A dharmic question! (fwd) regarding anuloma vivaha

ravi chandrasekhara vadhula at YAHOO.COM
Thu Nov 15 22:35:58 CST 2001

Dear Jaldhar,

I am going to quote some books that refer to Manu
Smriti. Unfortunately, I know only minimal amount of
Sanskrit to read directly from Manu Smriti.    In the
book Dravidian Kinship by Trautmann, p.276:
nonisogamous marriages (not of same varna) should
occur only in the anuloma direction; that anuloma
marriages should be confined to secondary marriages,
but according to Trautmann (though he probably isnt an
authority on Dharma) Manu doesnt forbid  a woman of a
lower varna (as long as not a sudra)to be the
principal wife of a Brahmin male, and refers to Manu
Smriti 10.6.  Trautmann reports that Kane (History of
Dharmasastra) finds the following dharmasastras assign
progeny of anuloma unions to the paternal varna:
Baudhayana, Gautama, and Kautilya (Chanakya)'s
Arthasastra; but apparently dont specify if it applies
to primary or secondary marriages.

In Upadhyay's book, Brahmanas in Ancient India, p.160,
refers to Mahabharata Ch13 48.4 stating that a son of
Brahmana male with a Brahmana or Kshatriya female has
status equal to a Brahmana.  Also on this same page it
qoutes from Manu Smriti 10.41 that progeny of anuloma
unions among Dvijas are entitled to sacraments among

So the bottom line is can a Brahmin male  marry
another non-Brahmin, albiet a Dvija, as a primary wife
and the resultant children be Brahmins ? Manu staes
anuloma unions be limited to secondary marriages but
does he bar them as primary marriges, and if so are
the progeny the same as the father as in progeny of
secondary marriages are ?  It would be interesting to
know what the Shankaracharyas say.  In Sri
Chandrashekarendra Saraswati's Hindu Dharma at
www.kamakoti.org, there is no mention of
anuloma/pratiloma vivaha.  Also with regards to
Brahmin who wants to marry that Kshatriya girl, is she
truly a Kshatriya by birth or belongs to a family who
may be warriors or rulers but not Kshatriyas by birth;
eg; during British rule in India many rulers of small
kingdoms were Sudras.  Manu prohibits, as do all
Dharma sastras, prohibit a Brahmin marrying a sudra,
Harijan, or a foreigner and assigns progeny to woman's
varna or lower.

Dhanyavaad, Ravi Chandrasekhara MD
--- "Jaldhar H. Vyas" <jaldhar at BRAINCELLS.COM> wrote:
> On Wed, 14 Nov 2001, ravi chandrasekhara wrote:
> > Dear Jaldhar,
> >
> > Do the Shastras also accept anuloma vivaha where
> the
> > Kshatriya (or Vaisya) wife of a Brahmin male, to
> be
> > the primary and only wife, as long as she is too
> from
> > a Dvija (kshatriya or vaisya)family ?
> In the Manusmrti no.  It would take some research to
> see if other
> smrtikaras differed.
> It should be noted that the conduct of Rshis was
> recognized as being
> somewhat anomalous.  In this context you should look
> at the section of the
> Mahabharata where the five Pandavas ask to marry
> Draupadi.  King Drupada
> naturally looks askance at this highly unusual
> situation and a
> conversation ensues with Yudhisthira in which the
> cases of several Rshis
> are mentioned and whether they should be emulated or
> not is discussed.
> (I'm sorry I don't have a copy of the mula
> Mahabharata handy so I can't
> give you the exact reference.)
> --
> Jaldhar H. Vyas <jaldhar at braincells.com>

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