means partnership in trying to improve each other’s life,
News 131, Aphorisms
There is nothing bad about marriage. It is not good only when some people use it as a means to indulge in physical enjoyment. If a couple can treat each other with respect, bear children to carry on the family name, live in peace and harmony, raise their children, take care of their parents, and serve society, then their marriage is good. It will encourage us and let us live in a stable atmosphere. It will give us a sense of reliability and warmth, as well as courage and an enterprising spirit to work and face the future. This kind of marriage is very good.
“The Essence of Marriage”
There is good in both marriage and friendship in this world. The greatest advantage is that we can provide mutual help, and remind each other of the Self Nature within and the importance of spiritual practice. If there is any situation or relationship that can always remind us of spiritual practice and the Self Nature inside, it is a good relationship, with good affection and emotion.
“The Essence of Marriage”
Marriage doesn’t mean bondage and slavery. Marriage is just a partnership. Each one must encourage the other. Some people misunderstand, and that’s why a marriage doesn’t work. But you have to be the understanding one and try to reason. Only after numerous trials and trepidations and nothing works out might you consider, for your own spiritual development and safety, which course is appropriate for you and for him.
“How Marriage Works”
So be the one that you desire to have, instead of having the one that you desire. Just be the one. If you want your husband to be romantic, why don’t you be that way? Then he will learn, he will cooperate. Or if you want your wife to be nice and romantic, then tell her what you need from her, tell her what you like, or hint in a very special way. Work at your partnership and bring out the best in each other. That is the best.
“How Marriage Works”
Love, like trees and flowers, also needs watering every day, at least in the dry season. Otherwise it dies. People think, oh! I love you, and then it will be forever. No, no. You have to nourish it through devotion, through daily renewal, through appreciation of each other’s value and loving kindness, and help your partner to develop the best qualities within him or herself. That’s true marriage. That’s true partnership.
“How Marriage Works”
We expect our partner to be this or be that, to do that or do this. And when they don’t do it, we’re disappointed. When they aren’t the one we like, we’re disappointed and get hurt and all that, and we get out of the relationship. But the relationship is not meant for you to expect the other person to do what you want. It is for you to do what you want yourself, to be who you are, to show what you are, how good you are, how you want to be and what kind of person you want to be in that relationship or marriage. You might want to be a good wife, a “super-wife,” the tolerant one or the faithful one. It’s what you want to be in your role, and not expecting from your husband all the time what he’s going to be, how he’s going to act toward you or how he’s going to talk to you.
But that’s the problem with marriage; you’ve got it all wrong. You think, “Okay, now I’ve met him or her, and my life is changed. It’s fantastic. He or she is going to make me happy.” This is not true! You are going to make yourself happy or not in that relationship. But most of the time, we expect our partner to make us happy, to be the one that we like in our picture. And that’s the problem. We forget to be what we want to be. We forget to make an idealistic kind of agenda for ourselves. Instead, we make an agenda for our partner, a kind of appointment or picture for our partner to fit into. And then both expect the same way, and that’s why things fall apart.
We’ve got it all wrong. In whatever situation, we have to check ourselves only. What are we going to do with this situation? What are we going to be? What do we want to show? Which part of goodness do we want to present to the partner or to the world? It’s not the partner who has to present us with anything. Whatever he or she wants to present, that’s their problem. Our problem is just ourselves; it’s always us. But most people, when they are married or when they have a partner or a friendship, they pay all their attention to the other part, the other half, and check it out: “Oh, he did it wrong. She did it badly,” or “She’s no good. He is not nice.” Forget that! We have to check ourselves. We are the one who is important. Any relationship, any situation is for us to learn, not for the other person. The other person is only a catalyst, an excuse for us to exercise our power and our imagination about ourselves.
