Marriage is a legally and socially sanctioned union, usually between a man and woman, that is regulated by-laws, rules, customs, beliefs, and attitudes that prescribe the rights and duties of the partners. It is a sacred tie that cannot be broken. It is a relationship from birth to birth, it is a bond that continues after rebirth and death.
The concept of Hindu Marriage is the bond of relationship between husband and wife. It is the Union of two individuals as a couple. The Hindu marriage is totally based on rituals, traditions, and customs.
Concept of Marriage
The Hindu marriage is part of the Hindu Code Bill which was enacted by Parliament in the year 1955 as The Hindu marriage Act, 1955. The date of enactment was the 18th of May, 1955. The Law provides rights for both husband and wife, and for family satisfaction too and after that for their children to avoid family suffering and parental issues. In Hindu Marriage there is a tradition of gift and gifting a daughter to son-in-law is considered as the biggest gift and known as KANYADAN. Hindu Marriage is an ancient tradition which is followed since the Vedic Period to the modern world. There are 16 sacraments in Hinduism and a Sacred tie can’t be broken. According to Veda, a man is totally incomplete until he gets married and meets with his partner.
In the case of Shivonandh V. Bhagwant Humma.
The court observed that in Hindu Marriage sacraments has three main features:
1. It is an eternal Union.
2. It is a permanent union.
3. It is a holy union.
Section-2 of the Hindu Marriage Act, 1955 states that this act applies to any person who is a Hindu by birth or who has changed his/her religion and follows the Brahmo, Prarthana, or Arya Samaj. Any person who is a Buddhist, Jain, or Sikh also comes under this act. It also applies to any person living outside this territory except who is a Muslim, Christian, Parsi, or Jew by religion or it is proved that such person is being governed by Hindu law.
Who are considered Hindus?
The person by Religion or By Birth is considered Hindu.
- Hindu By Birth
Any person born in a Hindu family or has a Hindu father or mother such a person is considered as Hindu by birth. Any person born in any community apart from Muslim, Christian, Jews is also a Hindu.
- Hindu By Religion
The Mid period of Hinduism lasted from 500 to 1500 AD. Hinduism is the oldest religion. Any person who is a Hindu by religion or born in a Hindu family with a Hindu father or mother in any of its forms such as Virashaiva, a Lingayat or a follower of the Brahmo, Prarthana or Arya Samaj or any person who is a Buddhist, Jain, or Sikh is also a Hindu by religion.
Features of the Sacramental Hindu marriage
Hindu marriage is “a religious sacrament in which a man and a woman are bound in a permanent relationship for the physical, social and spiritual need of dharma, procreation and sexual pleasure.”
There are three characteristics of the sacramental nature of marriage:
1. It is an enduring bond of the husband and wife which is permanent and tied even after death and they will remain together after the death.
2. Once it is tied cannot be untied.
3. It is a religious and holy union of the bride and groom which is necessary to be performed by religious ceremonies and rites.
In Shastri’s Law, there is a description of Valid and Permanent Marriage and it has three forms:
1. Brahmas Marriage
2. Gandharva Marriage
3. Asura Marriage
A Brahma marriage is where a boy can get married once he has completed his studenthood or Brahmacharya. Brahma marriage has the most supreme position of the eight types of Hindu matrimony.
According to Apastamba Ghyansutra, ancient Hindu literature, Gandharva marriage is a method of marriage where the woman chooses her husband. They meet each other of their own accord, consent to live together, and their relationship is consummated in copulation born of passion.
When a man (groom) carries away a woman (bride or maiden) after giving wealth as may be sought by her father on the plea to recover the money spent on her upbringing, it is called Asura marriage. This type of marriage amounts to purchasing the bride by paying a price to her kinsmen.
According to Section-7 of the Hindu Marriage Act, 1955
There are functions or Ceremonies which are organized during Hindu marriage.
