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Widow remarriage was banned in the past , but now it has become legal. So, Is it sin for a man to marry a widow ?

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  • shastras and constitution have started deviating a lot. according to milords, adultery was recently decriminalized, but according to shastras it is still a sin. marrying a widow is similar to adultery because she is supposed to lead a life almost like a monk. she can then join her husband in svarga after her death.
    – ram
    Commented Apr 24, 2022 at 19:07

2 Answers 2

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Yes, as per most texts it seems to be the case.

Consider the following statements on widows and widowhood. That makes the case for your answer.

Chapter 4, Kāśī-khaṇḍa (Pūrvārdha), Skanda-purāṇa

जीवहीनो यथा देहः क्षणादशुचितां व्रजेत् । भर्तृहीना तथा योषित्सुस्नाताप्यशुचिः सदा ॥ ४९

  1. Just as a lifeless body becomes impure in a moment, so also a woman bereft of her husband is always impure even though she may bathe scrupulously.

अमंगलेभ्यः सर्वेभ्यो विधवा त्यक्तमंगला । विधवा दर्शनात्सिद्धिः क्वापि जातु न जायते ॥ ५० ॥

  1. A widow devoid of conjugal bliss and weal is the worst of all inauspicious things. There would be no success in a venture, if one sees a widow (at the outset).

विहाय मातरं चैकां सर्वमंगलवर्जिताम । तदाशिषमपि प्राज्ञस्त्यजेदाशीविषोपमाम ॥ ५१ ॥

  1. A sensible man should avoid such a woman bereft of all conjugal bliss and even her blessings, except in the case of his (widowed) mother

English Translation by G.V. Tagare.

So, let alone marrying a widow, even seeing her face is deemed inauspicious and must be avoided, as per the shastras.


Further, the Manusmṛti clearly forbids widow remarriage.

Manusmṛti 9.65

नोद्वाहिकेषु मन्त्रेषु नियोगः कीर्त्यते क्व चित् । न विवाहविधावुक्तं विधवावेदनं पुनः ॥ ६५ ॥

  1. Nowhere in the mantra-texts bearing upon marriage is ‘authorisation’ mentioned; nor again is the marriage of the widow mentioned in the injunction of marriage.

In some rare cases, like child-widows, re-marriage maybe allowed, but that's not for Kaliyuga.

Infact, as it is, there might not be any such examples of widow-remarriage (punarbhū) in the scriptures, even if there might be, it's a rare phenomenon.


For instance, Ganganath Jha in comparative notes on Manusmṛti 9.59 cites a purana as follows -

Brahmapurāṇa —

‘On the death of her husband, or on her having abandoned her husband, a woman may beget a son from a man of her own caste. If she is a child-widow, or has been forcibly abandoned by her husband, she shall go through the sacrament of marriage again, with any other man. But this remarriage of women, or the begetting of a son from the brother-in-law, or the freedom of women, should not be permitted during the Kali age; as during this age, men are inclined to be sinful.’


So, yeah marrying a widow is against scriptures, and thus a sin, as per scriptures.

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    The citations you gave regarding child-widows doesn't specifically mention that the peactice is banned in Kaliyuga. Secondly, dharmashastras often present conflicting views on the same topic. For example Manusmriti allows a girl to remain unmarried for maximum 3 years after menarche but Vasisthasmriti doesn't advocates marrying off girls after the age of 5.
    – অনু
    Commented Apr 25, 2022 at 3:07
  • True that @AnubrataBit that's why they are generally thought to be interpreted by people of "high-luster", if at all conflicting. On this site, all we can do is cite relevant verses and based on that give interpretation ourselves, for noone on this cite, unfortunately, is an "expert", imho, to resolve those conflicts as per shashtric methodologies.
    – Vivikta
    Commented Apr 25, 2022 at 4:01
  • Does this actually forbid it? It speaks of "A widow devoid of conjugal bliss", but once she has remarried, neither attribute will apply to her. Commented Apr 26, 2022 at 20:17
  • Well, in the first place they're not mandated to be married, Infact from most texts the implications are to commit Sati. There's so much literature in the Puranas on this. And a remarried women as per texts (punarbhu) is not even allowed several religious rites with her husband @RayButterworth In any case, as I discuss in the answer, even in the scriptures we don't find many case of remarriage in the previous yugas, to my knowledge there are none actually. So ultimately, it boils down to no remarriage for widows, as per most scriptures - They need to live an ascetic like life.
    – Vivikta
    Commented Apr 27, 2022 at 1:15
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No, it is not a sin.

Woman’s second marriage

The five conditions or circumstances under which a woman is permitted to marry again are: (1) the moral degradation of her husband, (2) his death, (3) renunciation by him of all worldly pursuits, (4) his resorting to a monastery, and (5) his impotency. The widow of a man can marry the brother of his husband if living and willing to take her as his wife, while in the alternative she may marry whomsoever she pleases. ………

Agni Purana 154.5-7

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    which yuga is this relevant to ? different yugas have different rules.
    – ram
    Commented Apr 25, 2022 at 6:22

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