Marriage and Enlightenment

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marriage and enlightenment

Queen Yashodhara – wife of the Buddha

Jesus was said to be single and he found enlightenment without marriage.

The Buddha left his wife, Queen Yashodhara, and his son at 29. He renounced his family and the World in order to find enlightenment.

Moses divorced his wife so that he could respond to the call of God and leave his home to free the Hebrew slaves in Egypt.

So, it seems that marriage and enlightenment are at odds with each other, if past Messengers and prophets are any guide to us today.

But there are dissenting opinions about all these religious figures. And the new Message from God provides another fresh perspective on the real purpose of marriage and enlightenment.

While the Bible is clear that Jesus did not marry, there is new evidence that has come to light that Jesus may have been married to Mary Magdalene and did have children.

In the Buddhist traditions, the Buddha’s wife is often ignored and his bachelorhood is the justification for monks abstaining from marriage and sex. However, many scholars note that the Buddha’s wife, Yashodhara was instrumental in his development and his desire to seek Enlightenment in the first place. She is said to have been a healer of the sick and a caregiver for many orphans as a royal princess.

This clip from the 2001 movie “Samsara” portrays the woman’s point of view in Buddha leaving his wife and child:

Without his wife, the Buddha may never have been aware of the suffering that existed outside of the palace walls.

I never knew that Buddha left his wife and how she might have felt, or how his orphaned son must have felt growing up.

Maybe Marriage and Enlightenment do Mix

In Relationships and Higher Purpose, a New Message text, there is an entire chapter devoted to Marriage. It is well worth the read because it blows away many Western ideas about love and the fantasy of romance.

In fact, it stresses that enlightenment without marriage is not possible. It is relationship that makes enlightenment possible.

Most interestingly, marriage does not have to be with one person alone! One could be married to a group of people all working towards the same goal.

Marriage is really about shared purpose and shared identity, not romance and not finding our spiritual soul mates. True marriage is about giving up the ideas about oneself – both negative and positive – and joining into a relationship of shared identity and shared contribution:

To a certain extent, in true marriage, you give yourself up. Yet here you are actually only giving up an illusion about yourself. Here, to a certain degree, you are divorcing your marriage to your self-limiting ideas and re-establishing marriage within the context of your relationship with another…Providership is very important because the essence of marriage is providership, not self-gratification. Yet true providership is incredibly gratifying. In fact, this is the most gratifying thing of all, for it produces lasting satisfaction and contribution. – Relationships and Higher Purpose

 

5 thoughts on “Marriage and Enlightenment

  1. Mark Post author

    Maybe. But is the value of raising your children something that is culturally relative over time, or is it a constant that doesn’t change and is always valued? I lean towards the latter.

    1. Faith Connors

      Hi Mark, I agree with you. Furthermore, the NM states: “Sooner or later you must discover devotion. It is inherent in the raising of children” (Wisdom from the Greater Community, Volume II). IIRC there is also another quote about service and/or giving that says the raising of children provides a great way to learn the lessons of selfless giving. I cannot find it at the moment though. Great blog and keep up the good work!

  2. Shawn

    Interesting post. Here’s a quote I chanced upon this morning as I was sifting through the book Secrets of Heaven: “You think your enlightenment occurs within you alone. All progress is the result of relationship. Your enlightenment is the recognition of complete relationship.” (Secret 95)

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