Saturday, June 7, 2014

An ideal doctrine for Husband and Wife - for an everlasting happiness!



Recently, in my sister's wedding, finding me as unmarried (a scapegoat) many elders talked to me and enquired about my thoughts on marriage, my dream wife and her characteristics and so on. They wanted to know all these to search for matching alliances for me. I couldn't elaborate my thoughts due to time and other constraints, and talked only in headlines.
However, later when i reflected in myself all those sequences, I thought of penning down my views of Vedic marriage system and about the ideal qualities of a husband and wife. Hence this article!

Moreover, It is said that every man carries three debts on him to be disbursed. They are - 1. Deva RuNam (Debt to Gods), 2. Rishi-RuNam (Debt to Rishis), and 3 Pitru-RuNam (Debt to Pitris/departed ancestors). Out of these a man can payback only the 2nd debt without needing a wife. That is by studying the scriptures handed over by the great Rishis of our lineage and by teaching the same (that is, transferring the knowledge to keep it rolling), to our descendants or disciples, one can disburse the debt to Rishis. This can be completed even by being a Brahmachari or a Sanyasi. It doesn't require a wife.

However, the remaining two viz. debt to Gods and debt to departed ancestors cannot be disbursed without the company of a wife. Debt to Gods can be paid off by doing Yajnas (sacrifices) and one gets an eligibility to do Yajna only if his wife sits besides him. With yajnas we offer Havis (food) to Gods. Gods consume them and get pleased and then they pour timely rains on earth. With timely seasonal changes earth produces good crops, and people remain healthy and entire planet remains blissful. For all this to happen, only a Gruhastha (householder) is eligible to do Yajnas.

Similarly, the debt to Pitris (ancestors) can be paid by begetting a son and keeping the race continuing. For begetting a so one needs to get into Gruhasthashrama and beget a son upon his wedded wife righteously. So, without a wife a man cannot repay the debt to his ancestors. Therefore, it becomes mandatory for a man to sail through the Ashrama called "Gruhasthashrama".

Not only this. Gruhasthashrama is the greatest of all other Ashramas because the other Ashramas depend on Gruhasthas for food. Food keeps all beings alive and nourishes them. Brahmacharis, Vanaprasthas, and Sanyasis do not cook food for themselves, they seek food from the house of a householder only. Therefore Gruhastha is the pillar on whom all other ashramas lean and take rest!

Keeping in mind the glory of Gruhasthashrama every man should seek to wed a virtuous, learned, and wise wife, because she is the support of the order of gruhastha mode of life.


A husband and wife should be like that of Sita and Rama. Often when you say this, many ignorant people dislike this correlation saying, "What happiness did they ever gain in their life? Their life was full of pain alone". But their such words need to be known only as arising out of ignorance. Sita-Rama are always cited as an ideal couple because of their inseparable nature even during their separation!

When Ravana kidnaped Sita; Rama and Sita got physically separated from each other. However, Rama always remained in the thoughts of Sita as can be seen throughout Aranya kanda, to Sundara Kanda. Likewise Sita emaciated herself without taking even a morsel of food but always remained merged in the thoughts of her lord viz. Rama! They both remained outwardly in two locations separated bodily from each other, but by their heart and soul, they always were one and united! I cannot cite references from Ramayana to support their mutual love because entire Ramayana itself is a testimony. How may verses I can quote?

Such a mutual love and affection need to exist between a couple in my opinion. Secondly, Sita Rama are ideal couple because of their fidelity for each other which remained undamaged throughout their lifetime. ShurpaNakha a demoness who was capable of assuming any beautiful form at will, approached Rama lustfully and asked him to accept her. Since she could change her looks at will and could appear in multiple beautiful forms, that would have been a jack pot for Rama to enjoy pleasures with her daily. However, he didn't abandon Sita. That was his unbroken faithfulness towards his consort. Similarly, Sita was amorously approached by the wretch Ravana many a times. He offered her all the glories and proposed her to be his queen and share his bed. Ravana was that terrible monster whom even the three worlds were afraid of. None among the deities were able to conquer him. So, Sita could have easily taken his hand and abandoned a loner Rama who had giver her 14 years of exile soon after marriage. However, she didn't even think of such options. She always kept herself immersed in the thoughts of her Rama alone. That is the fidelity that makes her story never fade away even after eons and eons!

