Of course, marriage is an important part of life — not only for physical happiness but also for mental peace, social reasons, spiritual peace, and the completeness of one’s life. From the religious perspective, it is a sacred relationship between a man and a woman. But there are differences in marital rituals across religions or religious cultures. A man marries several times in life and a woman also does so. Single marriage, double-marriage, or multiple marriages are found across countries, even though there are country-wise differences. But a soul-mate as a marital partner is important for one’s happiness in life, even if one’s happiness may depend on many personal, socio-economic, and other reasons.

Marriage can be explained from two viewpoints as social determination and predestination. As per the social determination viewpoint, one’s marital partner(s) is socially determined, not predestined. One’s social position, social interaction, and many other social indicators including education and profession mostly determine one’s marital partner(s). But as per the predestination viewpoint, one’s marital partner(s) is predestined by the Creator. Of course, this view is supported by the doctrine of predestination and some scholars of different religions or religious sects including Islam and Christianity. Although there are disagreements on the grounds of free will, some believers in the predestination further believe that the Creator made marital partners long before sending them to the earth.

I will not comment on whether the social explanation is right or the predestination doctrine or both. But, obviously, one may get one’s marital partner(s) usually through forced arranged marriage, consensual arranged marriage, self-selected marriage and autonomous marriage, no matter whether it is socially determined or predestined. In the first type, there is no consent from partner(s) but in the second type, parents make choices and then consulted with partners who give consent. In the third type, partners choose each other and then family consent is sought, while in the last type, partners choose each other but family consent is not sought. Of these, forced marriage is discouraged and condemned by the United Nations and human rights organizations as it violates human rights.

Even though marital partners are predestined or socially determined, my question is: Are all marital partners soul-mate of each other? By the term ‘soulmate’ I mean two souls or souls of a man and a woman are spiritually connected and, for this reason, they can be dedicated to and loved and respected by each other in the genuine sense. But I will not make any comment on whether such a connection is naturally made by the creator or it is made through social interaction before marriage or through interaction after marriage. But the answer seems to be ‘no’. But why are not all marital partners soul-mate?  Obviously, there are many reasons that may determine whether one can get one’s genuine soul-mates or not. Diverse reasons can be explained from three viewpoints such as personal, social and spiritual-acts-based.

Of course, personal reasons are crucial for getting or not getting one’s soulmate. Some notable personal reasons maybe education, profession, differences in personal liking and disliking and differences in mentality, and differences in attitude towards life as a whole. But personal reasons are obviously intimately related to social reasons since social factors can largely determine one’s personal reasons for getting ones’ soul mate as a marital partner. There are, in fact, many social reasons including social status, cultural identity, religious status, conspiracy, choices of parents and place of living that may sometimes determine one’s marital partners, even though such partners may not be soul-mate to each other.

But spiritual-acts-based reasons do not seem less significant for determining marital partners — soul mate or not. It seems that spiritual acts may be both negatively and positively oriented and may be of diverse sorts and aims including — but not limited to — getting connected to the Creator. While positively oriented spiritual acts are benevolent and can help get one’s soul-mate as a marital partner, negatively oriented spiritual acts can put hindrances to such a possibility, even when there are favorable social reasons. It also seems that — and spiritual leaders and many others believe that — spiritual practitioners or leaders have the capacity to bring harm and good by various means including separating soulmates — be it naturally selected or socially determined — and helping make relations between genuine soul-mates.

I will give some detail on this. But I must say that it is difficult to prove that spiritual acts can make such changes and, simultaneously, it is difficult to disprove these probably because these are invisible which the verification criteria may be unable to catch. But only some spiritually developed leaders or persons may see or understand these. Moreover, it seems that a small portion of those who perform diverse spiritual practices have belief in such acts, though most so-called spiritual leaders or practitioners are frauds. Also, I should mention that spiritual acts aiming at changing soul-mates or separating soulmates may not work always. This is probably because there are counter-spiritual acts-based influences which are, in turn, because there are counter-spiritual leaders/groups. But it seems that those who are more powerful spiritually and genuine can make changes, though there are counter practices.

Now, an important question can be raised: why do spiritual leaders or religious practitioners do so, even if these seem unacceptable?  Of course, there may be many reasons — an intention to show one’s spiritual capability or hegemony, willingness to become spiritually more powerful, disrespect to others and many other reasons. Even if there can be differences among spiritual leaders or practitioners in terms of doing good or bringing harm on many fronts including getting one’s soul-mate, more educated, less education or uneducated spiritual leaders or practitioners may have a tendency to ensure their own spiritual hegemony. But, if my understanding is right, all spiritual leaders and religious practitioners who have the capacity to hinder getting one’s soul mate do not do so.

A vital question then remains on whether what they do especially for bringing harm of diverse sorts including hindering souls from getting their genuine soul-mate is acceptable or not. To me, it is not acceptable. Probably, soul mates are blessed by the creator too. Given that spiritual acts especially negative ones can make separate one from one’s soul mate, spiritual leaders and religious practitioners should exercise their spirituality in a positive sense. Of course, spiritual leaders or practitioners and religious persons who do so should realize that they are not doing the right thing, even if they may have such power.

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Amir Sayem
Studied Masters of Population Sciences from the University of Dhaka, Bangladesh. Writing about issues including social, political, public health, environmental, and international relations. Contributor to The Eastern Herald from Bangladesh.