By law and court system a marriage can be ended with legal divorce. Islam says if they say Talaq three times then the marriage is over. Like Islam, does Hinduism allow divorce for a married couple?
Moreover, some people say that with a marriage, a couple ties bond for '7 lives' with each other. But still, is there any provision of divorce in Hindiusm?


2 Answers 2


No, there is no such privilege in Sanathana dharma. Runanubandha Rupena Pasu(wealth/possessions) Patni(wife) Sutalayaah(children), the worldly relations are form of debt of ours in the previous births. The bond will eventually break in any form once the debt is cleared between. Karma is inevitable so wise people don't try to escape from it.

Elders arranges marriage by seeing the astrological match between the bride & groom and hence there used to be mutual understanding and respect between wife & husband. Ancient people are much inclined towards dharma/ righteousness of character. Satya, Treta, Dwapara, Kali yuga has dharma stood on 4,3,2,1 legs respectively. Hence with decline of following dharma, people are giving much importance to kshanika indriya sukha (momentary pleasures) and are not ready/wise enough to face their karma bondage debts.

  • 7
    Any reference to this? Because I debated a lot saying that there is no such thing in Hinduism and hence we won't get any scripture reference for the same
    – Mr. Alien
    Commented Sep 15, 2014 at 7:26

From hinduwebsite:

  1. Divorce rules for Women:

    In ancient times, women in Hindu society had limited freedom. Women were bought and sold, abducted, forcibly married and forced into slavery or prostitution. There was nothing like the modern concept of a divorce or a legal separation in Hindu society. Once a woman left her parent's home, she was completely at the mercy of her husband or his parents and if he found her incompatible or unattractive and abandoned her, there was little that she could do. She had no right to divorce, no right to remarry and no right to leave the house and approach any one without her husband's permission. Part of the problem was that Manu, the famous law maker, viewed women with suspicion and would not trust them with freedom. He believed that they needed to be kept under the protection and watch of men all the time, so that they would not have the opportunity to cause the confusion of castes.

TL;DR: Divorce for women, no such thing. Women were not people, they were possessions.

  1. Divorce rules for Men:

    In case of men the situation was different. Men had many rights and privileges, which went with their status as upholders of Dharma, and which they exercised in the name of religion, family or expediency. The suffering of Sita in the epic Ramayana, after she was abandoned by her husband in the name of Dharma, is a case point. Lord Rama, a paragon of virtue, duty and sense of morality, abandoned his wife, whom he loved so dearly, on the mere allegations of possible infidelity on her part. He had no proof, but as an upholder of Dharma, he reacted promptly and banished her into the forests, ignoring the fact that she was pregnant and innocent.

TL;DR: Men owned 'their' woman. They could throw her away, leave her etc. Remarrying, having multiple wives etc was also not an issue.

  • 2
    The link you've provided seems to excessively derive it's opinion from Manu Smriti which was not the "Hindu Law" viz-a-viz Shariah. Laws differed from one village or community to another & Manu's laws were not applied universally.
    – Bharat
    Commented Oct 9, 2014 at 2:37
  • 2
    And also the website claiming to be a Hindu website seems to be following Marxist interpretation of ancient Hindu society where everything was a class warfare and a gender warfare. If conditions of women were poor how come the vedas had contributions by so many rishikas?
    – Bharat
    Commented Oct 9, 2014 at 2:41
  • @Bharat So is there or is there not a codified law system governing Hindu marriages? As far as I know, there are only guidances for the "householder", i.e, the man.
    – a20
    Commented Oct 9, 2014 at 9:50
  • there is no codified Hindu "law" like Shariah.Check out this article: creative.sulekha.com/… Manu Smriti is just one of the sources based on which one can find the duties of householders & not the only source. One needs to refer to other scriptures like Bhagavata Purana, Shiva Purana, Ramayana, Mahabharatha among several scriptures.Also these rules differed vastly depending on local custom.
    – Bharat
    Commented Oct 9, 2014 at 17:09
  • 2
    I agree with you that there's no Hindu common law system. However in your first comment you said "The link you've provided seems to excessively derive it's opinion from Manu Smriti". Hindus have certainly been influenced and guided in their actions over thousands of years by Manu's Laws (among others). I could find this piece of the answer (based off Manu). If you'd contribute the other pieces of the answer based off Bhagavata Purana, Shiva Purana, Ramayana, Mahabharatha etc, we'd have a better base from which to form an accepted answer.
    – a20
    Commented Oct 9, 2014 at 17:33

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .