Marriage is a social practice through which two people and their families
unite which gives rise to conjugal rights. The word conjugal means rights which
arise between husband and wife after marriage. Marriage is one of the oldest
sacraments in the society.
Marriage is a universal social institution. It brings men and women into family
life. In this institution man and woman are socially permitted to have children.
Thereby society grants. Them the rights to sexual relation. According to Gillin
and Gillin , Marriage is a socially approved way of establishing a family of
Forms of marriage
Under Hindu system eight types of marriages can take place:
Brahma form of marriage:Brahma vivah is the best and most practiced form of marriage in India. In this
form of marriage, the father of girl gift his daughter to person of good
character who is learned in vedas. During this type of marriage, the girl is
dressed and decked to a male who has good knowledge of vedas. During this
marriage the male is invited by the father of the bride. Under Hindu sanskar it
is the purest and most evolved form of marriage as this form of marriage does
not includes any force, carnal appetite, and exchange of money.
Daiva form of Marriage:In Daiva form of marriage, the marriage takes place between the girl and a
priest. Section IV of manusmriti defines daiva marriage.
Arsha form of Marriage:In this form of marriage, the marriage takes place with rishi or sages. In this
marriage the father of girl doesn't have to offer anything to the groom. In this
marriage the father of the groom gives two cows or bulls to the father of bride.
Prajapatya form Marriage:This form of marriage is identical to brahma vivah but there is no kanyadan in
this form of marriage.
Asura form of Marriage:It is the most unsocial form of marriage. In this marriage the father gives his
daughter after getting money from the groom. This form of marriage is basically
a barter exchange between the father of bride and groom.
Gandharva form of marriage:In this form of marriage, the girl and boy mutually agree to get marry but this
mutual agreement is arisen from pure lust. In this form of marriage, the
approval of parents plays no role.
Rakshasa form of marriage:In this form of marriage, the bride is abducted, and the marriage is performed.
This form of marriage is the most condemned form of marriage since this form of
marriage involve abduction of bride it is not only against nature and custom but
also against laws.
'Paishacha' form of marriage:In this form of marriage, the man seduces the women they entered a sexual act
when the girl is not in position to give her consent due to intoxication or
mental disorder. Under Hindu system marriage is performed for fulfillment of
religious obligation and not for fulfillment of sexual desire.
Solemnization of marriage
Section 7 of Hindu Marriage Act, 1955 contain provisions relating to
solemnization of marriage. Under Hindu system a marriage may be perform with all
the ceremonies by both or either one party of the marriage.
A marriage is concerned with saptapadi which means seven rounds. In saptapadi
both bride and groom take seven rounds of fire and after which marriage become
The marriage renders to be valid if it is performed between Hindu couples
according to the customary ceremony and rituals of each party or any one of
them. Any child born after performing the marriage according to this section
will be legitimate. The beginning of the child before the dissolution of the
marriage is not the cause to dissolve the marriage.
It is one of the most
important duties of the father to bring up the girl child, find a suitable boy
for her and do Kanyadan for the girl. Girl leaves their gotra and enters the
gotra of the boy. It is an unbreakable bond that is tied for the generation to
generation. It is a sacrament, not a contract.
Section 2 of Hindu Marriage Act, 1955
Under section 2 of Hindu marriage act parties to the marriage should be Hindu.
If any of the parties is a non-Hindu, the marriage would not be considered valid
under the act. If either party or both the party are non-Hindus, then such
marriage will not be dealt by this act and would be held void under this act.
Such marriages in which either party is a non-Hindu are dealt by special
marriage act, 1954. The special marriage act 1954 was passed by the legislature
to deal with inter religious marriages.
Essential element of marriage.Monogamy
Monogamy is the marriage between one woman and one man at a time. Monogamy is
the most sacred type of marriage in Hindu. Sec. 5(i) of Hindu Marriage Act says
that only monogamy is accepted in Hindu religion and if spouse of any one is not
dead at the time of marriage, then that would be considered as the offence of
bigamy under Hindu Marriage Act, 1955.
The offence of bigamy is also punishable under section 494 of Indian Penal Code,
The conditions are:
At the time of marriage both bride and groom are not unsound mind because they
are unable to give their valid consent and they wouldn't be able to understand
the nature of their marriage and perform their rights and duties. Unsoundness of
mind makes a person unable to determine the consequences of any act which he or
she perform due to such unsoundness of mind.
It is obvious that a relationship
like marriage should not be performed between people of unsound mind as it
wouldn't be possible for them to perform the obligation attach to it. At the
time of marriage bride and groom are not subjected to attack of insanity
Age to the parties:
According to Hindu Marriage Act, 1955 the legal age for male is 21 years and for
the female is 18 years. If the given age is not performed by any of the party,
then it is an offence under Hindu Marriage Act, 1955. Age is one of the most
important essential for performance of valid marriage. If anyone of the bride or
groom is below the legal age, the marriage solemnized is void.
Prohibited Degrees of Relationship:
Sec. 5(iv) of Hindu Marriage Act,1955 says that no marriage can be solemnized
falling within prohibited degree of relationship. Those marriage which are
solemnized under this they all are void under section 11 of Hindu Marriage Act,
Prohibition of Sapinda Relationship:
Sec. 5(v) of Hindu Marriage Act, 1955 says that no one can marry with their
Sapinda relationship person it is an offence under the section 11 of the act. In
the sapinda relationship third generation in the line of ascent through the
mother and fifth in the line of ascent through the father.
To conclude we would like to state that marriage is one of the oldest and purest
sacraments. With the passage of time and development of society the customary
practices have taken a form of legal provisions which makes the fulfillment of
these customary practices necessary.
The institution of marriage and its sanctity plays an important role towards
fulfillment of once obligation towards our ancestral obligations.
- An Introduction to Sociology ByNavendu K. Thakur, Pg: 141
- Ankit Kumar Yadav, B.A Ll. B (Hons.) 3rd Year, Amity Law School,
- Amit Pandey, B.A Ll. B (Hons.) 4th Year, Faculty Of Law,
University Of Lucknow, U.P