Question: Guru, I noticed that some of your disciples are married, and others are single and celibate. I was wondering if you could comment on how a person decides whether to do his sadhana in partnership or alone?

Sri Chinmoy: Either the seeker has to dive deep within to get the inner message or ask his spiritual Master to decide on the strength of the Master's oneness with the Supreme. There is no hard and fast rule that everybody should get married or everybody should not get married. In some cases, the seekers make faster progress if they get married. In some cases, it would be simply impossible for them to make any progress if they got married. Their progress immediately would come to a standstill. It is the soul's need that the seeker must fulfil.

Sometimes when two people join together, all their capacities are doubled. In the tug-of-war against ignorance, if two persons are pulling together on one side, naturally their strength will be greater than the strength of either one alone. But again, if they are not pulling together, if they are only fighting against each other all the time, then they just destroy themselves.

Some spiritual Masters, like Sri Ramakrishna, used to advise most seekers not to get married. They felt that if you were not married, you had won half the battle. But again, Sri Ramakrishna's dearest spiritual son was Brahmananda. When Brahmananda got married, Sri Ramakrishna was quite happy. When his wife had a child, Sri Ramakrishna was extremely happy. But when the child died, Sri Ramakrishna started dancing with joy. He knew that it was necessary for Brahmananda to go through that experience for a few years. But in the case of Vivekananda, his mother and his relatives tried so hard to make him get married, but Sri Ramakrishna stood vehemently against it inwardly and outwardly. Sri Ramakrishna's two main disciples were Vivekananda and Brahmananda. In one case he approved of marriage, and in one case he stood against it.