Marriage in Hinduism

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Hindu marriage harmonizes two individuals (mostly male and female) for ultimate eternity, so that they can pursue dharma (responsibility/duties), arth (meaning), and kama. It is a union of two individuals as spouses, and is recognized by liveable continuity. In Hinduism, marriage is not followed by traditional rituals for consummation. In fact, marriage is considered complete or valid even without consummation because the marriage is between two souls and it is beyond the body. It also joins two families together. Favorable colours are normally red and gold for this occasion.


  • In Hindu marriages, for instance, unlike the nuptials of Christianity, the priest does not perform the rituals, nor does he have the authority to declare the couple married; he acts only as the coach. The groom and bride themselves perform the ceremony. In other words, there is no external authority declaring them man and wife. The same do-it-yourself freedom is evident in other pursuits, such as yoga and meditation. Even in formal worship, the guidelines are meant for beginners, and these give way to increasing freedom as the individual becomes self-propelled in the spiritual journey without need for external authority.
    • Malhotra, R., & Infinity Foundation (Princeton, N.J.). (2018). Being different: An Indian challenge to western universalism.
  • Domestic felicity appears to be the rule among the Natives, and this IS the stranger when the customs of marriage are taken ll1to account, parents arrangll1g all such matters. Many Indian households afford examples of the married state in its highest degree of perfection. This may be due to the teachll1gs of the Shastras .... ".
  • Jacobi points out that the Grhya Sutras preserve a well-known custom according to which the husband points out the polestar (called dhruva 'fixed') to his newlywed wife and exhorts her never to forsake her home just as the polestar never changes its position. He concludes that these sutras preserve a memory of the ancient time when the polestar appeared stationary.
    • in Bryant, E. F. (2001). The Quest for the Origins of Vedic Culture : the Indo-Aryan migration debate. Oxford University Press. chapter 12


