Question: What is the real meaning of love between man and woman? What is the spiritual significance of marriage?

Sri Chinmoy: There is human love and there is divine love. The human love that exists between a man and a woman is a dance of possession. Each wants to possess the other, but to their astonishment, they see that they are already possessed before they possess each other. If one is possessed by someone, he is at the mercy of that person. When he is possessed, when he is caught, he is terribly frustrated. Today's possession becomes tomorrow's frustration. And, the day after tomorrow, frustration becomes total destruction. This is what we see and know as human marriage.

But there is also something known as divine marriage. Here it is not possession, but oneness. On the strength of our oneness we try to illumine and liberate others. Lo and behold, before we illumine and liberate others, we find that others have illumined and liberated us. Divine love is all-giving; here there is no demand. In divine love, we make constant sacrifice and we see that our heart and our whole vision is enlarged.

God Himself was one in the beginning. Then He became many in order to divinely and supremely enjoy Himself. When an ordinary human being enjoys, he enjoys the pleasure-life, lower vital life, emotional life. But when a God-lover enjoys, he enjoys God’s Love, God’s Light, God’s Bliss; and this Joy, Love, Peace and Bliss he sees inside others.

When it is a divine marriage, one head becomes two heads, two hands become four hands. Everything is doubled; our capacity automatically increases. If one has increased everything and walks positively towards the goal, naturally he will run the fastest. But if there is a constant battle going on between husband and wife, if one wants to run the fastest and the other does not, then one will be a heavy burden on the other’s shoulders. How can one run the fastest when one is carrying something very heavy that is unwilling to reach the destination?

So, it is the individual who has to make the decision whether he is going to marry and whether it is to be a divine marriage. If it is a human marriage, then it will be all frustration. If it is a divine marriage, it will be all illumination. Divine marriage is oneness. Oneness is perfection and perfection is complete satisfaction. It is satisfaction that both man and God need. God gets satisfaction by manifesting Himself through His creation, through us. We get satisfaction by climbing up high, higher, highest, to the highest plane of consciousness. We climb up for our satisfaction in and through God, and God climbs down in and through us for His Manifestation, His own Satisfaction, which is in and through us. The act of climbing up and the act of climbing down are one, inseparably one.