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R.E Coursework - Sikh Marriage

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R.E Coursework - Sikh Marriage Introduction Expect among some westernised subgroups in the larger Indian cities social mixing between the sexes is restricted, even in co-educational schools. Also, the joint or extended family system is still the Indian norm. It is in this context, which can only be referred to in passing in this piece of coursework, that Sikh marriage must be understood. Marriage, traditionally, is not a private matter between two persons. Through the couple two families become closely connected and into one family comes a stranger, the wife. She has therefore to be compatible not only with her husband but with his parents, brothers, their wives and his unmarried sisters. Ideally the marriage is based upon love, the love of both families for their offspring. Social status and monetary advantage, if they play a part, should be subordinate considerations. Assisted marriage rather than arranged marriage is the phrase Sikhs would prefer to describe the procedure of choosing a husband or wife. The decision to marry is itself a joint one, though custom also plays its part. Among some groups there may be a tradition of marriage at fourteen or fifteen. Child marriage in the traditional Indian sense has always been repudiated by Sikhs and a 14-year-old in India can be shouldering considerable adult responsibilities. The legal limit in India now is eighteen for women and twenty-one for men, and Sikhs accept the law of the country in which they live. The decision to seek marriage may be influenced by a number of considerations. ...read more.


In the second stanza the God, the true Guru, is commended as the dispeller of fear, the soul of the universe, all-pervading but particularly present in the sangat: In the third stage of life a Hindu detaches himself from his householder obligations and business interests to attach himself to God. The third circling reminds the Sikh of detachment, which is to be found through fellowship, the company of the sangat. This fellowship meant a great deal to the Fourth Guru especially who did much to weld the Sikhs into a cohesive panth. Here he suggests they should be grateful for a birth and destiny which have resulted in them coming within the sound of gurbani so that the longing for eternal bliss is awakened. The final verse describes the conclusion of the journey of the soul to God. The devotee becomes filled with divine knowledge (Brahm gyan) so that sahaj, perfect bliss, is attained. The word is difficult to explain as has already been stated. Its Sikh meaning is brought out by this stanza better than any prosaic discussion. Guru Ram Das, commending married life, is quite prepared to regard it as analogous with the relationship between God and the devotee, one which in this life outwardly seems that of two distinct souls, but one in which the devotee is aware of a deeper union which death will perfect: What is you view of arranged marriage? You must refer to Sikhism in your answer and show that you have considered other viewpoints. ...read more.


Every one of them thinks the other to be perfect. When they are married and they have to face life together, they begin to see each other's faults. Every one of us has his weaknesses and points of strength. When we approach marriage in a careful, objective manner, we are more likely to be aware of what we are bargaining for. When our approach is that of love which blinds us to the faults of the beloved, we stand a greater chance of regretting what we are doing. In many Western societies, where love is the primary factor which unites people in marriage, more than one third of marriages end up with divorce. A high percentage of marriages do not last more than two years. In spite of this, there are still those that think the system of arranged marriages is flawed. They feel that they are forced into a decision over which they lack control. These youth worry that they will be given little choice, and that they will miss the experience of feeling "true love," or even knowing what it is. That is what makes dating so different, so much the opposite of arranged marriages. It is a perpetual search for the perfect soul mate, one which is likely to raise more doubts than provide answers. "Is this my perfect match?" "Or is s/he out there somewhere waiting for me to dump this current prospect?" The minds of daters are clouded by this notion. The beauty of an arranged marriage is that the emphasis is on getting along, not evaluating one another on a scale of one to ten. It is a mature relationship from the outset. ...read more.

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