Marriage is described as the establishment of a relationship between a
husband and a wife. Marriage, according to Hindu law, is a sacred bond and the
last of ten sacraments that can never be broken. It is also a relationship that
is formed from birth to birth. Even death, according to smritikars, cannot sever
It is often regarded as a holy union, in addition to being religious. The
primary goal of marriage is to enable a woman and a man to fulfil their
religious obligations. They must also have progeny in addition to this. A woman
is considered half of her husband and thus completes him, according to ancient
writings. Without a woman, a man is also considered incomplete.
- To Understand the nature of marriage under Hindu law
According to Hindu tradition, the Hindu marriage act of 1955 reformed
marriage. It is regarded as a watershed moment in the history of social policy.
Not only has this law codified Hindu marriage law. It has also brought about
several improvements in a variety of areas.
Marriage is sacramental in nature since it is basically a samskaras. The
sacramental aspect of marriage has three characteristics.
It is an everlasting marriage that will be true for all future lives.
It is regarded as a permanent union because once tied, it cannot be undone.
Furthermore, it is a holy union in which religious ceremonies are required.
There is no need for either party's consent now that Hindu marriage is
considered sacramental. Thus, the marriage is considered legitimate even if the
individual is of unsound mind or a minor. And, under contract law, a contract
entered into by a person of unsound mind or a minor is deemed void. As a result,
even though one party may demonstrate the absence of a consenting mind, the
marriage is absolutely legitimate and lawful.
Marriage in today's world is contractual. As a result, it is endowed with the
virtues of freedom and liberty. Also, due to the west, it has been identified
that in order for marriage to be successful, both parties must agree to enter
into it willingly.
Scope of study
- Weather the Hindu marriage has been within the customs, Sruti, Smriti.
- To know if the Hindu marriage is a contract or a sacramental ritual
The scope of this study is to find out, formulate and get the basic idea of what
Hindu marriage is, whether it’s a scared practice or a contract marriage or both
and to examine the various aspects of traditional Hindu marriage.
The overall study was carried out by consulting a variety of well-known and
unknown websites used a wide range of websites to research this subject. I
conducted my study using doctrinal methods. A doctrinal research is a study of a
legal proposition or propositions based on the analysis of current legislative
provisions and cases and the application of reasoning power.
Age at Marriage
In traditional culture, a guardian's daughter should be married before she
reaches puberty. The bride should be younger than the bridegroom at the time of
marriage, according to the Vedas, Brahmins, and Kama-Sutra. Brahmanism adopted
the pre-puberty marriage trend and influenced the majority of Hindu society's
The process of choosing a mate is critical. Endogamy is a form of mate selection
in which a family must choose a partner for their daughter or son from within
the group or community. The aim of endogamy is to make it easier to keep a
marriage together. Hindu culture forbids exogamy marriages. Hindu culture also
favours cross-cousin marriages.
Marriage was regarded as a sacrament rather than a contract in traditional Hindu
culture, and thus was meant to last a lifetime. It is necessary to note that all
individuals are required to attend a vivaha (wedding). The primary goal of a
Hindu marriage, according to Kanailal Kapadia (1966), is Dharma Praja (progeny,
especially sons) and Rati (pleasure).
Rituals and Rights:
Mandap Mahurah, Ganesha Puja, Tikka, Chadi, Mandva, Griha Shanti, Mameru, Pokavu,
Barraat, Aarti, Kanya-Daan, Mangalpheras, Sapta Padi, Var Ghodyu Pokavanu Che,
in modern times, some of the most important rituals and rites are performed
before, during, and after marriage, though the time and length has been reduced.
In modern culture, Hindu marriage is both a sacrament and a contract.
In today's world, the goals, styles, customs, and functions of Hindu marriage
are evolving. Previously, the primary goals of Hindu marriage were dharma, artha,
kama, and moksha. However, in terms of conventional goals, the order of priority
has been reversed, with sexual gratification taking precedence over praja and
While most marriages are conducted according to sacred rites and rituals, the
conventional philosophy of Hindu marriage continues to evolve. The individualist
nature of society has completely replaced the traditional Hindu marriage
concept. Furthermore, the modern marriage artefacts are to satisfy their
isolation and personality, to create a division of labour, to feed their egos,
to achieve their common goals, to legitimise their sexual relationship and love
As a result, Hindu orthodox philosophy, rituals, attitude, conduct, and
appropriate social norms clash with modern Hindu social life's new evolving
values and beliefs.
The modern Hindu marriage, the mate selection process, and the age limit
Modern law has had an effect on marriage. Varna, castes, subcastes, endogamy and
exogamy, sapinda and gotra are all governed by law.
are outlawed in today's culture. In addition, the attitude toward the Marriage
between cousins is also evolving. In arranged marriages, the mate selection
mechanism has been altered, and conventional mate selection factors are no
longer important. Furthermore, modern outlets of mate selection are being used
by urban Hindu society, such as newspaper advertisements, family relations,
matrimonial web pages, marriage bureaus, matchmakers, NGOs, and so on.
A Hindu is believed to be born on this earth with specific life missions, which
are articulated via the ‘purusarthas,’ which include Dharma, Artha, Kama, and
Moksha. Every Hindu must go through different stages or resting places in life
in order to fulfill these missions. These resting places are known as ‘Ashramas.’
There are four types of Ashramas, such as Brahmacharyashrama and Grihasthashar.