That’s the problem. That’s why marriages often don’t work. So check out your marriage and revise it. It’s not about your husband or your wife, but about yourself, what kind of person you want to be, or what you want to show him or her in this relationship. And if he reacts well to it, fine. If he or she doesn’t react well to it, there’s not much you can do about it. But just check yourself, see if you’re still balanced, if you’re still on a good track and if you are OK or not. And if he stays with you, he stays; if he leaves, he leaves. You can’t do much. You cannot pay all the attention to him and then lose yourself and forget. Then the more you pay attention to him or her, the more you go wrong. And then, he or she criticizes more, and it becomes worst!
“Be a Good Partner”
Normally, people say that the neighbor’s wife always looks better. But I don’t think so. Reports say that 90% of men would like to marry the same woman again, if they could. So don’t fool around, feel sorry and become one of the 90%. That’s why from the old times until now all the Masters recommended faithfulness and loyalty to one partner. Because they know you will feel sorry, anyhow.
It takes a long time to get on well with one person, a stranger. Whether it’s a woman or man you love, he or she is a stranger to you. You have never known them before. Even if you knew them as a schoolmate or something like that, there’s still something inside that you don’t know about until you actually live together.
Because when you are dating, like boyfriend, girlfriend or fiancé, you share the same joys but you don’t worry about the same problems. You part, you go home, and each worries about his own problems and takes care of his own responsibilities. You share only the joys when you’re together. So things are different, rosier. And even if you quarrel a little bit, because of the distance and the need or the habit to be together, you get back together again and forgive quickly. But once you are living together, you have to share the same responsibilities and the same anxieties; then things go differently. It takes a long time to mature this loving relationship, to learn each other’s habits and the deepest aspects of the other person’s inside being.
This comes out with time. You get used to their shortcomings and “long-comings” and “late-comings” or “early-comings” home, and things like that. But it takes a long time to get used to it. And once you’ve created a good relationship with each other and have mastered the differences and matched it all up already, then it becomes like your own creation. Your relationship is your creation, so you feel good. Just like you have built a house for yourself. Even if it’s not as good as the neighbor’s house, or it looks different or some people don’t like it that much, it’s your house. And when you create it with your own hands, you love it. You feel that you are part of it. So that’s why when you divorce a long-time wife or husband, you will feel miserable. And if you have to begin anew with another person, it takes another ten years, at least.
“Cultivate a Happy Marriage”
Many of us think that we know the precepts, we understand the precepts, and that we keep the precepts. But you must know that the precepts have three parts: physical, spiritual and mental. Most people are married and stay with a married partner for all life long, and they think they are faithful. But Jesus said that even if you look upon the neighbor’s wife and have lust in your heart, you have already committed adultery. So make sure every precept we keep is even physically, astrally, intellectually all clean and pure. Of course, we can not help it if the habit rises up again. But we can help by stopping it, not following it, and making excuses for ourselves.
If you get married and you stay with one person for a long time and all the time, you think you are faithful; but be careful. Some people use marriage certificate as a shield in order to play to the limit. Sometimes flirt around with people and then people can’t say anything because I’m married. So people think that just because you are married, you can kind of flirt around all the time without worrying; because if you don’t like that person, say, “Sorry I’m married.” If you like then you can flirt a lot more and then use marriage as a limit, so that you can enjoy it to some certain extent; but then no one can do anything, no one can say anything. After all you go back to your husband, or to your wife. But that’s not true faithfulness either.
So if you truly want to be faithful to your wife or husband the precept is from inside out. You don’t even look at another person. You don’t even care what the other person wears or does. You don’t care what he or she looks like. And you don’t even have one idea of comparing your wife or husband to another persons’, or to look for a kind of pleasure in any form apart from your own partner. That is true faithfulness. That is very difficult. But difficult doesn’t mean impossible. I did that during my marriage. It was just natural. It was not because I knew the precept or anything like that. It was just natural. When I was married, I was married. I knew that, and finish. So if you yourself make your will become strong and guide your own mind and passion into one direction only, your life will become more peaceful, your marriage will become blissful and enjoyable.
