Friday, February 04, 2011

I shall not overstep

‘Yaava purusharthakke?’ is not actually a question but a classic statement often made to express disdain in an imposing manner. For example if someone jealously guards the wealth that he has amassed over his life time and refuses to indulge for his sake or others, then the above thing is said. It literally means for which of the purusharthas? A man’s existence on earth revolves around the realization of four purusharthas viz., Dharma, Artha, Kama and Moksha as per the vaidika dharma. I guess, since there is no sub-clause, all actions, you name it, can be justified as fulfilment of one or the other of these four goals. You can thieve or commit a fraud and then say that you were pursuing financial well being; Whoring as the fulfilment of uncontrolled libido. May be I have missed something. I don’t know.
Is Marriage set as the pre-condition for the Purushartha Sadhana. May be that’s why both the boy and the girl take the vow 'Dharmecha, Arthecha, Kamecha Naaticharaami'. I guess the father of the girl assures the groom that his daughter will not transgress him in these three areas. It is a strange vow. I will come back to the strangeness of the vow later. The assurance that neither of them will do each other wrong while pursuing Dharma, Artha and Kama can strengthen the union. Chasing material prosperity, satisfying physical and sensual desires and fulfilling religious obligations has to be done keeping in mind the capabilities and needs of the other. Just imagine, if the woman is highly religious and ritualistic but the man is an atheist. Though it may not break the bond, it can still create a strain if both of them turn a blind eye to each other’s aptitude and needs.
It is such an apt observation that one’s religious beliefs and practice, matters pertaining to finance and pleasure are the core issues that can make or break a marriage. Its such a clever promise. If financial pursuit, fulfilment of all types of desires and quest for religious and spiritual growth while being still wedded is taken independently then it can wreck marriage. Perhaps the vow does not mean that these goals have to be pursued together. But while pursuing these goals independently they have to keep each other as the centre of their respective universes. I think, when both of the partners are actively involved in the spiritual, material, physical gratification of each others needs, it can lead to a state of tranquility and not stillness, complete union and not just togetherness. And it can in no way provide an opportunity for the most dangerous threat to the instituion of marriage viz., boredom to raise its ugly head. Shaw defines boredom as a condition which makes men susceptible to disgust and irritation as headache makes them to noise and glare. I believe that boredom is the first sign of disintegration of marriage.
I don’t know the origin of this 'I shall not overstep' wedding vow. But don't you think it creates a sense of equality. We, at least I, think that women do not or rather cannot transgress. I guess, after hundreds of years of lessons in morality she is now genetically and biologically programmed against transgression. But this vow since it is taken by both the girl and the boy gives a feeling that when it was created perhaps woman had the same type of freedom enjoyed by the man. Since she was also made to abide by this vow, it means that her not transgressing was not taken for granted. That is why I said its strange.
I got thinking about marriage, because I am losing yet another dear friend to it. I am none the sadder for it. I may have attended a thousand weddings. Okay, that’s a bit of exaggeration but I am quite sure that I have gone to at least hundred weddings. And in spite of that I still find dynamics of a marriage quite interesting.  

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