At this age and time, divorce has become not really a problem; it is something rather casual, something that nobody pays much attention to. An option of divorce is often discussed even before marriage takes place. People get used to the idea that there is nothing wrong with getting divorced; moreover, timely divorce even looks like a manifestation of cold reason. The appearance of the words “contemporary divorce” itself shows that the technology of family relationships has so much degraded. Divorce today accords to the very mood of modern family life, which does not have that piety it used to have before. Contemporary family became a way to spend some time, not a lifelong vow pronounced in face of God, associated with responsibilities and austerities.
At Vedic times, a pious wife was able to protect her children even from death simply by being faithful to her husband. Nowadays, pious behavior is extremely rare; therefore, karma comes through the closest family and relatives. It brings one a great amount of suffering. So, on one hand, we understand that the situation became unsolvable; however, on the other hand we also realize that even in a desperate situation, it is in our power to act honorably, sublimely, piously, humanly, and even spiritually. Therefore, one has to understand some important rules, by following which one will at least not make the situation worse by taking part in it and thus will not come under the influence of karmic laws that punish everyone who is in any way involved in this undignified process.
A Threat of Divorce
The initial cause of divorce is always lust that does not allow one to live peacefully, pushing one to search for new pleasures. The lust is based on the shape of the opposite gender; this shape has a nature of penetrating into the consciousness and staying there while one keeps it there. Its influence is definitely destructive. For example, if one looks at a bottle of alcoholic beverage, he or she becomes slightly, maybe for one percent, drunk. Lust, however, doesn’t make one just slightly drunk; it affects one hundred percent. If one lets it into the sea of his or her consciousness, it will sweep their mind like a tsunami; don’t expect just slight waves…
On the other hand, divorce comes as a result of a philosophical dilemma. People expect great happiness in family life, but all they get is plenty of new responsibilities without the slightest trace of spiritual bliss. When advertisement is there, but the merchandise doesn’t fit the description, it causes natural irritation. Same way, behind the promises of eternal devotion and love, one finds just lies and nonsense. It is quite logical that many unsatisfied customers decide to purchase the product from a competing company. This way, an idea of divorce as a way of obtaining a product that matches its advertisement comes to existence.
Ultimately, one who is not the master of one’s senses is always in danger of becoming a victim of material energy. Even if one lives in the forest as a sage, the six wives – mind and five senses – always accompany him. But for the person who has gained control over the senses by understanding spiritual science and who finds joy and satisfaction within the self, even family life has no danger. This kind of person can see the difference between a commonplace attachment and true love. Attachment and love look very much alike, but their essence is very different. Actually, the attachment is the opposite of love, for despite the display of external signs of love, it constitutes hidden pride, envy, and hatred because it is based on a desire of possession and false ego.
The attachment is based on the desire of possession; therefore, it is nothing but false love, cunning and crooked. True love is selfless and unconditional, and if even the tiniest condition remains in our consciousness, it means that the self in this relationship is more important than the beloved. The self is kept in the center, and therefore the other person is just a means to achieve one’s own happiness. Thus, the main mood in such relationship is the one of exploitation, not love. Hence, the words ‘attachment’ and ‘exploitation’ basically have the same meaning. True love is in some sense similar to death; one has to completely give away one’s self in the service of one’s beloved, and that is why people are afraid of the true love.
Nevertheless, even when one realizes that the attachment does not bring real bliss, one still does not try to exchange it for the true love; one just changes a partner. It actually does give a feeling of being in love for some time, because this sensation accompanies both love and attachment. However, after some time the suffering comes back, and one has to begin a search for a new object to conduct yet another egoistic experiment. And as long as one does not understand the difference between soul and body, one will be afraid of death, and so there will be fear of unconditional love. Death brings to an end only our physical body; love, on the other hand, brings death to the subtle body, comprising our precious mind and false ego.
So, to conquer death, one has to learn how to love, and love is based on selflessness, not attachment. Hence fighting with attachments leads to victory over death. When in love, we give up not only body, but mind and false ego as well. When in love, we give up even our intelligence (reason), and that is why love appears so much similar to madness. It is the reason why people of faith and people in love are so irritating to common crowd. On the contrary, one who completely devoted one’s self to a worthy partner becomes absolutely peaceful. In this case, their whole life is based on complete trust rather than on their own egoism.
Love demands an absolute dedication to one’s love object. Attachment, on the contrary, tries to subjugate this object, ensuring the exclusive possession of the beloved. Therefore, selfless love brings about life, while attachment brings about death. So, if after the stage of initial attachment selfless love does not develop, then the partners are just killing each other, which is manifested in mutual hatred. This world is full of people falling in love with the consequent attachment, but there is no true love, for selflessness is not being taught.
Love also gets rid of fear. One senses fear when one is scared of losing something. The fear of losing is a sign of growing attachment. Instead of loving, one starts spying on the “love” object. If that “love” object will decide to leave, then for an attached person it is easier to destroy the object rather than let him/her go. Instead of love, mutual jealousy develops in the family, characterized by suspicion and vengefulness. Thus the object of love becomes a thing, for it is much easier to possess a thing than a person. And when love is completely destroyed, then love for material objects gradually increases, and love for people decreases. In a society where there is no true love, everybody loves material objects.
