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I know that marriage is a secular event in Buddhism, but what are the different attitudes are there for or against marriage? And what type of Buddhists(Theravada, Mahayana, Sangha, Lay etc) claim these views?

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The Pali scriptures say:

  • Parents have a duty to arrange or find a suitable marriage partner for their children (DN 31); therefore marriage appears to be viewed favorably (for non-monks) in the Pali scriptures.

  • A suitable marriage partner in one that shares four qualities (AN 4.55).

  • In marriage, a husband serves his wife & gives the wife authority in the home. (DN 31)

  • There are seven kinds of wives (AN 7.6).

  • Marriages where one or both partners do not follow the five precepts & do not practice unselfishness are doomed for problems &/or failure (AN 4.53).

  • Difficult is life as a monk; difficult is it to delight therein. Also difficult and sorrowful is the household life. (Dhp 302)

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It is the effect of ones past kamma is one of the determinant factors that influences the nature of ones present situation in life. For instance for somebody, only when s/he gets married that for him/her all hell would break loose and the marriage end in divorce. That person can never find contentment in marriage even in subsequent marriages to others. Then there are those who can never find success as a recluse/bhikku. That is their Kamma. Thus from a Buddhist standpoint, our present mental, intellectual, moral and temperamental differences are mainly due to our own actions and tendencies, both past the present.

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