Spiritual Aspects behind Marriage and Childbirth
The painful conflicts in the families, the breakdown of marriages, incidents of physical as well as mental deformities and the delinquent behaviour of children are caused by the thoughtless marriages performed by ignorant parents, who have neither understood the path of spiritual guidance from a wise seer nor its positive effects in life. Sensual gratification rather than spiritual fulfillment is guiding the man-woman relationship. The increasing trend of abortions, the culture of contractual marriages and divorces reflect this moral degradation.
Humankind has reached this ruinous state because our society has long ago deviated from the guidance of omniscient sages who can reveal the true secrets of life. Man has become more religious than spiritual. He has been unable to grasp the depth of important life-cycle ceremonies like marriage, birth and death, the spiritual aspect of man-woman relationship etc. These life-cycle ceremonies and relationships are divine in nature because they are related to one’s spiritual evolution and that of the family stock or gotra. The breakdown of the institution of family seen in the advanced Western countries is owing to this spiritual ignorance about the depth of family life.
Navajyothisree Karunakara Guru said that if a woman could be led to spiritual enlightenment that family would become blessed and through such uplifted families, the society and the nation would evolve to a healthy future. A woman through her virtuousness can guide her family to a positive direction. However, she needs spiritual guidance for the nourishment of her family. We can receive spiritual guidance only from an elevated seer. Not knowing the true character of an elevated seer, a few women fall in the trap of fake swamis, fakirs, padiris, tantriks and jyotishis and are cheated, which brings a bad name to the brotherhood of elevated spiritual masters, authentic ashrams and spiritual institutions.
We should not confuse the tantriks, jyotishis, evangelists, priests and the like with the true guru concept. Because of such bogus and questionable spiritual practices and beliefs and because of their own ignorance about true spirituality, both the learned and the uneducated generally view ashrams and gurus with suspicion. It would be beneficial to go through the Sree Gurugita published by Santhigiri Ashram, which mentions about the different types of gurus and the characteristics of a true Guru.
We must realize that without a true preceptor, we cannot improve spiritually and materially. Some rich communities in India such as Marwaris, Sindhis, Punjabis and Gujaratis became prosperous because they lived respecting and serving their gurus and accepting their guidance. Recently somebody reported that Kerala spends approx. Rs.10, 000 billion per annum on rituals in temples, which is a sign that people are getting more and more ritualistic than spiritual. Different from this crowd of favour seekers at the doors of temples and darghas, for the people in the sagely path, spirituality is a meritorious way of life that would transform them for the better both spiritually and materially.
A successful and enduring marriage is fundamental to the health of a family, which is possible only when the couples are united spiritually. Therefore, a Guru gives the nod for marriage only after looking into the spiritual, cultural and ancestral background of couples. A mismatch in any of these aspects would adversely affect their family life including the life of their children. However, this need not be on the basis of one’s birth, caste, community and religion. It is purely a spiritual alignment of couples under the All-knowing Guru. With this type of marriage a pristine gotra or Guru Parampara is born.
Guru cleanses the harmful astral and ancestral aspects of the marriageable couple for the birth of a pure lineage free from cultural and genetic drawbacks. After marriage, Guru gives the couple necessary guidance on how to live as husband and wife. He advises about the prayers, sankalpam and other sacred deeds including the auspicious time for the birth of a virtuous child. The followers of Guru perform certain rituals and prayers, especially during the seventh month, which helps the developing baby in the womb. Thus, the life of the couple becomes spiritually oriented.
Bringing up a child too is as important as the regimen and rituals required for the birth of a fortunate child, free of genetic and cultural drawbacks. The habits of a child are moulded during its early years and adolescence. Good and bad children are born from a mother. The mother should pray and do sankalpam for getting rid of the bad traits in children. The mother should try to change the bad characteristics through loving and painful prayer. Like food, which is important for the body, prayer is as much important for the soul.
The women in the path of Guru are weaned away from decadent and meritless religious beliefs and rituals and atheistic beliefs of some people who neglect spiritual aspects altogether. They are guided to a healthy spiritual vision based on eternal values and verities based on the sage tradition of India. In the final count, we can say that a true social transformation can take place only through spiritually sensitized women and families in the society.
Spiritual masters and prophets were innumerable in human history, but their followers seem to have given only a cursory importance to the astral aspects behind marriage and childbirth including the spiritual mentoring of women. The guidance initiated by Navajyothisree Karunakara Guru is a correction in this regard.