In my opinion, every men and women should try to emulate the footsteps of Sita and Rama. It's difficult for sure since as Bhagawad Gita says - "No doubt it is difficult to control the mind O Arjuna, however, with practice and dispassion, one can conquer the mind!".

So, let's give it a try! 



Our Vedas declare that every human being should pursue four purusharthas (pursuits / goals) viz. Dharma (Righteousness as taught by Vedas and scriptures), Artha (materialistic pursuits like earning wealth, house, wife, children, health, name, fame etc.), Kama (all desires and wishes), Moksha (liberation by self-realization). While Moksha is the highest of all the Purusharthas, one cannot escape the prior three to pursue the last one - Moksha.
Especially, one who is in Gruhasthashrama (wedded life), for such a being, scriptures mandate him to pursue all the four of them. Now, a question may arise - "Should one purse all four of them independently or there is any dependency among them?", the answer is - "Yes, all four are interdependent where, 'Dharma', acts as the foundation for the rest three". Here is how Dharma gives support for all the three:

#. Artha (earning wealth) -> when pursued independent of the guidelines laid down by Dharma (righteousness), leads us to earn wealth, but accrues sin along with it. Getting a son is also a wealth for the parents because that adds to their family and continues the race. But then this son has to be begotten on one's own wedded wife only. Then this Artha becomes supported by Dharma. Possessing lands, Homes, Cattle, Vehicles and everything which comes under Artha must be earned righteously. Hence Dharma always remains inseparably entangled with Artha. Similarly, one can become famous by earning good name and can equally become famous (notorious) by earning a bad name, however earning the former type is suggested by scriptures and that can be earned only with the support of Dharma. Therefore we can see very clearly that Artha is dependent on Dharma.
#. Kama (desires, wishes,) -> Kama doesn't always mean lust, it has a wide spectrum which encompasses all sorts of desires, and wishes. Desire to have a own house is 'Kama', and possessing that becomes Artha. For fulfilling that desire one needs to spend the righteously earned and hard-earned funds (which symbolize Dharma) and posses a house (which becomes Artha) and not by forcefully occupying other’s lands. Even the carnal desires which arise from lust, should be obtained from one's own wedded wife alone. Hence Kama (in all sense) needs to be leaning on Dharma always.
#. Moksha (liberation) -> Moksha is obtained through self-knowledge. For self-knowledge to dawn, chitta-shuddhi is mandatory. For chitta to get purified, good and virtuous deeds, austerities, truthfulness, non-violence, steadiness of mind, control of senses, knowledge of scriptures (as taught by one's preceptor), and god's grace is required. All these required ingredients shower on us only when one follows the path of Dharma (righteousness).


We have seen in above analysis that all the four pursuits viz. Dharma, Artha, Kama, Moksha are mutually dependent. However, that is easy only at a theoretical level. It is easier said than done, in reality! Practically, all the four pursuits are mutually contradicting and opposing each other in one's real life. One may wonder, how! Here is the answer:

#. Artha:- One who follows Dharma seriously, usually remains poor and suffers hardships throughout his life. People who have huge real estates and multiple houses on their name, have not all obtained them by their righteously earned money. many people use their power to forcefully capture week and illiterate people's lands and build their estates over them. They have earned Artha but not at the expense of Dharma. People who earn high positions, not always ascend based on their true skills. Many attain higher seats by favouritism, by cunning nature and by climbing on the shoulders of the weaker subordinates. Therefore again, such high achievements are not always founded upon Dharma (righteousness).
#. Kama:- Practically not everyone binds their desires with righteousness and seeks to fulfil them. Today all companies allow one to get reimbursement for medical expenses, and it's not unknown to us how many of the employees use that facility righteously. The desire to make quick money (for free) makes them apply fake medical bills to get the full allowance of whatever the company provides. So, where is the desire (Kama) for Artha (wealth) fulfilled righteously here? Further, taking Kama as lust also we can understand that not everyone walks the path of Sri Rama and Sita in today's world. Infidelity is increasing day by day. So, dharma and Kama are not going hand in hand nowadays.

Now the question arises, - Who can regulate all these four purusharthas and bring them into harmony? Answer is - A discerning and wise wife! If you said, "Who says, so?", the answer is - the illustrious King, the Dharmaraja Yudhishthira says so, in the following conversation between him and Yaksha from Mahabharata's Vana Parva.

