We have another reader question by Jatin
Why do people get married? What’s the point? Is this act, a necessity? Or people do it just because everyone else is doing it? What does wisdom say about marriage?
Good lord, I hope your wife doesn’t read this Jatin (with the assumption that you are married). If you are not married, skip to the last line of this post.
Is Marriage a need?
Marriage is not a need. It is a luxury which people want in their life. It is purely a psychological endeavour which people subscribe to. Every subject has his own reasons to do something or not to do something. The act is purely “Subjective” and not “Objective”.
Marriage is not related with wisdom. A wise man can not marry and remain unhappy while a foolish man can marry and become happy. The decision has nothing to do with wisdom. It is just a conscious or subconscious choice which an individual makes in his life at any given point in time.
What is marriage? Marriage is nothing but an institution which two people choose to enter. You can name it as a contract wherein the participants agree to accompany each other in different stages of life. It is indeed a wonderful institution where the sum is greater than its parts.
But this institution gradually graduates into something else, as the subject walk their individual paths in life. A broken marriage does not mean the institution is to be blamed. A happy marriage doesn’t certify that the institution is responsible for the outcome. The institution is just an institution, the result is not related with the institution at all.
Marriage is not a natural phenomenon.
Marriage is not a natural phenomenon. Marriage is a cultural phenomenon. Man has invented marriage. Man has invented marriage to fulfil his own desires.
Animals don’t marry. Animals find a partner for mating, they mate, reproduce, hang around for some time and then they move on with their lives. No animal spends his entire life with a fixed partner. That is how nature has designed the animal kingdom.
The female entity attracts an alpha male whom she wants to reproduce with. This alpha male gives her some cover from other males who may pose a threat for her. Once the reproduction is over and a child is born, the alpha male moves on. Then another alpha male is called in.
The alpha male wants to spread his genes as far as possible, which is why his objective is to reproduce with as many females as possible. Male species fight with each other for power and partner, so that they can establish domination and attain territorial control in the Jungle.
Human beings are a subset of the broader animal kingdom. We are animals too, it is just that we have evolved into a specie which doesn’t look like an animal. We do not have a tail, we are always clothed and from the surface, we think we are not an animal. However, at the end of the day, we are an animal and made up of animalistic instincts (“Pasu – Charitra”).
Imagination is to be blamed
Humans have this power of imagination which animals don’t have (to the extent that we have it).
Animals can imagine upto a limit since they do not have a developed Neo cortex. However, humans have a developed Neo cortex which is continuously working. There is no limit of human imagination and since this phenomenon is continuos and limitless, we fall victim of our own imagination.
Whatever you imagine, it will become a need.
- If you imagine that you need money, you will most definitely need it. And you will need more in some time. And then some more. And more. There is no end of the need since your imagination has no end.
- If you imagine that you need love, you will need it. And you will crave for it. When you don’t get love, you will feel sad and deprived. It is because you are imagining it.
- If you imagine that you need marriage, you will need it. You will devise your own logic why you need to get married. This is purely your own imagination which you want to subscribe to.
We don’t do what is right for us. We do what we “think” is right for us.
This is the acute difference between us and the animals. We “think” and then we do something which we “think” is right for us. That doesn’t mean that whatever you are doing is right for you, you are doing what you “think” is right for you. You can think anything you may want to, it is just your own imagination.
Humanity have different arguments to get married.
I want to have a companion.
I want to have someone to take care of me when I get old.
I want my own child.
I want a sexual partner and need marriage for a healthy life.
And so on.
But please note, these needs are born out of your own imagination and desires. These needs are deceptive and marriage, which is basically an institution, does not guarantee that all these needs will be fulfilled. Again, the institution can not be blamed for the result, my friend.
As far as Indian philosophy is concerned, marriage is encouraged since a man must either become a Yogi or a Bhogi. Marriage is needed to fulfil certain duties and a man or woman cannot fulfil the duties of his/her own life without marriage (only when the subjects have chosen to enter “Grihastha” phase and not the “Sanyas” phase).
However, if a man is not certain why he is getting married, he is just creating an illusion for himself and living inside that illusion. Things like “Love”, “companionship”, “sex”, “family” are all imagined needs. There is no limit of human imagination, so the subject becomes a victim of his own imagined needs and wants to live inside it. That is just his/her choice.
It is said that Philosophy without marriage is incomplete. By all means, get married. One day you will become a philosopher.