Hindu Marriage Ceremony is more of a religious and cultural function and represents the community’s traditions. The Hindus are people who practice Hinduism, a religion founded ages ago. The Hindus follow certain set of rules and regulations written in the various holy books and manuscripts. There are rules of conduct mentioned for a married man and woman. In addition, there are a set of regulations for performing the Hindu marriage among the various castes and communities.
According the ancient Hindu customs of marriage, the matrimonial relationship between a man and a woman is a sacred one and the gods fix the match in heaven. According to Hinduism, the matrimonial relationship between the man and the woman is not just for procreation but has a spiritual side to it. In addition, the relationship extends not just to one life but also to seven lives. The seven lives theory of bonding makes the man and woman connected to each other spiritually. The Hindu Marriage is not just about two human beings uniting but also of two souls who meet each other because of their similar karmas.
The Hindu Marriage theory believes that the union on earth is meeting of two souls to get mutual salvation. The gender of the souls though may change in the several births that they take on earth. The man may become woman in the next life and vice-versa. It may also happen that the man and the woman may not meet in any one life and part ways. They may come together and are married after one or two births and tied into matrimonial knot. This union of the two souls is the grand union. Another ancient Hindu Marriage norm was that polygamy was acceptable. A man can have more than one partner. However, women cannot practice the same rule. This custom was mostly in the ruling and warrior communities of India.
As said earlier, the Hindu Marriage is a sacred relationship between a man and woman. The holy Hindu texts and manuscripts mentions that a man’s dharma (duty) and samskara(sacrament) is to get married and perform household duties. Unless the man becomes a ‘sanyasi’ and renounces the worldly pleasures of life, he needs to follow the rules of ‘grihastha’. For the woman in the Hindu religion, the matrimonial knot marks the ends of her maiden life. It is said that she gets a new life once married. She leaves her parents or guardian house after marriage and starts a new life with the new family and surroundings. The relationship with her parents becomes more formal and she tends to visit them only now and then. The Hindu Marriage also stresses on the roles and duties of the newlywed bride. She has to win hearts of her new family with her behavior and household managing skills. She has to respect and love her husband and the family members and look after the needs. Her personal comfort takes second priority after marriage.
There are different types of ancient Hindu marriage and arranged marriage is the most popular one. In an arranged marriage of Hindus, as the name say, parents and elders of the family fix the alliances. Caste, horoscope, gotras and natal charts are important factors for finalizing a Hindu marriage. Other aspects like family background, appearance of the bride and financial status of the groom also come into play before fixing a Hindu marriage. The Hindu communities from the southern region of India allow marriage between cousins and relatives. This type of matrimonial relationship is though not applicable to the Hindu communities from the Northern region of India. It is taboo if cousins from the same family marry each other. They are driven away from the society and in some worse cases punished unto death.