The #1 Secret to a Happy Marriage

by Pulkit Mathur, The Spiritual Bee

The following story has been taken from the Hindi writings of Pandit Shriram Sharma (Vangmay # 50 pages 2.56-2.57). It is presented here in an adapted and translated form.

An 1825 painting depicting Saint Kabir weaving outside his hut.

“Love is not love, unless it is without a reason or without a motive.”
– Swami Vivekananda

A married youth once approached Saint Kabir with a deeply troubled heart. All was not well with his marriage. The young man and his wife often argued and fought with one another.

He found Kabir sitting in the sun outside his hut. With folded hands he approached the saint and asked him, “Lord do tell me the secret to a happy marriage.”

Saint Kabir who was a weaver by profession, stood up and said, “Wait a minute, I will just explain.” Saying this he went inside his hut and returned in a few minutes carrying some yarn in his hands. Sitting in the bright sun he began to separate the threads as the young man looked on.

A few moments passed and soon the saint called out to his wife, “Dear do light me a lamp. It is so dark outside that I can hardly see my threads.”

Kabir’s wife emerged from the hut with a lighted lamp. Placing it near her husband she went back in.

Watching all this the young man was greatly surprised! How was it that the great saint could not see his threads even in the bright sunlight and needed the assistance of a lamp? And what of his wife? Why did she not protest at her husband’s illogical demand?

While these thoughts were running through the young man’s mind, the saint’s wife returned with 2 glasses of milk. Placing one before the youth and the other before her husband she went back into the hut.


A few moments later she called out to saint Kabir, “Is the milk sweet enough?”

Kabir replied, “Oh yes dear, it is delightfully sweet!” and drank up the milk.

At this the youth was once more deeply amazed! Not only was the milk not sweet, but the hostess had mistakenly added salt instead of sugar. The young man finished his glass with great difficulty.

After swallowing the milk he stood up deeply annoyed. “Sir if you cannot answer my question, then shall I take leave?”

Kabir smiled and replied, “Haven’t I shown you the secret? Perhaps you wish to hear about it in detail?”

So listen, “If you wish to enjoy a happy married life, then both husband and wife must be deeply devoted and dedicated to one another. Their feelings of mutual love and trust must be so intense that any sense of separation and difference, between the husband and the wife is completely obliterated. The husband comes to see his wife as an extension of his very own self and likewise the wife. When this happens, then for each spouse their beloved’s desires and wishes become as dear to them as their very own. This my child, is the secret to a happy marriage.”

“In love the sense of difference is obliterated and the human soul fulfills its purpose in perfection, transcending the limits of itself and reaching across the threshold of the infinite. Therefore love is the highest bliss that man can attain to, for through it alone he truly knows that he is more than himself, and that he is at one with the All.”
– Rabindranath Tagore, in his book Sadhana – The Realisation of Life (Free Book!)

“When a man loves, giving becomes a matter of joy to him, like the tree’s surrender of the ripe fruit. That only which is done for love is done freely, however much pain it may cause. Therefore working for love is freedom in action. This is the meaning of the teaching of disinterested work in the Gita.
The mother reveals herself in the service of her children, so our true freedom is not the freedom from action but freedom in action, which can only be attained in the work of love.”
– Rabindranath Tagore, in his book Sadhana – The Realisation of Life (Free Book!)

Translated by Pulkit Mathur, The Spiritual Bee


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