According to the holy texts there are eight different
types of Hindu marriages. According to many of these eight types of
marriages prevailed in ancient India. Among these eight types all dint
have religious procedure. The last four are not religiously defined and
most of the times were condemned.
According to the Brahma marriage if the boy completes
his Brahmacharya (student hood), he is eligible to be married. This
marriage is done when the father of the boy approaches the girl's
parents and asks for her hand. And then the Brahma marriage is arranged.
In this there is no system of dowry. One of the most important ritual of
this marriage is kanyadaan (where the father gifts his daughter to the
groom.) Among the eight types the highest type of marriage is the
In the case of Daiva marriage the girl is married to a
priest. In this kind of a marriage the girl's family look for a suitable
man for their daughter and if nobody turns up they go looking for a
groom in such places where a sacrifice is being conducted. According to
the religious texts Daiva marriage is inferior to Brahma marriage. It is
considered degrading for the woman to look for groom by herself or by
The third type of marriage is called Arsha marriage that
is marriage with the sages. In Arsha the bride is given in exchange for
two cows, which is received, from the groom. Marriages of this type are
said to have happened when the parents of the bride couldn't afford the
expense of their daughter's marriage at the right time. Without choice
the girl is married to an old sage. This is not considered as a noble
marriage at it involves monetary or business transaction.
This kind of marriage is almost similar to the Brahma
marriage. There are only two major differences, one is that there is no
monetary transaction and Kanyadaan is not a part of Prajapatya marriage.
In this marriage the bride's father goes in search for a groom for his
Next is Gandharva marriage, is like the modern day love
marriage. Here the bride and the bridegroom marry secretly without the
knowledge of their parents. It is not believed to be a right kind of
marriage as it is against the will of the parents so it is inferior kind
In the Asura kind of marriage the groom is not
considered suitable for the bride. He is in no way a match for the girl.
The bridegroom gives as much wealth as he can afford to the bride's
parents. So this system of marriage is more like buisness.
The Rakshasa marriage is done, when the groom fights
battles with the bride's family, defeats them and then carries her away
and then persuades her to marry him. This is not at all considered as
the right kind of marriage as it includes force.
Paishacha marriage is the last kind of marriage. It is
considered as the most inferior type of marriage. In this the girl is
married against her wishes. This kind of marriage is prohibited.
Hindu Wedding Ceremony
Hindu Wedding Ceremony has some special features that give it a distinct
look from the marriage ceremonies of other religions. Actually in Vedic
age, the life after marriage was considered to be an important stage of
life and called the 'Garhastha Ashrama'. This term means, setting up of
a separate family unit
There are several rituals, through which the Hindu wedding ceremony
occurs. Two People who are said to be compatible are brought together.
Through the wedding ceremony they get into the form of a lifelong
relationship at a ceremony called marriage. This is a new stage and
responsibility as a householder.
The actual rituals that are performed in a Hindu wedding ceremony are
different from region to region and usually take several hours to
The Phases of Hindu Wedding Ceremony
Vara Satkaarah - this ceremony constitutes the welcome of
the bridegroom and his relatives at the entrance of the wedding hall
where the priest chants a few sacred mantras and the bride's mother
blesses the groom by applying Tilak made of vermilion and turmeric
Madhuparka - this ceremony constitutes the welcome of the
bridegroom at the altar. The bride then offers a mixture of yogurt and
honey to the groom as a sign of purity. The bride then greets the
groom by a garlanding him and the groom reciprocates it.
Kanya Dan - in this ceremony the father of the bride gives
away his daughter to the groom. The father pours out a little of
sacred water which symbolizes the giving away of his daughter to the
bridegroom. This ceremony is done between the chanting of sacred
Vivah-Homa - this sacred fire ceremony is done to ensure
that all auspicious undertakings of the marriage start in an
atmosphere of purity and spirituality.
Pani-Grahan - in this ceremony the groom and the groom
stand opposite to each other. The groom holds the right hand of the
bride in his left hand. He recites some Vedic recitations praying for
a long life and a long life.
Pratigna-Karan - in this ceremony the bride and the groom
walk round the fire, with the bride leading, and make promises of
loyalty, love and fidelity to each other.
Shila Arohan - in this ceremony the bride's mother helps
the bride to symbolically step onto a stone. This in other words is
preparing her for a new life.
Laja-Homah - the bride in this ceremony offers rice to the
Gods for their blessings. During the ceremony the palms of hers are in
those of the groom.
The Mangala suthra Dharana- this ceremony marks the tying
of the sacred thread, which is a mark of either Vishnu or Shiva in the
neck of the bride by the groom.
