Welcome to Scribd. Sign in or start your free trial to enjoy unlimited e-books, audiobooks & documents.Find out more
Standard view
Full view
of .
Look up keyword
Like this
0 of .
Results for:
No results containing your search query
P. 1
Two Ideals - Marriage & Monasticism

Two Ideals - Marriage & Monasticism

|Views: 41|Likes:
Published by Swami Vedatitananda
A comparative analysis of the two ideals before us. Also an analysis of why monks fall from their ideal once in a while.
A comparative analysis of the two ideals before us. Also an analysis of why monks fall from their ideal once in a while.

More info:

Published by: Swami Vedatitananda on May 03, 2013
Copyright:Public Domain


Read on Scribd mobile: iPhone, iPad and Android.
download as PDF, TXT or read online from Scribd
See more
See less





Two Ideals
 Who is a householder? He is a married man, living
society, He is always associated with a family, generally comprising a wife, a few kids and his relatives by birth and marriage. Who is a monk? He is an all-renouncer. He generally considers himself as living
 the society. He has totally renounced all desires for mental & physical enjoyments & experiencesof all kinds. He may however belong to a community of monks. He may certainly entertainstrong desires for the enjoyment & experience of the spiritual realm. A householder has a slew of ideals which he strives to achieve in his lifetime. With thisaim in view, he binds himself to certain principles, all of which aim at establishing an exaltedsocial order as well as lead to his own inner development.
 Realising the Absolute Truth in this very lifetime, through intense dispassion towardsthis world 
’ is the only ideal for a monk.
 A householder’s ideals are grand in their scope. A monk’s ideal is very 
, very high, almostout of reach of the multitudes. What are their respective contributions to society? Of theinnumerable contributions a householder makes to society, his greatest achievement would beto contribute a good monk to society. A monk is a pillar of strength, ironically to the very society  which he renounced, since his life is a validation of his faith in his own inner divinity. Hetherefore serves as a beacon of light to all others in society, cementing their faith in an ideal thatis not of this world. Society needs direction. A monk alone can provide that much-neededdirection. Society needs stability. A monk alone can sustain the faith of people in a spiritual idealand thereby provide much-needed stability.In order to be a good householder, one needs to be trained in the hands of elders of thesociety. In order to be a good monk, one needs to have performed systematic spiritual sadhana. A monk who is the repository of all great human qualities, a monk who is Goodness-personified, such a monk is indeed the corner-stone of an ideal human society. A monk who hasshaped his own spiritual personality by assiduous sadhana, a monk who has forged his ownspiritual personality in the fire of intense austerities, a monk whose intense dispassion hasopened his inner spiritual vision, a monk who is the fount of divine wisdom, a monk who is aSelf-realised, super-conscious soul
such a monk is the very acme of human evolution!---------------------------
The educated, modern society has now come to realise that Child-Marriage is a greatsocial evil. Marriage is a very pure institution. It calls as much for a union of mind and heart, asit does for physical co-habitation. Mental compatibility is as important as, if not more than,conjugal consummation in a marriage. So, in order to maintain the sanctity of this grandinstitution of marriage, a great deal of physical and mental maturity is called for in both the bride and the groom. Child-Marriage, on the other hand, is a great folly. It starts
as child’s play. We say ‘child’s play’ because, when the actual marriage ceremony takes place, both the bride &
the groom consider it as a game to be engaged in! That is the level of maturity both possess.Marriage is but a lively game for them. Such a marriage then enters a dangerous phase as soonas the bride & groom enter adolescence. More often than not, both of them realize that they haveno compatibility whatsoever, on any conceivable level. Very soon, ennui sets in and the marriageis doomed. The result is - unhappy homes; broken families; infidelity between spouses; birth of  weak children owing to the physical immaturity of the teen-aged parents. Child-Marriage istherefore a classic example of making a complete travesty of a most sublime ideal!So also with Child-Monasticism! Is monasticism a joke?! Does dispassion arise in aperson just like that! Can it ever be forced upon a person? Can anyone and everyone muster thestrength needed to withstand the powerful surges of lust that follow in the wake of adolescence?Looking at a child, is it possible to ever predict that later on when that child attains the full bloom of youth, it will be able to completely control lust in thought, word and deed?Therefore one has to mercilessly introspect and verify for oneself, whether one is really capable of completely rising above the allurements of the world-bewitching Mammon. Thereforeone has to mercilessly introspect and verify for oneself 
 whether one’s mind is truly ripe for the
Grand Renunciation. True, one in a million may be a born-renunciate like Shukadeva. But if exceptions are made the rule, and if Child-Monasticism is made the norm, it will be suicidal formonasticism in particular and will erode the value-system of society in general. Even when amature person takes a well-informed decision to lead a monastic life, a couple of falls from theideal do occur. We see this happening now and then. Is it not then the very height of folly toforce an immature, young child to take up the unbearable burden of the highest known ideal of monasticism?!But then, we see a peculiar habit among the Abbots of many large monasteries, especially in Hindu & Buddhist monasteries. What is that? In their anxiety to anoint a suitable successor totheir incredibly large spiritual ministries, they themselves choose a very small child, some evenas young as 8 or 10 years old, allow that child to live with them, personally teach them Sanskritor Pali and Indian Logic and the holy scriptures, and train them gradually to bear the cross of managing their huge religious hegemonies. In many orthodox monasteries in India, we see thispeculiar habit even now. We have to admit that to a large extent, this system works alright. Butit is not uncommon to see this system fail, crumble and collapse, ever so often. There is howevera better alternative to this flawed system, which is worth trying. Let the Abbot select a
of small kids, instead of choosing just one single child as his protégé and heir-apparent. Let thisentire batch of children live with the Abbot in his monastery under his care as novitiates. Let the
 Abbot train them all in the glory of monastic life. When they attain sufficient psychologicalmaturity, let one of them choose to lead the monastic life out of his own will. We believe thisprocess will prevent lot of mischief from occurring. Well, it has to be acknowledged that there are some very extraordinary souls who canlook into the very soul of people, as it were. People are open books to those blessed ones. SuchGreat Souls can discern, by a mere look, with uncanny accuracy whether one is truly fit formonastic life or not. Such persons can however choose even children, since they 
clearly see
thatthey will be good monks later on. If such blessed souls choose children and invest them withSannyasa, there should be no harm. But, such realised souls, with the divine gift of inner vision,are indeed very rare. Again, looking at the immense wealth, assets and prestige associated with themonasteries, there are some devotees who voluntarily give one of their sons, even when they aresmall boys. There are even cases where the parents
the young kids to stay in themonasteries! What is the idea? They do this with the aim that in due course of time, that son willtake up monastic life, and then one day will rise to be the Abbot of the huge monastery! Suchcases too are not uncommon. Enlightened monks will have to decide as to how right thesepractises are and take suitable steps to address them.

Activity (3)

You've already reviewed this. Edit your review.
Swami Vedatitananda added this note
Addresses a vital issue raised by all spiritual seekers.
1 hundred reads
Swami Vedatitananda liked this

You're Reading a Free Preview

/*********** DO NOT ALTER ANYTHING BELOW THIS LINE ! ************/ var s_code=s.t();if(s_code)document.write(s_code)//-->