In many cultures and religions, especially in Hinduism, marriage is not simply the union of two individuals who decide to spend the rest of their lives together. Family, friends and society become a part of it as they participate to make the wedding happen or simply witness it. In any typical religious or cultural wedding there are a number of rites and rituals that ensure a symbolic union of the couple, blessing them with good wishes and a prosperous future together. For this reason, a wedding is usually conducted by a priest(s) or similar ordained ministry in a consecrated space such as a temple, a church, a chapel, before a holy fire, etc. These rituals thus become a manner of communication with the cosmos and a way to invite God or Nature to participate in the union of two individuals. Whether it is reading the Bible or the Quran, the effort is to make the creator (God) participate in that union.
In India, a typical Hindu wedding with all its functions and rituals may take a minimum of 2-3 days or even exceed an entire week. Of course, something is happening in the background which is an essential part of this culture, the various rituals like Ganesh Pujan, Kanyadanam, Panigrahan, Saptapadi (Agni Pradakshina), Haldi, Mangal Sutra, etc. serve to create an energetically charged ambience where family and friends can come together to contribute to the wedding and bless the newlyweds on their big day. The same holds true for any wedding which is performed on some cultural or religious basis. Objects like henna, rings, Haldi (turmeric), mangalsutra and sindoor (vermillion) that are held sacred serve not only to inform the society that one is wedded but also create certain compatibility between the two individuals. These objects when placed on a person for the first time are consecrated with mantras or incantations during the rituals/pujan. Through these rituals the couple opens up to each other in a subtler way of energy and consciousness, becoming open to the changes they are about to receive in life (Not taking into consideration the make do rituals and arrangements that are done nowadays by priests, assuming that the pujan and rituals were performed in a way they should be performed). Thus, an energy bond is set up between the couple through which they can properly follow their dharma together as each other’s halves, making one whole when together.
In Hinduism, it is said that man cannot enter heaven without his wife, and similarly, the conduct of the husband to his wife determines many major things for her as well. This is only possible when a strong bond at the very basis of their beings is established. Otherwise, how can someone’s relationship with a complete stranger decide who goes to heaven and who does not (assuming there is a heaven) or how do the stars of your partner affect your life as well. In India, a wife also fasts for the wellbeing and long life of her husband, this kind of exchange of merit is only possible in a well-established relationship, for which the rituals are performed. Your relationship with your girlfriend(s) or boyfriend(s) no matter how sweet or bitter, would not affect your chances of happiness in the afterlife or even in this life.
Why then were these rituals even necessary, if they tie an individual to another and hinder the path to greater possibilities?
The answer is that these rituals actually open up greater opportunities for spiritual and material progress for a couple. There is a profound reason why the consummation of a marriage is marked with physical intimacy, usually on the same night or day of the completion of all the rituals. One has opened up to their partner in many ways and in many dimensions which are not consciously accessible to them. Thus, the sexual bond solidifies the connection between the two separate individuals, bringing them together as one. Yes, all of this has major psychological relevance too, but beyond the body and the mind, many more things are also influenced in subtler ways.
For people who are not on a spiritual path, this kind of bond, when properly established provides an opportunity to harness more energy and share good merits of good karmas with each other. Unfortunately, most couples do not acquire the wisdom to use their relationship for their growth. (This is a topic which I shall touch upon someday in the future).
The concept of divorce or separation has been frowned upon in several religions and cultures around the world. There was a time when divorces were rarely ever practised in the society, but now as divorces have become altogether common, the attention has been essentially shifted to obtaining happiness in life. In that pursuit people blindly chase after a momentary bubble which would eventually lead them towards a dead end. I personally do not have an opinion about whether divorces are right or wrong, as I do not judge people based on their choices. And yes, everyone has the right to look for happiness in life.
I am only writing this article to introduce the knowledge of the subtler dimensions of life. The simple question is:
If marriage is considered complete after a number of rites and rituals, stretching over days, with participation on the level of body, mind and spirit; how is it that breaking off that marriage or bond only requires the individuals to sign a few simple pieces of paper (not taking into account the man devised complicated legal procedures of a divorce). Yes, legally in the eyes of men your relationship is terminated, but what of the rites and rituals. Are they cancelled? No!
Settling in a new relationship or new marriage after a divorce is always tough on people. A deep-rooted karmic imprint or memory of your previous marriage does not go away just because you decide to sign a piece of paper. Your body and your mind store so much of memory that it does not take much for them to get confused. People who are on some ‘sadhana’ or on some spiritual path become conscious of the phenomenon of this memory sooner than others. And thus, they themselves actively seek to not create extra confusion for themselves on all levels of the body, the mind and energy. After all, no wise man or woman would want to carry unnecessary baggage with them in life. But for those who are not aware of these things, they find themselves trapped in their own heads, as their body creates confusion and chaos, blocking their channels of happiness and demolishing their gateway to freedom from past toxicity and memories.
Divorcees often find it hard to feel content and happy, even if their new relationship or marriage is a positive one. That is because even though their conscious mind has decided to move on and begin anew, the memory of the previous relationship is very much there on all three levels of the mind (conscious, subconscious and the unconscious), the body and energy. The same is true for people who come out of long committed relationships. The physical dimension of memory is called ‘runanbandha’, which creates lots of confusion in conjunction with undesired karmic cords that get attached to the people we deeply associate with. One finds oneself always wondering if things could have turned out differently somehow. Even if your actions are oriented towards new beginnings your mind is still held back. This is not purely psychological, this is about your body which has created tangled up karmic cords.
With these chains tying one down, people often find themselves facing all sorts of issues such as indecisiveness, difficulty in finding happiness, retaining a positive outlook or mood, extreme mood swings, a mind stuck on the past, playing imaginary arguments in the head, being unable to stop thinking about the other person, feeling drained, being unable to get them out of your life, confused sexual desires, dissatisfaction from physical intimacy with new partners, sexual frustration on a psychological level, being unable to forgive and accept the past. All this results in a life of unhappiness and discontent. And this effect is multiplied when one engages in physical intimacy with other partners without putting down the baggage they were already carrying. When physical memory overlaps, it causes a physical level of confusion, which brings a certain level of discomfort, lack of exuberance and involvement with anything around you. Being happy and staying happy then appears to be a herculean task. All this is inevitable if you take the significance of intimacy for granted.
Hence, be aware that all the bonds you create with your partner(s) or friend(s) stick to you, and increase the karmic baggage you carry around with you. The ‘runanbandha’ you create with your partner in a marriage is far greater than what you take on from a simple relationship. The emotional and physical intimacy one develops through years in a relationship and the memory of it, stored in the mind and the body, do not simply vanish when you decide to simply break up one day.
Understanding this, one might want to get rid of this baggage of the past, ‘runandandha’ and undesired attached karmic cords. For people who have gotten out of a simple relationship, if they are already on some spiritual path, some practices may help them wash this memory and burn away these cords; for those who are not in any ‘sadhana’ or path, there are healers, who can perform cord-cutting and cleansings for you. When it comes to getting rid of the karmic cords of marriage, doing this by yourself is in most cases not possible and not advisable, lest you have any side effects. The logical reasoning behind this is, that you required a priest or someone else to wed you, then how do you expect that the undoing of it can be done solely by you. It is, therefore, suggested to go for a cord-cutting and cleansing by a professional, after coming out of serious relationships and especially getting such things done, like past burial and renewal in cases of broken marriages.
Guest Post by :- Mystic Guru Kuldeep Singh Bisht