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Can a Brahmin man do Gandharva Vivah ? Are there any examples of Brahman doing Gandharva Vivah ? I found only one example - Parashara marrying Satyavati . But he too after doing Gandharva Vivah abandoned Satyavati , restored her virginity and went into meditation. (indicating , he did something wrong).

From Mahabharata -

Mahabharata

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According to the Manusmriti, there are eight forms of Vivah, or marriage.

चतुर्णामपि वर्णानं प्रेत्य चैह हिताहितान् । अष्टाविमान् समासेन स्त्रीविवाहान्निबोधत ॥ २० ॥

caturṇāmapi varṇānaṃ pretya caiha hitāhitān | aṣṭāvimān samāsena strīvivāhānnibodhata || 20 ||

Understand briefly these (following) eight forms of marriage of girls, among the four castes,—which are beneficial and not-beneficial here (in this life) and also after death.— Manusmriti 3:20

It also describes their names of the eight:

ब्राह्मो दैवस्तथैवार्षः प्राजापत्यस्तथाऽसुरः । गान्धर्वो राक्षसश्चैव पैशाचश्चाष्टमोऽधमः ॥ २१ ॥

brāhmo daivastathaivārṣaḥ prājāpatyastathā'suraḥ | gāndharvo rākṣasaścaiva paiśācaścāṣṭamo'dhamaḥ || 21 ||

(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.—(21)

According to Manu, a Brahmin is allowed to do the Brahmavivah, Devavivah, Arshavivah, Prajapativivah, Asuravivah, and the Gandharvavivah:

षडानुपूर्व्या विप्रस्य क्षत्रस्य चतुरोऽवरान् । विश्।शूद्रयोस्तु तानेव विद्याद् धर्म्यानराक्षसान् ॥ २३ ॥

ṣaḍānupūrvyā viprasya kṣatrasya caturo'varān | viś|śūdrayostu tāneva vidyād dharmyānarākṣasān || 23 ||

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.—(23).

However, Manu says that only the first four are commendable (i.e something to be happy about, or to be praised for) for Brahmins and the Asura is commendable for Vaishyas and Shudras:

चतुरो ब्राह्मणस्याद्यान् प्रशस्तान् कवयो विदुः । राक्षसं क्षत्रियस्यैकमासुरं वैश्यशूद्रयोः ॥ २४ ॥

caturo brāhmaṇasyādyān praśastān kavayo viduḥ | rākṣasaṃ kṣatriyasyaikamāsuraṃ vaiśyaśūdrayoḥ || 24 ||

The wise ones have regarded the first four as commended for the Brāhmaṇa, the Rākṣasa alone for the Kṣatriya and the Āsura for the Vaiśva and the Śūdra.—(24).

Ganganath Jha explains that the Gandharva and the Asura Vivahs are not forbidden, but they are not something to be happy or prideful about:

Aparārka (p. 91) quotes this verse and adds that for the Brāhmaṇa, the Brāhma, Daiva, Ārṣa and Prājāpatya are commended; the Āsura and Gāndharva are neither commended nor forbidden;—for the Kṣatriya, the Rākṣasa alone is commended; the Āsura and the Gāndharva are neither commended nor forbidden;—for the Vaiśya and Śūdra, the Āsura alone is commended; the Gāndharva is neither commended nor forbidden;—the Paiśāca is forbidden for all castes.

It is quoted in Smṛticandrikā (Saṃskāra, pp. 190 and 231), which adds that though the first four are ‘commended,’ it does not mean that the next two are forbidden; all that is meant is that these two are not commended.

The Vivahs are explained as follows:

Brahma Vivah:

आच्छाद्य चार्चयित्वा च श्रुतशीलवते स्वयम् । आहूय दानं कन्याया ब्राह्मो धर्मः प्रकीर्तितः ॥ २७ ॥

ācchādya cārcayitvā ca śrutaśīlavate svayam | āhūya dānaṃ kanyāyā brāhmo dharmaḥ prakīrtitaḥ || 27 ||

When one himself invites a man endowed with learning and character and gives to him his daughter, after having dressed and worshipped (them),—this is called the “Brāhma” form.—(27)

Deva Vivah:

यज्ञे तु वितते सम्यग् ऋत्विजे कर्म कुर्वते । अलङ्कृत्य सुतादानं दैवं धर्मं प्रचक्षते ॥ २८ ॥

yajñe tu vitate samyag ṛtvije karma kurvate | alaṅkṛtya sutādānaṃ daivaṃ dharmaṃ pracakṣate || 28 ||

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.—(28).

Arsha Vivah:

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).

Prajapati Vivah:

सहौभौ चरतां धर्ममिति वाचाऽनुभाष्य च । कन्याप्रदानमभ्यर्च्य प्राजापत्यो विधिः स्मृतः ॥ ३० ॥

sahaubhau caratāṃ dharmamiti vācā'nubhāṣya ca | kanyāpradānamabhyarcya prājāpatyo vidhiḥ smṛtaḥ || 30 ||

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.—(30).

Asura Vivah:

ज्ञातिभ्यो द्रविणं दत्त्वा कन्यायै चैव शक्तितः । कन्याप्रदानं स्वाच्छन्द्यादासुरो धर्म उच्यते ॥ ३१ ॥

jñātibhyo draviṇaṃ dattvā kanyāyai caiva śaktitaḥ | kanyāpradānaṃ svācchandyādāsuro dharma ucyate || 31 ||

When one carries away the maiden, after having given, of his own will, as much wealth as he can to the kinsmen, as well as to the bride herself, this is called the “Āsura” form.—(31).

Gandharva Vivah:

इच्छयाऽन्योन्यसंयोगः कन्यायाश्च वरस्य च । गान्धर्वः स तु विज्ञेयो मैथुन्यः कामसम्भवः ॥ ३२ ॥

icchayā'nyonyasaṃyogaḥ kanyāyāśca varasya ca | gāndharvaḥ sa tu vijñeyo maithunyaḥ kāmasambhavaḥ || 32 ||

The mutual union of the bride and bridegroom, through love is to be known as the “Gāndharva” form; it has sexual intercourse for its end and it has its source in lust.—(32).

Rakshasha Vivah:

हत्वा छित्त्वा च भित्त्वा च क्रोशन्तीं रुदतीं गृहात् । प्रसह्य कन्याहरणं राक्षसो विधिरुच्यते ