I have seen in my society that cousin marriage is not encouraged. What is the basis of this view? I am asking about scriptural injunctions. Has Smritis categorically disapproved it?

I have seen these questions, which all discussed the exceptional case of South India, where it is allowed.

How can Sage Kashyap marry daughters of Daksha, even they are parallel cousins?

Cross-cousin marriage and hinduism

Cross-cousin(mother's sister's daughter) marriage? [Please refer to questions I linked]

I am from the Eastern part of India. It is not allowed here. From the above discussions, I understood that it is not permitted in North India also. So, in general, why it is not allowed?

  • 2
    Actually, in the Braja Region (North India) - it's allowed or even sometimes practised these days amongst the maternal cousins. A guide there told me that they derive this from the Subhadra-Arjuna marriage relationship. So the marriage between the progenies of a Sister and Brother is possible.
    – Vivikta
    Jun 15, 2021 at 6:45
  • @Vivikta - yes there are 2 type of cousin marriage, sagotra, and non-sagotra i.e. mausi's son/daughter wedding mama's daughter/son is acceptable according to Shastras, atleast in Dravida desh (below Vindhyas), but not father's brother's siblings wedding each other - which, btw, is done in Islamic cultures (hence the higher rate of inbreeding).
    – ram
    Jun 15, 2021 at 8:23
  • These are locally varying customs & traditions @mar , no pan-Indian religious consensus on these. In our area, this kind of "cousin-involving" marriages will be frowned/detested upon, and more importantly, will be impossible to be done via "elders-permission" or the "social -consensus".
    – Vivikta
    Jun 15, 2021 at 16:07
  • @Vivikta - yes, that's why I said it is accepted in Dravida Desh (below Vindhyas). It doesn't supersede local/family/elder customs, Manu himself says so - follow local customs as long as it doesn't contradict global ones. Since it's an optional, not mandatory to marry non-sagotra cousins. but definitely sagotra cousins are banned, and non-sagotra cousins are not banned.
    – ram
    Jun 15, 2021 at 16:28
  • 1
    As Swami Vivekananda pointed out, different codes hold sway in different parts of India. In Bengal, the code of Raghuandana; farther the code of Mitakshara; other parts the code of Manu. In Nepal, other. These are all local customs, they are neither sanctioned or condemned by the vedas. Jun 16, 2021 at 10:36

1 Answer 1


I found two verses from Manu Smriti against consanguineous marriage.

Manu Smriti 11.171

On having had intercourse with one’s sister born of his father’s sister, or of his mother’s sister, or of his mother’s full brother,—one should perform the Cāndrāyaṇa.

Manu Smriti 11.172

A wise man should never take these three as his wife; being blood-relations, they are not fit to be married; because by marrying them, one sinks low.

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