Question: Do you think that marriage is necessarily an obstacle on the spiritual path?
Sri Chinmoy: It depends on the marriage. If one has the capacity to think of God while living a married life, if his inspiration is tremendous, his inner cry constant, then there is no obstacle. But when one gets married, very often he is pulled down, because tremendous responsibility starts. He wants to run fast but, consciously or unconsciously, he takes various burdens on his shoulders. Now, naturally, if a runner puts a heavy load on his shoulders, how can he run the fastest?
But again, if somebody wants to accept the challenge, if he feels, "Here on earth I have to establish perfection," then what will he do? Man will see God in woman, and woman will see God in man. If a man feels that he should take his other half with him, so that his realisation will be integral and complete, then he is certainly in a position to run the fastest towards the Goal. There are quite a few spiritual Masters, even Masters of the highest order, who got married. Their realisation was in no way inferior to that of others who did not get married.
It all depends on what God wants from the individual. If God wants you to remain unmarried, it is up to God. God feels that this way you will reach Him faster. If God feels that your friend needs the experience of married life, if your friend follows God's Dictates, he too, will reach the Goal faster than otherwise. There is no hard and fast rule about marriage. One cannot say that married life is undoubtedly a hindrance to spiritual realisation. Again, one cannot say that if one remains single, then his life can never be fulfilled. An unmarried man does not necessarily lead a better or purer life. No! He may not be married, but his mind may remain in the ordinary vital, in the lower worlds, and he will not make any progress.
When we meditate, when we aspire, we come to learn God's Will. If it is God's Will, naturally there will be no difficulty in realising the Truth after entering into married life. But if it is not God's Will, then we have to be very careful, for we are consciously or unconsciously putting a heavy burden on our shoulders.