Question: Is getting married asking for more karma?Sri Chinmoy: In the ordinary life, not only marriage, but every activity in life sets the wheel of karma into motion. Anything that you do — it need not be marriage; for example, if you just walk out of this place and think of something or someone (other than God) then karma is already created. In anything you do, it is the same.
“Marriage” is a very sweet word but most of the time it is made of very bitter experiences. Without being married, one has thousands of problems. Now when you get married, you add to your life another problem. You may say, “I am a hero; I shall conquer her problems.” She, on her part, also thinks, “I am a heroine; I shall conquer his problems.” So both of you enter marriage determined to solve the problems of the other. This I am saying from the viewpoint of difficulties, since you have asked about the karma entailed in marriage. But of course, there is another side, the side of joy. I mean human joy or human love. You will say, “I have so much love for her.” She will say, “I have so much love for him, so let us be joined.” Now if this human love is rightly guided by the inner reality or inner being of the couple, then they blend together; otherwise the union breaks into pieces. Immediately the two sides start fighting, this side and that. You start your journey with your possession: sweet love, human love. She also started this way. Then afterwards, everything goes wrong. This is the kind of karma that two people bring on themselves. But if you do not enter into marriage, then you may try to solve your problems alone. There is nothing on your shoulders. Now sometimes in this world, we feel, “If I can take somebody’s burden from him, then I will be appreciated and I will feel a sense of pride,” but again I tell you that this is all coming from a sense of ego. It is not only ego or marriage which adds to your karma, but anything you do, unless it is done by God’s Grace. Then there is no bondage at all.
Normally in marriage, the individual karma of each party become joined into a whole which they naturally share. The woman, for example, offers the man all her soul’s capacities and strengths, but she also gives him the effects of her accumulated actions and thoughts — her karma. The reverse is just as true. When they bring down a few more souls in the form of children, the children’s karma is added to their own. That is why in India they say that there are three divine moments in a person’s earthly sojourn: his birth, his marriage and his death. In India, marriage is extremely important, first because of the many, intricate ties, duties, responsibilities that the person makes, not only to his partner, but to the family of his partner; and second, because it was clearly understood that marriage set the pattern for the remainder of the person’s lifetime and, in India, deeply affected the general growth and direction of the individual soul. To a lesser extent, the same is true in the West.
Marriage is certainly an additional form of karma, but if you marry with the idea of progressing spiritually and aspiring for a higher life, and if your spouse also wishes to lead the inner life, then the two of you can march along the path like two pilgrims, side by side. At that time, if you can offer all your joint actions to the Supreme, you do not have to worry about your wife’s karma becoming a burden to you or vice-versa, because you will be surrendering your actions to Him. Marriage is a burden in the ordinary life; in the spiritual life, it can be different. The Supreme Himself can take the burden.