I WANT TO GET MARRIED. HOW CAN I BE SURE THAT THE WOMAN I AM MARRYING IS PURE IN CHARACTER?
Suresh, this is what I call the rotten Indian mind! If the woman is really pure, why should she be marrying you in the first place? And why this desire, this imposition on the other? And what do you mean by purity, purity of character? Do you mean that she has not known anybody sexually before you? But that will mean marrying a woman who is immature, marrying a woman who is inexperienced.
If you are going to employ an engineer, will you ask him, “The first requirement is that you shouldn’t know anything about engineering”? Then you ask about experience; you want proofs, certificates.
If you are wise you will inquire whether the woman has been loved by other people too. If a woman has not been approached by anybody up to now, escape! What does it mean? It simply means the woman is dangerous!
Only very ugly people can have that kind of purity you are asking for. But I don’t see that by having a few love affairs a person becomes impure. Love purifies. How can it make somebody impure? The more one loves, the more one becomes artful, skillful, intelligent in love.
Loving all perfection and imperfections
Millions of marriages fail because two inexperienced persons are trying to work things out. If both are inexperienced, it is bound to fail.
There are a few primitive societies still existent in the world where it is thought to be a must that a woman should know a few men that the man should know a few women, before they decide to marry. Marriage needs artfulness; it is a great effort to create a symphony between two persons’ beings.
So don’t ask foolish things. And if you are too much after such a kind of purity, then please, why are you deciding to make the woman impure? You will suffer for it, and she will suffer because she will be making you impure. Don’t do such harm to each other. Why in the first place think of marriage? Remain pure!
“Daddy,” said young David, “what is puppy love?”
“The beginning of a dog’s life, my son.”
Murphy says: Anything good in life is either illegal, immoral or fattening.
The three faithful things in life are money, a dog and an old woman.
So either get married to money or to a dog or to an old woman! If you are so much interested in purity, if you are so much wedded to purity, don’t ask for a real woman. Find a plastic woman. You can always clean it and soap it. Why bother with real people? Real people are real people.
Two expectant fathers paced the floor in the waiting room of the hospital.
“What tough luck,” said one “This had to happen during my vacation.”
“You think you’ve got troubles?” said the other. “I’m on my honeymoon!”
Real people are real people. Things happen to real people, not to plastic people. Yes, even on honeymoon things can happen!…
Suresh, either get rid of this idea of marriage or get rid of the idea of purity of character. If you keep both the ideas together you will be in trouble.
And who are you to decide about others’ character? If you love the woman, you love the woman with all her limitations, with all her imperfections; she loves you with all your imperfections and limitations.
But this is what — particularly to the Indian mind — is very significant: perfection. And to demand perfection is a kind of neurosis. It will drive the other neurotic, and as far as you are concerned, you are already neurotic. If you ask perfection in any human being you will create trouble for yourself and for the other, and your life will be nothing but misery.
The real man of understanding and intelligence accepts the imperfections of the other and still loves. Love is great enough; it can even love people who have no character, people who are not pure according to your ideas, people who sometimes go astray, people who sometimes commit small sins. Love is big enough to accept all this and to transform it too.
[ The Dhammapada: way of the Buddha, Vol. 8, Chp #10, Q. 8 ]