Buddhist View Of Marriage

The Buddhist view of marriage considers marriage a secular affair and as such, it is not considered a sacrament. Buddhists are expected to follow the civil laws regarding marriage laid out by their respective governments.

While the ceremony itself is civil, many Buddhists obtain the blessing from monks at the local temple after the marriage is completed.


Gautama Buddha never spoke against marriage but instead pointed out some of the difficulties of marriage. He is quoted in the Parabhava Sutta as saying

Not to be contented with one’s own wife, and to be seen with harlots and the wives of others — this is a cause of one’s downfall. Being past one’s youth, to take a young wife and to be unable to sleep for jealousy of her — this is a cause of one’s downfall.

Buddhist Weddings in Bali

Buddhist Weddings in Bali


The Pali Canon, a major Theraveda text, bars both male and female monastics from both heterosexual and homosexual activities. While homosexuality may or may not be explicitly condemned in some texts, according to the Dalai Lama:

“From a Buddhist point of view, men-to-men and women-to-women is generally considered sexual misconduct.”

While Buddhism may neither encourage nor discourage getting married, it does provide principles regarding it.

The Digha Nikaya 31 (Sigalovada Sutta) describes the respect that one is expected to give to one’s spouse.

In Tibetan Buddhism

The Dalai Lama has spoken of the merits of marriage:

Too many people in the West have given up on marriage. They don’t understand that it is about developing a mutual admiration of someone, a deep respect and trust and awareness of another human’s needs…The new easy-come, easy-go relationships give us more freedom — but less contentment.


Since marriage is secular, Buddhism has no restrictions on divorce. Ven. K. Sri Dhammananda has said

“if a husband and wife really cannot live together, instead of leading a miserable life and harboring more jealousy, anger and hatred, they should have the liberty to separate and live peacefully.”

See also

Adapted from Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

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