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As discussed in this QnA: What is the recommended age for marriage for girls as per Shastra?

We have lots of guidelines for how much "younger" a bride must be compared to her groom. For instance:

A man, aged thirty years, shall marry a maiden of twelve who pleases him, or a man of twenty-four a girl eight years of age; if (the performance of) his duties would (otherwise) be impeded, (he must marry) sooner.

In another answer, as to why marriage must happen just before a girl reaches puberty, it's quoted by the OP as:

The aim is to ensure that the foundation of marriage is based on innocent attraction and attachment before kama/carnal desire enters mind.

So, reconciling both the answers, it becomes clear that "innocent - attraction" must only happen for the girl and not the man. Since we can still have a groom as old as 30 marrying a 12 year old girl. A 24 year old person is not "innocent" in the sense of the word.

Clearly, as per "modern-standards", the girl is still a child while the man is a grown up adult. Even when the girl will have menarche (which is around 14/15 years of age), she'll still be a child legally while the man is a 26/27 year old adult.


So, my question is -

Is this huge age-gap (of at least 10 or 15 years) between the wife and husband are necessarily prescribed by the Śhāstras? Is there any scripturally prescribed "critical age" for men?

Just like we have for females the "puberty" as a deadline to get married, is there something similar for males too?
Also, is the claim of "innocent-attraction" derived from any canonical or authoritative source ?

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    that claim is sourced in my answer itself. you should also add that marriage does not imply sexual relations, and that sex does not happen before puberty & maturity - which is a big issue when talking about this subject in today's societal climate, especially if you only mention the marriage-age without the context of sex-age
    – mar
    Jun 6 at 16:01
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    regarding men, marriage is once he does Samavartana (graduation) after studies (usually around age 20 = upanayana at 7 + 12 years for learning 1 veda + 1 year to search for, find, engage and marry). How much/how long he wants to study is up to him, he can study all 4 vedas till age 48 (12 per veda) if he wants. But it is recommended to 'start gruhastha fires before hair turns grey' - i can't find reference for it handy.
    – mar
    Jun 6 at 16:16
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    probably.. the case of Chyavana Rishi who was very old, marrying a young bride as a result of her poking his eye out, and how she was still devoted to him, and as a result Ashvini Kumaras made a churnam that got the Rishi back his youth, and hence why we call it 'ChyavanPrash', is well-known. Although above maybe exceptions, the actual practical cases of someone marrying at 48, let alone marrying a young girl, are almost none. If they are able to curb their hormones till age 48, they've probably chosen the path of naishtika brahmachari.
    – mar
    Jun 7 at 6:08
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    "until 20 as per science and that's enough evidence" - nonsensic false evidence. Period. Even the age of consent in 'liberal' european countries contradicts your claim. If you don't believe shastras on how chastity is different for men and women, that's your headache. I have alread talked about falsifiability here. Not all truths are objective. Subjective truths are not falsifiable, but verifiable.
    – mar
    Jun 7 at 19:50
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    If you can prove to me that sugar tastes sweet without requiring that I taste it first, I'll accept your claims on science being superior. "as Adi Sankara observes" - by your logic, a blind man can claim that shastras which says "light is lumious" is wrong, or a thief can claim shastras which say "thieves must be punished" is biased. Individual perception can never supersede Shastras.
    – mar
    Jun 7 at 19:54
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Is there a scripturally recommended age of marriage for men?

For dvijas (brahmin, kshatriya, and vaishya), it's immediately after Vedic study is completed. The time when Vedic study is completed is entirely flexible:

Gautama (2. 52. 54).—‘One should keep up his studentship over one Veda, for twelve years;—or for twelve years over each Veda;—or over all, till they have been got up.’

But once Vedic study is done, whenever that is, he should immediately try to find a wife:

Manu 3.2 - Having learnt, in due course, three Vedas, or two Vedas, or one Veda, he should enter upon the state of the householder, having never broken the vow of brahmacharya.

This doesn't apply for shudras, since there is no Vedic learning for shudras. And since there is no fixed time prescribed for shudra males to get married, it follows that there is no specified time for shudra males to get married.

This is what's written in the dharma shastras. In actual practice, the marriage custom of age difference of bride and groom is seen to vary slightly in the Puranas, Itihasas, and Indian history. What is seen is that usually the girl is around the age of puberty and the man is in his late teens or early 20s.

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