history of mairrage
  • I have always been intrigued on the marriage and its history, this is a great place to get the views on it :-)

    very different....

    Now this book on amazon, opens a very crucial topic :-)


    PS: I am not a tiger woods fan :-)

    - R
  • Marriage is a social institution. Without marriage it would be chaotic out there. We will descend to our true animal behavior. Finding mate could be violent and the family structure, if any, would be far different from what we have.
  • Good explanation, but marriage in specific structure has been around only a few years now. There were different types of marriage and it was not chaotic earlier though.

    We have never actually conquered nature in ourselves to eliminate the animal behavior anyways.

    Many places of ancient history, even mahabharata starts with a ghandrarva type relation. Reading through notes, it looks like women had more command than men prior to these marriage times.

    - R
  • What do you mean by "only a few years now"? Are you talking in terms of centuries or millennia?

    It does not matter what types of marriages existed or are now. Humans have this blanket called "civilization" on us that suppresses our intrinsic animal behavior. Some could argue humans have the intrinsic behavior to cloth themselves by civilization because of evolution. There would be some truth to that too.

    There is a school of thought that thinks marriage is nothing but social regulation of sexual unions.
  • Don't know how much time i will have for this most interesting debate but throwing in two cents in favor of Ravi said. There are many types of union in scriptures Mahabharata and Ramayana. Actually very few are legalised marraiges. The Mahabarata has unions purely for purpose of childbirth such as Veda Vyasa with Bheeshma's brothers that started the Kaurava/Pandava lineage, and of course all of Kunti's children were born out of celestial unions completely unconnected to her 'marriage'.

    Almost all Rishis such as Vishawamitra and his grand daughter Shakuntala had consensual unions not 'marriages'. Even before british invasion states like Kerala had systems where women and men lived together and the man left the house if their relationship was over. Anyone with keralite ancestry if you trace it back far enough there were times when most women had multiple partners. Devadasis and their clan were never married until very recently when the term and lifestyle were abolished.

    Marriage as it exists now single man to woman is largely an introduction from the west although partly it existed back the. If without marriage life was 'uncivilised' most of our society was uncivilised.
  • Another way of looking at marriage is essentially a social consensus for two individuals to have sex. Whether it is one night stand or for their entire life. Rituals or ceremonies are just colorful additions.

    There are a bunch of books on the subject of "Evolution of Marriage". There is one Full View too that possibly could be downloaded.

  • will it be intresting to note that India recognised this and there were 10 types of marriages like Gandharvam, ( Kalavu in tamil) baisasam, rakshasam etc

    In fact practises like giving son to a dead man's wife to keep the "Vamsam" was allowed.

    Then finally the Brahmaniyum ( Karpu in tamil) was accepted as a way of life.

    But this system started to be widely practised ( ie Brahmanium/Karpu) from sangam ages/puranic ages.

    This is more to do with explosion of poulation. The evolution of marriage should be linked to increase in population. The earlier system focussed only on incresaing the population.
  • ure their genetics from lasting more than anything else.

    A few years = even a hundred or so.

    As Malathi pointed out, many of ancient Indian culture is formed out of such 'animal' behavior.

    Dasaratha had more than one wife whereas his son had one wife, Vasudeva had one wife whereas his son has documented atleast two and Panchali had 5 husbands.

    Were Pandavas uncivilized ?

    This marriage format is somewhat in medieval times. Am more curious as to how this 'thali' concept and ammi / arunthathi came into play...

    Definitely not prescribed in sangam lit is it :)

    - R
  • Dear Friends:

    Intrestingly the mail item in Hindu Marriage is Saptapati, which is actually a Oath taken by the couples to be friends and share happy and sarrow together. That is the main event.

    It is taken in Sanskrit becasue the document should be standard across.

    Without knowing the concepts many people ( not this forum) critisise the Hindu Marriage.
    As for as external symbols are concerned:
    Thali is in Purananuru.

    Arundati in Silappadigaram.

    Metti was for men.

    Thali means the leaf of Palm in sanskrit.

    As a refernce a. It is in Purananuru where somebody removes it after the thalaivans death.

    The andal's Nachiyar Thirumozhi has detailed the marriage process but she has not mentioned Thali. There is another ref in Soundarya Lahari ( Gale rehadistare) where Sankara describes the 3 lines in Devi'sneck to the sutra tied by siva during the marriage.

    Further details my members will be helpful.
  • Actually the Mahabharat makes subtle technical differences - Panchali had five husbands, she was married to all five of them. Kunti had six men in her life too but only one was her husband, ditto for Ambika/Ambalika, their 'husband' was different than the man who gave them children.

    Atleast in Mahabharat times this proves that marriage was some sort of a commitment not necessarily related to physical union and children perhaps commitment to be together long time and appear as a couple in public.

    Punjab also supposedly had a system where a woman was married to brothers in a family. In later days it was common to marry a woman's sister to her husband's brother if the sister died, this was fairly common in TN also.

    As regards 'thaali' there have been some discussions before. The 'thaali' is not mentioned in any epics, neither the Ramayana or Mahabharat mentioned it. In fact the Ramyana clearly says Rama wore a ring and Sita a head ornament as symbolic of their marriage. No problems with equality there!! Perhaps the thaali was among the first symbols of gender oppression and self made rituals.

  • To objectively look at the origin of marriage we must look at the kings and emperors throughout history. All of them had a harem, the women of which could not enter into sexual relations with anybody other than the king. But the king "married" only one of them who bore the legal heirs to the throne. I think marriage originated here probably tens of thousans of years ago. Polygamy was very common and even polyandry prevalent to some extent. But monogamy is a Western concept and was considered a virtue in ancient times. But conversely poly relationships were not considered sinful till recent times.
    Interestingly I feel polygamy is best suited for our society. The men benefit in the sense that once they become old and invalid the chances that at least one of their wives or children will take care of them is high. The women benefit in the sense that in case they lose their men by disinterest or death they can get the help of the other women married to their husband for bringing up the children together.
    It is a very shallow and modern concept to view marriage as a licence for sex. This one selfish idea has done more harm to all marriages than all other mistakes put together. Marriage, as our ancestors knew so well, is a partnership to bring forth great world citizens who will make their parents proud.
    Nice to contribute my ideas which I hope will find many counters out there.
  • You are looking at just a few hundreds of years. Marriages gained societal acceptance well before the Mahabharata days (even conservative dating takes it to more than 4000 years ago)

    So are you curious about the concept of marriage per se or the ceremonies attached to it?
  • Bingo !

    The current concept of marriage looks mostly like a one sided contract :-)

    This is kind of a difficult topic to tread, if breaking our superstition is a challenge, this is a way much more difficult thing to even digest.

    Love is totally different from marriage, that makes a stronger bond / commitment than the thread or ring or the 10 point matching done by our astrology (or as in eharmony.com :-) )...

    Something had seriously changed :-)

    - R
  • > In fact practises like giving son to a dead man's wife to keep the "Vamsam" was allowed.

    This is a BS concept, were the women subject to a question if they want to continue or did the society decide what the women wanted ?

    Karpu is more of the mind and not of body, if it were the body, kannagi would not have had an opportunity to do anything than to lite her husband pyre.

    Only eternal love can create such a massive energy (if at all that karpu burning madurai story is true) and not some one sided legal contract....

    - R
  • Looks that the women in royal household were forced to do whatever the society wanted ot it is only their stories recoprded.

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