Pradakshina - The bridegroom in this ceremony holds the
hand of the bride and circles the nuptial fire either seven times.
With this ceremony the marriage is considered complete, and they are
wedded into matrimonial bliss.
Saptapadi - the bride and the groom are symbolically
brought together through the Marriage knot. The groom's scarf is tied
to the bride's dress. Then they take seven steps, which represent
nourishment, strength, prosperity, happiness, progeny, long life,
harmony and understanding.
Abhishek - this ceremony is done by sprinkling water and
meditating on the sun and the pole star.
Anna Praashan - the couple first offers food to the fire
and then feed each other food which expressing mutual love and
Aashirvadah - this Hindu wedding ceremony marks the
blessings received by the couple from the elders. All the people
present in the ceremony express their happiness by showering flowers
on the couple thus completing the marriage.
How To Plan A Wedding ?
Planning a wedding is a very tough job. The best way to proceed is
through three steps called Organizing, planning and coordinating. There
is lots of pre wedding preparation, budgeting and planning that should
happen before the wedding day. It is usually the responsibility of the
parents of the bride and the groom to decide upon the wedding size
depending on the budget.
The bride and the groom should participate equally in the planning
process, as it is a joyous occasion. Now a days, there is an huge
increase in the amount of money being spent on weddings. This has also
led to an interest of deviating from the common norms in the wedding
People who specialize in the field of wedding planning (wedding
planners) have increased in prominence. These professionals include
people like, event organizers, fashion designers, beauticians, make up
artist, hairstylists, and caterers.
There are lots of options available due to these specialized services
from a number of professionals and service providers. The wedding
ceremony size depends on the total budget of the wedding. So each stage
of planning is equally important and has to be done with utmost care.
The following are the areas where planning has to be done
The most important aspect is to include the whole family in the
event. If approval of the elders is available for the wedding then it
becomes a happy event not just for the bride and the groom but for
their respective families as well.
The second stage is to get the horoscopes matched with an
astrologer to determine an auspicious date for the wedding. The
ceremony usually takes place at the bride's house or at a hall
depending on the number of guests.
Try and include as many as possible among the 15 small rituals
that make up a Hindu wedding ceremony. Or, the ritual's can be chosen
according to the preferences of the bride and the groom.
Offer alternate entertainment to occupy the guests during the
wedding ceremony like food.
Videography and photography is essential for any wedding , to make
sure that it can be seen later. It is generally needed for all the
functions including pre wedding, main day and post wedding functions.
The Bridal Attire like saris, jewelry, dresses, Make-up, shoes,
lingerie, etc. and For the groom there is groom wear, men accessories.
Should be kept ready for the respective ceremonies.
Decoration of various kinds like, car decoration, lighting and
flowers not only at the wedding place but also at home have to be
taken care of.
Extra expenses like food, liquor, champagne, waiters, and caterers
and other miscellaneous expenses have to be taken care of.
Weddings are very expensive affairs. A foolproof budget plan is
very essential for any wedding so that one can realize well in advance
what they can afford. The other advantage of a well-planned wedding is
that, unnecessary expenses can be avoided. Wedding size should also be
decided according to the budget of the wedding.
Hindu Marriage Ideals and Commitment
Vedic Hindu marriage is not a contract between two persons of the
opposite sex. Marriage is viewed as a life long commitment of one wife
and one husband, and it is the strongest bond between a man and woman.
Hindus believe marriage as a mean to continue the family and there by
repay to his ancestors. Marriage is a way for learning many things in
life through experience. This is a path for spiritual growth.
According to Hindus, the alliance is a union of two families, as well
as the union between two individuals. The marriage ceremony will be
taking place in the presence of parents, relatives and friends. So, the
marriage becomes a social bond as well a commitment.
The idea behind the Hindu marriage is to grow in the shades of each
other, and not because of selfish motives. The concern for the family
can be reflected in the institution of marriage. The love and duty,
which is maintained for the existence of family, is the factor which
prevents break ups.
In Hinduism, man and woman are the two halves of the divine body. As
they are different, no question of inferiority or superiority arises
there. The duties of both man and woman had been defined by Shastras
(Hindu Scriptures) taking care of their physical and emotional status.
Maintaining the domestic peace and taking care of social interactions
are extremely important.
By nature, men have less capability of reserving feelings and
behavior than women. This is the reason why, Hindu women are supposed to
lead their husband by keeping the lustful tendencies under control.
After marriage, the woman who is loyal to her husband is called "Pativrata"
(Pati- husband; Vrata- vow). Another synonym for Pativrata is "Sati"-one
who preserves her Sattva (purity): physically, mentally and spiritually.