Yaksha asks a very touch question to Yudhishthira as follows:

यक्ष उवाच
धर्ममर्थस्च कामस्च् परस्पर विरोधिनः।
एषाम् नित्य्विरुद्धानां कथमेकत्र सङ्गमः॥ (MBH Vana Parva Chapter 297)
"The Yaksha asked,--'Virtue, profit, and desire are opposed to one another. How could things thus antagonistic to one another exist together?"


The yaksha is making a query here: - "virtue, wealth and desire are three mutually conflicting factors in human life. In pursuing virtue on can face a situation where his wealth is depleted and his personal desires are challenged to their detriment often. The query is as to how these three can be balanced to have a good life".

Yudhistira has a very learned answer

युधिष्ठिर उवाच
यदा धर्मस्च भार्या च परस्परवशानुगौ।
तदा धर्मार्थकामानं त्रयाणामपि सङ्गमः॥ (MBH Vana Parva Chapter 297)
"Yudhishthira answered,--'When a wife and virtue agree with each other, then all the three thou hast mentioned may exist together'."


Yudhishthira replies: The day to day good deeds of a man are mostly under the silent guidance of his wife. Besides the domestic finance cannot be managed without the active support of the good wife..And for an honest man all his desires are fulfilled and enjoyed in the happiness of his wife. Thus if one man has a discerning and wise lady as his wife..there will be absolute control of all his varied aspects of life.

1. A wise wife when remains adherent of Dharma (virtue / righteousness), she controls the incoming/outgoing funds righteously. Even if husband slips from Dharma she says "stop!" and corrects him and keeps a check on him. This is how she helps his Artha remain in sync with Dharma
2. She when clings firmly to Dharma she also regulates the Kama of her husband in all ways, right from checking the desire for earning black-money to even satiating all other desires and pleasures of flesh. Thereby she prevents her husband from attaining the sin of "para stree vaancha dosha" as well. Hence a good wife is an indispensable element of a happy and righteous householder (gruhastha) life.
3. Moksha is an achievement of individual effort. One cannot bestow Moksha on anyone. However, a good wife who regulates Dharma and makes it pervade through other two pursuits of her husband indirectly makes her husband free from all evils and sins. Thereby helps her husband gain purity of mind (chitta shuddhi) easily and sooner. Then with his own efforts towards realization, he can attain self-knowledge and Moksha. So, indirectly, a good wife becomes the catalyst in accelerating the Husband's efforts towards Moksha.

Conclusion: - From this it is quite clear that a good wife can regulate Dharma, Artha and Kama and bring them in harmony and help her husband in his three spiritual pursuits directly and in fourth (Moksha) indirectly. Therefore there cannot be any better companion that a good wife for a man!


Today 'independence' has become a buzz-word. Today's people are so much fascinated by that word that they apply it in every field, and sadly even in the institution called marriage! Marriage (Vivaaham) is an institution designed for inter-dependence and not for independence  A husband has to look at his wife for seeking love, affection, and care and a wife has to seek love and protection from her husband. No doubt, they need to have their 'freewill' in expressing themselves, their feelings, wishes etc., , but that freewill cannot be confused with 'independence'.

Unfortunately, today's couples are becoming arrogant, egoistic, proud and haughty in their behaviour towards each other in the name of independence  Most of the times such cases end up in losing mutual affection and finally lands up in divorce - which is a bane on we Indians. Vedas have mantras for uniting two people (of opposite gender) as husband and wife, but nowhere there are any mantras for divorce. Divorces are the product of ego and friction! Where there is love, there cannot be any desire to win, there always remains a desire to make the other person victorious! There is a lot of happiness in losing in the hands of your beloved! That boosts love!

If a wife has no permission to touch husband's wallet, if she cannot share her earnings with her husband, if they bring 'professionalism' in their private life - May I ask - "Why do they need to be husband and wife? Why can't they lead separate lives singly and individually? Is it just for satiating pleasures of flesh that they would want to depend on each other? If yes, then what's a big deal in such marriages?” Love is far superior than lust. Lust is just a part of life but love is the life itself! Lust without love doesn't need 'marriage' (a brothel visit would just be enough!). Lust that comes out of love keeps the couple happy and united forever.  Therefore in every aspect, inter-dependence is the indispensable key towards a successful, and happy married life for a householder.

Vedas have given so much of importance to mutual dependants of husband and wife that they have said the following mantras.

इहेमाविन्द्र सं नुद चक्रवाकेव दंपती | (Atharva Veda अथ् १४-२-६४)
[The elders pray for the couple:] "Join the couple here, Indra... they resemble the chakravaka and its mate.
(The chakravaka is a symbol for mutual devotion of the couple. if one loses its life, the mate will die in grief. Such should be the inter-dependants of husband and wife on each other).