If you don’t guide yourself, you will always make excuses, like, “Oh I’m just holding hands. I’m just looking. I’m not doing anything. I haven’t gone to bed with her yet.” Need you do that in order to be unfaithful? There is astral sex as well, not physical only. I’m sorry to tell you all this so bluntly and not very nobly, but what else can I tell you? Sex is not ignoble, if you have love between each other and between the bond of marriage and responsibility, only if you do it with love, then you should have sex with your partner. If you don’t feel love, this is just a machine function, it is abusing each other’s physical beauty, and there’s nothing there. You will feel very empty, you will begin to look around, and then you’ll be in a worse situation.
Concentrate On The Love Between Each Other
When you’re married or love a person, you should concentrate only there, and it will bring you some kind of bliss as well. It will add flavor to your practicing life and this is also one kind of practice. If you concentrate on one thing, if you concentrate on the love between each other it is also a kind of concentration, and it brings you happiness. Whatever brings you true happiness and pure happiness is also adding to your spiritual practice. Whatever strays from that is negative. So the precept is not that you keep it physically only, because there are thoughts, deeds and speech. Everything springs from the thought as well. So if you don’t think, you will not do. If you don’t think first, you can’t speak.
Therefore you have to keep the precept from the thought already. Always guide your thought, carefully where it should go. Tell your thought that this is not possible to think that way, it’s not proper, you should not even think about it; and slowly your mind will listen to your direction. That’s how you master yourself. Not eager to become a master of the multitude and teach disciples and all that, but to master your own horses within, make then go where you want them to go. That’s how your life becomes more powerful. You know yourself you are the master of your own destiny and direction. That’s when you feel strong, powerful, confident; are able to look even God directly in the eyes and tell Hirm I have nothing to fear. (Applause)
Give Your Partner Love And Encouragement
If you give your life partner, beloved one or married person your true love and encouragement, day by day you will discover that person grows in different beauties and virtues. Then you will enjoy more and more that companionship, instead of diverting your attention to another direction, giving love to the wrong person. You are not supposed to love that person, or the neighbor’s wife, giving all your virtues, attention and blessing to that person. Then you will see your partner more and more ugly everyday. You don’t give her any blessing. You have no contact with each other. You have no supporting energy with each other. Of course, she will become less and less attractive, and further and further away from you.
Keeping The Precepts From Your Heart
I am telling you very bluntly that you must keep the precepts from inside your heart, not the physical. Physical is the least, and is the last thing. Sometime the physical precept was broken, but the true precept wasn’t. It has happened too. Like you are forced to steal, or you are forced to do something, but act ually in your heart you are pure. That could be too, and that is excusable. That’s why Jesus said: “Whoever steals for the family’s bread, that person is not guilty.” Now you understand. (Audience: Yes.)
Respect Your Partner
We practice because we want to be free from worry. We want to be free from anxiety and all kinds of binding in this world. So if a true love between woman or wife could afford you also happiness and forever everyday like this, this also is a kind of bonus. So don’t look down upon your partners, but respect them like Gods and Goddesses. And that’s the only God and Goddesses to worship beside the Supreme Master Ching Hai Supreme Master Tse. (Master laughs and audience applauds.)
In India when Shiva was alive, he taught one hundred and twenty extra kinds of practices for lay people. One of them included love between husband and wife. Like when you embrace each other you should just merge yourself in the embrace, become one with it, with the feeling. Then you’ll be oblivious to all kinds of trouble, at least at that time. That’s why in this life people are so attached to sex; because it affords them temporary bliss, and affords them ability to forget all the troubles, sorrows and worries for the moment. What the people of this world do not realize is that it’s not sex alone that brings you lasting happiness. It is the love before, between and after that, that makes this pleasure gift from God meaningful, and a responsibility with each other to raise children into other Gods and Goddesses to walk on this earth. Altogether, all this, all the shared happiness, joy and responsibility makes the life of a husband and wife beautiful.
