Buddhist view of marriage
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The Buddhist view of marriage considers marriage a secular affair and as such, it is not considered a sacrament. Buddhists are expected to follow the civil laws regarding marriage laid out by their respective governments.
While the ceremony itself is civil, many Buddhists obtain the blessing from monks at the local temple after the marriage is completed.
The Dalai Lama has spoken of the merits of marriage.
Too many people in the West have given up on marriage. They don't understand that it is about developing a mutual admiration of someone, a deep respect and trust and awareness of another human's needs...The new easy-come, easy-go relationships give us more freedom -- but less contentment.
While Buddhism neither encourages nor discourages marriage, it does offer some guidelines for it. While Buddhist practice varies considerably among its various schools, marriage is one of the few concepts specifically mentioned in the context of Śīla (Buddhist behavior discipline).
Not to be contented with one's own wife, and to be seen with harlots and the wives of others -- this is a cause of one's downfall.
Being past one's youth, to take a young wife and to be unable to sleep for jealousy of her -- this is a cause of one's downfall.
The fundamental code of Buddhist ethics, the Pancasila (or five precepts), contains an admonishment of sexual misconduct, though what constitutes such misconduct from a Buddhist perspective varies widely depending on the local culture.
- "Personal Ceremonies: Marriage / Funeral Rites". Buddhanet.net. Retrieved 2012-06-06.
- "A Basic Buddhism Guide: Buddhist Ethics". Buddhanet.net. Retrieved 2012-06-06.
- "HH Dalai Lama". Khandro.net. Retrieved 2012-06-06.
- "Buddhist view on marriage". Purifymind.com. Retrieved 2012-06-06.
- "Buddhist practices". Londonbuddhistvihara.org. Retrieved 2012-06-06.
- "A Happy Married Life: A Buddhist Perspective". Accesstoinsight.org. Retrieved 2012-06-06.
- "Parabhava Sutta". Buddhasutra.com. Retrieved 2012-06-06.
- "Sigalovada Sutta". Accesstoinsight.org. 2012-03-24. Retrieved 2012-06-06.
- Marriage articles at the Access to Insight site
- Weddings and Theravada Buddhism
- Love & Marriage: Zen Buddhist Reflections
- A Zen Buddhist perspective on same-sex marriage
- Lengthy review of Buddhist views on married life in relation to the western world.