(Last Updated on : 06/03/2013)
Marriage has been considered as an inevitable eventuality in Garuda Purana
. It is said that the bride and the groom must not be blood relatives upto the ninth generation on the father`s side and upto the seventh generation on the mother`s side. A Brahmana, Kshatriya
should never get married to a Shudra. A Brahmana bride groom can be married to a Brahmana or Kshatriya or Vaishya bride. Again a Kshatriya bride groom can be married to Kshatriya or a Vaishya bride. However a Vaishya bride groom can only marry a Vaishya bride. A shudra groom can marry a shudra bride.
Marriages are of different types. For instance in a Brahma marriage, the bride groom is invited and is given a decked up bride. A son born out of this union would go to heaven for twenty-one generations of his ancestors on his father`s side and his mother`s side. In a daivya marriage a daughter is given to the priest of yajna. Arya is a marriage where two cows are accepted from the bride groom as bride-price and the bride is then handed over with these cows. A son who is born out of this union is rescued from hell for fourteen generations of his ancestors on his father`s side and mother`s side. A son who is born out of a prajapatya marriage would not go to hell for six generations. In a prajapatya marriage a bride is handed over to a groom with the words. When a bride-price is accepted for the bride it is an asura marriage.
A gandharva marriage takes place when the bride and the groom fall in love with each other and get married. When a bride is kidnapped by the groom and married it is the Rakshasa form of marriage. However the bride must be willing to marry. In case if she is unwilling and is married through deception it is the paishacha form of marriage.
For the Brahmana caste Brahma, daivya, Arya and prajapatya marriages are recommended. As far as Kshatriyas are concerned Gandharva and Rakshasa marriages are recommended. Asura marriages are prescribed for Vaishyas and paishacha marriages are recommended for Shudras. While Marriage takes place a Brahmana bride will only hold the bridegroom`s hand. However in case of a Kshatriya bride she would hold the groom`s hand as well as in addition hold an arrow in her hand. A Vaishya bride will hold a horsewhip in her hand.
Woman is looked after by her father when she is young. She is looked after by her husband when she is a woman and by her son when she becomes an old lady. Despite such instructions there have been contrary. This has led to birth of mixed -breeds. A son who has a Brahmana father and a Kshatriya mother is called a murddhabhishikta. A son who has a Brahmana father and a Vaishya mother is called an ambashtha. The son of a Brahmana father and a shudra mother is called a nishada. A son of a Kshatriya father and a Vaishya mother is called a mahishya. A son of a Kshatriya father and a shudra mother is called an ugra and the son of a Vaishya father and a shudra mother is known as a karana. The child of a Brahmana mother and a Kshatriya father is called suta. The child is called vaideha if the father is a Vaishya and chandala if the father is of a shudra caste. The child of a Kshatriya mother and a Vaishya father is called Magadha and kshatta if the father is of shudra caste. The progeny of a Vaishya mother and a shudra father is known by the name of ayogava.