I have listened from many saints that marriage is bondage and it is only a laboratory(prayog shala) to achieve vairagya!

Do scriptures also have same view regarding marriage?

1 Answer 1


No. For an average person, following all the four ashramas is the right conduct. Infact, the stage of the householder is the source, support and means of sustenance, on which the other three ashramas are dependent.

Each ashramas of life (viz. Brahmacharyam, Grihastha, Vanaprastha, Sannyasi) have pre-defined set of rules, regulations and duties based on dharma-Dhastras. Therefore, a married life followed with dharma is a way to salvation, not hindrances.

Quoting an excerpt from the Kurma Mahā-Purāṇa to make things clear.

Chapter 2, Part 1, Kurma Purāṇa

- 42-43a. The four stages of life (Asramas) are those of the householder, the forest dweller, the mendicant and the religious student, O excellent sages, the following briefly comprise the duties of a house-holder: viz. maintenance of sacrificial fire, hospitality to guests, performance of sacrifices, charitable gifts and the worship of gods. - 43b-44a. The following are the duties of the forest hermits: performance of Homas, subsistence on fruits, roots and herbs, self-study of the Vedas, practising of penance and due sharing of articles received (with one's neighbours).
  • 44b-47a. It is considered that righteous duties of a Bhiksu (recluse) consist of partaking of food received as alms, observance of silence, performance of penance, meditation, correct knowledge and renunciation. The following are the duties of a Brahmacarin (a religious student): Begging of alms, service to the preceptor, self study of the Vedas, performance of twilight prayers (Sandhya), worship of sacrificial fires. O excellent Brahmaņas, the lotus-born deity, Brahma has ordained that observance of celibacy is the common, general characteristic of the religious student, the forest dweller and the recluse.

  • 47b-48. If a house holder approaches only his wife and not any other woman, at the prescribed time after menses, and avoids doing so on certain periodic changes of the moon or festive occasions, it is as good as continence. He must practise this without fail till his wife conceives.

  • 49-50. If he fails to do so, O excellent Brahmanas, he becomes a slayer of a child in the foetus (Bhrūnaha). The most important duties of a house-holder are-repetition of Vedic Mantras every day, performance of Sraddha (Worship of the manes) according to his capacity, due reception of surprise guests (Atithis) and worship of (family) gods. He shall maintain Vaidhya fire (fire kindled for performing the holy rites of one's marriage) by kindling it in the morning and in the evening.

  1. He (a householder) is exempted from the above, only if he goes out to another land or when his wife dies. The householder is regarded as the source i. e. the supporter of the other Ashramas.

  2. All the other Ashramas depend upon him for their subsistence. Hence the stage of a house-holder is regarded as the best of all. As indicated by Srutis, the house-holder's stage of life combines all the four Asramas in one.

  3. Hence, the stage of a householder alone should be known as the only means of acquiring Dharma. One should eschew the Artha (pursuit of wealth) and Kama (love making) that are devoid of righteousness.

  4. If a holy act is against the interest of other members of the society, it should not be practised. It is Dharma which is the source of Artha and even of Kama.

  • 55-56a. Righteous conduct (Dhamma) is conducive to emancipation from Samsára. Hence one should resort to Dharma. Dharma, Arth and Kama are together called Trivarga (the three main objectives of worldly life). They consist of the three Gupas viz. Sattua, Rajas and Tamas. Hence one should resort to Dharma.

  • 566-57a. Those who adhere to Sattua-guna go to higher regions, those who have Rojasic qualities stay in the middle, those who possess Tamasa qualities go down to lower regions, as they indulge in mean type of activities.

  • 575-58. A person, in whom Artha and Kama live side by side supported by Dharma, becomes happy in this world and becomes entitled for infinite nature (eternal salvation) after death. Dharma is thus the source of salvation and Kama originates from wealth.

  • 59-60. Thus in the fourfold objectives of life, mutual inter-dependence has been demonstrated, since those objectives are both the ends and the means. The man who knows thus all about Dharma, Artha, Kama and Moksa and maintains their greatness, becomes entitled for eternity. Hence one should ecschew Artha and Kama and resort to Dharma.

  1. The expounders of the Veda state that everything accrues from Dharma. The whole universe consisting of the mobile and immobile beings is sustained by Dharma.

  2. Such is the Potency or Sakti called Brahmi, O excellent Brahmaņas. It has neither beginning nor end. There is no doubt in this that Dharma is achieved by Karma (prescribed holy rites) as well as by perfect knowledge.

  3. Hence, one should resort to Karmayoga (the path of disinterested action) accompanied by jñana (spiritual knowledge). The Vedic Karma is of two types, viz. the Pravitta (Karma that causes continuation in Samsára) and the Nivrtta (Karma causing cessation of mundane existence).

  4. The act which is based on spiritual knowledge is the Nivrita Karma and that which is other than this, is called Praurtta Karma. He who resorts to the Nivrtta type of Karma attains to the highest region viz. Moksa.

  • 65-68a. Hence one should follow the Nivrtta type of Karma, otherwise one shall have to undergo the sufferings of worldly existences again and again.

So, the very basic idea is to follow the ideals of married life based on Dharma, as elucidated in the Dharma-shastras.

Again, following those ideals with Nivrtta type of Karma, is considered superior. Thus, A married life followed with Sthita-Prajña mindset, (discussed in BG 2.54 to BG 2.58 and onwards till BG 2.71.) is not a hindrance, but a step in the ladder to attain Moksha.

In fact, in some cases, like that of the case of the married Brāhmiṇa, Śivaśarman, the married life concludes in Moksha (as per Vaishnavas - Vaikuntha), along with his wife, as we see in the Chapter 5, Bhūmi-khaṇḍa of the Padma-Purāṇa.

So, No. A married life lead with Dharma is not a hindrance to Moksha. It is rather conducive to salvation or, Moksha.

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