Section-7 states that “A Hindu marriage may be solemnized in accordance with the customary rites and ceremonies of either party thereto.” Where such rites and ceremonies include the Saptapadi (that is, the taking of seven steps by the bridegroom and the bride jointly before the sacred fire), the marriage becomes complete and binding when the seventh step is taken.
Validity Of Hindu Marriage
In Hindu marriage Act, 1955 under Section-5 deals with a Valid marriage that shall be solemnized between two individuals who are Hindus but there are some terms and conditions which are must for Valid Hindu Marriage.
- either party has a spouse living at the time of the marriage;
- At the time of the marriage, neither party~
- Is incapable of giving a valid consent to it in consequence of unsoundness of mind; or
- Though capable of giving valid consent, has been suffering from mental disorder of such a kind or to such an extent as to be unfit for marriage and the procreation of children; or
- Has been subject to recurrent attacks of insanity;
- The bridegroom has completed the age of twenty-one years and the bride, the age of eighteen years at the time of the marriage;
- The parties are not within the degrees of prohibited relationship unless the custom or usage governing each of them permits marriage between the two;
- the parties are not sapindas of each other unless the custom or usage governing each of them permits marriage between the two;
There are some essential features of Section-5
Sec. 5-(1) provide the Rule of Monogamy.
Sec. 5-(2) provides the capacity for Marriage.
Sec. 5-(3) provide the right age of couples to marry.
Sec. 5(1) Rule of Monogamy
It is the marriage practice wherein one man is married to one woman at a time. It is not permissible to have two living wives at the same point in time, which amounts to bigamy. It is punishable under section-494 of the Indian Penal Code.
Sec. 5(ii) capacity for Marriage
A person should not be of unsound mind. For marriage consent is necessary for valid marriage if a person Will not be able to think of their right or wrong or a person is suffering from a mental disorder then it is unfit Marriage.
Sec. 5(iii) Valid age to marry
The valid age of a girl for marriage is 18 or above and a boy’s valid age for marriage is 21 or above.
There is a various process in which Validity of marriage take place
Section-8 deals with the Registration of Hindu marriages
(1) to facilitate the proof of Hindu marriages, the State Government may make rules providing that the parties to any such marriage may have the particulars relating to their marriage entered in such manner and subject to such conditions as may be prescribed in a Hindu Marriage Register kept for the purpose.
(2) Notwithstanding anything contained in sub-section (1), the State Government may, if it is of an opinion that it is necessary or expedient so to do, provide that the entering of the particulars referred to in sub-section (1) shall be compulsory in the State or any part thereof, whether in all cases or in such cases as may be specified, and where any such direction has been issued, any person contravening any rule made on this behalf shall be punishable with a fine which may extend to twenty-five rupees.
(3) All rules made under this section shall be laid before the State Legislature, as soon as may be, after they are made.
(4) The Hindu Marriage Register shall at all reasonable times be open for inspection and shall be admissible as evidence of the statements therein contained and certified extracts therefrom shall, on application, be given by the Registrar on payment to him of the prescribed fee.
(5) Notwithstanding anything contained in this section, the validity of any Hindu marriage shall in no way be affected by the omission to make the entry.
Section-11 of the Hindu Marriage Act, 1955 deals with Void Marriage
Any marriage solemnized after the commencement of this Act shall be null and void and may, on a petition presented by either party thereto 2 [against the other party], be so declared
by a decree of nullity if it contravenes any one of the conditions specified in clauses (i), (iv), and (v) of section 5.
Section-12 of the Hindu marriage act, 1955 deals with Voidable marriage
A marriage that is voidable on either side of the party is known as voidable marriage. It will be valid unless the petition for invalidating the marriage is made. This marriage is to be declared void by a competent court under the Hindu Marriage Act, 1955.
Edited by: Harsh Nath Tiwari
Approved by:Purnima Ojha
* Bare Act of Hindu marriage Act, 1955.
* Wikipedia of forms of marriages in Hindu.