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The duty of marital devotion - Shiva Mahapurana, Rudra Samhita 2.42-45

Shiva instructed Brahma in the importance of marital devotion and against breaking marriage vows - those which one makes, or encouraging another to break their vows. The practice of keeping marital vows, whether celibate, monogamous or polygamous, is necessary in the Kaliyuga: Shiva instructed Sati that the value of knowledge (gyan) and asceticism (vairagya) diminish - almost to the point of extinction. But that the value of devotion remains as constant as the constancy it requires.

Shiva explained, when Shiva burnt Kamadev, Shiva ended Time (Vishnu was Kamadev, and is Time) - for the benefit of those devotees of Shiva, specifically his wife: Shiva could no longer practice his strict religious devotion to Vishnu, for he had a greater obligation to the marital devotions required of him. For the sake of Shiva's devotees, Shiva abandoned Ravana - without partiality - because he discouraged marital devotion between Ram and Sita. For the welfare of Shiva's devotees, Shiva instructed his vehicle Nandi to instruct Vyas, who had attempted to discourage Vishnu's religious worship of Shiva: as two spouses are individual and equal, both Vishnu and Shiva are greatest - because of the devotion to love between them.

Shiva and Sati practiced the union of devotion for 25 deva years before Sati instructed Shiva in the establishment of a home as a Temple for practicing marital devotion: the home should be in a place that is safe and secure, where devoted union may be practiced without disturbance or interruption. Shiva instantly understood the subtle teaching of Sati, and said to Sati "so long as you are by My side, even the weather will not disturb us, even if we lived at the top of the Himalayas." To demonstrate, the two lived upon the Himalayas for 10,000 deva years, while Brahma instructed the Brahmans in the practice of marital devotion so perfectly demonstrated by Shiva and Sati.

Brahma taught the practice of marital devotion is training which is superior to training in knowledge or asceticism, and requires constancy. The types of practice required for constancy are: bhakti yoga, yantra, mantra and the study of shastras.