01 December 2014

Middle Class Indians' Marriage Obsession

Middle class Indians are obsessed with marriage. But there is a small exception to this rule:

Group
% obsessed with marriage
Brahmins
99%
Non-Brahmins
100%

Why is it so?

In ancient/traditional India, there were two types of people:
1. Grihasthas (householders)
2. Sanyasis (ascetics)

The vast majority of the people were Grihasthas. They married, had children and took care of their families. That is, they pursued Kama and Artha. Then there were a few Sanyasis. These stayed single and devoted themselves completely to working for society or to spirituality. That is, they pursued either Dharma or Moksha.

Both these options were open to all the Varnas. But since only Brahmanas had knowledge, only they (ie, a few of them) became Sanyasis. Since non-Brahmanas did not have knowledge, none of them became Sanyasis; they were all Grihasthas only. Thus society became like this:

Group
Grihasthas
Sanyasis
Brahmanas
99%
1%
Non-Brahmanas
100%
0%

This system has existed for 3000 years. So today's society is a result of 3000 years of social programming – which is very powerful. Therefore we have the situation described by the first table. Non-Brahmins (most of them) know only one thing: make money, marry and have children. But Brahmins (a few at least) are aware of an alternate path: devote oneself completely to society or to spirituality.

Thus the middle class Indian marriage obsession has a small Brahmin exception. But among non-Brahmins, it is total.

The Sanyasi system is and should be an exception. If everybody becomes a Sanyasi, then society will cease to exist.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

A very thoughtful, true yet disregarded fact, about the society we live in. I hope that people grow to accept the choice of the 1% (regardless of brahmin or not). Especially with the overflowing population such as ours, there has to be some respite in at least one such way like this.