Marriage is a topic that comes along with a lot of questions. Some of you might just be interested in what the ceremony means. Others might be looking for how to be prepared. All in all, these questions raise curiosity regarding marriage.
Humans tend to find the reasons resulting from curiosities. This blog addresses series of related questions regarding marriage with the best explanations, to satisfy your curiosity.
1. What is a marriage?
Marriage is one of the main ceremonial Sanskar for humans according to traditional shastra. According to the Shastras, it connects two humans, a man, and a woman- into a husband and a wife. It is considered a ritual compulsion addressing the human life cycle to give its meaning with approved social engagement.
According to Hindu tradition, this tying commitment of marriage with the vows taken with god as their witness highlights the love and support between the bride and groom.
2. Why is it important in Nepal? Why should we marry?
We are all told from our childhood that we will get married one day. However, a lot of us don’t know the reason why. There are a lot of reasons why Bihe/ Marriage is important, but they can be summarized into two parts.
According to the religion based on the Shastras, having a married life is taken to be a customary process. Without this, a man is deemed to be incomplete. The same goes for the woman as well.
Having a family life, and the children who will be handling the lineage bloodline is considered to be the basis for human existence. A woman completes a man’s life and vice-versa; which gives relationship a full circle.
Practical views and Cultural views
Our society has an unwritten rule that one has to get married to start a family. Along with this, there is also an unwritten rule that one has to marry before one dies. If this is not done, that person is viewed differently. For that, this ceremony has been a tradition that has been regarded by our society as a necessity.
3. What is the best age for marriage?
This is a question that a lot of us have in our minds and a lot of us are unsure about. Some of us don’t even think that there is a labelled best age for marriage in Nepal, but there are. We can discuss this through legal and ritual lens.
Legally in Nepal
The Family Law Section 70 (1) (d) has specified the legal age for marriage is 20 for both males and females. It is the indication that the male and female have crossed teenage and are said to be matured. But still, starting a family is not recommended until they both have settled in with their lives and career. After you cross this age, legally every age is the best age and no limitation exists resulting from age.
As per the rituals
The Hindu Shastra states that a groom needs to be 21 years of age, and the bride needs to be at least 18 to be married to each other. This has been updated from the previous record of 15 for the bride and 18 for the groom.
4. What is the minimum cost for a simple Marriage?
Since Marriage is a complicated process, the price depends on how you conduct it. Normally it is an expensive ceremony costing a minimum of a few lakhs. However, there are a few exceptions.
With just a Sindoor process at a mandir
A simple marriage at a nearby appropriate local temple can be done within a few thousand rupees. Just the minimal requirements of clothing and puja materials and Dakshina for the Pandit will be enough to complete the ceremony.
A Small Marriage Ceremony at home
Having an Intermediate but still full form of ceremony can cost around 1 lakh. Since, it will require a puja ceremony with all the Yagya elements fulfilled, though some procedures can be minimized, the tentative cost might decrease a bit.
Pandit guru will manage the whole ceremony, and the guardian of the bride or the groom will follow the instructions as per the need. The puja ceremony needs to be held from both sides of the bride and the groom at their respective home.
5. How long does the Marriage ceremony last?
It can last a whole day for just the process that includes all the rituals. A simple marriage is done only for the sake of having it can be done within an hour. And a long-lasting grand ceremony takes more than a day from rituals from the male side of the family to the rituals from the female side.
Overall starting from fixing the marriage to ending it, takes around a month of the time.
6. What is Bhagi Biwaha? Is it accepted ritualistically?
A marriage that is performed with the consent of both bride and groom, but against their family’s consent is termed as the Bhagi Bihawa. While this practice is frowned upon, it is still practiced nonetheless.
It is a topic of discussion for most people. Some take it as it is, and some take it as evil for their tradition. But in modern society, this practice of Bhagi Biwaha is generally accepted- albeit with a bit of delay. It’s a mixed opinionated title.
7. What is the significance of marriage?
As with everything the relevance and significance of marriage can be seen from different aspects as well. However, rather than going into all of the aspects, we will answer about the significant two most common aspects.
As per the religion
This is the most important Sanskar for a human. It completes the form and the aspect of being one. According to religion, without marriage, the person is not complete. So, It is a highly regarded form of Sanskar for an individual.
As Per Practicality
A marriage ceremony is a fresh start for a man and a woman to start a family with the blessings of their parents and elders. Marriage is the foundation and family is the pillar; living together is just a basic thing but love and support, social and biological need, shared emotions all conspires to take marriage in higher realm.
8. Why does the female/ wife have to live in the male/groom’s house?
It has been a tradition that has been passed down from generation to generation as an important aspect of marriage. A woman leaves her parent’s home and goes off to her newly married home, and takes it in as her family.
The patriarchal social construct of Nepal agrees male as a family head. Meanwhile, female are considered just the caretaker of the house. The tussle with the social tradition and the evolving social structure has somehow challenged this view in contemporary society.
9. What are the best dresses for the occasion of marriage?
There is no dress code for marriage. Depending on the budget of an individual, people dress in either basic clothes or designer ones.
But all in all, a groom is seen wearing a Daura-Suruwal, of Dhaka cloth, and the Bride wears a bright red with golden threaded Sari. A suit for the groom is also practiced with influence from western culture.
10. How is the marriage date determined?
A marriage date is predefined through astrology. An auspicious day with all the attributes in the right time makes the day blissful for a ceremony to be held. It is listed out by the Astrologers from the Panchanga Samiti of Nepal and given in the calendars.
11. Can a person remarry as per religious belief?
There is a way to remarry, however, it entirely depends on the influence (Dosha) of the stars and the planets as seen in the Kundali of a said person. These influences are neutralized through alternative ways so that these doshas won’t affect the person’s marriage.
Now one thing to be noted is that all of these influences are defined during the time of Nwaran. There are various factors in that ceremony that influence this whole concept. If you want to know what are those factors, follow this link here as it is a whole article of its own.
12. What are the restrictions and rules for Remarriage as per religious beliefs?
As a basic rule of thumb, there will always be restrictions and rules in any religious beliefs and culture. Re-marrying is not an exception. The rules here, however, are mostly related to Doshas and Kundal. Due to this very reason, it is different for males and females.
A Dosh seen in the Kundali of a male is processed with an alternate way of marriage. This is traditionally done with a religious ritual with a simple ceremony done with the Aak Plant (Calotropis gigantea) that represents the bride. It is believed to prevent polygamy for men.
A Dosh seen in the Kundali impacts the marriage life as per the belief and is usually prevented with alternative marriage ceremony. The alternate marriage is done with a representative Lord Vishnu Pratima as the groom. It is believed that the Dosh can be credited with this marriage.
13. What are the myths related to Marriage?
The myths of the historical religious facts about marriage are drawn back to the days of the gods.
One of the myths says that Shiva was married to Goddess Sati. Later he remarried to her reincarnation, Goddess Parvati as well. The dedication, love and affection are shown with each other still resonate with the religious people.
Other myths of marriage can be related to Lord Krishna with his 1600 Gopinis, and his favorite and dearest one Radha. The love stories of them have still flourished for the younger generation.
Before the article ends
Now before we end this article, it should be noted that these questions are just the most asked ones. We are sure that a lot of you have many more that you might want to be answered. So, if you have any questions that are not mentioned in this list, do leave them in the comments below and we will do our best to answer them. An answer about Manglik dosh before we go.
For a male, before Marriage, he must go through a ceremony of Bratabandha. We have given a view of the process and its importance from many factors related to Marriage and even the life that follows through it.