Condensed from Talks by Pujya Guruji Shree Rishi Prabhakarji from RishiVani.
* Present day Families:
The Present situation is that large Joint Families have broken down into tiny Nuclear families. This is caused by a shift from the Agricultural Age to the Industrial Age to the Age of Knowledge. The West experienced this many years back. In the Industrial Age, the whole community was focused around a factory. The breakdown of a sup-porting system has lead to parents facing many problems in bringing up children.
* Consequences of raising the marriageable age
When a girl gets married after 18 or 20, she finds it difficult to adjust to a new household and her in-laws, since her views are very strong. When the girl was married at an early age, she got used to the new family and she was looked upon as daughter not as a daughter-in-law. Foolish laws of raising the marriage-able age adopted without wisdom and reasoning has made a daughter into a daughter-in-law, who is looked upon as the destroyer of the family as she cannot adjust with the mother-in-law or the customs of the family. This law is making life difficult even in villages. Happy families in villages are being destroyed.
* Consequences of Conception:
The young couple has a wonderful experience of being together for a while. The prospect of having a child brings joy and along with it situations of which the young woman has no idea. In the joint family system of earlier days, elders were always there to guide the woman but now she is alone with-out the advice or help of elders.
Now the woman is totally dependent on the man. The man himself does not know anything, he cannot handle the woman physically, psychologically or emotionally. The couples go through immense stress in their relationship.
This is multiplied if due to work the man is busy and has to be away for long periods. The woman is all-alone and ends up building a lot of negative emotions. If he comes late, she has heart throbs while waiting and greets him with anger rather than sympathy. They are expected to satisfy all of each other’s needs, which they simply cannot do as a small family. The woman has no company but is burdened with a lot of responsibilities including earning.
Many women of the present generation will be wise not to have a child. This will lead to a situation of “no need for marriage” as an institution for the sake of begetting children. This has already happened in the West. Couples will simply live together as long as they find it sweet and will separate for any small difference in tastes.
The birth of a child brings joy as well as additional work to the already stressed couple. The girl has no idea of, how to hold that tiny bundle of joy, let alone under-stand why the baby is crying. Coping up with all this, the couple, busy providing basic facilities for the child, seldom get time to look into the most important aspect of the child’s growth – play. A child can play only with children of about the same age. This was taken care of naturally in the joint family system with cousins, uncles and aunts.
The new mother is totally tired since her work has now multiplied four-fold. The couple has no time to be together. They cannot go anywhere leaving the place locked, for fear of robbery and the lack of someone to take care of the baby.
Now the couple is engrossed in their problems. The child has no one to fulfill its basic necessity – to play with other children and the child becomes addicted to sitting before the television.
The parents want to give the best to their child but the system makes it difficult and stressful. Now we have a generation, which is not only stressed but fearful and guilty too. They have experienced a life, which they cannot provide to their own precious bundle of joy with all the money they have.
What is the way out? Toys, more toys, more money spent, counseling, divorce?
The new way out is to live together in a community. One of the ways is a matriarchal family, where the boy goes to the girl’s house after marriage. The son-in-law is well respected and taken care of. Since the grandparents are there, the child is also taken care of. The girl never thinks of leaving the mother to set up a new home. The parents are also well looked after.
Another way out is for families to live together in a commune a little away from the city. This is not about giving up your family but growing into a large community (a Joint family) to live happily and be productive multi dimensionally. Being in a community which cares and shares like in Auroville, as envisioned by Sri Aurobindo, reli-eves the couple from being stressful to being creative and free. We are basically gregarious animals living happily as a tribe not just as a family of two or four.