Tat Tvam Asi
Thou Art That

  • Chandogya Upanishad

In Yoga, you move from perceiving yourself as separate from the divine to recognizing your unity with it; in fact, you are God. This can happen in an instant or come in conjunction with long, arduous effort. Yoga in its diverse traditions offers numerous tools to realize this basic precept, not merely in a theoretical and conceptual way, but as resolute knowing and experience throughout yourself.

Marriage also offers you the tools to transform your understanding and experience of yourself and life. There is a mundane aspect to marriage—you and your spouse learn to create and share the realms of work, home, raising children, earning and managing money, social life, health, etc. The path of marriage can be a struggle to keep the flame of love alive while two very different people navigate the complexities of a shared life. Yet you also share a sacred life: within the intensity of your love, there is divinity, and it is critical that you remember and reinforce this sacred dimension of your marriage. If you embrace these differences and pursue marriage as a spiritual path, you can magnify that sense of the divine. If you accept the mundane and embrace the differences that exist between yourselves, then you can also attend to the spiritual realm and magnify your sense of the divine that dwells within you.

A mystic may experience being wed to God. You can practice this in your marriage. As husband you can honor your wife as the Goddess, you can start with little glints of the Goddess, a manifestation of the Goddess, but there may be moments when a man comprehends that she is in fact the Goddess. To have this experience is not a matter of distorting or transforming an ordinary person and assigning extra-human qualities to her. Rather, it is a matter of standing more deeply within yourself in a place where you see that same divinity in her own being. The same holds true if you are a wife towards your husband, that you may also comprehend that you are wed to the Lord himself.

You can start in small ways. In day to day life you can easily see your partner’s faults or ascribe meanness to their motivations. This can lead to feeling fed up and becoming filled with toxic judgment. Instead, stop and consider something they do or give that is unique, or something they are passionate about, or some way they uplift the world. From this, recognize a divine gift flowing through them. This practice can then be expanded to recognize that the same pure love and consciousness that flows through you, dwells equally in your partner. In moments when struck by the beauty, goodness, purity, radiance, or brilliance of your beloved partner, recognize this as seeing the divine, coming face to face with God manifest as your beloved.

Next Section: Purushartha, The Four Goals of Life

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