Matrimony is a sacred communion of two people, a bind for two families, and a unity of culture. This is one of the most celebrated occasion in India, aside from the different national holidays celebrating life and religiosity. It is an event that has deep fundamentals and rooted in history.
And to better understand the evolution and the splendor of Indian Matrimonials, we must go back to the earliest record and practice of marriage.
India is a country noted for its religion and people of different background, languages and the arts. But wherever you go, there will be something common to them. This is perhaps due to a common ancestral origin.
The caste system, affected the type of Indian Matrimonials that one couple can arrange. The olden text of Manusmriti, written by the philosopher Manu, describes the eight types of Hindu Matrimonials celebrated within:
The Brahma Vivaha is considered as the highest rank. This only happens if the male marries after completing the Brahmacharya Asram. This is the stage of learning and apprenticeship.
The Daiva Vivaha ranks second and a stage when the female’s parent (bride to be) looks for the suitable groom. At times the groom is a sage.
The Arsha Vivaha, which is similar to Daiva Vivaha, the female marries a sage, but with a dowry or gift.
Gandharva Vivaha is when the matrimonial is due to love. This means that the couple met, dated and decided to get married.
Other types of Indian Matrimonials are Asura Vivaha, Rakshasha Vivaha and the Paishacha Vivaha. They are considered low in rank because of the way matrimonial occur. Some of the reasons of marriage are the female being forced to marry the male that resulted from abduction, as payment for a gift, or illegal seduction.
Vedic Period – The Medieval Age
Written in the Vedic texts is how the Indian Matrimonials are done. During the fourth century, arranged marriage is already considered as the foundation of the marriage system. This is the period where the male’s parents search for the bride and propose to the her parents. This could be to form an alliance, or for political and social reasons. And the date of the marriage is confirmed by the soon to be couple’s birth charts.
Due to the influences of the different societies, such as the West meeting the East, and the Industrialization Age, Indian Matrimonials have undergone several changes as well. But, the virtues and the practices remained intact.
For example, arranged Matrimonials are still practiced and is the most common way to get married. The families, especially the parents, still play a very important role in finding the suitable bride. Although recent change is that the girl’s family can also look for the suitable guy.
Love marriages are becoming popular, due to influences from other culture. Acceptance of such concept is still in question, but is growing in numbers. And due to different Indian matrimonial sites present, a new horizon has opened for a person to choose their future partner.