MARRIAGE

Reasons for Marriage: Marriage is a social custom that has been playing a unifying role between the cultures since antiquity. Marriage lays the foundation for a family. Hence, selection of girls for marriage purpose must be done cautiously and carefully. Acharya Vatsyayan dictates that a girl obtained from the same caste, community or class with religious ways proves helpful in attaining Dharma (religion), Artha (wealth) and Kama (pleasures). Children begotten by such a lady gain acceptance and respect in the society.

Suitable Girl: A girl of noble ancestry and three or more years younger than the boy is suitable by all means for the marriage. Sweet conduct, attractive figure, beauty, character and good family background are other things that count in the selection of a suitable girl. She must have a well- balanced proportion among her body parts like hair, teeth, nails, eyes etc. She must not be afflicted with any serious diseases.

Girls who doze or cry loudly during the marriage rituals, or run away from the house, whose names do not sound good, girls who are deliberately concealed before the actual time of marriage are not at all suitable for marriage.

Consideration of Relation: Even if you have found suitable girl to marry with, consideration of her relations is very important. It is said that, friendship lasts with people of equal standard. This logic also applies well to the marriage because marriage is a life-long friendship. One should therefore strive to select a girl from his similar status. Even if he has got a girl from the high society, he should bring her to his own home after marriage and should not agree to stay with his in-laws in any case.

Coaxing of the girl: Even after marriage, the groom cannot enjoy physical intimacy with the bride without winning her confidence. This chapter describes the ways to win the confidence of the newly wed bride.

Abidance to celibacy for three nights: The bride and groom must follow celibacy for three days after the marriage. During this period, they should sleep separately on the floor, take plain food without salt or sour. Thereafter they should take bath, adorn themselves with ornaments, watch games and treat the guests.

Girl fit for coition: To decide this point, one should pay attention to three things. 1) Age of the girl. 2) Development of her body and 3) Her monthly periods. Exponents of Kamasutra advocate marriage of a twelve years old girl with a twenty-five years old boy. They also say that intercourse of a sixteen years old girl by twenty years old boy produces a healthy baby. Those who have nothing to do with education may marry well before attaining an age of twenty. Experts advocate that a girl can be mated with immediately after her first menses. If the body of a girl is healthy and sound, there is no harm in intercourse at an age of twelve, experts say.

In the present modern age, population explosion has taken the magnitude of the crisis. Hence, one should follow the guidelines of his country's constitution regarding marriage. Similarly, if one intends to have healthy children, he should not opt for young girls for marriage. In India, the constitution fixes twenty-one years for boys and eighteen years for girls as the marriage age. Medical experts also agree at these ages. But in big cities, people usually get married in advance age.


GANDHARVA VIVAH (Love Marriage): Marriages are made in heaven but there are innumerable hurdles in their way on earth. First of all, it is the parents of the girl who put the greatest hurdle. Despite knowing that it is virtually impossible to get a cent percent groom, they continue to chase a ‘wild goose' for their daughter. In their efforts, such parents miss scores of suitable boys who could be well-matched grooms for their daughters. If the girl wishes, love marriage could be a good way out for her. Similarly, there are lot of barriers in the marriage of poor but deserving boy. A rich but dependent boy likewise faces many hurdles in his marriage. In all these situations, love marriage is the best option.

Love Marriage better than abduction: Love marriage is the best option for those poor but deserving people who are being denied of marriage. Such people don't need to venture far and wide in search of a bride. They may find one in their neighbourhood provided that they have a vision. Almost, everywhere on earth, whether in big cities or in a small village, there are girls who aspire someone in their vicinity. But the parents of such girls have serious objection over the relation of their daughters with someone they dislike. However, if the girl is ready and the boy is sure of his capacity to feed his family, love marriage is the best way out for them. There is literally no harm if the girl herself selects a groom for her.

CONDUCT OF MARRIED WOMAN: After marriage, a young girl has to sacrifice most of her liberties in favour of her husband. Traditionally, two kinds of married women have been recognized: The sole wife and one of the harems.

First of all, a married woman must win the confidence of her husband. She should strive to keep her husband free from worries and take charge of internal and external arrangements. She should control the expenses also. Keeping the house clean, worshipping in the temple of the house at right time, proper regard for the in-laws etc. are also the duties of a married woman.
If there is proper space around the house, the married woman must take interest to develop a kitchen garden and a lawn on this space and maintain them. She should not accompany the wretched women. She should cook the food, which her husband likes most. She should also serve her husband herself more and more rather than asking the servants to do so. She should check the squandering husband wisely. She should not attend social functions without her husband's permission. She should retire every night to bed after her husband but wake up earlier.

When the husband is angry, she should not tempt to argue with him. She should maintain proper secrecy regarding the wealth and private things of the family. She should welcome and treat her husband's friends properly. When the husband is setting out for a long journey, she should wear only those insignia that show good fortune. During all the period of her husband's migration, a married woman must live a plain life under the supervision of her mother and father-in-law.

CONDUCT OF A WOMAN IN A HAREM

Even in the modern age, there are people who keep a harem. At some places, this practice has even religious acceptance. Islam is one such modern religion that permits a man to keep a harem. There are many reasons for a man to keep many wives. Foolishness, characterless-ness, no children, birth of female children repeatedly or mere fickle mindedness of the male are a few important reasons. But regardless of reasons, the first wife, who had come to live with that man with high hopes, feels dejected. Such a woman must behave carefully not only with her husband but also with his other wives as well. If she had been accused of being characterless, she must act with high moral to wash this blame cleverly. Similarly, she must try to do away with the fickle mindedness of her husband. If she is infertile, she must herself request her husband to make second marriage. Such behaviour will maintain her honour. In such case, the first wife must treat the second one as her sister. She should show more love for the sons of the second wife.

CONDUCT OF THE SECOND WIFE

The second wife should regard the first one as her mother. She must share all her dowry with the first wife and use them only with her permission. She should share all her secrets with the first wife and seek her permission for sleeping with the husband. She should also guard the secrets of the first wife. She must show more love for children of the first wife. While having privacy with the husband, she must serve him dedicatedly. She must not show her superiority to the other wives even if she manages to get more love from her husband. If the first wife is not so fortunate or infertile, she must show kindness for her and beg her husband to follow suit.

REMARRIED WIDOWS: There are two categories of remarried widows. 1) Those who have experienced intercourse and 2) Those who have not had an intercourse. Women belonging to the second category are equal to the virgin girls. Hence, they deserve remarriage with proper rituals. Women belonging to the first category can be accepted as wives without proper rituals. In a society such women are designated as concubines. Their behaviour is primarily driven by sexual desires. In many societies, widows are remarried to the younger brother of their husband provided that he is unmarried. Such marriage ensures stability in the life of the widow. For the widows, who have no such option before them, Acharya Vatsyayan dictates that they should occupy the house of a well to do man who doesn't have many liabilities. If unsatisfied, she may change her husband but in any case, she must behave affectionately with the family members of the man. Such a widow can use her sexual skills to please the man of her choice.

UNFORTUNATE WOMEN: There are women who have to share their husband with other women. As such, she has to tolerate repeated insults, not only from her husband but also from co-wives. Such a woman must try to develop intimacy with the woman who is most beloved to her husband. She must also serve the children of her husband like a maid. She should try to win the favour of her husband's friends and show them, her loyalty for the husband. Whenever such a woman gets a chance to enjoy intimacy with the husband, she must behave like an efficient prostitute. If her husband loves a woman outside his marriage, she must facilitate their meeting.