In a culture that has forgotten how to educate us about the fundamental elements of success and happiness is marriage and family life A Marriage Made in Heaven is a profound presentation of what is missing from generations of advice and teaching in western cuture.
How do you find the right marriage partner? What makes a marriage happy and what makes a marriage last? These questions are asked and answered constantly in ninety percent of our popular music, by rows and rows of books that publish tips for singles and strategies for marital sucess. Still, the divorce rate in our country climbs higher and higher.
I walked into the local bakery in the small town where I lived on a freezing January afternoon, hoping to warm up with some hot chocolate and finish my to do list for leaving to work in a clinic in India a week later. By chance, I picked up a copy of A Marriage Made in Heaven. I had just turned forty two and had never been married. I was always curious about how people found a life partner and actually managed to make a marriage last. For several years I knew that I could only have a strong connection with someone who shared a deep commitment to spiritual growth and family values that would preside in our relationship and home. Many people had told me that this was impossible to find and that I would have to just settle. One yoga teacher I had, however, encouraged me never to settle. "Be strong in your sadhana" he said "and your devotion to God will bring the right person to you. You will not be able to live with someone who does not have this same level of devotion. " I followed his advice and for several years I focused on my spiritual practice and my healing arts practice almost to the point where I wondered if I was going in the total opposite direction of marriage towards celibacy! But I still had the hope that somehow the right person would materialize. How, I had absolutely no idea, it seemed like I had already been to every place where this type of person might be and I had met absolutely no one suitable.
I was so happy to read a dialogue between two souls, two families and two cultures that started from discussing values, sharing emotions, and processsing a comprehensive world view besides. It confirmed what I had always felt "....the relationship between a man and a woman embodies the whole mystery of creation and the meaning of life. Marriage takes place not only in this world of comings and goings but on a deeper more mysterious plane. A healthy, loving, positive relationship between husband and wife is one of the most important goals we can aspire to".(p.41) I agreed with Ehud, that sadly, most marriages, in this country did not reach that depth. His own example of a marriage ending with a phone call struck me at my core. I found great courage in this example that Ehud was able to pick up the pieces and carry on to find so many blessings. He tells Vatsala that, "Ultimately the marriage should reflect the spiritual ideals of that greater marriage between the masculine and the feminine. The man must worship the goddess in his wife and conversely the wife should see her husband as her god. We are just reflections of the beloved, striving in our imperfect way for union and liberation. Marriage should be the foundation that helps us ahieve those goals" (p.75)
Describing how you have been able to find and live your truth in a book can have a miraculous way of opening the door for another person to do the same. When I left the bakery five hours later, I was not quite the same person, who walked in. I knew that if two people, devoted to their convictions, under extraordinary circumstances, could find eachother across two continents, that the same was possible for me.
Only months later, I did find that match that I was seeking, a wonderful, loving, vedic astrologer from India. I doubt I would have had the courage, or education to pursue the match and become involved with his family, had I not read the Sperling's book. To this day, we marvel at how one book, had such a fundamental impact on our destiny.