The Hindu lawgivers have also made provision for redemption by living a
Grihastha life. 's property, and he alone is capable of performing all of the
necessary duties. The shastras also state that in the absence of a wife, the
‘dvija' is incapable of performing all of the duties.
Without procreation, human civilization would perish. The satisfaction of sexual
desire, or Kama,
allows for procreation. Furthermore, among Hindus, the
birth of a son is considered necessary because it allows the householder to
. As a result, Hindu marriage becomes compulsory. It's a
sacred marriage between a man and a woman for the sole purpose of giving birth
to a male child in order to examine the Hindu marriage in light of its
sacramental nature, we must first define what a sacrament is.
A sacrament is a religious rite that includes elements such as confirmation,
penance, ordination, and matrimony. The Hindu idea of marriage as a sacramental
union means three propositions when viewed from this perspective. The Apastama
Dharma sutra and Manu both stress the Hindu marriage's permanent nature and
indissolubility. The Apastama Dharmasutra also claims that there can be no
distinction between husband and wife. They must carry out their religious
The Grihasthashrama begins after marriage and is needed for the completion of
the five great sacrifices known as the panchamahajajnas, which include reciting
Vedas at home, burning oblations for gods, offering Sraddhha Tarpana, receiving
and entertaining visitors, and feeding the Bhutas. The importance of the
Grihasthashrama, which emerges from marriage, has been emphasized. In this
regard, the Mahabharata
is rather emphatic.
Changes in culture due to different changes: Due to cultural contacts, global
culture, westernization, and Americanization, Hindu society is rapidly changing.
People are, in reality, moving away from collectivism and toward individualism.
Increased age at marriage is due to increased knowledge of the effects of early
marriage, educational obligations, family responsibilities, fulfilment of
dreams, job, and anticipation of an ideal life partner.
In reality, dowry has become a major social issue as a mandatory pre-condition
of marriage. Broken marriages and bride burning have arisen from dowry
non-payment or deferment. Polygyny, polyandry, and polygynandry were all kinds
of marriage that were practised in the past. as polygyny, polyandry and
polygynandry were practiced in the past. After the Independence, the
implementation of the Special Marriage Act, 1954 and the Hindu Marriage Act,
1955, prohibited polygamy and strictly enforced monogamy.
To a certain the present scenario of Hindu marriage in Indian society:
In today's culture, changes in the shape, object, and purpose are leading to new
marriage options. People are becoming more aware of their desires and needs as a
result of society's individualistic existence. Marriages do not always work out,
and some do result in divorce. Modern culture introduces social change as well
as other significant challenges to the institution of marriage, such as an
increase in extramarital affairs, multiple modern grounds for divorce,
singlehood, cohabitation, and sexual alternatives.
The Indian government has adopted numerous Acts and Amendments to protect human
rights and eliminate social evils. In 1978, the Child Marriage Restraint Act was
revised, increasing the minimum age of marriage for a boy to 21 and for a girl
to 18 years. Anuloma and Pratiloma marriages are legal under the Hindu Marriage
Disabilities Removal Act of 1946 and the Hindu Marriage Validity Act of 1949.
The 1872 Special Marriage Act was repealed by the 1954 Special Marriage Act.
Except for Jammu and Kashmir, the Hindu Marriage Act of 1955 applies across
India. Sikhs, Janis, Buddhists, and Schedule Castes are all included in the
Act's definition of Hindu. Dowry was outlawed among Hindus by the Dowry Act of
1961. The Widow Remarriage Act of 1856 allowed widows to remarry and receive
maintenance from their husband's properties.
Importance Of Marriage As An Institution:
Marriage is an extremely important social institution. Marriage is the only way
for a man and woman's relationship to be socially accepted. Animals mate,
but humans marry.
It implies that mating is a biological process, while
marriage is a social and cultural process. The term "marriage"
a ceremony that those who are starting a relationship must participate in
Marriage, has been regarded as essential for the welfare of every human
community in the past and throughout the world.
Love is a foundational structure of modern culture. By controlling the sexual
desires of society's members, marriage ensures their development and establishes
the duty of child rearing. Marries defines the social placement of the child by
determining the duty responsibilities of parents to their children. In today's
marriages, there is a greater focus on companionship and satisfaction. Marriage
serves a variety of social roles.
Marriage creates a new social bond, resulting in increased power. From the point
of view of the individual marriage is also important. For legalized sexual
relations give him or her maximum physical satisfaction and mutual peace. The
sexual desire is natural and there should be natural and easy means of
satisfying this desire. Marriage provides that means. Marriage, on the other
hand, isn’t just a relationship between a man and a woman intended to legitimize
It’s also a relationship between parents and children that aims to keep the
group together and improve it. If it had been a private rather than a social
gathering. It would not have been prioritized in human customs and rules. The
most fundamental of all social institutions is marriage.
Hindu marriage serves as a bridge between individuals and society. However, from
the Vedic era to the present day, the typical Hindu marriage concept has
displayed its many colours and shades. In reality, secret dowry practises, bride
burning, family disintegration, domestic violence, singlehood, role dispute in
marriage, and other significant changes have resulted from these changes.
Under Hindu Law, marriage is a 'sacrament' (solemn pledge) and not a contract
which can be entered into by execution of a marriage deed. Sacred rites and
ceremonies are required for a Hindu marriage to take place. After the Hindu
Marriage Act was passed in 1951, Hindu marriage became a contract rather than a