Saturday, April 2, 2011

Gandharva marriage : what is gandharva vivaah

Gandharv Marriage: What is Gandharv Vivaah
Time to time, in the Ancient Nepali texts we keep hearing about a marriage method called Gandharv Vivaah (Gandharv Marriage), therefore here is a little resource to explain what Gandharv Vivaah really is.
In simple words, Gandharv Marriage can be considered to be Love marriage, as when the bride and groom don’t take consent of their parents, the rituals can not be done, so an exchange of the marital Garland marks the marriage.
Gandharv Marriage was not so widely practiced in Ancient Nepal  as mostly the marriages were done under the Brahma Vivaah method, where a family found a suitable bride for their girl and upon their consent, the Marriage was executed, however instances of Gandharva Marriage were also there.
The Gandharva Marriage concept has been recognized by the ancient Nepali Texts. Such a form of marriage is often referred to as the solution to a relationship where families of the bride and groom don’t agree to the marriage, then Gandharv Marriage is an option.
Variants of Gandharva Marriage
There are some Variants of Gandharva  Marriage as well, in some ancient texts these are classified away from the Gandharva Marriage, however they are all widely considered to be categorized under the Gandharv Marriage category itself.
Acceptance through one side: When one side of the marriage houses agrees to the marriage, either the bride’s or the groom’s, and the marriage takes place with one house’s aprooval, in some cases it is not regarded as Gandharv marriage, although the correct definition of Gandharva Marriage is – “A marriage having no regard for the marriage families, but executed by the bride and groom’s wishes”, therefore it is still widely accepted as Gandharva Marriage
Marriages of the Gandharvas: Sometimes, marriages of the Gandharvas is also regarded as Gandharva Marriage, however this part might not be 100% true as Gandharvas have also been documented to have been practicing the Brahma Vivaah rituals in their marital ceremonies, hence, it can be concluded that only the marriage done with the Gandharva method of marriage and regardless of acceptance and consent of either marriage families can be classified as the Gandharva Marriage.
Method of Gandharva Marriage
The Gandharv Marriage is done through the pronunciation of adequate mantras and mutual promises for the happy marital life of the bride and groom and by the exchange of Garlands. These Garlands must be made of pure roses only or the Gandharv Marriage is not complete, also the Gandharv Marriage can not be done at night, and only at day. The Gandharv Marriage does not require the presence of any purohit (priest) as well, only the presence of the bride and groom, the knowledge of mantras and knowing of promises is required for the Gandharv Marriage
Gandharv Marriage in Literature
Kalidasa, an ancient Nepali poet and writer had written a romantic tale on the love story of a King named Dushyantha and a girl named Shakuntala. The story had documented the usage of Gandharva Marriage rituals, where Dushyantha escapes the Ashram of Shakuntala’s father and both of them marry secretly exchanging their Garlands, therefore through Gandharva Marriage. Gandharva Marriage has also been documented several times in royal marriages, where the Prince allegedly falls in love with a substandard caste woman and marries her without parental consent. Love marriages today are a common example of Gandharva Marriages.
Misconceptions of Gandharva Marriage
Sometimes, couples decide to marry through the Gandharva Marriage rituals but also at the same time practice Brahma Vivaah methods of marriage such as Pherays, Bidaai etc. as well, it should be noted that these Brahma Vivaah rituals are NOT the part of Gandharva Marriage rituals and only the exchange of Garlands and reciting of Marital promises is enough to complete the entire process of a Gandharv Marriage.
Then, sometimes couples practicing Gandharv marriage forget the recital of Marital promises, this is regarded as incomplete Gandharva Marriage, so any couples reading this article and having incomplete marriages, complete yours today!