Treasure The Real Bliss Of True Love
That’s why the people who go out and seek all kinds of short time pleasure, they often end up in sorrow, empty; so they will not even respect women and do not know the real bliss of true love. Those people who have a lot of women or men, you ask them whether they’re happy. No. The more they have, the less they’re happy; because they do not know how to save the bliss to enjoy it in one time. They just spend it here and there — one penny here, one penny there; and they have nothing left. If they saved their money, they could buy an airplane ticket, go somewhere, have a holiday, see something different, and learn and enjoy the whole relaxed two weeks, three weeks together, with their friends or alone, something like that. But everyday they spend, spend, spend. They have nothing left and they can not do anything. They can not buy a house, they cannot do anything at all. The capital is the same, but they spend it in a different way. So they never can enjoy the happiness of the concentrated love and pleasure. If you truly want to enjoy, say the pleasure gift of sex, then you must be very abstinent. You must respect abstinence, then you can enjoy better.
“Be A Faithful Partner”
Some people are wise from having experienced difficult marriages in the past. So they avoid marriage now, and maybe become monks because of that. They probably have had enough experience in marriage, and don’t need any more experience in such study or experimentation. So they do not marry in this lifetime. They feel satisfied alone.
But if you are already married, try to stick with one partner. It doesn’t matter how hard it is. For example, I heard that Tolstoy had a very difficult wife. And one day when he was talking to his friend, his wife was showing him up terribly. She was degrading him and making him feel humiliated in front of his friend.
So his friend said, “You are bigger than she is. She’s only a small thing. Why don’t you just show that devil what force you have and be done with it! How can you put up with all this?” Tolstoy said, “Shhh! Don’t talk too loud. I tried that before, in the last life. That’s why I have ‘double income’ now! I’d better not do it again, otherwise I will have triple income in the next life.” He said, “I have to put up with it. Because if I do that again, I’ll never get out.” He knew it would be triple income and more, all the time. Therefore he tried to put up with it.
If you have a so-called terrible partner and you feel you need her after all, then it is your last life connection with each other. You have to pay for it. So try to bear it and do whatever you can, with all your might, to satisfy that person in order to pay the debt quickly. The best way to get rid of the enemy is make him your friend. The best way to get rid of a terrible wife is to please her, or a terrible husband is to please him, to submit to all his demands. And then he will become your friend.
“The Way to Reconcile Martial Conflicts”
Even though I teach you things about cosmetic skills and virtues to remind you that you should do your best to maintain yourself and express your esthetic aspects, this cannot guarantee that your marriage will definitely be happy and satisfactory. It is because karma may sometimes create situations that are different from our expectations. Therefore, if we have already done our best, yet our marriage is still unsuccessful, we should thank God for liberating us. There is nothing to complain about.
If we have not fulfilled our obligations in a marriage, in a case when it has failed, we will feel uneasy at heart. We will think that perhaps it is our fault, perhaps we have not done well enough, our cooking was lousy, or we didn’t beautify ourselves to please the eyes of our husband. That is why we ought to do everything as well as possible. However, that doesn’t mean that after we have done everything well, our husband definitely will not leave us. No one can guarantee this kind of thing.
In the same sense, if a husband is all-perfect and also very gentle, it doesn’t mean that his wife definitely will not leave him. The causation and karmic hindrance in this world are really hard to determine. Therefore, doing our best to fulfill our responsibilities and obligations lets us have peace of mind. In case something really happens, our conscience will not feel uneasy. We can face our conscience candidly, because we know that we have fulfilled our duties, and have done everything that we should do well.
