Hinduism is one of the oldest religions. It has interesting philosophies and traditions that have attracted the attention of many non-followers around the world. Hinduism is also renowned for accommodating diversity in practices, theologies and sacred texts.
Marriages In Hinduism
Marriage in Hinduism is a sacred bond between partners. It includes several rituals and traditions that bring two families together besides the couple. Families and friends get together, perform rituals and enjoy the festivities.
Do you know that there are multiple types of marriages in Hinduism? In this article, we’ll see the different ideas behind each kind of union.
Types Of Marriages
Daiva Form Of Marriage
In such kind of a marriage, the suitor is an official priest. Initially, it required a person to have a good character, family background and knowledge of Vedas. The father of the bride offers her to the groom as a sacrifice or gift.
Lord Manu, the mind-born son of Lord Brahma, had a view that a child born out of this marriage will compensate for the sins of the past seven generations of ancestors. This kind of marriage is specific for Brahmins.
Brahma Form Of Marriage
It is the foremost kind of marriage among Hindus. Lord Manu, who was also the Hindu law-giver, considered it above the divine marriage. The Hindu Sastrakaras considered it the purest and most evolved method of uniting two people.
Under this marriage, people had to maintain decent behaviour in social gatherings and observe all the religious practices. It is also the marriage of two adults with mutual consent. In such a case, the father gives away his daughter to the groom, who he approved. It is compulsory that elders from both families have to follow wedding traditions and must be present for the rituals.
Prajapatya Form Of Marriage
This kind of union refers to the marriages among commoners who cannot afford to practice rituals. Many traditions include the exchange of gifts, clothes and money between families. However, there is still a large section of society that cannot afford a lavish lifestyle.
Therefore, the bride and groom sides would gather at one place, like a marriage hall or temple, to exchange garlands and perform basic rituals. It includes the consent of both families. Court marriages kind of fall into the category.
Arsha Form Of Marriage
In the past and even today, many parents give away their daughter in return for a cow or bull. In such a case, there is no exchange of money, but the exchange of animals that the bride’s family can use in their farms or for selling dairy products. It was common among priest families.
This kind of marriage has descriptions in the Matsya Purana and the Vishnu Purana. It defines the pastoral stage of the Hindu society in which cattle is an indispensable commodity.
Gandharva Form Of Marriage
In such a marriage, two people come together as a couple out of mutual consent and admiration for each other. It is a voluntary union of two people and is one of the most popular kinds among tribal communities. In such a ceremony, the bride and groom marry each other even without the consent of their families.
In Hindu weddings, exchanging garlands between bride and groom is a popular ritual. In Gandharva form, exchanging garlands completes the marriage ritual. Today, many runaway couples get married in this way. Since it does not include elders of the families, the society does not accept such kinds of union.
Paishacha Form Of Marriage
It is a sinful marriage that is considered at the lowest in the hierarchy of marriages in Hinduism. In such a union, the groom uses force or deceitful techniques to make physical relations with the girl. In older times, the girl had to marry the person she had relations with, willingly or unwillingly.
Such a union was and is reprehensible in society. In today’s times, such marriages are unlawful, and the act of forceful physical relation is a punishable offence under the constitution of India.
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Asura Form Of Marriage
In such a marriage, the father used to give away his daughter in return for a bride price. The groom's family has to pay an adequate amount to the bride’s family in return for taking her home. However, the groom cannot take the bride against her wishes.
In many cases, a bride may belong to a poor family, and in a dire need of money, her father may give her away against her will. In such a case, a person who can give a good amount for the bride can take her home as his wife. It is illegal in India.
Rakshasa Form Of Marriage
In the earlier time, there was a section of society where the groom would use brute force to marry the woman of his choice. He would kidnap or intimidate the girl to marry him. This kind of marriage is unlawful today.
Marriage is indeed a sacred bond between two people. Therefore, it must have consent from both parties. It leads to a happy life for the couple.
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