Muḥammad, A. K., & Pandit, K. N. (2009). A Muslim missionary in mediaeval Kashmir: Being the English translation of Tohfatu'l-ahbab. New Delhi: Voice of India. 116
  • I heard from many reliable persons and sources, in particular from Maulana Hafiz Baseer, that during the time I had been staying at Mazar-e-Salatin, Qadi Husayn Shirazi happened to be the Qadi of Kashmir. He had developed liaison with the ignominious Shaykh Shihab. Kashmiris called him Shaykhuíl- Islam. Later on, Qadiís daughter was married to the son of Shaykh Shihab.
  • On the occasion of the wedding feast, the Qadiís daughter, adorned as bride, was carried from the house of the Shaykh according to the customs and convention of the infidels prevalent in this land from the ancient times. At Shaykh Shihabís house, the bridegroom mounted a horse. About twenty to thirty beautiful but unveiled women, accompanied by some young men, mounted their horses and moved towards the river flowing through the city. In accordance with the custom and the traditions of the depraved infidels and corrupt villains, and as is the wont of the dissidents, many singing women and prostitutes walked ahead of the cavalcade, dancing, laughing and bursting into revelries. Men, women and spectators witnessed the procession in the town and moved along with it. Men and women of prominent families enjoyed the sight of this procession from housetops and walls or by sticking out their necks from the windows. A large crowd of people made up the procession. Now all this is despicable and disallowed (in Islamic faith) because it is a dirty innovation within the realm of infidelity. These practices are strictly unlawful and disallowed (in Islam). The procession finally arrived at the riverside at Mazar-e-Salatin.
  • Upon entering the premises of the burial ground of the Sultans and the governors (of Kashmir), I heard the sound of drums and flutes and the loud noise of people. I came out of my place and took seat in a house to the west of the procession scene. The clamour raised by the reveling crowds was terible. Some of my servants and attendants gave me the details of the proceedings. Some people from the city had taken their seats by my side. They related to me what they had seen these people do in the function and what type of rituals and customs of the infidels they had observed.
  • The bride and the bridegroom, along with some women, dismounted their horses on the bank of the river. Two defiled, dirty and wretched kafirs also came to the side of the bride and the bridegroom. These polytheists raised the infidelís thread (zunnar) from their impious and defiled bodies and wore it over their dress. One of the infidels took a tumbler in his hand and filled it with water. He recited some words of infidelity and polytheism, lifted the tumbler and poured water into the river from some height. After some time, the bridegroom took a sword in his hand and sliced the water from some height. The bride followed suit. The infidels continued reciting the words of sorcery. They filled the tumbler with water several times and continued the ritual, thus maintaining the customs of the infidels. They conveyed the rules and rituals of infidelity to the couple in a strange manner and made some exhortations in the language of the depraved in the hope that the couple would comply with and submit to the ways of the infidels. They performed strange acts, gestures, and rituals of infidelity for two hours. The rest of the procession, men, women and young people, all witnessed the proceedings from the Mazar-e-Salatin. A large crowd of men and women had come along with the dancing women to that place. These women vied with one another in gorgeous clothes, and in adornments and make up. They exchanged glances of joy and merry-making. Corrupt men, dirty youth and vagabonds of the city cast covetous glances on these women. They betrayed no sign of fear of God and His Prophet. The women also took great pleasure in exchanging pleasantries with unknown men present on the occasion. They smiled and expressed pleasure as they looked at them. The singing women and the prostitutes danced at the gate of the complex. It was an impassioned show of music and dance and a large crowd of cityís charlatans had assembled there. In the midst of all this dirty and despicable revelry, they came out from that place and headed towards the house of the Shaykh to repeat the proceedings.
  • No act of depravity was spared in the house of the Shaykh and the Qadi. Practices of infidels were performed in full. But, observance of these practices is not restricted to the house of the Qadi and the Shaykhuíl-Islam. Such atheistic and idolatrous practices continue to be observed in the houses of all scholars, theologians and leading personalities of this land (Kashmir). They observe all the festivals and feasts of infidels and polytheists. The family members of the elders and leading persons of this land, especially their womenfolk, do not do anything without the permission of the infidels and permission of astrologers.1 In fact, in all activities of daily life like eating, drinking, sleeping, rising from sleep, travel and rest, astronomers and polytheists have a role to play. This is why all scholars and men of learning in this land, high or low, nurse deep enmity and opposition to the people who believe in prayers and penance, purity and cleanliness. They have always indulged in inciting animosity and fanning opposition towards the people of heart and spirit. It is in their nature to be the sworn enemies of God-loving spiritualists. They have done all they could to perpetrate oppression against the spiritually-inclined Shaykhs and feel proud of their jealousies and prejudice against them. They have not spared efforts to poison them or get them killed. Shaykh Shihab, the wretch, sparked many disputes and confrontations with Amir Shamsuíd-Din. All this is because of expressed or unexpressed animus.
    • 116
  • I shall recount a story about the relations between the Qadi and the Shaykhuíl-Islam. I shall inform you of the perfidy and un-Islamic deeds of these people. This will give you a glimpse of the ways, deeds and conditions of the people of those lands. My house was situated on the bank of a stream in the city of Kashmir (Srinagar). Two learned men lived nearby. One was the Qadi of the city and the other was Shaykhuíl-Islam. They entered into matrimonial alliance between their children. The daughter of the one was given in marriage to the son of the other. The nuptial ceremony and the reception function were performed according to the customs of the innovators (bid at) 1 , the infidels and the heretics. Forty to fifty pretty women, clad in gorgeous costume and adorned with ornaments, came riding to that place. They were without a veil, and dismounted by the bank of the canal close to my residence. Imagine their shamelessness, notoriety, and disgrace, the like of which one does not find anywhere else in the world. Forty to fifty beautiful young damsels rode their horses along with males without displaying an iota of reservation. Female drummers, singers, prostitutes and flirts, all dancing and reveling, led the party with music flowing from long flutes. Menfolk of the town stood on both sides of the pathway besides onlookers who had taken vantage points on windows and balconies. Wicked people, charlatans and vagabonds among the young males also accompanied them to the bank of the canal. Two or three infidels and polytheists also came along with the bride and the bridegroom. They carried a glass filled with water. The bride and the bridegroom carried a sword in their hands and indulged in strange movements. They uttered the words (meaning mantras) of infidelity and polytheism and observed the rituals and customs of the infidels. The bride and the bridegroom also performed the rites and rituals of the infidels. In the feast, all customs of infidels and misguided people were fully observed.
  • A few days later, the Qadi and the Shaykhuíl Islam both hosted a feast at their respective residences. A large gathering of musicians and dancing girls came together on the occasion. Onlookers came from here and there and made a big crowd. These types of aberrations and detestable things of infidelity and heresy were freely observed in the house of the Shaykhuíl Islam and the Qadi. I have been a witness to all this. It shows the extent to which infidelity, aberration, corruption, anti-Islamic customs and irreligiosity were rampant in this land.
  • After listening to these details, the ulema, the learned and the elderly people of Samarqand expressed their regret and surprise. They bit their fingers in utter disappointment saying that owing to the irreligiosity of the ulema and the learned men as well as owing to the faithlessness of the nobles and men of authority, the place of Islam (daruíl-Islam), has been converted into a place place of battle (daruíl-harb). The city of Islam becomes the city of kafirs (heretics).
    • 174

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