Misconcept of spirituality : One who wants to practice spirituality should avoid getting married

Some ignorant people try to misguide the Seekers, particularly the youth, by saying that if you indulge in spiritual practice, you will be deprived of marriage or have to leave the householder’s life, but there is not an iota of truth in it.To understand this, we must first and foremost know the concept of spiritual levels as propounded by my Shreeguru Paratpar Guru Dr. Jayant Athavale.
The Almighty has created the entire universe. Hence, some amount of sattva component (there are three basic components sattva, raj and tam) is present in everything, animate or inanimate. The spiritual level of saints, who have achieved unison with the Almighty, is at 100%. To take birth as a human, a minimum of 20% sattva component is required. A person at 20% spiritual level is as good as an atheist and does not have any interests in spirituality, ritualistic worship, Dharma etc. At 30% level, a person starts doing Sadhana such as, performing Puja (ritualistic worship); undertakes religious pilgrimages, reads scriptures, visits temples etc. .
Upon achieving a 35% spiritual level, a person’s interest in spirituality is awakened in the real sense and one starts making efforts for doing Sadhna sincerely. At 40% level, one starts making attempts at chanting, and having achieved 45% level, one’s interest in spirituality begins to increase and the transition form many types of Sadhana to one form of Sadhna commences. At 50% level, one begins to attach more importance to spiritual life in comparison to worldly life and one begins to perform spiritual acts like constant chanting, attending spiritual discourses and rendering service with regularity.
Upon achieving the 55% level, a Sadguru enters his life and the Seeker begins to offer his body, mind and wealth, either to a Guru, or saint’s mission or for Dharma-related activities to his 55% capacity. Genuine Seva(service) begins at 60% level. Below this level, efforts at offering service are made as one know its importance at intellectual plane. A Seeker acquires the status of a saint upon achieving a 70% level, and by the time 80% level is reached, a Seeker reaches the Sadguru position. At 90% level, Paraatpar level is attained. After this, the embodied Soul moves ahead towards its journey to get completely merge with the Almighty.
Now, let us understand some fundamental spiritual principles pertaining to marriage.
(i) Marriage does not lead to a spiritual decline if the householders abide by dharma. Several householders have proved this by attaining sainthood. Kabirdas, Raidas, Tukaram Maharaj, Eknath Maharaj and several other householders became saints of the highest order.
(ii) If marriage is in someone’s Prarabdh (destiny) it will take place. Birth, death and marriage emanate from the Pruthvi Tattv (Earth element) and hence, altering these three events is extremely difficult.
(iii) After marriage, if one gets a husband or wife with a Seeker-like disposition, Sadhna becomes easier and the husband and wife complement each other in spiritual practice, thereby trying to implement the process of self-control.
(iv) Marriage has been considered a Yadnya-Karm (a sacrificial deed), for it leads to birth of offsprings, thus enabling the process of ‘Creation’ of this Universe to continue. Hence, the life of a householder has been accorded a place of dignity even in scriptures.
(v) If a husband or wife is a Seeker and the process of sexual intercourse is conducted on an auspicious date and time as ordained in the scriptures, only with a view to produce an ideal offspring, such a householder has been considered similar to a celibate. However, if either the husband or wife do not possess the qualities of a Seeker, considering it to be someone else’s will, fulfilment of desires does not incur any sin.
(vi) A Seeker below 40% spiritual level must necessarily marry, irrespective of the fact whether or not there is a Guru in one’s life, for controlling of desires below the level of 40% is a difficult proposition. If such a person tries to live a solitary life, the mind gets distracted by gratification of sexual thoughts. Hence, for this level, leading a worldly life and engaging in Sadhna has been considered to be a far more qualified act. This makes Sadhna even simpler for them.
(vii) If Seekers at 50% level are doing Sadhna under the tutelage of a qualified Guru and the yearning to attain Almighty is strong, one should make enquiries from the Guru regarding this. If such Seekers do not enter into marriage, they can make faster spiritual progress and acquire control over their desires. Those Seekers who do not have a Guru at 50% level must pray to the Almighty that if marriage is complimentary for his or her spiritual progress then kindly allow  the marriage to take place, else allow him or her to stay at Divine’s lotus feet.
(viii) If seekers above 60% spiritual level have a Guru and if the yearning to realise God is strong and they take a decision based on their intellect not to marry considering their spiritual level, even such a situation proves beneficial for them. If Seekers above 60% level suffer from a severe Prarabdh (implying that endurance of extreme hardships is part of their destiny), even then marriage is imperative for them and such Seekers get married even against their own wishes as per God’s wish or due to their destiny.
(ix) If there is a difference of more than 5% in the spiritual levels of the husband and wife, the matrimonial life is not harmonious as there is a difference at a conceptual level of thinking between them. Hence, to search for a husband or wife, a Seeker should make efforts to look for a Seeker groom or a bride. Towards this end, one must pray to the Kuldevta (family deity) as He possess the ability to mitigate the severity of our Prarabdh.
(x) It has been noticed that if Pitru-Dosh afflicts both the bride and the groom’s families, their married life becomes troublesome. Such a Seeker couple must remain alert and make efforts to remove it.
(xi) If the spiritual level crosses 60% while being engrossed in Sadhana and a Seeker is plagued by opposition from the life partner, forsaking the household does not incur any sin.
(xii) Remember one thing. For any Seeker – married or a saint – only total surrender and complete detachment can lead to Moksh (liberation from the cycle of birth and death). Hence, knowing this fundamental principle of Sadhana, one should remain engrossed in it. We cannot cross the Bhav Sagar, (vicious cycle of life and death) riding in two boats. Hence, be it a householder or a saint, immense control over desires and performing all the deeds as per God’s wish is the fundamental principle of Sadhana.
(xiii) Performing Sadhana as a householder is neither against Dharma nor against the scriptures. It is only that such a Seeker runs the possible risk of getting diverted from his/her objective of self realisation and the householders who still make spiritual progress and cross this Bhav Sagar (Illusionary World), have been acclaimed as ‘heros’ by the saints. – Tanuja Thakur

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