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Saturday, August 23, 2008


Marriage is a partnership of two individuals and this partnership is enriched and enhanced when it allows the personalities involved to grow. Many marriages fail because one partner tries to "swallow" another or when one demands total freedom. According to Buddhism, marriage means understanding and respecting each other's belief and privacy. A successful marriage is always a two-way path: "humpy, bumpy" — it is difficult but it is always a mutual path.

Young people in this country and elsewhere sometimes think that "old fashioned ideas" are not relevant to modern society. They should be reminded that there are some eternal truths which can never become out-of-date. What was true during the time of Buddha still remains true today.

The so-called modern ideas we receive through the highly glamourous television programs do not represent the way most decent people in the west think or behave. There is a vast "silent majority" of decent couples who are as deeply religious and "conservative" about marriage as any Eastern couple. They do not behave in the manner that the mass media has portrayed them. Not all the people in the west run off to get a divorce or abortion after their first quarrel or dispute.

Decent people all over the world are the same; they are unselfish and care deeply about those whom they love. They make enormous sacrifices and develop love and understanding to ensure happy and stable marriages. So, if you want to ape the west ape the "silent majority": they are no different from your decent neighbor who lives next door to you.

Young people must also listen to their elders because their own understanding about married life is not mature. They should not make hasty conclusions regarding, marriages and divorces. They must have a lot of patience, tolerance and mutual understanding. Otherwise, their life can become very miserable and problematic. Patience, tolerance and understanding are important disciplines to be observed and practiced by all people in marriage.

A feeling of security and contentment comes from mutual understanding which is the SECRET of a HAPPY MARRIED LIFE.

Appendix I: The Affectionate Mother [go up]

In the Buddhist Jataka story — Sonadanda, the Bodhisatta sings the virtues of a mother in the following strain:

Kind, Pitiful, our refuge she that fed us at her breast.
A mother is the way to heaven, and thee she loveth best.
She nursed and fostered us with care; graced with good gifts is she,
A mother is the way to heaven, and best she loveth thee.
Craving a child in prayer she kneels each holy shrine before.
The changing season closely scans and studies astral lore.
Pregnant in course of time she feels her tender longings grow,
And soon the unconscious babe begins a loving friend to know.
Her treasure for a year or less she guards with utmost care,
Then brings it forth and from that day a mother's name will bear.
With milky breast and lullaby she soothes the fretting child,
Wrapped in his comforter's warm arms his woes are soon beguiled.
Watching o'er him, poor innocent, lest wind or hear annoy,
His fostering nurse she may be called, to cherish thus her boy.
What gear his sire and mother have she hoards for him "May be,"
She thinks, "Some day, my dearest child, it all may come to thee."
"Do this or that, my darling boy," the worried mother cries,
And when he is grown to man's estate, she still laments and sighs,
He goes in reckless mood to see a neighbor's wife at night,
She fumes and frets, "Why will he not return while it is light?"
If one thus reared with anxious pains his mother should neglect,
Playing her false, what doom, I pray, but hell can he expect?
Those that love wealth o'er much, 'tis said, their wealth will soon be lost
One that neglects a mother soon will rue it to his cost.
Those that love wealth o'er much, 'tis said, their wealth will soon be lost.
One that neglects a father soon will rue it to his cost.
Gifts, loving speech, kind offices together with the grace
Of calm indifference of mind shown in time and place —
These virtues to the world are as linchpin to chariot wheel.
These lacking, still a mother's name to children would appeal.
A mother like the sire should with reverent honor be crowned,
Sages approve the man in whom those virtues may be found.
Thus parents worthy of all praise, a high position own,
By ancient sages Brahma called. So great was their renown.
Kind parents from their children should receive all reverence due,
He that is wise will honor them with service good and true.
He should provide them food and drink, bedding and raiment meet,
Should bathe them and anoint with oil and duly wash their feet.
So filial services like these sages his praises sound
Here in this world, and after death in heaven his joys bound.

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