Marriage during that time was always desired with worthy bridegrooms. Dowry system was practised and ornaments, dress and wealth were given as bride price. It is noted that King Svanaya had married his ten daughters to Kakshivan and gave him as dowry. During marriage sports, amusements, song, dance, music, and feast were organised. The bride and grooms dressed themselves elegantly. Both bigamy and polygamy were practised among kings and other rich men. There is an instance where the ten Pracheta brothers had married a common wife.
Remarriage was a prevalent custom then. A woman is allowed to remarry only under certain conditions where her husband left her for asceticism before consummation, where he turned insane or fell from religion or became impotent. Such marriages however were considered as inferior alternatives and rarely practised by higher classes. The higher classes were allowed to marry 'good wives' from inferior class but the later was not allowed to do so. Union with women belonging to upper classes was a punishable offence and their offspring was considered as degradable. Marriage was allowed in sagotra, i.e. kinsmen. Girls were mostly married to men older to them. A man was allowed to marry a second wife if his wife not procure male child. According to certain norms a barren wife could be deserted in the tenth year while one bearing daughters in the 12th year. Abandonment did not signify divorce as the first wife was still maintained in the family with all respect.
Among the early Indo-Aryans, early legislators permitted exogamy, i.e. marriage outside the clan. Hence eight kinds of marriage were allowed:
i) Brahma Marriage-here the father pours out a libation of water and hands out his daughter to a suitor, a student.
ii) Daiva Marriage-here the father adorns his daughter with ornaments and hands out her to an officiating priest while sacrifice is being executed.
iii) Arsha Marriage-in this marriage the father gives his daughter for a cow or bull.
iv) Prajapatya Marriage-here the father gives his daughter to the suitor saying, 'Fulfil ye the law conjointly'.
v) Gandharva Marriage-in this a lover takes away a loving girl. This custom was earlier prevalent in the country of Gandhara.
vi) Kshatra Marriage-here a bridegroom forcibly takes away a girl of his choice by fighting her relatives by strength of arms.
vii) Manusha or Asura Marriage-in such a marriage a suitor buys a girl from her father.
viii) Paisacha Marriage-here the suitor embraces a woman deprived of her consciousness and the girl embarrassed has to marry him.
Of all the forms of marriage the Brahma marriage is considered the most superior form of marriage. In it the wife brings with her dowry for the husband. She shares the same status like that of her husband and occupies a respected position in her husband's house.
The eight forms of marriage maintained the pristine purity of the Indo-Aryan blood. Aryan husbands were usually married to Aryan women but there are instances in the Yajur Veda and in even in a Brahmana work that the non-Aryans were also admitted into the Aryan race by free admission or by inter-marriage. There are instances showing that princesses married sages and the daughters of rishis also married kings. For example, Devahuti had married sage Kardama while Sukanya, the daughter of Saryati and granddaughter of Manu had married Chyavana. Again, Degayani daughter to Sukra married the lunar king, Yayati.
It is discussed in the Vedas that generally the people of that age were happy, honest, straightforward and honest. All lived peacefully and it was said that people lived to a good old age termed as 'Satayur-bai purushash' (the age of man is hundred years) by Rig Veda.
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