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Chapter 18: Marriage: The Coffin of Love

Love is psychological. It depends totally on you. And because it depends totally on you it creates fear - you can commit a mistake. You cannot commit a mistake by being a son to a mother: what can you do? Every mother is beautiful, every son is beautiful. Every father is great, every son is special. You have not been asked, you have not even thought about it. It all happened to you. You were simply a victim of all these relationships: the mother, the father, the brother, the sister. It was not in your hands, within your capacity, to do anything about it.

But when you fall in love then there is tremendous fear, uncertainty, hesitation, anxiety; whether you are taking the right step or the wrong step; whether this woman is made for you or you are made for this woman. Is it simply infatuation? Or is there certainly something more than infatuation? Is there love? Or is it only biological attraction? A thousand and one problems arise in you. And the most difficult problem is, whether it is going to last.

So before it disappears, before it is beyond your reach, you need some support from the law, from the state, from the society - some guarantee. You cannot depend on this woman, on this man only. It is too risky. You don’t know the person, who he is, who she is; and what the future has for you in its womb, you don’t know. You have to take some measures to make love a stable thing. In fact what you are saying is: it would have been good if you were born with your wife.

You will be surprised that Jainism has that idea, that in the beginning everybody was born with a partner. No single boy, no single girl was born, only twins were born: one was a boy, the other was a girl. Hence in Sanskrit the word for wife and for sister is the same, bhagni; it is a very strange thing that the same word is used for both. It is a very ancient use. Slowly, slowly the meaning has become sister, but originally it meant both wife and sister. In fact it was the same person: wife and sister.

This idea is not truth, is not historical. It is a projection of a deep desire in you, that it would have been far better if you were not put into this fire test of choice - if God, nature, existence, xyz, anybody, had decided it. And people have tried in every possible way that it is decided by others, not by you. Hence all old societies are not in favor of love affairs. They know, they have experienced; for millions of years they have seen what can happen to a love affair. So it is better that the father chooses, the parents choose.

In India it still happens. In ninety-eight percent of cases in India, the choice is of the parents, not of the people who are going to be married. Just a few years ago it was not even possible for the boy to see the girl, or the girl to see the boy whom she was going to marry. It was disrespectful; you didn’t trust your elders. They have much more experience, they have known life. What do you know, and how are you going to choose? What criteria are you going to use? Just a beautiful face? Good color? A shapely nose? A good bodily figure? How are you going to decide? These things don’t mean anything after you are married.

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