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After the marriage, the wife has to live at her husband's home. What do our scriptures say about this custom?

  • How is this an opinion-based question?? If all questions are flagged like this, there will be no site. Pandya made an excellent opinion-based post here: hinduism.stackexchange.com/questions/15693/… It seems that the process at Hinduism.SE has greatly shifted since 2016. – Rubellite Yakṣī May 6 '18 at 19:28
  • Ghar-Janvaai - a custom in which husband live in wife's parents' 🏠.. – YDS May 7 '18 at 3:08
  • there are 3 options - wife stays in her father's house and husband lives with her (this happens in many Kerala communities). husband stays in his father's house and wife lives with him (this happens almost everywhere in India). 3rd option is both of them get a house somewhere and live independently. Living independently is hard initially (spiritually, financially, socially). Women are generally better suited to moving with different people whereas men's mindset is more rigid. So woman lives at husband's home. – ram May 7 '18 at 3:29
  • This is because for a woman, her husband's home is like Gurukul and her husband is like Guru. There is(was) no Gurukul for women. After marriage, husbands usually taught what they have learnt in Gurukul to their wives. – Tat Tvam Asi May 7 '18 at 16:23
  • @ram 1st one is allowed in our religion? – Tat Tvam Asi May 7 '18 at 16:23
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A girl is wed to someone in order to help him propagate his vamsha and thus continue the gotra which is established by the ancient rishis. Also it enables one to perform the core vedic rituals like Agnihotra and various sacrifices for which spouse is mandatory.

However, in certain circumstances the girl can continue to live with the parent if she has no brother and if she has the responsibility of the parent. Such s girl adopts the duties of a son and hence she is referred to as putrikA. She may be wed to a man who continues to live with her in her house.

She also performs the rituals like shraddha including the sapinda etc for the manes. The progeny born of a putrikA generally belongs to the vamsha of the girl and continues their family lineage.

From Wisdomlib,

Putrikādharma (पुत्रिकाधर्म).—A son-less father generally gives his daughter in marriage and takes a promise from the sonin-law that the son of them would be counted as his own. Though Svāyambhuva Manu had a son, he adopted Ākūti's son.*

Mahabharata Shanti Parva SECTION XLIV

That girl who has no brother nor father should not be wed, O chief of Bharata's race, for she may be intended as Putrika of her sire. 2 After the appearance of puberty, the girl (if not married) should wait for three years. On the fourth year, she should look for a husband herself (without waiting any longer for her kinsmen to select one for her). The offspring of such a girl do not lose their respectability, nor does union with such a girl become disgraceful. If, instead of selecting a husband for herself, she acts otherwise, she incurs the reproach of Prajapati herself. One should wed that girl who is not a Sapinda of one's mother or of the same Gotra with one's father. Even this is the usage (consistent with the sacred law) which Manu has declared.'

  • How does this answer the title question "After marriage why girl has to leave her house?"... blockquote talks about when/how the girl needs to get married. – sv. May 8 '18 at 5:06
  • @sv. First para says the reason and then next para says that its not always the case and explains exceptions... – Rakesh Joshi May 8 '18 at 5:08
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    Ok. But the question is not about exceptions? So this is commentary on the post; doesn't address the title question. "First para says the reason" - reason for marriage but not why the bride should leave her father's house? Why can't she remain at father's house and have progeny there (in all cases) ? – sv. May 8 '18 at 5:26
  • @sv. She has to live with the family to whom the progeny is to be claimed. Why would you marry your son to someone when both your son and grandson are not going to live with you? My answer is also related to the second and third comment on OPs post. – Rakesh Joshi May 8 '18 at 5:29
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Giving away of the maiden daughter in marriage is called the "KanyA DAnam" or "the gift of maiden daughter". It is the greatest gift a father can make.

And, after a gift has been made the giver loses ownership over it. So, that's why the daughter can not stay any longer with her parents after marriage. She has to live with her husband who's the recipient of the gift here.

For example, the MimAngsA ParibhAshA (MP) defines charity (DAnam) as follows:

sva svatvanivrittipurvakam para svatvApAdanam dAnam ||


Sacrificing ownership over something and assigning ownership of that thing to someone else is dAnam (charity). (MP 56- Karmabheda Nirupanam)


And, that giving away a daughter in marriage is really a charity is established from verses like the ones given below:

No deterioration [of piety] is seen in him who gives away a maiden-daughter [in marriage], and in him who gives life in a disease. These three gifts bear equal fruits.* (332) (Atri Smriti)

Having given away a maiden-daughter, decorated with ornaments, clothes and seats a father attains to the celestial region and is adored of the Suras (celestials . (64) (Samvarta Smriti)

Also as per Manu Smriti, for a wife, serving her husband is equal to staying at her Guru's house, doing the household duties at his residence is equal to the performance of Agnihotra and etc.

VaivAhika vidhi strinAm samskaro vaidikah smritah |
PatisevA gurau vAsoh grihArtho agniparikriyA ||

Manu Smriti 2.67. The nuptial ceremony is stated to be the Vedic sacrament for women (and to be equal to the initiation), serving the husband (equivalent to) the residence in (the house of the) teacher, and the household duties (the same) as the (daily) worship of the sacred fire.

So, that's why the custom is like that.

Moreover, there is yet another rule, mentioned in the Smritis, according to which a father must not partake food in his married daughter's house.

A Kshatriyas food destroys energy, and a S'udra's. food destroys Brahma-vigour. He, who partakes of his daughter's food, eats the dirt of the earth. (298)

If one's own daughter does not give birth to a child, the father should not take his meals at her house. He who takes food out of love, goes to the Puya hell. (299) (Atri Smriti)

So, this rule also requires the daughter not to live with her father after her marriage.

  • I think smritis dont allow giving children as daana... – Rakesh Joshi May 8 '18 at 12:19
  • Manu also says girls.have no freedom at all and so on. – Rakesh Joshi May 8 '18 at 12:20
  • Not only Manu all other Smriti writers also say the same.. They were the Vedic Rishis like Vashishta, Atri etc etc.. If u are a fan of Mahabharat then it also says the same.. If u see Kularnava then it also says women can not decide independently when it comes to Diksha.. they need to take permission from the appropriate male members of the family (like father, husband, son).. @RakeshJoshi – Rickross May 8 '18 at 16:08
  • only if you are willing to see extra smriti literatures on freedom... – Rakesh Joshi May 8 '18 at 16:13
  • More or less every scriptures impose such restrictions on women.. not only the Smritis.. so what can be done? In Tantras the restrictions are less or none but see the Kularnava verse I referred to in the above comment.. as regards Vedas, then YajurVeda itselfcontains the women taking the sin of Indra story which is repeated in Smritis and Puranas .. @RakeshJoshi – Rickross May 8 '18 at 16:17

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