Let's start our discussion on a tantric note. Commitment is one of the important tantric doctrines. It necessitates absolute trust. Formal and informal commitments are both recognized, and generally separated into three types: commitment for the duration of the physical act of lovemaking only; commitment for a specified period of time, and commitment for life. Additionally, a rather "Mormon" concept of commitment for Eternity is recognized. Time and Eternity is the ultimate vow of a Tantric Yogini. Tantric tradition also recognizes various types of commitments. There is the commitment to oneself, to find one's true nature and unite with Brahman; the commitment of neophyte to teacher; commitment to a specific path toward evolution; and sexual and/or loving commitment. Here as you would have understood by now, we are talking about the last category of commitment here.
You would say all this philosophy is fine, but is it feasible? I would not say anything now; but maybe we could answer this later. These days while our lives are becoming complicated, getting to know a man-woman relationship is becoming exceedingly pain striking. Harsh realities and banalities of our existence often thwart our expectations. Those who have carefully watched Mahesh Manjrekar's 'Astitva' must have seen a novel example of the sensitivity of a man-woman relationship. Digressions from one's path of love do not necessarily mean that the person does not love his/her mate. And also that a male and a female's feelings about pleasure and desires are one and the same.
Mohandas Gandhi had once said, "A relationship must be based on respect, understanding, acceptance and appreciation." But one can easily say if doubts are not encouraged, beliefs not tested; how on earth would true faith emerge? Faith should be tested. True faith and devotion require some sort of credential. If given indiscriminately to all, they become meaningless. It has been said: "The Vedas are like a street woman, available to all. The Tantras are a devoted lover, available only to he who shows himself worthy." This is not meant to imply that the Tantras were closed or class-minded; quite the opposite. Rather than following the blind path of Bhakti Yoga as espoused by any particular guru or teacher at any particular time, the Tantras required soul-searching and continued practice to achieve.
These days, most marriages take place by matching socio-economic factors and physiological profile of individuals, instead of the erstwhile spiritual profile. In negotiated Indian marriages, horoscope matching is still an important deciding factor, primarily for reasons far from spirituality. Parents, who are inundated with occasional news of divorces and separation; take horoscope as a tool to negate such risks and gambles.
Tantras taught that each man and each woman should honor the divine within themselves and each other. Ritualized worship before a private altar assisted with focusing energies and channeling them toward the desired effect. And that desired effect was a long lasting commitment based on trust, love, care and last but not the least respect.
Tantra divides worship into three types: internal, external, and combined. The primary form of worship would be the combined, as that is what is practiced during Tantric Sexual Union. The very word "Tantra" implies a 'weaving' together of inner and outer, male and female, human and divine. Inner worship may be accomplished through spiritualized masturbation, meditation and Hatha Yoga, and such simple acts as eating, drinking, and going about one's daily business, as long as they are performed consciously and with discrimination . Outer worship may also incorporate such practices as meditation and Hatha, along with Pranayama, mantra, and performing obeisance before an altar adorned with symbols of god, goddess, chakras, etc.
The term Sadhana is an individual act of worship, encompassing commitment, study and actual practice. The urge to step aside and concentrate on Sadhana only, leaving the mundane behind, is latent in all and strong in some. However, Sadhana should ideally involve every act, and not be seen as separate from one's overall life. The Tantric couple, having practiced recognizing and channeling sexual energy, must proceed with the Art of worship to achieve success. Worship the inner god and goddess, worship them in your partner. Thus will physical love become mystical; then the sexual act will liberate and reveal its truly timeless and eternal character.
Let us all shun our hypocrisy and make all our commitments last a lifetime. Whether be it pre nuptial promises or be post matrimony lifestyles; we should all strive to make our partners conscious of our needs, wants, likes, aspirations such that we know each other better and make our lives harmonious and peaceful.