Why does the institution of marriage exist, and what role does it play in human life and societies?
Questioner: My question is about marriage and divorce. I’ve been married for 25 years. There were many occasions where I felt like a divorce, but then it has been a wonderful experience for me when I really fell in love. But what I see today, many youngsters don’t want to marry, and those who are married are getting divorced. Would you like to throw some light on this situation, Sadhguru?
Answered: What you only intended, they are successful with! You need to understand the institution of marriage. One aspect of it is about bringing a certain sanctity to the simple basic needs that every human being has. There are physical needs, psychological needs, economic needs, emotional needs, and social needs – a variety of needs. To fulfill all these needs, we set up an institution called marriage where all this can be conducted in a sensible manner. Marriage is to bring some organization, some aesthetic, some stability because man and woman coming together naturally used to bring fresh life.
The nature of human life, the nature of human offspring is such that because of the possibilities that a human being carries, compared to any other creature, it is the most helpless life and needs the maximum amount of support. You could leave a puppy on the street – as long as it gets food, it grows up into a good dog. But not so with human beings – they need not just physical support but a variety of supports, and above all, a stable situation. When they are 18, they will debate whether they should get married or not, because the physical body is asking for freedom. At that time, everyone questions if marriage is really needed, and whether we can just live whichever way we want. But when you were three years of age, you valued a stable marriage immensely – isn’t it so? Not yours – your parents’.
When you were three, four years of age, you were 100% for marriage. When you become 45, 50, again you are 100% for marriage. Between 18 and 35, you are questioning the whole institution.
If at the time when the physical body is dominant, you give in to it, you will question every institution. This is hormone-fired freedom. Your intelligence has been hijacked by hormones, so you question the fundamentals of everything. I am not saying marriage is the thing, but do you have a better alternative? We have not come up with a better alternative, because a stable situation is a must for a child.
Some simple but profound wit can change the way everything works.