In the past – and in India until even very recently – there used to be child marriages. Neither the husband nor the wife was at all concerned about the person to whom they were getting married. They were such small children that they had no idea of what was going on. In their innocent state we made them a husband or a wife; they were not fully in their senses, they were not aware of what was happening. Just as one gains a sister, a mother and a father at birth, so too in their unawareness they acquired a wife or a husband.
One benefit of child marriage for the society was that it was very difficult for the couple to break up. Because it was their unconsciousnesses that were being joined together, because it was not their conscious choice – there was no question of any conscious choice – how could there be any question of their separating? The people who first introduced child marriage must have been very clever. What it meant was that the marriage would never break up, because two people who have not come together consciously cannot consciously choose to part. So the marriage would last, it would be stable.
But the phenomenon of love can never happen in such a marriage. Keep in mind that by staying together, by living closely, by staying with one another, a type of friendliness develops – but this is not love. Love is a madness, love is a rapture. In a child marriage love just doesn’t happen. Actually the very intention behind child marriage is to prevent love from happening. Because love is dangerous, everything is done to prevent it from happening.
Marriage is safe, love is dangerous. Love ascends to such heights that there is a danger: if you fall down from those heights, you will end up in a ditch of the same magnitude. No such fall can take place in a marriage because it never climbs to those heights. The journey is on even ground. There are no peaks, there are no valleys – it is safe, it is stable. So marriage is an institution, but love is a happening. A happening is something unplanned, an institution is always planned.
They were clever people. Love can be dangerous – it has to be. It is difficult to live at such heights forever; you will have to climb down. Love takes one to such heights of imagination, it creates such dreams, that it is possible for only a few dreamers to live with those dreams. Most people will fall back down to earth – it is difficult to live at such a peak. And when they fall, they will be in great pain. Remember that the greater the happiness you aspire to, the deeper the ditch of suffering that is present at its side. So the people who instigated child marriage set up a very clever arrangement; they removed the danger of love so that then there was no fear of a fall.
When you yourself have not chosen to get married, there could be no question of a divorce either. You cannot undo what you have not done. Can you divorce your sister? Can you ask your mother for a divorce? These are situations given by nature, how can you undo them? What could it possibly mean if you were to say, “Now I divorce my sister, now she is no longer my sister”? There is no way you can do this. Even if they become your enemies, whatever they do – a sister remains a sister, a father will always be a father, a mother will always be a mother. We have created exactly the same mold for a wife.