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VIVĀHA (MARRIAGE)(विवाह)


  • 1) General information.
    In ancient India marriage was considered to be a sacrifice performed in accordance with social customs. Marriage was allowed to those who had completed education at the age of sixteen. (Samāvartana). Father or teacher teaches the pupil the Vedas and Vedāṅgas. When the education is completed the teacher or father makes him sit on a seat decorated with flowers, sandalwood etc. and do Godānavrata. Then he is offered Pañcāmṛta (milk, curd, butter, honey and water). This is called Samāvartana. With this his brahmacarya ends, and he is allowed to marry and lead the life of a house-holder. Marriage is a ceremony with four secondary rites Viz, Kanyādāna, Śacīyāga, Vivāha, Caturthīkarman. If the husband is dead, or lost, or has renounced the world, or has become a eunuch or is expelled from society, the woman is allowed to take another husband. If the husband dies, the wife should be given to the brother of the husband. If there is no brother she could accept anybody whom she likes.
    2) Eight kinds of marriages.
    The woman and man should not be of the same Gotra (family). One could marry a girl who is above seven generations on the paternal line and above five generations on the maternal line. Eight types of marriages allowed in [Manusmṛti, Chapter 3], are given below:
    (i) Brāhma.
    A man of good qualities and good family is asked to come and receive the damsel. This is Brāhma. The radiance of this marriage will give the man prosperity.
    (i
    i) Ārṣa.
    After getting a couple of cows from the bridegroom the bride is given to him.
    (ii
    i) Prājāpatya.
    The virgin is given to the man, who had requested for her hand as a duty.
    (i
    v) Daiva.
    The virgin is offered to the master who is engaged in performing a sacrifice.
    (v) Gāndharva.
    Marriage between a man and a woman with equal love on either part.
    (v
    i) Āsura.
    Giving money in return for the damsel and marrying her. This type is mean.
    (vi
    i) Rākṣasa.
    Carrying the damsel away by fight or force.
    (vii
    i) Paiśāca.
    Marrying a damsel when she is sleeping or lying unconscious.
     
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Category : Hindu - Traditions
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