Manusmriti-the oldest Hindu scripture describes eight types of Hindu marriage. It is the most significant ancient Indian text, which elaborately talks on various subjects. Laws, religion, types of marriage everything is described in it.
The well defined Hindu traditions can be traced from Vedic age. With the beginnings of the Vedic period, sages started maintaining texts of extensive subjects.
Marriage has always been an essential institution of our culture. Today India is famous for its big, fat Indian wedding and various pre and post marriage rituals. Let’s have a journey of eight different types of Hindu marriage today!
1. Brahma Marriage
This is considered to be the highest form of marriage in the scriptures. Also, there is no dowry involved in Brahma Marriage. As mentioned in scriptures, this is the supreme and most sacred form of marriage.
In this marriage, after finishing the education and learning all the necessary skills, the groom is considered to be ready for the wedding. His family searches for an appropriate family for his marriage. They also have Janam Kundali analysis of both the bride and groom.
The suitable girl should have complementary skills based on their birth charts. The father of the bride also inquiries about the groom and his family. Once everything seems settled on both sides. Bride and Groom’s parents are ready to bestow their children for marriage.
They used to get married in front of the holy fire with all sacred mantras and with the Saptapadi vows(seven sacred Hindu marital vows). Families of bride and groom bless them for the happy and prosperous marital journey
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2. Daiva Marriage
In this type of marriage, the bride’s family waits for a suitable groom. If the bride and her family can not find a suitable groom until a specified time, they marry her to a chief priest who commands all holy rituals and sacrifices.
The Daiva marriage is considered to be inferior to Brahma marriage as it degrades womanhood.
3. Arsha Marriage
In Arsha marriage, generally, the groom is a Rishi (or a Sage). Arsha means Rishi in Sanskrit. It usually occurs when the bride’s family is not able to sustain the costs of their daughter’s wedding.
The family of the bride offers their daughter to a Rishi in exchange for two cows or sometimes a cow and a bull. Sage does not possess extraordinary wealth. So cows are given to sustain their marital life. It is believed the inferior form of marriage as the bride can not exercise her free will here.
4. Prajapatya Marriage
This wedding is known as Kshatra in Mahabharata; however, in Manusmriti, it is known as the Prajapatya wedding. In this form of the wedding, the father of the bride offers his daughter to the groom and also gives a lot of prestigious gifts and wealth.
Father gives his wealth and blesses the couple with a wish that they both will fulfill their religious and civil duties fairly. Both will perform Dharam and rituals together. It is inferior to Arsha vivah.
5. Asura Marriage
Asura wedding is considered to be degraded then the Prajapatya vivah.In it, the groom and his family entice the bride and her family with gifts and wealth. And in return, the bride’s family bestow their daughter to the groom.
This customarily happens when the groom is of no match for the girl but still wants to wed her. And the family of the bride is poor or needy.
Asura vivah is like purchasing a product by paying an immense amount of money. Therefore this sort of wedding is also viewed as inferior to Brahma marriage.
6. Gandharva Marriage
It is identical to modern-day love marriage. The most notable example of this marriage is Dushyanta and Shakuntala in Mahabharata.
In Gandharva marriage, the couple lives together out of love, just like today’s live-in relationship. Or they marry each other without the consent of their family members. They voluntarily exercise their free will and choose their beloved partners.
Such weddings were very widespread in the Rig-Vedic age. In Mahabharta also rishi Kanva mentioned it as the best form of marriage. However, it is considered inferior to Brahma marriage.
7. Rakshasa Marriage
In Rakshasha marriage, the girl is forcibly kidnaped by the groom. In some cases, the groom can kill or defeat the bride’s family in battle. This is considered to be a very inferior wedding form as the bride is not willing for marriage, and she may lose her family in the wedding process.
8. Paisacha Marriage
Paisacha marriage is considered to be the lowest form of wedding.
In this, the girl is seized when she is asleep and intoxicated. The groom can seduce and physically molest her before the wedding during sleep (due to intoxication).
This is disgusting and considered to be very shameful. The bride loses her self respect and can not exercise her will.
Theses are all eight different types of Hindu weddings mentioned in our holy scriptures — Brahma marriage is known as the most sacred and superior form of a Hindu wedding. And Rakshasha and Paishcaha marriage is a very degraded form of wedding. Wherein, women are losing their family and self-respect.
As per our traditions for any wedding- the right practice is analyzing Kundali and then choosing a right-compatible partner. Our ancestors religiously believed in astrology. Having kundali and matching it with a partner ensures a happy marital life.
You can also check this most accurate source to get your Janam Kundali. It also includes Free Janam Kundli Analysis Software to get an elaborate idea about your future. In today’s time, we are freely exercising our wedding choices. Which form of marriage is it then? Identify it from the eight different types of Hindu marriage!