Symbols of the world's religions

               

MARRIAGE

Arnavaz N. Dadachanji

 
Nariman and I had great rapport and respect for each other's intuition, but there were still many difficulties and quiet sufferings in our marriage. In the early years Nariman was working so hard, seven days a week, that I began to feel neglected. He would come home too tired to talk, and it seemed as though we had lost the wonderful companionship we had before we were married. Preoccupied with business matters, he might forget to keep an appointment for a party. Of course he would feel terrible afterwards, and I knew the reason he was working so hard was to provide for me and his family. I also reminded myself he had far more responsibilities than I, but still, being human, I felt hurt at times.

Although Nariman and I never fought, we did argue, sometimes over personal matters, but we tried to help each other to please Baba. Once he wanted to dismiss an employee, a Baba lover, who was causing a great deal of trouble at work, spoiling the atmosphere for everyone. Baba had told him to employ this man, and I advised Nariman to be patient, that Baba would take care of the situation. Nariman was convinced, and after only a couple of months the man told Baba that he wanted to leave Bombay for another job, and he quit working for Nariman of his own accord.

We also had to deal with the little irritations that every married couple must face. We were, after all, two different personalities. Nariman's focus was on Baba and his business, and he wasn't interested in spending time on such activities as shopping. I bought all his clothes for him with the exception of shoes — those he had to try on. I used to have to remind him again and again to buy shoes when he needed them, sometimes for months, and when he finally agreed to go shopping for them, I would try to get him to buy three or four pair so that we wouldn't have to go through this process very often.

I had my own weaknesses and shortcomings, which Nariman endured with love and tolerance. Because of illnesses and deaths in my family, I sometimes stayed with them for extended periods. Nariman wouldn't say anything, and sometimes he would come and stay with me, but then he would gently prod me to come back to Ashiana. I realized later that he felt neglected when I took on too many responsibilities for my family or other Baba lovers. While the many deaths we had to face brought us closer to one another, there were also problems to face as we adjusted to the losses.

Despite our little difficulties, however, we had periods of great harmony in our marriage. After Nariman's business had become successful and he had more time, I looked forward to him coming home in the evening. We would have long talks, both of us enjoying the companionship that I feared we had lost in the early years of our marriage. Above all, we were good friends.

Baba wanted to develop a selfless, unattached love between us, and true love always involves both pain and joy. Baba said that true love is sacrifice, and sacrifice in marriage means learning to want to please one's partner. The ego does not want to please the other, but rather to please itself, and selfishness makes us want to satisfy ourselves rather than consider the needs of others. Choosing another's happiness over our own does not come easily, so Nariman and I, like anyone else, had to make a real effort.

Love is a partnership; if each partner remembers to think of the other, then neither will fear being taken advantage of. And Baba will not allow one person to take from another indefinitely. He will see to it that the one who is being spoiled eventually learns how to give also.

No marriage is easy, but the difficulties show us where our weaknesses are and challenge us to change, to choose to give, yield, be honest, and try to understand the other. If instead of being demanding and critical, we ask Baba for His help in understanding how to love the way He wants us to, He will show us the way. I knew I had to discipline myself every day to make choices befitting a married woman. Despite the fact that I had not wanted to marry, believing the path of spirituality to lie outside of marriage, I obeyed Baba, and I have thanked Him again and again for giving me such a wonderful man as my husband.
 

GIFT OF GOD, pp. 211-213
1996 © Meherazad Trust for Avatar Meher Baba

               

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