Vedas blesses them to never part (no divorce). They expect them to remain happily together and see even their grand children.

इहैव स्तम् मा वि यौष्ठं
विश्वं आयुर् व्यश्नुतं
क्रीळन्तो पुत्रैर् नप्तृभिर्
मोदमानौ त्वे गृहे | (Rig Veda ऋग् १०-८५-४२)
[The lifelong union of the ideal couple as expressed by elders in their blessing:] "May you two dwell in this house, never parted, you enjoy the full life span as prescribed by vedas, may you have the fortune to play together with your sons and grandsons,"

There is another aaseervada mantram in Vedas, which is a gem in itself. This mantra states how much dependant a husband needs to be on wife for care and in turn how much essential a wife should become for her husband to provide her care.

दशास्याम् पुत्राणम् अन्ते पतिमेकादशम् कृधि
daśāsyām putrāṇam ante patimekādaśam kṛdhi
"You beget ten sons and make your husband the eleventh son".

Everyone knows that there is noone better than a mother in taking care of her children. She wakes up even at the sneeze of her child to see if he/she is alright. Such a kind of protection is sought for her husband also from her in above mantra. Also, it is indicative of old age as well. When old age dawns, a husband (being elder than the wife), becomes dull, stupified, and becomes an object of mockery from everyone including his children and grand-children. AT that time only recourse / refuge becomes his wife who stands by him always and protects him.


Unfortunately, today either between a husband and wife there exists either too much of independence or too much of domination. The right balance is missing. If wife and husband are both working, 'independence' is damaging the fabric of their marriage life; else, if the wife is a home maker, she is dominated and treated as a slave, and this again is ruining the marriage life totally. However, Vedas have given a balanced approach for a householder's life. While we have seen "inter-dependence" element in previous section, let's see the position given by Vedas to a wife in her in-laws home

The position given to woman as a wife in our culture was indeed very exalted. Below mantra from Rig veda clearly highlights that she is expected to be treated as the queen and the main spokesperson of that house. It should not be thought as if a bride needs to dictate her in-laws because she is called the queen of that house. Instead, we need to understand that she is being the queen's position in their hearts. A position in heart remains for posterity and that's what is the intended message, along with the outward message of giving prominent position in the home.

पूषा त्वेतो नयतु हस्तगृह्य
अश्विना त्वा प्र् वहतां रथेन
गृहान् गच्च गृहपत्नी यथासौ
वशिनी त्वम् विदथं आ वदासि | (Rig Veda ऋग् १०-७५-२६)
"The bride is entering the ritualistic location, her hand held by the god puushan (one form of the sun god) the twin gods of medicine the Ashwins are accompanying her in the chariot.. and she is going away from her house to that of her husband and she is blessed that she may become the ruler of the household and the main spoke-person of the assembly in her husbands place".

The bride is blessed to join the supreme place in the household. See how the father-in-law, mother-in-law and everyone is granting her the central place in their hearts.

सम्राजी श्वशुरे भव
सम्राजी श्वश्र्वां भव
ननान्दरि सम्राजी भव
सम्राही अधि देवृषु | (Rig Veda ऋग् १०-८५-४६ अथ १४-२-४४)
"May your father in law treat you with affection as if you were a queen. May your mother in law treat you with love as if you were a queen. May your sisters in law love and respect you as if you were a queen. May your brothers in law respect and adore you as if you were a queen"


Again, Vedas have expressed beautifully the instructions for an ideal marriage life for a householder couple. A husband prays to god for perpetual unity of their hearts and conjugal unity as follows.

समञ्जन्तु विश्वे देवाह्
सं आपो हृदयानि नौ
सं मातरिश्वा सम् धाता
समुद्रेष्ट्री दधातु नौ | (Rig Veda ऋक् १०-८५-४७)
"May all Gods and all waters unite our hearts. Especially the gods Mathariswa, dhaata, and dheshtri, make us very close.

