1. Shastras require girls to be married off by 12 or before puberty. But marriages are now happening late. Can Kanyadaan of a post-puberty girl be done ? Because popular meaning of Kanya is - prepubescent girl. (Even today during navratri only prepubescent girls are worshipped.)

  2. With fornication and adultery becoming more and more common , what is the validity of marriage in present world ?

Shastras require girls to be married by 12 but now a days marriages happening late , by the time one marries his wife , most probably she already has had a partner before him. So, Does such marriages have any validity ? Because you are effectively marrying a married woman (if she has had a partner before you )

Personally I think marriage with non-virgin girl is invalid and bogus. I think this point is indisputed.

But Is Vedic marriage of post-pubescent girl valid ? Because Shastras clearly directs that post-pubescent girl can only have a Gandharva Vivah.

Also in todays age , people are having gandharva vivah (i.e affairs) but break up later , thus they don't consider each other as husband-wife .

So, my question with Vedic system slowly breaking with late marriages , fornication and adultery becoming common , what is the validity of marriages happening in present world according to Hinduism ?

1 Answer 1


Not really. I will answer using Manusmriti. Even though Manusmriti is contradicting Vedas, Puranas and other sacred scriptures on caste and history of humans, it is a decent source of knowledge when it does not contradict divine scriptures.

  • Women who are not virgins cannot legally marry.

पाणिग्रहणिका मन्त्राः कन्यास्वेव प्रतिष्ठिताः । नाकन्यासु क्व चिन्नॄणां लुप्तधर्मक्रिया हि ताः ॥ The marriage-ritual texts are applicable to virgins only, and nowhere among men, to non-virgins; and this because these latter are excluded from religious acts (8.226)

But 8.224 doesn't say marriage with non-virgin should be dissolved. It just prescribes punishment for the father and that's it. I think the marriage remains valid IF the husband was deceived.

  • Regarding love marriage in book 3 it talks about kinds of marriages:

(1) The Brāhma, (2) the Daiva, (3) the Ārṣa, (4) the Prājāpatya, (5) the Āsura, (6) the Gāndharva, (7) the Rākṣasa and (8) the Paiśāca, which is the eighth and the lowest.

One should know the first six in the order stated as lawful for the Brāhmaṇa, the last four for the Kṣatriya and those same, excepting the “Rākṣasa,” for the Vaiśya and the Śūdra.

When one himself invites a man endowed with learning and character and gives to him his daughter (sanskrit: kanyāyā / कन्याया), after having dressed and worshipped (them),—this is called the “Brāhma” form.

While a sacrifice is being performed, if one gives away his daughter, after having decked her, to the priest who is officiating at it,—this they call the “Daiva” form.

‘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.’

When the Father, having decked them, gives away the daughter with the words, “may you both together perform your duty,” making them also repeat them,—this is called the “Prājāpatya” form.

Carrying away a kanya/girl is asura, love with kanya/girl is gandharva, forcible abduction is rakshasa.... and finally

When the man approaches the girl by stealth, while she is asleep, or intoxicated or unconscious,—it is the “Paiśāca” form, the wickedest and the basest of marriages.

I don't know if any could apply to fully grown women. But love marriages are legal, despite being 3rd worst kind of marriage. It should be condemned and never encouraged because it is a bad form, even worse than Asura.

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