Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Bachelor life – answers to convince family members

This post is geared towards those who aim to remain a bachelor celibate whole life.
As is the wont of everyone who aspires for a bachelor life, I too have been getting lots of emotional pressure from family members to let go of my aspiration of enjoying the supreme peace and freedom of a bachelor life.
It is sort of funny as well as tiresome to say NO so many times to family members. I am outlining my typical response to various arguments that my family members have been bringing up in last 2-3 years, in order to persuade me to give up my desire for a bachelor life: it will definitely help those souls who aspire for a bachelor life like me, either due to their spiritual aspiration or social aspiration or both.
Q. Why do you want to remain a bachelor?
Ans. My spiritual principle gives me an unassailable aspiration to go beyond body consciousness and enjoy union with pure consciousness through meditation and samadhi. Marriage being based on male-female (I am male/female – so, need a female/male as my soul-mate) consciousness is totally rooted in body consciousness. So, it is rightly meaningless and rather harmful (because male-female consciousness inevitably brings downfall sooner or later in the practice of celibacy, an indispensable requisite for samadhi.) for any spiritual aspirant unless he/she gets instruction to do so from his/her Guru to set an example for the society like what happened in case of Pundit Sriram Sharma Acharya, Lahiri Mahashaya and many other householder yogis.
The other reason is social – humanity needs few million celibates during every century who can focus their time, energy and attention fulltime in solving the pressing issues of their times with full devotion. After marriage, one looses his/her freedom to chart out a course of action or principle on his/her own – everytime one needs to consult one’s spouse and consider the impact of one’s decision on one’s children. Also, marriage involves lots of involvement with spouse and children – one needs to pay adequate time and attention to both spouse and children – without this, the family becomes dysfunctional and children become emotionally weak  and insecure. Working fulltime is nearly impossible after marriage because of financial reasons and opposition from one’s spouse and spouse’s parents in addition to pressure from other family members. Thus, by remaining a bachelor, one  has more time, energy and commitment to the cause of betterment of society.
Lastly, I have to become a Sarvodaya Sannyasin in order to contribute to creation of a new, politically conscious order of Sannyasa in India.
Hence, I have decided to become a blissful bachelor (B2), enjoy supreme peace and freedom & give the best out of myself to society.
Q. You are so talented and good. Your children will also be very talented and good. You will be doing a great service by bringing talented children to the world.
 I consider every child in this world as my own child. Thus, I have already crores of sons and daughters. I am their “Godfather”/”spiritual father”. I owe to them all the time, energy and attention that I can manage in my life. Being a responsible father, I have lost every moral right to bring forth any more children till all my existing, crores of sons and daughters are well-fed, well-clothed, well-educated and well-cared for.
Q. Everyone needs someone to emotionally support him/her. If you marry, a spouse will always be there to emotionally support you in trying times and you both can work for society with much more strength.
 Which spouse did Mother Teresa need in her life for getting emotional support? If she did not need any spouse to emotionally support her, no one else needs either.
One should become emotionally independent by relying only on oneself and one’s spiritual sadhana for emotional support and inner strength. Also, if one has found some person from opposite gender who has same mentality, one should consider him/her as brother/sister and thus ensure uninterrupted emotional support from him/her. By considering such a person from opposite gender one’s God-brother/God-sister, one can get complete emotional support – in contrast, thinking of marrying him/her, shows merely inner weakness to pursue the path of celibacy. And no spiritual aspirant, worth his/her salt, will bow to this kind of inner weakness because he/she aspires to transcend all weak, mental states of lower consciousness despite all challenges on the path rather than meekly and helplessly succumb to them.
And finally, there are always many colleagues and friends to provide emotional support in trying times.
Q. You need someone to look after you in your old age.
 Whom did Mother Teresa need? If she did not need any spouse to look after her in her old age, why would someone else need? Saurabh Bhai adds more punch to the answer below:
I have another take on the following question -
Q. You need someone to look after you in your old age.
A. To me it really doesn’t matter how long I live as long as I am able to utilize golden years of my life efficiently and effectively serving my countrymen. This is possible only if I remain a celibate bachelor.
- What is the point in loosing this golden time running after petty things and then dragging wretched body to death when we are old. This results in a big zero at the end, but unfortunately people realize this fact only at the time of death when nothing can be done.
- Swami Vivekananda lived only 39 years and his active social life was only ~9 years, but he was able to set an example and became a source of inspiration for so many young people. How can one compare his life with a worldly householder who probably lived 90 years engrossed in his little family all the time.
- Lastly, the worst thing that can happen to me without care and emotional support is death, right? Then what’s the big deal…it can happen anytime any moment. We never know. Then why not to always keep this perspective and work for our society, our nation as long as we are alive and make the best use of it. Some people may think that it is negative thinking. I really don’t care as long as it helps me in NOT loosing my focus. Many great philosophers have suggested to practice live your day in such a way that you are going to die in the night. On the next day you are born again and the cycle goes on. Here we are not negating the importance of long term planning. All we are saying is – “time is life, use it effectively”.
Q. Please do it for me. It is my heart-felt desire to see you get married. Can you not do this much for me?
 Except marriage, please ask me for any other creative thing and I will do that for your happiness. But, marriage is not possible due to many reasons related to spiritual principles and social consciousness.
<<Below lines are true, but a bit strong-worded – they should be used in a soft tone and using impersonal words & a sense of humor rather than bluntly. Most of these lines have been worded a bit strongly for the sake of like-minded people’s own conviction rather than for saying them to parents – one can say these things to parents only after using modification in below strong lines to make them soft-worded and polite.>>
Also, if a young person compromises with his/her moral/spiritual principles for satisfying the desire of an old person, how can society evolve to greater heights? An old person must always yield to moral/spiritual principles of a young person either through persuasion or absolute firmness or both by young people – this is the only thing that can ever produce any greatness in society.
Also, parents being old have already seen much of life. Being good parents, a young person’s happiness should matter more to them than their own happiness because a young person has much longer to live than his/her parents. So, parents should give up their personal desire for the sake of their child’s happiness rather than expecting the child to give up his/her happiness for satisfying their desire and thus, suffer from a long life of sorrow and guilt (which inevitable comes to all who forsake their moral/spiritual principles).
I hope, these strong thoughts will help those souls who are struggling to persuade their family members regarding their decision to lead a bachelor life.
Warm regards,

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