A wife prays for the longevity of their lifespan so that hey could live happily and united with each other. For thsi the bride prays to the gods and elders as follows:

दीर्घायुरस्तु मे पतिर् जीवाति शरदः शतम्। (Atharva Veda अथ् १४-२-६३)
"May my husband live long, and we will live together for hundred years...bless us"


May all the Indians who have faith in Sanatana Dharma and the teaching of Vedas follow these instructions and remain always blissful in their conjugal life of Gruhasthashrama.

|| tathAstu || So Be It ||


  1. Namaste Santosh,

    Your blog posts are wonderful.I thank you for presenting your views.I heard there is a Sri Sukta Bhashya by Sri Srikantacharya explaining that Sri Devi of the Sukta is none other than mother Parvati and God Shiva is Jataveda.It will be a blessing for us if you can present it in the Maha Pashupatastra blog.I am sorry to post it here but I did not know of any other place to make this request.


    1. Dear Ram,


      I have not studied Srikantha's works so far. However, that is very true that SriSukta is a glorification of Lalitambika and Shiva only. It has a deep meanings of Kundalini awakening process and connects to Shiva and Shakti only.

      I'll surely take up that article someday, however, I am currently working on some other articles and after the current work gets finished I will take up your suggested topic.

      Yes in Maha pashupatastra blog anonymous comments are disabled. Hence If you have google account, and have a google plus profile OR a blogger profile, you could also post comments in Mahapashupatastra blog.

      Keep visiting that blog few months by god's grace some good qualiy articles would come.


  2. Namaste

    Firstly, its an amazing piece of work emphasizing on right attitude towards life (not only about institution of marriage).. This work is not just for the ones in Gruhasthashrama but for all those out there to learn right attitude towards oneself and others, and understand the purpose of life..

    Its a Guide for Unmarried to know what one has to expect from marital life and from one's partner (instead having unrealistic expectations about a partner and fight over in disappointment in future).. Manual for married to understand one's partner, accept each other wholeheartedly, support each other in every aspect of life, share unconditional love between each other, help each other to lead life with righteousness instead blind love of accepting negativity too.. Only patience and love can win over a person, not bossiness.. By this not only the couple lead a happy, successful life but they pass on these virtues to their next generations too.. Eye opener for Parent-in-laws and Significant others in family to welcome the young lady giving her the precious place in their hearts which she deserves. As marriage is not just between two people but between two families, not just understanding between couple is important, understanding between two families and making the girl an important part of family (not just wife of son) is also very important and that's when the family prospers with blessings...

    If one keeps these things in mind and applies it in one's own life, miraculous healing of relationships can be seen. After all life is to lead a happy and meaningful journey towards the Supreme, why entangle one's soul in feelings of jealous, hatred, anger, ego confined to body and attachments, instead spread unconditional love and reach Destiny...

    Great work!!! Definitely few quotes from the article are gonna be on notice board in my clinic :)

    Jai Gurudev!!!

    1. Namaste,

      Thanks for your kind words and special thanks for posting your valuable thoughts, they have added more value to this article.

      //Definitely few quotes from the article are gonna be on notice board in my clinic :) //

      Sure, those quotes are from Vedic texts and everyone must be aware of their existence. Thanks for spreading the awareness.


  3. What should a man do if his wife and father are at a bitter enmity and the wife insists him to live separately ?

    1. I am not yet married, hence I may not have practical experience to comment on this or to provide expert advise. However, I would like to put forth my thoughts on this. My thoughts may or may not be applicable in real life because as I said I have not entered into wedlock yet.

      I feel, the following steps need to be taken to drill down to the root cause.

      1. Conduct a peaceful discussion individually - one session with wife and another session with father separately. Since both are dear to you (one is your wife and another is father), you should approach them with open mind like an external consultant and not with any prejudices.
      2. Understand their pain points. Let them speak out and do not try to give judgements on their words, as that might make them defensive and they might either hide some of their valid pain points or might feel insecure and feel uncomfortable sharing their views.
      3. Apply "Five Whys" technique to drill down to the root cause. - Simply it is like asking "Why" to every broadly stated symptom to understand what was the cause of it, and after 4-6 times asking 'whys' one would actually get to the "cause" of the issues. Usually people tend to speak about symptoms not about cause. This technique lets us reach to the root of the cause.
      4. Take notes of both the discussions, and give a break to yourself for a day or two
      4. Then revise those notes and then assess where is the problem. Remember that "people have problems, but in most cases people are not problems themselves" (of course there are exceptions and there could be people who are the problems but often this is not the case)
      5. Find a solution which is "win-win" to both the parties. Propose that solution to both
      6. Hopefully this would reduce the tension a bit
      7. Observe for few days how the solution is working
      8. Pray to god that things be at peace. :-) This is most important step. Even all the previous 7 steps can be skipped and only this step be followed :-)