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Genuine love can overcome quarrels, depression and even work pressures. With exploding egos, stressful lifestyles and altering attitudes the image of enduring marriage is crumbling. Men and women need each other today more than ever before.

Marriage is a very important event in one's life. Marriage gains greater importance and sanctity, as it was believed that only through marriage could one pay off one's ancestral debts by furthering the lineage. As a ritual, matrimony is ancient. The word marriage is derived from the latin word ‘maritare', which is unison under the auspices of the goddess Aphrodite - ‘Mari'. The Vedas also exhort ‘united in your resolve, united in your hearts, may your spirits be one and that you may long dwell together in unity and concord!'. The Vedas have also stressed that the spiritual unfolding of husband and wife is the central purpose of marriage. Man and woman through the institution of marriage can direct the energy associated with their individual instincts and passion into attainment of enlightenment itself.

The importance assigned to marriage can be seen in the elaborate and complex laws and rituals associated with it. These assert an understanding of the difficulties and sacrifices involved in making what is considered a life long commitment.

Every ritual performed or a mantra recited dwells upon the deeper meaning of enlightenment itself. ‘Mangalya Dharanam' is the sacred ritual that is believed to be the corner stone of all Hindu Marriages, which symbolises ‘oneness' or ‘togetherness'. They retain their separate identities but they have joined in soul, becoming one.

‘Brahmamudi' or ‘Brahmabandhnam' is the ritual of tying the nuptial knots. In the Vedas it is said to be the union of Shiva and Shakti or Purusha and Prakruti. The union also symbolises the fulfillment of the four purusharthas. The sacred ritual of ‘Saptapadi' goes on to explain the vows taken at the time of the auspicious marriage. It is taken for strength, prosperity, progeny, longevity, friendship, moksha and protection. It is the signing of the agreement, "I stay by you; we are one".

But marriage is not just rituals or a set of formalities. It is a promise. It is a journey. A journey, two kinded souls make to the same destination - complete life.

Read the summary by Amma Bhagvan

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