Vivaha – A Profound Marriage Process for Our Times
Q: Recently, you introduced the Vivaha process here, and I just wanted to know, how does this process enhance the couple and all the people who are participating? What is their experience and how can they benefit from it?
Sadhguru: Because I believe in efficiency of human activity, when somebody says they want to bind themselves to someone else, I thought I should do it more efficiently. People bind themselves and it doesn’t stick. If you have no intention of binding, that is up to you. But when you show an intention of binding, you better learn to bind yourself well. So Vivaha is just that, a more efficient way of binding.
In furniture different pieces of wood are bound together. You can bind it together with a screw... I’m sorry, in America, do you know what is a screw? I think you understand the word screw in a different way. Everywhere else in the world, we use screws to bind things; in America, everything is nailed and screw means something else.
There is something called a screw with which you can bind two pieces of wood efficiently together. The advantage of the screw is that you can unscrew. With a nail, you can’t really un-nail it – once you nail it, you generally only have to break it.
I was just surprised when I was watching the houses being built – the whole house is just nailed. If you had used screws instead of using a thousand nails, probably with fifty screws you could have done the same job; only thing is, a little more engineering would go into it.
In India, a traditional carpenter would be banished if he used nails like that. Traditionally in Indian carpentry, they always used wooden batons in a certain way. They are not permanently fixed; they are very well fixed, but not permanently fixed – if you want, you can tap it out. But it will take a certain amount of skill and effort to get it out. They mastered this in the East. That is how all binding should be; binding should be really fast and proper, but for some extraneous reason if it has to be undone, with a certain amount of effort, we should be able to undo it. Otherwise it means we don’t care a damn for the material we are using.
That goes for human beings too. When we bind someone, we must bind them in such a way it is quite permanent. But for some extraneous reason – let us say one person died, then the other should not follow immediately, because if you bind it absolutely fast, that is what will happen.
In the past, many people exhibited that kind of desire: “If my husband or my wife dies, I also want to die.” Those days are gone. If you do as much as something that they don’t like, you are gone. In a world like this, you should not bind so fast. It must be fast enough that tomorrow morning, when quarrel arises over the toothpaste, the binding should hold. But if something extraneous happens, then with a little bit of effort, you must be able to undo the binding. But, once you have bound something, if you want to unbind it, unless it is not at all bound properly, unbinding will inevitably extract a price from us. Whatever it is, whether it is physical, material or human beings, it will extract a price when you want to unbind.
If you want to unbind this furniture, some holes will be left inside, which are not easy to cover; it will take a lot of work to fix those holes. Similar things will happen to human beings also. I know today the slogan is, “I’ve moved on.” Moved on does not mean I got liberated, and I went up. Moved on means I’m in the next pit. So you may say “I have moved on,” but certain gaping holes are left, which will get you once in a way.
You may manage, you may handle the evenings with drink, mornings getting up just five minutes before you have to leave for the office, office time managed with grumbling and rumbling and being busy; people are managing their life like this. If you make them sit in one place without anything to do for three days, you will see, they will go quite crazy with all these holes inside of them.
Glossing over a hole and fixing a hole are two completely different things. Fixing it is not that simple; you can gloss over it. It is like the termite – if you have painted furniture, you have to keep checking because one day, when you touch it, only the paint will be there, because he doesn’t like to eat paint, he eats only organic. He is not like you, he doesn’t eat chemically infested food. He just neatly eats up all the wood. You poke with your finger, your finger goes straight in, because only the paint was there.
So, binding of anything has to be done well, otherwise what is the point? We can bind in such a way that if one dies, the other will also die; if one gets enlightened, the other will also get enlightened. There are positives also. But, on an average, the number of people who get sick, the number of people who die, the number of people who go crazy are more than the number of people who ever get enlightened; so we don’t take that risk.
So, with a certain amount of effort and a certain price attached to life, it should be able to untie, but there will be a price. Vivaha is an organic process of tying two organisms in such a way that, at least there is a segment of them where they can’t make out which is which, which is good. They experience some sense of union. We are hoping they will use this as a stepping stone for a larger union. Well, whether they do or they don’t is another matter.
For those who conduct it, it will be very beautiful, because it can become a great sadhana for them in their life, that you bring two organisms together and make them feel like one. It has a certain beauty and a certain contribution to your own life.
For those who witness also, we can do it in a much stronger way than the way we are doing it right now. We are not going that far because of the percentage of divorces, deaths and diseases happening. We can actually bind it much stronger, or the overlap can be much bigger. You have to take social realities into consideration, always. But still, no matter how many divorces happen, no matter how many people go about talking in terms of “marriage has an expiry date,” when some union happens which is beyond body and beyond just psychological companionship, there is a certain beautiful energy around there.
So those who have come to witness, they have come to lick that little bit of honey that spills over. Well, just now, quite a few here have come out of their Bhava Spandana. Even if they did not experience anything, somebody else was in a certain state – just looking at that, there is a lot of benefit. Simply because you saw somebody else in union. With what they are uniting, you do not know, but somehow, they have redrawn their boundaries, at least the boundary is little larger. When that process is happening, even those who witness benefit immensely.
So similar things are happening in Vivaha, on a lesser scale. We can scale it up, but then we will have to face various consequences which we will see, because people have to live twenty, thirty, forty, fifty years. In today’s world, where people are counting microseconds, fifty years seems like imprisonment, they cannot even think about it. A whole lot of people would back out of marriage, “Oh, my whole life!” Previous generations very easily said, “’Till death do us apart.” I don’t think any priest is saying that anymore; he wouldn’t dare.
So, taking social realities into consideration, we have calibrated Vivaha to a certain extent – one step more than what the society expects. But if you do more than that, it won’t be nice.