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Types of Hindu Marriage

The 8 Kinds of Marriage As Described by Manu

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Hindu Bride

A Hindu Bride

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There are eight types of marriage described in the ancient Hindu text of Manusmriti (Laws of Manu) or "Manava Dharma Shastra":

  • Rite of Brahmana (Brahma) - where the father of the bride invites a man learned in the Vedas and a good conduct, and gives his daughter in marriage to him after decking her with jewels and costly garments.

  • Rite of the Gods (Daiva) - where the daughter is groomed with ornaments and given to a priest who duly officiates at a sacrifice during the course of its performance of this rite.

  • Rite of the Rishis (Arsha) - when the father gives away his daughter after receiving a cow and a bull from the brightgroom.

  • Rite of the Prajapati - (Prajapatya) where the father gives away his daugher after blessing the couple with the text "May both of you perform together your duties"

  • Rite of the Asuras (Demons) - when the bridegroom receives a maiden after bestowing wealth to the kinsmen and to the bride according to his own will.

  • Rite of the Gandharva - the voluntary union of a maiden and her lover, which arises from desire and sexual intercourse for its purpose.

  • Rite of the Rakshasa - forcible abduction of a maiden from her home after her kinsmen have been slain or wounded and their houses broken open.

  • Rite of the Pisaka - when a man by stealth seduces a girl who is sleeping or intoxicated or is mentally disbalanced or handicapped.
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