(Last Updated on : 11/07/2013)
Marriage ceremonial laws in Manu Smriti denote that marriage is a religious duty that completes the purification and regeneration of the superior castes. A man of this caste receives clear directions in regards to a wife's choice. It is said that the groom should not marry a girl with reddish hair, nor one with excess limbs, nor one who is sick, nor one with too little or too much hair; nor one who speaks a lot and nor one who is red-eyed.
Others don'ts include one named after a constellation, a tree, or a river; a barbarous name, mountain's name, a bird, a snake, a slave, or any frightful object should not be married. He can marry a woman without defective or deformed limbs, have a pleasing name, whose walks like a flamingo or elephant, whose teeth and hair are moderate and whose body is soft. Evidently the marriage rites in Manu Smriti
are taken from older works.
The bridegroom offers an oblation standing who faces the west and takes hold of the bride's hands, while she sits and faces the east. He chants a few verses and leads her around and makes her mount the mill-stone. After spreading melted butter on the joined palms the bride's brother scatters parched grains of rice on them twice. After pouring the melted butter into the fire some Vedic verses are recited. The bride thereafter loosens her plaited hair-one on each side of the top of the bride's head and repeats the Vedic verses. Then bringing their heads together, one sprinkles them with water from the jar. That night the groom should remain in the house of an old Brahman woman whose husband and children are alive. When the bride sees the polar star she says 'May my husband live, and may I obtain children.' When the marriage ceremonies have been completed by him, he should give the bride's dress to one who knows the Surya-sukta and provide food to the Brahmans. They should bless him as well.
After the completion of the ceremony the bridegroom enters upon the endless round of ceremonies. There are five chapters dedicated to domestic ceremonies in regards to birth and treatment of children and so on.