Very often, we consider childhood days to be a period of happiness. In reality, as children we do not understand what happiness is.
Under the protection of our parents, we pass our days in a perpetual round of enjoyment, which undoubtedly gives us pleasure. As we enter adolescence, changes take place in the mind and physical body causing us to become aware of the existence of the opposite sex and we begin to experience a new kind of attraction giving rise to disturbing emotions.
At the same time, curiosity drives us to find out about the facts of life, through peer discussion and book reading. Before long, we find ourselves on the threshold of adulthood, the crucial time in our life when we look for a suitable life-partner to begin a relationship that will put to the test all the qualities that we have acquired earlier in life.
Love, sex, and marriage then become matters of great importance that will determine the quality of the married life we will have.
Young people today are exposed to a large variety of “Western” influences which are disseminated through the mass media such as books and magazines, television, video cassettes and movies and mostly through social media such as Face book, Twitter etc resulting in the acquisition of distorted ideas regarding love, sex, and marriage.
In the “Sigalovada Sutta,” the Buddha gives good advice on how to maintain peace and harmony in the home between husband and wife in order to achieve a happy married life.This advices are very important to now a days couples who think that they are in the very perfect relationships.
There are different kinds of love, and these are variously expressed as motherly love, brotherly love, sensual love, emotional love, sexual love, selfish love, selfless love and universal love.
If people develop only their carnal or selfish love towards each other, that type of love cannot last long. In a true love relationship, one should not ask how much one can get, but how much one can give.
When beauty, complexion and youth start to fade away, a husband who considers only the physical aspects of love may think of acquiring another young one. That type of love is animal love or lust.
If a man really develops love as an expression of human concern for another being, he will not lay emphasis only on the external beauty and physical attractiveness of his partner. The beauty and attractiveness of his partner should be in his heart and mind, not in what he sees.
Likewise, the wife who follows Buddhist teachings will never neglect her husband even though he has become old, poor or sick.
“I have a fear that the modern girl loves to be Juliet to have a dozen Romeos. She loves adventure . . .The modern girl dresses not to protect herself from wind, rain and sun, but to attract attention. She improves upon nature by painting herself and looking extraordinary.” – Gandhi
We can study the Buddha’s teaching regarding the feelings that man and woman have for each other.
The Buddha says that he had never seen any object in this world, which attracts man’s attention more than the figure of a woman. At the same time the main attraction for the woman is the figure of a man.
It means that by nature, woman and man give each other worldly pleasure. They cannot gain happiness of this kind from any other object. When we observe very carefully, we notice that among all the things, which provide pleasure, there is no other object that can please all the five senses at the same time beside the male and female figures.
Young people by nature like to indulge in worldly pleasures, which can include both good and bad things. Good things, like the enjoyment of music, poetry, dance, good food, dress and similar pursuits do no harm to the body. They only distract us from seeing the fleeting nature and uncertainty of existence and thereby delay our being able to perceive the true nature of the self.