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Summary of Question:Marrying Out Of Religion Dilemma
Category:Love & Marriage
Date Posted:Thursday, 4/19/2001 3:16 PM MDT

I understand that this question has been asked, but my situation is a little different. I am 23 years of age, turning 24 in a few months, Jatt Sikh girl. I have been involved in a serious relationship for approximately 5 years. He is a great guy. We have common goals and values and want to spend our lives together. We are both ready for marriage emotionally and financially. We both have been through enough to realize that life isn't always a joyous occasion. The issue is that he is Hindu Punjabi. In addition to this, I was adopted and brought up by my grandparents at the age of 2. I am here in Canada with my uncles, aunts and grandparents. My parents are still in India. His parents have accepted me as their daughter and are ready to meet my grandparents and relatives. I am quite religious; the guy and his parents have no issues with me practising my religion, as long as I am respecting his. They have pictures of our Gurus in their mandir. I have been bringing this issue up with my grandparents and

aunts over and over again. My aunts were understanding couple months back and agreed to help me convince my grandparents(who have my ultimate responsibility). As you can imagine, this issue is not taken lightly by my grandfather. I have had to promise him that I will try breaking up with him. I stopped seeing the Hindu guy for approximately a year(on and off) to eventually break up with him, but that didn't happen. Since the beginning of this year, for three months, I saw couple guys through grandparents and couple on the internet - not because I wanted to move on - but because I wanted to try other options for the sake of my grandparents and parents. Most of them didn't appeal to me. One of them, I thought I could try to get to know better (met through the internet). After talking to me for a month as friends, he informed me that I was the kind of girl he wanted, but he wasn't ready for any kind of commitment. I stopped talking completely to him at that point. As you can imagine, I am back at squa

re 1. I just wanted to be with the Hindu guy. I tried explaining to my grandparents and aunts (they have completely turned around) - no one is willing to help? My grandparents have threatened that if I marry the Hindu guy - noone will be at the marriage and noone will communicate with me after marriage. I will be on my own. I should mention here that quite a few of our close families and my grandfther's have sons and daughter who are married out to religion and culture (married to white males/females, however my family is not willing to accept this. My grandfather has arranged to have me speak to my parents this weekend in India - I doubt that my father will agree to this. He will probably ask my grandparents to have me sent back to India and arrange my marriage there. I truely love this guy and do not wish to marry anyone else. We have talked about every possible thing from religion, to the upbringing of kids, he is willing to do whatever possible to have my family accept him. I understand that my p

arents and grandparents will feel shame between our relatives.

I am very confused at this point. As you can imagine, I cannot concentrate on anything. I have to make a decision within next three days. I would like to get an opinion from religious point of view and cultural point of view. Any help is appreciated.

Greetings to you in the Name of God the light of every soul and in the Name of the Guru, the life of every Sikh.

Many say that "love is blind", but now is not the time for blindness. It is important to clearly separate the spiritual, emotional and cultural aspects of your decision.

We all know that intermarriage can work and many people do this. In fact, marriage between Hindus and Sikhs is probably the most common intermarriage for Sikhs. The fact that you are the woman in this relationship makes it imperitive for you to determine if you want to raise your children as Sikhs.

You need to have an absolutely clear understanding with your young man before you get married. Is he willing to allow you to raise your chidren as Sikhs? Have you considered that you may loose your ability to raise your children as Sikhs if you do not clarify this now? Have you discussed this with him and do you have a relaxed and clear mutual understanding?

As for the problem of your family... Your Dharma to live as a Sikh of the Guru is a gift of consciousness in this life. Are you independently practicing your faith and is your relationship with your Guru strong enough to support you without the support of your family? Will you be clear and positive while you are surrounded by practicing Hindus, who may not be as nice to you after you are married as they are now?

In the longer term, when your parents are blessed with beautiful grandchildren from your marriage, their hearts will soften and be open to you again. But in the meantime, you must be clear and strong and be willing to go through the time of their rejection and judgement of you.

"Dilo mohabat jin sayee sacheyaa." (Baba Sheik Farid - Pg. 488 of Siri Guru Granth Sahib). Guru says,"that person is sweet only when they do what they speak". You must talk to your parents from your heart and explain to them that what you have in your heart is different from what they are proposing. The Guru does support you in this.

The truth of the Guru's guidence is that you and your fiance must be absolutely clear together about what you want in your future, and how you will raise your children. You must do this before you get married. Your faith in God and Guru must be strong enough for you remain true to your Dharma and go through the time of your parents judgement and rejection. It may take some time, keep up!

Bow to the Guru, and receive the hukum. The Guru will guide you.

God bless you, SKKK and GSK

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