A dharmic question! (fwd)

Jaldhar H. Vyas jaldhar at BRAINCELLS.COM
Tue Nov 13 23:44:58 CST 2001

> Hello sri Jaladhar,
> I am Ramkumar. a list member. I have a dharmic question. Please forward it
> to list as I want to know list members opinion.
> *********Begining of mail****
> Can a bramhin boy marry a Kshatriya woman? What are the prerequisites to be
> met if it can be done? What would be the status of offspring?
> I need satraic position with appropriate references.
> I need answers for this question as one of my dearest friend is deeply  in
> love with Kshatriya girl and he has asked my advise and hence this mail.

Take Manusmrti 3.12 for example:

savarNAgre dvijAtInAM prashaste darakarmaNi |
kAmatastu pravrttAnAmimAM syuH kramasho varaH ||

The commentator Kulluka Bhatta says this means for the Dvijas the first
marriage should be with someone of the same varna.  Other marriages for
the purpose of pleasure can be with one of an anuloma jati. (Brahmana male
- Kshatriya female is anuloma.)

Polygamy was practiced in former times.  Even then, Shri Manu says ones
dharmapatni should be of the same caste.  It is only a kamapatni who can
be otherwise.  However polygamy was never that common and public opinion
gradually  went against it.  The  Manusmrti itself warns against in a
later passage.  In the case of an addtitional marriage the rite prescribed
is called gandharva vivavah which is just establishment of agni and
the seven steps without any further rituals.  Children of such unions
would be of the same caste as the father.

If your friend really is interested in doing the right thing, he should
consider not just shastras like the one I quoted but shishtachara.  Have
our Acharyas condoned such behavior?  The answer is emphatically no.

But there is also the matter of "love" to consider.  Most people nowadays
get their ideas about human relationships from Bollywood not the shastras.
And in a battle between love and duty, Bollywood is very clear:  romantic
love wins everytime.  Those people have to think dramatically.  Who is
going to pay money to watch a woman mend her husbands socks or a father
take his daughter for swimming lessons?  In the real world though such
acts of commitment are more important than a Valentines card or running
through fields in the rain.  In the US, the latest statistics are that
almost 50% of marriages end in divorce.  It is not because American people
do not value the idea of marriage but many of them enter it with such
ridiculously inflated romantic notions.  When the sentiment ebbs or turns
out to be an illusion, there is no foundation so only a hollow shell
remains.  Indians should not be complacent and thin that kind of thing
won't happen to us.  I'm not suggesting a love marriage could never work
or a Dharmic one is always paradise, but statistically marriages built on
principles have a much better chance.  And Dharma provides a set of
principles which will serve one well in all stages of life.

Jaldhar H. Vyas <jaldhar at braincells.com>

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