10. So, no wonder the Anti-Divine forces do their best to stop it, and so few actually meet.

    Reply
  31. mike

    “I was aware of the remarks made in the Letters on Yoga, but we don’t really know if the hostiles referred to in this passage are the same as the ones written about over there, because anything which is not in tune with the highest Divine can be termed “hostile”.”

    l see no indication that SA is referring to different ‘Hostile Forces’. There are different categories – if that’s what you mean, like smaller entities having little power and the larger Asuric types behind things like Theosophy who are more dangerous. Other than that l see no difference.

    “Remarks made in a book on “Twin Souls” by two followers of Sri Aurobindo do not carry the same weight as direct remarks made by them on the matter.”

    Perhaps.

    “We don’t really know if the British action was secretly guided by any hostile occult forces.”

    That’s true, but considering the Mother was kept away for 6 years it seems likely there was occult interference. lt’s hard to believe they couldn’t have prevented the British and French from throwing the Mother out unless there WAS a major Hostile agenda at work – but since there is no real evidence, who knows.

    “I prefer to be circumspect about the exact cause of twin souls not meeting rather than extrapolate based on certain words and phrases.”

    Considering these are SA’s ‘words and phrases’ l’d rather believe it.

    Reply
  32. Sandeep

    Sri Aurobindo: The need of company which people feel is really their need to interchange forces. What after all is the passion of man and woman for each other? Nothing but a vital interchange, a drawing in of forces from each other. Of course, the interchange or drawing in of forces takes place unconsciously and sometimes in spite of oneself. Thus when a person doesn’t like another, he doesn’t always know the reason, but it means that the vital beings of the two don’t agree; the interchanges are unpleasant. You know Sheridan’s lines:

    I do not like thee. Doctor Fell.
    The reason why I cannot tell.

    But at times, even when there is incompatibility, people come together. You see men and women quarrelling violently and yet unable to do without each other. That is because each has a need of the other’s vital force. Woman has almost always such a need and that is what is called “being in love”. Surely the need has been imposed on her by man. But Indian society established the relation between the husband and the wife in such a way that an equation might result.

    Nirodbaran: But if one draws more than the other, there is a risk.

    Sri Aurobindo: Certainly. If one receives more than one gives, bad consequences may be there for the one who gives more. Hindu astrology speaks of Rakshasa Yoga: a husband losing many wives one after another means an incompatibility so that instead of supporting them he is eating them up.

    ( Nirodbaran, Talks With Sri Aurobindo Vol. 1, p 44 20 DECEMBER 1938)

    Reply
  33. mike

    “a husband losing many wives one after another means an incompatibility so that instead of supporting them he is eating them up.”

    l suppose that means the ‘wives’ are dying. ls SA talking about ‘psychic vampirism’ here.

    Reply
    1. Sandeep Post author

      yes, he means wives dying not divorcing. I am not an astrology expert but I found a textual reference:

      According to the Sambhu Samhita, Rakshasa Yoga arises when the malefics are dominant in Kendras and when benefics, though occupying Kendras are in the Nakshtras or Navamsas of malefics. When this yoga is present in the horoscope of an ordinary man, he destroys his own family by his violent or unscrupulous behavior, while in the horoscope of a ruler, the consequences of the yoga become fatal to the interests of the nation. (Mughal Emperor)Aurangzeb‘s horoscope is an appropriate illustration of Rakshasa Yoga.

      See Notable Horoscopes By B. V. Raman, page 102.
      http://books.google.com/books?id=sXJ02csFd5kC&lpg=PA102&ots=HVljbuaatj&dq=Rakshasa%20Yoga&pg=PA102#v=onepage&q&f=false

      Reply
    2. Sandeep Post author

      Here is another conversation where Sri Aurobindo mentions it

      (There was some talk about superstitious beliefs. Y referred to a case where a marriage contracted between a rāksasa gana woman and a nara gana man resulted in the premature death of the latter.)

      Sri Aurobindo: There is some truth in that. In the sexual act there is very great, rather the most violent interchange of vital forces — some persons draw away the whole vitality from others. The rāksasa gana etc. represent the vital beings.

      http://overmanfoundation.wordpress.com/2013/02/26/conversations-with-sri-aurobindo-recorded-by-anilbaran-roy-part-3/

      Reply
  34. Sandeep Post author

    After ridiculing Indian arranged marriages for many decades, American “experts” are now finding that such marriages can work !

    New York Times:Parental involvement can help in choosing marriage partners, American experts say

    Robert Epstein, a senior research psychologist at the American Institute for Behavior Research and Technology in Vista, Calif., and author of a new study, “How Love Emerges in Arranged Marriages.”… found that one key to a strong arranged marriage is the amount of parental involvement at its start. The most important thing parents of the couple do, he said, is to “screen for deal breakers.”

    [...]
    Arranged marriages can work “because they remove so much of the anxiety about ‘is this the right person?’ ” said Brian J. Willoughby, an assistant professor in the School of Family Life at Brigham Young University. “Arranged marriages start cold and heat up and boil over time as the couple grows. Nonarranged marriages are expected to start out boiling hot but many eventually find that this heat dissipates and we’re left with a relationship that’s cold.”
    [...]

    “We celebrate autonomy,” noted Dr. Epstein, which, he explained, is why adult children bristle at the idea. But given the speed at which couples meet, greet, cohabitate and separate these days, he said, he thought there was some logic in trying a method that has worked for so many couples and in so many cultures.

    Read the entire article @
    http://www.nytimes.com/2013/01/20/fashion/weddings/parental-involvement-can-help-in-choosing-marriage-partners-experts-say.html

    Reply
  35. pradeep

    Hi Sandeep, Thanks for bringing up this discussion. Somewhere in Mothers’s writings I have read that the soul before taking a new life prepares the blue print or a rough out-line of the major events it wants to experience. And marriage being among the most important events in one’s life must have been predetermined.
    We can not just randomly marry someone. That’s why in all major cultures it’s accepted that “marriages are made in heaven” (or some sort of variation to this saying). If marriages are “Pre-determined” then where is the scope of choosing the life partner. I know spiritually enlightened souls can alter the course of their life, but for the majority I believe it’s pre-determined.

    Reply
    1. Sandeep Post author

      You have to separate Indian traditional culture from the theory of Karma in order to reduce confusion.

      “Marriages being made in heaven” is just an aphorism which was probably coined after seeing a few successful marriages. That saying doesn’t apply to everybody. At the top of this article, Sri Aurobindo says most marriages are live in the outer vital and very few exceptional unions are actually psychic in nature. What it means is that in most cases, it doesn’t make much of a difference who you get married to. For any person that marry, there are probably a few hundred individuals just like her or him out there in terms of personality orientation that you could get attracted to. Have you observed how some people get attracted to different individuals who are very similar ?

      So no, marriages are not predetermined. There is scope for free-will in life (and marriage) as Sri Aurobindo and the Mother have emphasized.

      Reply

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