Buddhist Views on Marriage
Buddhism is a way of practice and spiritual growth and development that leads to an insight into the true nature of actuality. Buddhist practices are means of changing oneself to develop distinctive qualities of wisdom, kindness and awareness on all you do. Buddhists have different views on way of life and many experiences that we go through on daily basis. In Buddhism, marriage is regarded as a personal, individual concern and not a religious responsibility. In a sense, they consider marriage as a sexual affair and not a religious rite or sacrament.
Marriage is a social bond, an institution created by man for happiness and well-being, that differentiates humans from animal life and maintain coherence and order towards procreation. Many of the Buddhist manuscripts are do not speak much on monogamy and polygamy the congregations are always advised to keep one wife. In a sense, the Buddha did not lay any rules regarding marriage life, but there is plenty of advice regarding marriage and how to live happily in married life.
There are exceptional and distinctive references from the Buddha’s sermons to rely on all the time. For instance, it is wise and advisable for a man to be faithful and not to be sensual and run after every other woman. The Buddha realized that, the key cause of many failed marriages is due to man’s involvement with other women. Man must realize these difficulties and tribulations that he has to go through to maintain and keep his wife and family happy.
Buddhist views on marriage are quite substantial. Interestingly, Buddhism marriage is regarded as a personal and individual apprehension and not a religious rite. There are a no set rules that compel an individual to get married, remain a bachelor or restraining from sexual activities [there are no vows of chastity]. It is not written anywhere that Buddhist should have a certain number of children or control the number of children a couple intends to have. Buddhism treasures the right of freedom and allows an individual to decide for himself on all issues pertaining marriage.
Many may be wondering; why monks do not marry? The key reason to such decisions is to be of service to the mankind and monks have to choose a lifestyle that includes celibacy. Many who condemn the worldly life choose to keep away from married life. Surprisingly, although Buddhist monks do not celebrate a nuptial, the do perform religious services to bring many people together and bless the couples.
On issues concerning marriage like divorce or separation, Buddhism does not prohibit the stand the couples take, but the necessity would arise to follow the Buddha restrictions. Man and woman must have the freedom to separate if they are not at peace. Every relationship is made or built under commitment to support and protect each other. Guatama Buddha never spoke in contrast to marriage life, but he pointed out the many miseries encountered in marriage.
Marriage creates these bonds in many families and acts as a fine basis for development and growth of culture. In accord to Buddhist teachings or views on marriage, a good wife should love, trust, fulfill family obligation, be faithful, care for the children and be sweet to her husband. While the husband should be tender, social, protect loyal, honest, offer moral support and great companionship. Marriage is partnership and the two individuals involved should let each other to grow in love and friendship. According to Buddhism, marriage is all about understanding and respecting each other privacy and beliefs. A successful marriage is a two-way traffic.
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