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On marriage


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Quite often we are asked: do Aurovilians marry?

Yes, they do..

Everyone is free in Auroville to follow their own inclinations. Many people come as married couples, of course, but also residents from time to time decide to get married. This is fairly rare among Westerners, and more common among Tamil Aurovilians, whose culture is strongly oriented towards marriage and traditionally places a stigma on any other form of relationship.

The Mother on marriage

Mother, being the free and independent thinker she was, was quite explicit about marriage in Auroville, and observed the following:

"If a man and woman love each other and want to live together they may do so without any ceremony. If they want to separate they can also do so freely. Why should people be compelled to stay together when they have ceased to love each other?"

'Home-made' ceremony

In this light, for Westerners coming from a society which long ago accepted non-marital relationships, and is generally tolerant of male-male and female-female relationships as well, binding a relationship in Auroville in marriage seems unnecessary.
Even so, it does happen, sometimes officially in Pondicherry, sometimes in a 'home-made' little ceremony with friends, flowers, incense and light.

"Outgrowing each other"

In Auroville's intense energy-field, where working on one's inner development and one's ever deepening knowledge of self is a common feature, trying to understand the real nature of one's psychological problems, complexes and consequent projections comes quite naturally. Understanding may lead to a degree of liberation and, therefore, it happens more often than not that partners, after living together for some time, may come to the conclusion that they have "psychologically outgrown" each other. They realise that their vision of 'self' and 'other' changed in such a way that remaining together has no longer any use, and could even stand in the way of each other's progress. In such a case, a parting seems  unavoidable.

Amicable separation

After such a parting, most separated couples continue to have amicable contact, and rarely show any signs of lasting hostility. Where there are children involved, this can make an enormous difference to them.

Sadhana

There are also couples who have, consciously, agreed that their partnership or marriage is their chosen way of 'sadhana': the practice by which perfection is attained. A close relationship is known to be an excellent tool for discipline and self-knowledge, joy and inner progress - if viewed and lived from a particular angle. It is one of the most challenging paths..

Self-contained

And, of course, there are those Aurovilians who have found peace in living alone, in a quiet, self-contained way. Besides doing their work for the community, they are content and fulfilled by the exploration of those inner adventures which the Integral Yoga irrevocably leads to. There are also cases where partners, who came to know this state, choose to still remain together, living in the same house as friends.

Misuse

Occasionally there are, of course, those who misuse the above-mentioned freedom. The community is aware of this and sees it as one of the challenges the township encounters on the way.

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