Monday, July 7, 2008

Question: (unedited)

How does buddhism deal with divorce?

My Comment:
First, we should discuss the subject of marriage. Marriage is a secular contract. Buddhism is spiritual development. Buddhism is very unlike other religions which dictate the worldly activities of their followers. The Buddha's teachings are for seekers of truth and peace. It is totally spiritual. Once a person understands and follows the Buddha's teachings, his worldly activities will flow with his spiritual development. He will encounter less problems in his worldly affairs and pursuits because he can conduct his life in accordance with the Buddha’s teachings. He will keep his precepts diligently and live a wholesome and skillful life.

In India, even long before the Buddha's time, institution of marriage was already an entrenched tradition. India had already an established body of customs and traditions. The people did not have to wait for the Buddha to introduce man-made laws and rituals to guide their lives. Likewise, the Buddha did not spend his numerous past lives developing his mental power just to establish rules and regulations for marriage and divorce. This also holds true for other worldly or secular activities such as birth and death.

The Buddha had a loftier mission, that is, to search for Truth and Peace of the highest order and to share his discoveries with the rest of the world. The Buddha advised us to keep the 5 precepts; one of which is very relevant to a happy marriage, that is, not to commit sexual misconduct. As with marriage, divorce is also a secular problem. As commented above, the Buddha also did not set any rule or restriction regarding divorce. I would say that during the Buddha's time, there was no such problem as divorce.

The Buddha always reminded us to use our common sense and human intelligence to conduct our lives based on the Buddha's guiding principles. I will not comment on the problems of marriage or the causes of divorce. In the final analysis, if there is really nothing that can be done to save a marriage, then wouldn't it be better for the parties to go separate ways? As a personal observation, I would like to share with you this information that in Asian communities, the love for the children is good enough reason for families to stay together, despite all the problems.

So, as a parting comment on your question. Buddhism does not "deal with divorce". Buddhism deals with the correct understanding of this "life" and this "universe". Once we can fully understand the true nature of all these, we will know how to live a peaceful and harmonious life free of "divorce".

No comments:

Related Posts with Thumbnails