If Divorce is Inevitable
If the relationship has dissolved, and partners do not want to be together anymore, still no one must say that it is all over, everything should be forgotten, and each partner has to start life anew. A reasonable person would advise to wait and see how the situation will actually turn out because many families, after breaking up, thinking things over, criticizing, and even hatred, come back together and give it another chance. It is time that announces final resolutions, not just a person. If someone instead of time will tell the spouses that the end of their relationship has come, then the time will punish him/her for taking up its functions. Time does not only punish, it also cures; therefore, do not stay in its way. Maybe everything is not absolutely hopeless.
At this time, one should not start new relationships. Usually divorce indicates the beginning of destructive Rahu period. Unfortunately, it will not end as fast as one would like. Hence, one should not take final decisions of life importance at this negative period. One has to wait for it to be over and first see some signs of improvement; otherwise all the decisions made then will not be of any use, but will worsen the suffering.
If divorce is initiated for the sake of establishing other relations, and the decision has ripened long ago, then this family practically cannot be saved. The only thing left is to say clearly and firmly that it is very, very bad to do so. If one won’t tell it, he/ she will have to accept the responsibility for taking part in this sinful activity, even though one would seemingly save good and trusting relationship with that person. Therefore, with great kindness and compassion, friendly but very firmly, one has to advise how bad it is and what serious negative effects it will cause.
If you happen to be in this kind of situation, do not blame the partner. It will let you come out of this ugly situation with some dignity. If one wants to start his/her happy new life out of this unpleasant situation, one has to at least try to make it look as noble and honest as possible, or at least not degrading. Remember, the more respectful the divorce goes, the better chance of a good next marriage exists in the future. Divorce is the beginning of a new life, and if it starts with a sin, than one should try to reduce its impact to a minimum.
Even if something is our responsibility, we need to understand the effects of our actions. Thus, Arjuna thought about the effects of killing Ashvathama, who really should have been put to death by all the rules, but he still thought about what would happen to his mother in old age. And it was Krishna’s test, which Arjuna passed with flying colors. He showed us all an example of how not to act blindly. A sage cannot be blind. To be wise means to try to act so sublime, that no one would be able to disapprove one’s actions.
Spiritually developed person is also very experienced in everything (daksha). This is one of the 26 qualities that should be developed in the spiritual life. The Vedas comprise not only spiritual knowledge, but also material one, and the real sage must be qualified in all areas necessary. All the more, everything connected to the spiritual life is not material but spiritual as well. The only thing to understand is that if the consultant has no real experience in family life, his/her advice would be not as effective, for it is a very practical and sensitive area of expertise. The Vedas say that before one starts guiding another person, he or she must achieve something substantial in a given area. If it turns out well then one can take reins of government. As a proverb says, ”Doctor, heal yourself first”.
Finally, when consulting a troubled couple, one must understand that if the house does not have vigraha — the worship of God– then this house will become galagraha — a heavy burden. Though maintenance of the temple which you can turn your home into is always difficult, it brings spiritual bliss. Maintaining the empty house, which even God does not need, is a bone-breaking labor. Even a small step on the path of spiritual development can revitalize a house and make it more suitable for the spiritual life.
True love does not come “for something”, but rather “in spite of something”, sometimes in spite of a lot. That is how God loves us. Another thing is that the response to this love should be the desire to become as good as possible for the sake of those who love us. We need to learn real humility. When no one likes and appreciates us, we have to be able to say to ourselves, “I’m not worthy of love, so why should I take offense?” And when all of a sudden we start to be loved and appreciated, we must also be prepared to say to ourselves: “There is nothing to love me for – but the Lord wants me to pass this test.” And most importantly, we must learn to love other people also “for no reason.” In such a mood one can learn to solve all problems and overcome even insurmountable difficulties. Remember – the power is in humility!
Signs of an impending divorce
He does not like his wife’s cooking and prefers to eat out, hence eating food cooked by other women.
He does not like what his wife says, preferring talking to other women.
He does not like to spend money on his wife and spends it on other women.
How to deal with the threat of divorce
Increase the communication and start in a positive manner to clarify the situation.
Get help of elders or respected people.
Remove the negative impact of the opposite sex.
Reduce the demands from the partner that cause him/her discomfort.
Do not take the advice of those who were not able to save their own family.
If worse comes to worst, one can live separately or go away for some time with a good excuse to better assess the situation.
Remember, you must try to save the family just as you save the life of a child.
If divorce is inevitable
Do not take this as the final decision, but as a way to see in which direction the relationship will develop.
Do not create a new relationship and do not make final decisions.
Divorce for the sake of creating a new family should be clearly denoted as a very bad thing.
Do not blame the partner in a divorce; it will allow you to get out of the situation with dignity and start a new life.
Never say that divorce is now inevitable.
Even if the divorce happened, do not say that the relationship is over and it is time to create a new family.
Do not support the accusation of one partner against another.
Put as much effort into saving a family as you put into saving a child’s life
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