(Last Updated on : 24-09-2009)
Prajapatya is a particular sacrifice performed before appointing a daughter to raise issue in default of male heirs. The father gives away his daughter to a suitor on the distinct understanding that they should both perform their public and religious duties together. The father, here, obtained some sort of bond from the bridegroom, who himself came forward as the suitor for marriage.
Asvalayana defines Prajapatya as the form of marriage where the both father and bridegroom performs their duties together. Gautama and Manu also believed in this philosophy of Prajapatya. The very name Prajapatya suggests that the pair entered the solemn bond for discharging their debts to Prajapati, that is, for procreating and bringing up children.
The most practical side of this method is brought out by Devala, who regards Prajapatya as a marriage by fixing conditions. This is similar to a modern pre-nuptial agreement where the rights of the husband and the wife are equally well secured. According to the Dharmasastra, it is inferior to the first three methods.
Prajapatya is also a sort of penance, eating once a day for three days in the mornings, once in the night for three nights, subsisting three days on food given as alms, and fasting three days more.
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