Now what can a seven-year-old girl understand? She could not understand what marriage is. But the strategy was, “Let the small children get married. Once they start living together they will start loving the same way as you love your sister, as you love your mother.” It is not the love that takes you, possesses you from nowhere, changes you, makes you capable of risking even your life. It is not that mad kind of love.
No, it is simply a companionship: two persons living together, sleeping together, eating together, being together – in pain, in pleasure, in health, in sickness – caring about each other. This creates a companionship. Millions of people on the earth have thought that this is love, this companionship. And the society had made it absolutely certain that there is no possibility of any love happening after marriage.
Women were not allowed to go out. In Mohammedan countries they are not allowed to show their faces. The first thing the Mohammedan wife has to ask the husband is, “Who are the persons before whom I can open my veil?” – because that is the greatest crime, if she opens her veil before somebody who is not okay by her husband. So the husband tells her, “These are the people you can show your face to; otherwise nobody is going to see you.”
The Hindu wife is almost in the same position – she even cannot open her ghoonghat, her veil, before her husband if some elder is present. That is disrespectful. The wife does not move in society, does not go to the club, does not go to do the shopping. She remains confined to the house, her whole world is within those four walls. There is no possibility of meeting somebody and falling in love.
Those who were powerful, they had even better arrangements. For example, kings had many queens, many wives. Naturally they were afraid – to have one thousand wives was dangerous. The king might have been getting old, and he continually went on marrying any new, young, beautiful woman whom he came across in his kingdom. If he asked for her hand it could not be refused; his was the first right. So he went on making a big campus of wives.
Naturally servants would be coming in. That was dangerous – so those servants had to be made eunuchs so they are no longer dangerous. So hundreds of servants were made eunuchs, just by a single king, because they had to go into the palace; they could not be allowed as men. Either women could be allowed in…but there were certain kinds of work which women were not capable of doing, then men had to be forced to be eunuchs, and then they could be allowed in.
Strictly, society tried to protect you from love. And one cannot say that it was absolutely wrong. In this century, in the Western countries and in the East to a few people who are westernized, child marriage is a crime. And of course they have made it a crime constitutionally because it is being absolutely ugly to children – not even knowing what marriage is, they are to be married. And they have to live with the other person their whole life, and somebody else – who will not have anything to do with their life – is deciding on it.