Tuesday, April 17, 2012

The concept of Hindu marriage

The concept of Hindu marriage:


Ancient Hindu Law&Marriage


The institution of marriage is as old as Rig Vedic and was given importance in Veda's,the marriage in Hindu philosophy is holy and scared union.

Marriage is one of 16 samaskara's  as propounded by Veda Vysa,it is stated that Sudra has only one samaskara ,that is marriage.

One of the important stage of Hindu man's  life is  called Grihastha or married man [like Brahmacharya-Student,Grihastha-Household life ,Vanaprastha- Retired life , Sanyasa: Renounced ].

The purpose of marriage is not to beget children or sexual fulfillment ,but also to perform holy ceremonies ,Hindu wife is called 'Ardhangini' one half of man[Manu said "the man's personality is incomplete unless he gets wife",husband can not perform religious ceremonies without presence of wife[Sri Rama used Sita statue,in her absence in Yagna]

The married women is given utmost importance in Hindu society,ironically ,widow or single women&divorcee [even widow re-marriage prohibited]are not given much importance during certain Hindu ceremonies,which lead to mass social movements lead by Raja Rammohan Roy,Dayanand Saraswathi,Eshwarchand Vidhya sagar.


The gotra and surname of wife changes, as she will be regarded as  family member of husband.

The Ancient Hindu law allowed polygamy[under certain conditions]but monogamy was prohibited , but Drupadi case of marrying five men [Panch Pandavas]was an exception to the rule.

There was no provision for divorce in ancient Hindu law as marriage was performed by chanting holy hymns [Mantra's].The wife leaves father's house for ever and become a member of husband's familiy for generations, the marriage is   for seven generations.

In ancient Hindu law ,the offences of against marriage like Adultery was regarded as sin and wrongdoers were punished as well as ostracized from the society ,even prohibited to participate in social activities.The inter-caste marriage  or [same]sagotra marriage  was strictly prohibited in ancient Hindu law.

Secular Hindu Law : 

The Hindu code bill was introduce for the first time during interim-parliament session by Law Minister Dr.B.R Ambedkar ,but there was no progress as Dr Ambedkar resigned from the Ministry.After first general election [1952] ,four acts into existence during year 1955-1956.
  1. Hindu Marriage Act ,1955.
  2. Hindu Succession Act ,1956
  3. Hindu Minority and Guardianship Act ,1956
  4. Hindu Adoption and Maintenance Act,1956    

Conditions for Valid Hindu Marriage under Hindu Marriage Act ,1955:

Sec-5:Conditions for a Hindu marriage-A marriage may be solemnized between any two Hindus,if the following conditions are fulfillled,namely-

(i)Neither party has a spouse living at the time of marriage;

(ii)At the time of marriage, neither party,

(a)Is incapable of giving a valid consent to it in consequence of unsoundness of mind; or

(b)Though capable of giving a valid consent, has been suffering from mental disorder of such a kind or to such an extent as to be unfit for marriage and the procreation of children; or

(c)Has been subject to recurrent attacks of insanity;

(iii)The bridegroom has completed the age of [twenty-one years] and the bride, the age of [eighteen years] at the time of marriage;

(iv)The parties are not within the degrees of prohibited relationship unless the custom or usage governing each of them permits of a marriage between the two;

(v)The parties are not sapindas of each other, unless the custom or usage governing each of them permits of a marriage between the two.

   

Reference :
  • Kane,P.V.(1973),History of DharmaŚãstra,Poona: Bhandarkar Oriental research Institute.
  • Mulla -Hindu Law

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LAW AND SOCIETY