Therefore, it doesn’t mean that after I have taught you cosmetic skills and virtues, your marriage is guaranteed to be a satisfying one. No one can guarantee this kind of thing. Most of the things in this world are ephemeral. Therefore, in doing anything, we just do our best to fulfill our obligations, just like when protecting our marriage. Then, whatever happens, we know that it is arranged by God, by destiny. We no longer need to expect anything, blame anyone, feel uneasy or sad, or be attached to anything. Besides, when we have done everything well, even if our marriage has failed, we will still have become a contented person. This is the most important thing.
“Fulfill Your Obligations as a Marriage Partner”
Q: Dear Master, how does a man cope when he’s been married unhappily but then falls in love with another married lady?
M: You have to look to your own marriage and see whether it is absolutely not salvageable, amendable or improvable. Or whether you are seeking love in another relationship just as an excuse for your own pleasure. Because it’s already troublesome enough to have one marriage. So it is better if we can take care of our marriage relationship. I know it’s difficult; everything is difficult in this world. But that doesn’t mean it’s impossible.
Talk to your wife about where the problem lies. But don’t talk to her about your affair, please. If you talk about that, there may be no more solution. It’s alright; if you think it was a mistake, you may try to cut it down or forsake it. But talk to your wife about how to improve your relationship: where she is failing, or where you are failing, and where you need her attention or improvement, or where she needs you.
Talk to each other. Buy new presents for her; buy a beautiful dress for her. Adorn her with beautiful things; make her your beauty. Make her the beauty of your life, instead of spending time and energy on somebody else’s woman. Because you don’t possess her anyhow. It’s better to take care of what you have, and not waste time and energy on other people’s possessions. It doesn’t matter how much you like the neighbor’s car, you don’t go and spray gold on it. Spray it on your own car! Take care of your car, because you drive the car and you need it every day. The car is necessary for you. The neighbor’s car you can admire quietly, but don’t spray gold on it. Don’t look after it too much and neglect your car. One day maybe the driver of the neighboring car will drive that car away, and suddenly you will have to go without anything. Your car is in the garage, broken down, uncared for, and now you are in trouble.
So work for your marriage, if you think it’s worthwhile. And then also, at the same time, respect other people’s marriages. It hurts to forsake the things you love. But think of the other man. If you were in his position, would you feel happy? Would you not prefer your wife to be faithful and devoted to you? So make your wife a good wife, and make yourself a good husband. And make the neighbor’s wife also become a good wife to her husband. That would be the best solution, if you don’t find a better one.
Thank you for trusting me with your personal family problem. But this is also very important. If your heart is not peaceful, no matter how many wives you have, your business and everything will go wrong. It’s better to be satisfied with what you have, and take care of it and beautify it. Make it more beautiful and more suitable for your taste. Just like you cultivate your garden and plant your roses, make what you have more beautiful for yourself.
“Dealing with Affairs of the Heart”
Q: What do You think of divorce?
M: It’s bad; divorce is the last solution of a loving relationship. And it should not happen at all. But it’s very difficult to work things out with each other, since men and women are very different. Men are cooler, more straightforward, simple, and women are more sentimental, more romantic. So the warlike and the beauty don’t often mix well, but there are many ways to reconcile with each other. There is marriage counseling, and there are books about it. And there is, of course, meditation, which will reconcile a lot of differences. You’ll see that both of you will change and get more loving, more understanding and less demanding. And that is if you both are at an almost similar level; otherwise you still have conflicts. But you will still love each other. You will not resort to divorce as much as the other people who do not practice inner peace. They will do it more.
I would not have divorced my husband if I had been enlightened at that time. I tell you, he was the best man, and he still is. But he’s someone else’s best man now. After enlightenment, you will learn to appreciate your partner more. A lot of a family’s conflicts are erased after initiation, if husband and wife meditate together. It really helps because you realize you are both God. The love in you will spring forth, will magnify to cover all the differences between the man and the woman. You’ll learn to love each other, and respect each other as God, even. Apart from the physical love, there is another, holy love that will bind you to each other, make you more loving, more responsible and more sensitive to each other’s feelings and needs.
“Try Your Best to Keep up Your Marriage”