[Advaita-l] On sagotra Marriages

Anand Jammalamadaka satchitjammalamadaka at gmail.com
Sun Jun 19 01:04:18 CDT 2011

While  we keep quoting several Nishedhas on sub marriages , we need to go
behind the such strictures to understand the spirit behind the same. Quite
often We quote rules of smrities sastras  to justify interpretations arrived
ages ago ( but relevant for those times ) without allowing  room for dynamic
interpretations , which in fact are implied in the basic formulation of such
directions .

 There are certain laid down rules as per smritis  which do not allow for
flexibility with the passage of times. They should be adhered to,
strictly.There are others which are inherently made flexible to
appropriately suit changing times within overall  boundaries of Dharma

    Prohibition of Sagotra marriages is one such rule allowing for
flexibility.Basically there were sagotra marriages performed as families
were restricted to Agraharas and there was not much of movement from place
to place. Sagotra marriages were causing both mental and physical damage to
the offspring. This was realised and then sagotra marriages were prohibited.
 However over a period of time  people( of same gotra -say ) started to
migrate to far off places. For example a family with Gotra Kaundinya in
Vizag can not link with a family of Kaundina in Guntur even after going back
in to the past( say- five to six generations) . The basic presumption for
prohibiting sagotra marriage may not hold good in the above case. It may be
noted that this concept of generations is taken up by ancestors for allowing
other type of marriages( Sapinda.. ) . If this is so it is more than
possible to permit Sagotra marriages by applying this concept of looking
back for three or more generations .
 It is high time that we do away with static interpretation of certain
principles, Dharmas when inherently they imply flexible applications with
changing times.
May be  we discuss sub item in true spirit without resorting to quoting
scriptures and others but based on related scientific principles.

-Satchit Anand Sastry

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