Introduction sacraments that a person has to essentially follow.

Introduction :

Marriage
is defined as “the legally or formally recongnized union of two people as
partners in a personal relationship (historically and in some jurisdictions
specifically a union between a man and a woman). Through time, the process of
conducting and carrying out this process has gone a phenomenal change. All
through the ages and centuries, marriage has witnessed a dynamic evolution.
There has been a major spectrum of factors for altering the process of marriage
and moulding it and recasting it into the way we see it today. As we’ve read in
biology, “every process is followed by a series of processes” – be it the most
complex phenomenon like the formation of celestial bodies and the milky way
galaxy and the mother earth itself and that how life originated or the simplest
of daily life examples that we come across in every walk of life. Nevertheless,
according to Hindu mythology, Marriage is one of the 16 “Sanskars” or
sacraments that a person has to essentially follow. In today’s respect,
marriage is no more a social need to unify two people but is also safeguarded
by several rights and duties.

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Marriage
: In the historic era

This era is being referred
to the earliest of civilizations and in Rome and Mesopotamia. Marriage in ancient Mesopotamia was of
vital importance to the society, literally, because it ensured the continuation
of the family line and provided social stability. Arranged marriages were the
norm, in which the couple had often never met, and there were even bridal
auctions where women were sold to the highest bidder, but human relationships
in ancient Mesopotamia were just as complex and layered as those today and part
of that complexity was the emotion of love. Contrasted with romantic
love and a couple sharing their lives together, however, is the `business side’
of marriage and sex. Herodotus reports that every woman, at least once in
her lifetime, had to sit outside the temple of Ishtar (Inanna) and agree to have sex with whatever stranger chose her.
This custom was thought to ensure the fertility and continued prosperity of the
community. As a woman’s virginity was considered requisite for a marriage, it
would seem unlikely that unmarried women would have taken part in this and yet
Herodotus states that `every woman’ was required to.  The practice of
sacred prostitution, as Herodotus describes it, has been challenged by many
modern-day scholars but his description of the bride auction has not. What
could be a more inhuman practice than this! Sex was considered essential and
the couples were forced to produce kids immediately after their marriage so
that none of the gets en gaged in extra-marital affair. Childlessness
was considered as a curse and the man could marry another woman in case his
wife turns out to be infertile and fails to produce kids. The first wife had to
choose her husband’s mistress and it was her responsibility to make sure that
she chooses the woman who succeeds in pleasing and satisfying her man. Divorce
often carried a stigma and the woman could seek divorce if her husband if he
tortures her and causes domestic violence. A husband could divorce his wife if
she is infertile alomgwith the returning of the dowry.

 

 

Marriage in terms
of Indian context :

 

1.)   
The Monarchial Rule :

During the rule of the kings and queen,
marriage was not only considered as a social and personal need but was also used
as a political tool. Royal
intermarriage was the
practice of members of ruling dynasties marrying into the reigning families. It was
more commonly done in the past as part of strategic diplomacy for political interests.
The princess of another territory and the queen-to be of her fiancé was considered as a
treaty to the king and served as a method for political ties and for
maintaining healthy relations. The society still used to be patriarchial and
the male dominance prevailed in the society. Though the royal women had a say
in the family and in courts the but their say was often considered as an
interruption in the jurisdiction. Women were considered as possessions and marriage
was often carried by a huge amount and quantity of dowry. However, polygamy had
its roots clinched in the society. The king was often complemented with a large
number of wives and keeps.  the fighting enemy-men were to be beheaded and killed and
young (Hindu) women were to be abducted to fill up the harem. As such the
Islamic women were treated in Muslim society as chattels only for creating
progenies. The Hindu women taken as prisoners were simple objects of sexual
gratification. If anyone became a queen in this process, it was a token. The
Hindu women needed to be converted to Islam first and yet she would be one amongst
the other Muslim queens. This actually questioned the dignity of women and
challenged it. The decision of the king could just not be questioned and there
were no rules and regulations to safeguard women and to provide them equal
status.

 

2.)  The Pre-Independence era :

This was the time when the British rule existed in the “colonised
India”. This was the time when the Indian society was overshadowed by the
so-called superior British society. There were certain social evils prevailing
in the Indian society in the name of marriage like Child marriage, Sati, etc.
These social evils were strongly challenged, discouraged and abolished by the kings
and the British supremacies. The then Governor-General of India, Lord William
Bentick stood strongly opposite of the practice of Sati and succeeded in
plucking out it’s roots from the Indian society.This was the time when the Indian
society was undergoing massive changes. It was also the high time when the
Indian women actually started to feel the contrast between them and the British
women. Women actually decided to step out of their homes and fight for their
rights. This affected the scene of marriage in Indian society profoundly .Both
women and men were given equal status in the society and polygamy was also
controlled to a certain extent. Though there was not a certain set of specific
rules and regulations written down