And then they fell deeply in love, got married, and lived happily ever after.
Well, that could happen. But usually, life and marriage are a constant challenge. Guru Nanak’s story is our story, or at least it can be. He had an arranged marriage to Sulakhani at a very young age. She was from a distant village and it was a hard journey to make twice. Her whole family came with her. The bridal negotiations and the wedding happened all at one time.
They didn’t fall in love first, didn’t even know each other. No courtship, no picking and choosing, only acceptance. But Nanak did fall in love with the ONE at a very young age. And he saw that his wife was part of the ALL that he was infinitely in love with. Soon after they were married he had to leave home to fulfill his mission in life, to spread the love of the ONE, to uplift, and to show the world a path through the glittering distraction of Maya.
When he was preparing to go, Sulakhani came to him and fell at his feet. She begged him to stay or take her with him. She was fearful of her fate. “What if you don’t return? What will become of me and the children?” She sobbed.
At that time in India, it was a reasonable question. Sometimes the wives were expected to perform Sati, burning themselves alive on their husbands’ funeral pyre. Sometimes they were cast out into the streets. But Nanak, knowing that every moment and instant is the play of the ONE, was not worried. He said “You are in the care of the ONE who cares for all. Be at peace.” It is said that he then touched her head and she lost her fear and insecurity.
She accepted their shared mission. She realized their shared consciousness. She learned to lean on her own soul. She learned that her greatness, her part in this play, was to support and surround him with an impenetrable shield of prayer, to support the Godliness in him. When the woman focuses on her divinity instead of worries, then the ONE covers everything. And she was covered.
Building a Marriage
Siri Singh Sahib ji often said that marriage is an institution. The concept may be easier if you think of it as a building. This building called marriage is where the interactions of the two bodies, minds, subconscious, and souls happen.
The building is solidly standing there. It is not a dream dependent on feelings or which way the wind blows. It was created by the vows given by both souls standing in the company of the Guru and Sangat. It stands there and it is where you both live. If there are problems inside, then the only question is, “How do we make it better?” Not, “How can I escape?” You have paid a million dollars for your house. If your roof leaks, do you fix it or let it leak until the house is ruined and you lose your entire life savings?
Every marriage is different. But no matter what the particular circumstance, the Guru has given us that technology to fix the “roof leaks” of marriage before they destroy everything. It is the same technology that delivers the soul-bride to the One Beloved and reveals the infinite love of the soul in the first place.
In the ambrosial hours, rise and bathe. Sit calmly in the eye of the storm of this world. Recite the praises of the ONE in the blissful Naad. Meditate constantly throughout all the hours and minutes of daily life. And always, always remember that your soul has vowed to this union.
When the two souls merge as one, then all that exists is the shared mission, seva, and destiny. There is no more possibility of separation, either in this world or the next.
About the Author
MSS Livtar Singh is an ordained Sikh Dharma Minister. He is a musician, writer, painter, and teacher of Kundalini Yoga as taught by Yogi Bhajan. He discovered Kundalini Yoga at the age of sixteen upon meeting Yogi Bhajan. His love for music as a creative outlet expanded into using mantra. He has been practicing Kundalini Yoga since 1970 and teaching Kundalini Yoga for several decades. Livtar Singh Khalsa is one of the most inspirational songwriters and singers of the Khalsa musical heritage. His words combine personal insight with devotion to principals of higher wisdom; his songs of love and inspiration that have been sung by generations of spiritual seekers and his music will be cherished for many years to come.