I have read at a Hinduism website (Website Link) that the word "Kanyadhaana" is misinterpreted into meaning "Donating the bride"

According to the web article:

It's not "Kanya-Dhaana" but "Kanya-Aadhana"

Here, Kanya means "Daughter/Girl" And Aadhana means "receive" So basically "Kanyadhaana" translates to "Receiving the bride" and NOT "Donating the bride".

Women's rights activists argue that Kanyadhaana means donating the bride and girls being humans are not objects/ commodities that can be "donated" to the groom's family.

I'm confused here. What is the real meaning of Kanyadhaana? Is it "Kanya-aadhana" or "Kanya-dhaana" itself?

  • it is kanya-daan. the bride is donated. the reward for donating a kanya to a vaidika brahmachari groom is brahma-loka
    – ram
    Commented Feb 3, 2019 at 16:21
  • if u relay meant the word used in Q title i.e. Kanyadhana then it's meaning is girl's patrimonial riches..
    – YDS
    Commented Jun 25, 2019 at 17:06

2 Answers 2


The word is KanyA dAna and not what you said also it is not DH but D..

See Manu Smriti 3.29:

एकं गोमिथुनं द्वे वा वरादादाय धर्मतः ।
कन्याप्रदानं विधिवदार्षो धर्मः स उच्यते ॥ २९ ॥

ekaṃ gomithunaṃ dve vā varādādāya dharmataḥ |
kanyāpradānaṃ vidhivadārṣo dharmaḥ sa ucyate || 29 ||

When the maiden is given away in due accordance with rule, after taking, in odedience to law, from the bridegroom, one or two pairs of cow and bull,—this is called the “Ārṣa” form.’—(29).

KanyA DAna and KanyA PradAna of course have the same meaning.

  • "A bride is given to the groom's family and that family gives a pair of cow or bull to the bride's family." regarding that statement what is the right way to interpret that statement? Should I interpret it as- a girl is given to the groom's family and the family gives the bull as a "present" to the bride's family. Or should I interpret it as the girl is exchanged for cow or bull? Feminists state the later interpretation and argue that since a girl is exchanged for bull she is treated as a commodity and this way Manu Smriti objectifies women. So please tell me how do I interpret that statement.
    – Somanna
    Commented Feb 3, 2019 at 17:43
  • 1
    No it's not an exchange by any means .. it is just a part of the rituals .. @Somanna
    – Rickross
    Commented Feb 4, 2019 at 4:55
  • 1
    @Somanna And Dharma is represented as bull in Hindu scriptures. Commented Feb 4, 2019 at 11:32

Kanyadhana (कन्याधन) means Kanya's Dhana (girl's property) or "patrimonial riches" or girl's share in her parents' property.

This is given in Valmiki Ramayana: Bala Kanda: Sarga 74:

अथ राजा विदेहानां ददौ कन्याधनं बहु |

Then that king Janaka of Mithila, the one from Videha lineage, gave innumerable patrimonial riches.

Related: Which practice existed during the reign of Lord Rama, either Kanyasulkam or Varakatnam(Dowry)?

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