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Marriage in Hinduism

The aims of Hindu marriage are said to be dharma, praja (progeny) and rati (pleasure). Through sex is one of the function of marriage it is given third place, indicating there by that it is least desirable aim of the marriage. To stress the lower role of sex in marriage, the marriage of a Sudra is said to be for pleasure only. The Sudra is considered to be a contemptible fellow who has no high purpose in life. Because the Sudra is despised, relations with a Sudra woman are viewed unfavorable through they can't be stopped. Consequently the brahmanic legislators enjoined that a sudra wife would be taken only for pleasure. This association of Sudra wife with sex is another way of indicating the proper place of sex in marriage. The institution of Hindu marriage occupies a prominent place in the social Institution of the civilized world. Hindu marriage can be defined as religions sacrament in which a man and woman are bound in permanent relationship for physical, social and spiritual purpose of dharma, procreation and sexual pleasure.

The Hindu marriage is not really a social contract but a religious sacrament. It results in a more or less permanent relationship between a man and woman. Their aim is not nearly physical pleasure but spiritual advancement. It is not merely an individual function but has a serial enjoyment of sexual pleasure. It exhibits unintegral approach to this serial institution. The main aim of Hindu marriage can be summarized as follows.

(i)Fulfillment of dharma or religions duties: According to the Hindu scriptures marriage is a basic of all religion activities. In the words of K.M Kapadia"marriage is primarily for the fulfillment of duties; the basic aim of marriage was dharma".

(ii) Procreation: In Hindu families the child is given a very important place. According to Riga Veda, the husband accepts the palm of wife in order to get a high breed progeny. According to manu, the chief aim of marriage is procreation Mahabarat has also maintained the same view.

(iii)Sexual pleasure: The Hindu scriptures have compared the sexual pleasure with the relation of divine bliss. According to vatsyanyan sexual pleasure is the chief in aim marriage.

As marriage is said to be sacred it is irrevocable, other parties to the marriage can't dissolve it at will. Each is bound to the other until the death of either of them and the wife is supposed to be bound to her husband even after his death. Concept of marriage, that it is, indissoluble, is a lofty one because it means that the husband and wife after marriage age to adjust their tastes and temper their ideas and interest, instead of breaking with each other when they find that these differ. Hindu marriage, thus viewed, is not an ordinary affair where in the weakness of flesh plays a dominant part. On the contrary, demands of personal gratification and pleasures are subordinated, and the individual is called upon to make marriage a success by means of compromise and adjustment. Despite the fact that marriage was considered to be irrevocable the two partners were not regarded as beings equal in their obligations, privileges there was obvious discrimination made in their responsibility towards each other and in responsibility for succession of marriage.

It is a sacrament also in another sense. A Hindu male goes through the performance of several sacraments during the course of his life. Which begins with the laying of the fetus and end with the cremation of his body. Their importance in Hindu life can be understood from the fact that while in the early law cremation was prescribed for a child who had completed two years, in the later law it was enjoined in the case of a child who had undergone the sacrament of tonsure. Similarly, marriage is said to be essential for woman because that is the only sacrament that can be performed for her.

Even in the performance of religious duties the wife was more of a passive partner and was generally selected from a family, which did not neglect the performance of sacred rites. Marriage was a serious duty towards the family and the community and there was little idea of individual interest. The social background provided by the authoritarian joint family, and caste with its dominion small spheres of life, afforded no scope for the recognition of any personal factor, individual, interest or aspiration, in the relations between husband and wife.Dharma, Artha, Kama and even moksha are some of the guiding factors of Hindu marriage. Attainment of lines is also the main object of a married life. A man is only half of a whole unless he is not married. Marriage is also essential according to Hindu scriptures because only by entering a matrimonial alliance with opposite sex, a man can enter into grahs thaskram, and it is only this asharma where he is allowed to practice dharma, artha, kama and mokhsa.On the other hand, marriage is considered to be self-contented social institution. But is not a social institution in the same sense in which family is Mr. Sumner has rightly pointed out that the term marriage has always been elastic and variable usage

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