A Discussion initiated by WMPP
at the Times of India Building

Follow Random Points discussed.

1)Is the institution of marriage under threat? What can be done?

We may or may not reach any conclusions, but we should go home more enlightened on the subject than when we came to the session. 

2) What are the reasons that are contributing to instability of marriage in this millenium?

the concept of marriage is going through change – and change is the prime driver 
of life! Geeta

Marriage is an old institution which is losing its basic values. 


Financial : Too much money, so bad habits. Too little money, so both partners must work, which leads to friction, jealousy, ego problems.


Social: Disparity in status




Influence of TV

More travel

Reasons for break-ups

Patriarchal mindset

Imposition of views on young people- both married and otherwise

Impatience with mistakes made by the younger generation

Refusal to let go

 What are the solutions?

The first solution to all problems is: Effective Communication: 

Listen more talk less

Use: I Would feel better if….rather than ‘it is your fault’

Do not communicate when angry. 

Look at the plus points in your marriage

You do not have to agree on everything…you can love intensely despite…

You must allow each other to grow

Speak your mind clearly and gently

Do not ask ‘How was your day?’ ask specific Qs.

Remember ‘men come from Mars and Women from Venus. We may not be able to understand each other fully, but we can still love. 

Celebrate the difference and complement one another.

A great marriage is not when the perfect couple comes together. It is when an imperfect couple learns to enjoy the differences’

Dave Meurer

I thinks we could connect Marriages with Gems of all faiths on the above point. To celebrate differences. We do not imply that Religions are imperfect, only that the source of the backgrounds are different.

Maybe children should not be pressured into getting married.

Parents need to get educated on the changing patterns of life.

Case study. Girls/ Boys are returning to their sweethearts after being married for a while.

Thoughts on Marriage by Khalil Gibran

Our approach to the topic

We should avoid the use of ” extreme” words like perfect and imperfect, differences and similarities – the underlying truth could be: every person is unique. he/she conforms or differs based on her/his own perspective of life. 

It is important to use the words “wisdom” and “compassion” together when talking about the role of a woman in a relationship

Geeta Ramakrishnan

 I think it is important to have the perception and realities of marriage in right perspective.

One must have the maturity to handle and accept change and different circumstances (that disintegrate a marriage) gracefully.

Expectations have to be looked at realistically.

One should not forget that family creates an environment and space which facilitates growth.

That space is dynamic by nature accepting both positive and negative consequences.

 The couple and other members require understanding to make (marriage, life) successful.


 Naina has suggested that:

We need to protect marriage

She says:

We should look at how marriage should serve us better.

I think there are some very happy marriages and there
are many spiritually enlightened couples who can talk
about their success story in a few words.

 Aarti feels that:

The institution of marriage is going through a transition. It is inevitable. It will stabilize.

 Qs from the floors

Diverse practices: legal side

Points to ponder

“Imagine life as a game in which you are juggling some five balls in the air. You name them – work, family, health, friends and spirit
and you’re keeping all of these in the air. You will soon understand
 that work is a rubber ball. If you drop it, it will bounce back.

But the other four balls family, health, friends and spirit – are made of glass. If you drop one of these, they will be irrevocably scuffed, marked, nicked, damaged or even shattered. They will never be the same.You must understand that and strive for balance in your life.”
1. Don’t undermine your worth by comparing yourself with others. It is because we are different that each of us is special.
2. Don’t set your goals by what other people deem important. Only you know what is best for you.
3. Don’t take for granted the things closest to your heart. Cling to them as you would to your life, for without them, life is meaningless.
4. Don’t let your life slip through your fingers by living in the past or for the future. By living your life one day at a time, you live all the days of your life.
5. Don’t give up when you still have something to give. Nothing is really over until the moment you stop trying.
 6. Don’t be afraid to admit that you are less than perfect. It is this fragile thread that binds us to each other, together.
7. Don’t be afraid to encounter risks. It is by taking chances that  we learn how to be brave.
 8. Don’t shut love out of your life by saying it’s impossible to find time. The quickest way to receive love is to give; the fastest way to lose love is to hold it too tightly; and the best way to keep love is to give it wings.
 9. Don’t run through life so fast that you forget not only where you’ve been, but also where you are going.
 10. Don’t forget, a person’s greatest emotional need is to feel appreciated.
11. Don’t be afraid to learn. Knowledge is weightless, a treasure you can always carry easily.
12. Don’t use time or words carelessly. Neither can be retrieved.
Life is not a race, but a journey to be savored each step of the way. 

Yesterday is History, Tomorrow is a Mystery and Today is a gift: 

That’s why we call it “The Present.”
I Miss You Daddy
Sons love is worth more than $20 per Hour.
A man came home from work late, tired and irritated, to find his 5-year old 
on waiting for him at the door.
“Daddy, may I ask you a question?”
“Yes sure, what is it?”
“Daddy, how much do you make an hour?”
“That’s none of your business. Why do you ask such a thing?” the man said angrily.
“I just want to know. Please tell me, how much do you make an hour?” pleaded
the little boy.
“If you must know, I make $20 an hour.”
“Oh,” the little boy replied, with his head down. Looking up, he said,
“Daddy, may please borrow $10?”

 1)We are saying that family is the backbone of civilization hence marriage is important.
So to make a marriage work everybody has to
2)In india we see that people especially women sacrifice too much to uphold this institution so there must be a community/government  involvement also to make life
easier in marriage for women. 
3) The first step like
you said is is pre marital counselling but also sensitizing seniors in the family, government policy makers, religious leaders, teachers and lawyers and doctors.
How do we do it?  When the panel discussion takes place we can ask different team leaders (doctors, lawyers etc) for suggestions and plans.
Marriage is supposed to provide a safe place for two individual adults to become better human beings so is the institution doing all this for the two individuals.

Example: When two people marry of their own choice, parents will be so angry that they refuse to help the girl or boy with the process. can aspects like this be looked at.

In Hinduism, we say the soul goes through three tortures. one  is at birth, second is  in the first year of marriage and third is during death.
The first year of marriage is the worst ever for most couples so we can keep that in mind during the discussion. I hope my language is not too flowery(cynical/realistic) this time.

If the ability to carry on doing the right things that one wants to do is strengthened, then everything else falls into place. even a stormy marriage can survive if there is mutual appreciation for the good things being done.
in addition a consciously developed rational perspective would be the best arbiter.

Last word! a woman MUST be firm and aggressive where needed. In short, she MUST put her foot down about unreasonable behaviour, in whatever form and manner, in whatever situation.

Another suggested title for the discussion: Marriage: Rock or Wreck?

……..a discussion based on contemporary experiences and perceptions of an age-old institution


I would like to share a thought with you about your article on marriage. The only thing you missed out in your reasons for failed marriages is that society is becoming dependant on the ‘quick fix’ We become hungry- we get fast-food, it does’nt matter that its bad for us. We get a headache- we take a pill, we don’t want to know the underlying cause of our pain. We struggle in our relationship- we get a new one. This is what the modern world has become- there isn’t any patience Just like to say that I loved your write-up of Sai Baba as I travelled to Shirdi earlier this year. Please keep up the ‘good’ work 

A Reader wrote to me:

HI. I came across the following words in a wedding invitation.(MARRIGES ARE CREATED IN HEAVEN, BUT CELEBRATED ON EARTH. IT IS THE UNITY OF TWO UNKNOW SOULS WRITTEN RIGHT FROM BIRTH.) What are your thoughts about it.

My thoughts:

It is true that Marriages are created in Heaven. It is also true that sometimes partners are difficult and the reason is karmic.

They are together to learn some of the most difficult lessons that we are meant to learn…