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 Blooming Stars

Siddhashram Setting for Realization

             With persistent hard core programming, obscurantism, and vested institutional interests, the prevalent thinking is that the state of celibacy and virginity is higher than that of marriage. What needs to be kept in mind is that celibacy is a discipline that can change. Persons who have committed themselves to celibacy by their own free will or certain mandates may choose to change their status and get married with proper discernment and guidance. Holiness consists in free and conscious decision that everyone makes on an on-going basis. Holiness cannot exist without full mental and emotional freedom. The relationship between husband and wife is closest to the best model of the relationship between the Church as the Bride of Christ and Christ himself for Christians. In this connection it is important to note that the Bible translation officially approved by the Catholic church in Kerala (India) and commonly used in homes and churches is not even able to use the word wife and uses instead sisterly woman or sister-like woman(sahodariyaya sthree – 1 Corinthians Chapter 9: 5).

            In the Hindu setting, Sri Rama and Sri Krishna, the most popular avatars (incarnations) of God were married. Sri Krishna is reported to have 16008 wives. Besides all the important Gods, and the Trimurtis (Triune Gods) - Brahma, Vishnu, Maheshwar - and the prominent maharshis (sages) were married. In Judaism there is no history of celibacy. In Islam lifelong celibacy is forbidden. The strong contention here is that celibacy in itself (per se) does not add anything more to holiness than marriage, and that celibacy and marriage are states wherein doing only God’s will in one’s proper and sincere discernment is what matters as far as holiness is concerned. All are called to holiness. It is of paramount importance that a husband and wife start paramarthashram preparing for sanyasa (stage of renunciation) together in siddhashram (stage of realization).

            4. Siddhashram (Stage of Realization): This is the final setting which is geared for the attainment (siddhi) of perfection - the ultimate goal. This is the final stage of traditional sanyasashram. In this stage of life one is solely concerned about spiritual life. Everything that promotes spiritual life is embraced. Everything that detracts from spiritual life is abandoned. In this ashram only spiritual pursuits are followed. Materialistic pursuits are engaged only in view of the spirit-life. It is important that one takes good care one’s body as long as one lives. One is detached from material things. One strives only for spiritual treasure as one’s heart is where one’s treasure is. One devotes oneself fully to the kingdom of God where truth, justice, equality, unity, and reconciliation reign supreme. One comes to this ashram after going through prior ashrams successfully. One has known life in all its dimensions, tried to change things that could be changed, and accept things that could not be changed.

            There is peace and serenity. There are no regrets. There is no unfinished business. One has learnt from one’s mistakes. Everything has been for the good, and continues to be for the good. There is a deep sense of surrender. One’s life history has been and continues to be one’s own history of salvation. This is the final stage in the eight stages of life described by Erick Erickson where one experiences and enjoys integrity and wisdom. In this stage one operates at the highest possible level of Post-Conventional moral development that may be understood in terms of Lawrence Kohlberg’s Universal Ethical Principles guided by a fully Formed Conscience (stage 6) or Transcendental Morality or Morality of Cosmic Orientation (stage 7). In this stage one lives in Universalizing Faith described by J. Fowler, spending one’s life in love grounded in the unity of humanity.

 

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