This paper was presented at the
National Seminar on
Indian Psychology: Theories and Models

SVYASA, Bangalore,
December 26 - 28, 2007

 

Un-bounding the bonding: a search for the meaning of marriage (in the Indian context)

Anshu Chaudhary & Paakhi Srivastava — University of Delhi, Delhi

 

The Vedic vision of man is magnificent. Man is seen as blessed with the divine spark within and the realization of which is what the journey of the soul is all about. The idea gets splendidly reflected in one of the most sacred institution of society—the institution of marriage. Marriage, as per Vedic tradition is a recognition of the spiritual identity. It has a function far more indispensable than the propagation of species and the maintenance of the social structure. Marriage is a ‘yagna’ where two individuals not only surrender themselves to each other and become one, but, also sacrifice their ego to a relationship and move ahead on the path of spiritual quest facilitating each other’s journey. Vedic rituals and mantras have a long tradition in India, especially, rituals and mantras associated with marriage. There is a profound psychological significance attached to these rituals and mantras. Unfortunately, in the 21st century, we see ourselves as divorced from the meaning and significance of these Vedic samskaras and mantras. Moreover, in the recent years, a lot of social issues within the dynamics of marriage are emerging such as divorce, extramarital relationships, dowry, domestic violence, incest etc. The paper attempts to understand the meaning of marriage from the Vedic perspective by focusing on the marriage sacrament, Vedic mantras and rituals. An attempt has been made to understand their symbolic significance. In the end, the paper also highlights the importance of the resurgence of spiritual instruction in the context of marriage to make the experience more blissful and enriching, both spiritually and socially.

Email the author, Ms. Anshu Chaudhary, at anshu.dewdrops@gmail.com