Question: Do you think that marriage is necessarily an obstacle on the spiritual path?

Sri Chinmoy: It depends on the individual marriage. If one has the capacity to think of God while carrying on a married life, if his inspiration is tremendous, his inner cry constant, then there is no objection.

But very often what happens is that when one gets married, one is pulled down because a tremendous responsibility commences for him He wants to run fast but, consciously or unconsciously, he puts a burden on his shoulders. Now, naturally, if a runner wants to run the fastest, and at the same time puts a heavy load on his shoulders, how can he run the fastest?

But again, if somebody wants to accept life, if he feels, "Here on earth I have to establish perfection," then what will he do? Man will see God in woman and woman will see God in man. Here God is both masculine and feminine. If a man feels that he should take his other half also, so that his realisation will be integral and complete, then he is again in a position to run the fastest towards the Goal. You know there are quite a few spiritual Masters, even Masters of the highest order, who got married. There were some ancient Rishis who were married. Their realisation was in no way inferior to that of others who didn't get married.

Again, we have to know what God wants from the individual. If God wants you not to get married, it is up to God. God feels that in that way you will reach Him. If God wants your friend to get married, if He feels that your friend needs the experience of married life, then this also is the Divine Will. If your friend follows God's dictates, he too, will reach the Goal. So, there is no hard and fast rule. One cannot say that married life is necessarily a hindrance to spiritual realisation. Again, one cannot say that if one does not get married, his life can never be fulfilled. On the other hand, an unmarried man does not necessarily lead a better or purer life. No. He may not be a married person, but his mind may remain in the ordinary vital, lower world. So he will not make any progress.

We have to know what God wants. When we meditate, when we aspire, we come to learn God's Will. If it is God's Will, naturally there will be no difficulty in realising the truth after entering into married life. But, if it is not God's Will, then we have to be very careful. We are then, consciously or unconsciously, putting a heavy burden on our shoulders. Each individual has to decide if married life is necessary for him personally.