Thursday, January 14, 2010

Indian Marriages: A Choice between Wife and Mother

Thai poranthal, Vazhi porakum, so goes the saying in Tamil. It is Thai 1st today. In line with that, I wish to begin the 1st Thai with a positive note. This is an auspicious month where alot of Hindu marriages will take place. Coincidently, I came across this thought provoking article on marriage and choice between mother and wife. I have also included the link of the site where this article can be found. Happy reading.

Getting married is a stage in one's life when two people decide to be together for the rest of their life and share their time, emotions and feelings. A decision is taken either by the concerned couple on their own or they abide by the wishes and choice of their respective parents. The end result in both the cases is that you are accepting a new person into your life and by doing so you are trying to "change" the pattern of your life. We all know that "change" of any kind has always been resisted and it requires a very high level of maturity, understanding and adjustment. Many times, many people fail to address this issue and hence end up with very high levels of stress, resulting in burnout, violence or some health-related issues. In this article, we will be reading about the position, situation, role, expectations and challenges of a husband.

Expectations of a Mother
A mother is the one who gave you life and carried you in her womb for nine long months. She was the one who understood your needs, wants and expectations when you were not even able to speak.
She fought for you and defended you all the time, even when you were wrong. She was your first teacher. She taught you lessons, which you would not have learned on your own or in any university of the world.
She fought with her husband, when you were in need of money.
She woke up early in the morning to prepare breakfast for you and to pack the lunch for you. She always made sure that you eat on time.
She never slept on nights when you were sick, she just sat beside you.
She was your first friend.

When you were sad, hurt and in pain, she listened to you and motivated you…gave you hope. You shared your emotions, feelings, experiences with her, without any hesitation and she always listened to you and never complained. She listened to you, even when she was not able to understand what you were saying…but she never let you know that.
She did all this and many more things for you without complaining.
After your marriage her only expectation is that you continue to be the same person as you were before; talk to her, give time to her, share with her and not hide anything from her. Once you get married, she starts feeling insecure. She treats your wife as an intruder in her relation with you. She becomes more possessive about you and feels insecure when you do not behave the way she wants you to behave.

She had expected you to marry the girl of her choice (not necessarily so or a compulsion but just a hidden wish). She expects you to treat your wife the way she wants her to be treated (this includes many hidden and unspoken expectations).

Expectations of a Wife
Just like what your mother has done for you and gone through for you, the mother of your wife has also gone through the same. Your wife has the same feelings, emotions and attachment for her mother as you have for yours. Her mother also feels in the same way as your mother feels for you. But then, there is a difference. She has left that house, that comfort, that attachment to walk with you for the rest of her life, to make a home with you. She is linked to your house and family through you. It is for you and because of you that she is there in this home which was yours, all these days.

Always remember, what you promised her at the time of marriage. There is an important ritual in Hindu marriages and it is very significant. It goes like this:

"The bridegroom gets up from his seat holding his bride's right hand. He then goes around the holy fire (Agni) from the right side, by lifting his bride's right feet at each step. This is done for seven steps. With each step, he recites a mantra addressed to the bride. (This is also called Sapta-Padi or Saat Pharey)

Seven vows are exchanged.

1. The first for food;

2. The second for strength;

3. The third for prosperity;

4. The fourth for wisdom;

5. The fifth for progeny;

6. The sixth for health; and

7. The seventh for friendship.

In some regions, instead of walking the seven steps, the bride touches seven stones or nuts with her right toe. A symbolic matrimonial knot is tied after this ceremony.

The idea behind this is to pray to Lord Vishnu, the protector of life, for his blessings in marital life. The groom then recites a mantra to convey the following meaning: “After crossing seven steps with me thus, you should become my friend. I too have become your friend now. I will never bring discord to this friendship and you should not also do that. Let us be together always. Let us resolve to do things in life in the same manner and tread the same path. Let us lead a life by liking and loving each other, having a good heart and thoughts, and enjoying the food and our strong points together. Let us have undivided opinions. Let us have the same and joint desires.

‘I will be Sama (one of the vedas); you will be Rig (another Veda). Let me be the Heaven; you be the Earth.
Let me be the Shukla (Moon) and you be its wearer.
Let me be the mind and you its spokesman (Vak).”

After all, these promises, she does expect you to be with her, love her, care for her, listen to her, spend time with her and protect her.

Dilemma of Son / Husband
Getting married is nothing but a change. Change in the pattern of your life. Your marriage changes your views towards life. Very often in this part of the world, males at the time of marriage are not very much matured to handle this change, even though things around them are changing. Even though things in their own life are changing, and this change needs a high level of maturity, understanding and adjustment; but the husband is not ready for this change, either mentally or psychologically. He wants to live in the same manner as he was before and that creates lots of problems. He listens to his wife, he listens to his mother, but is unable to make decisions and take a stand. This actually shows that the male is emotionally very weak.

Solution and Conclusion
Get married only when you think that you are "prepared" to take new responsibilities, when you are ready for "change" in your life. Don't marry just because people around you want you to get married. For others, including your parents, relatives and friends, your marriage is a function but for you it’s a "lifelong commitment". Don't make any commitment, if you are not very sure of fulfilling it. The mother should ask her son to treat his wife in the manner as she wants her son-in-law to treat her own daughter (s).

The wife should ask her husband to treat his mother in the same manner as she wants her brother to treat their mother.
It is easy to say, “But I treat family members and relations like I do my own children. I have one son and one daughter. Once they get married, I will be having two sons and two daughters.”
Your life is nothing but a choice that you make. These are one person’s personal thoughts and views; you might or might not accept and agree with the solution and conclusion.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Leave your chocolates here :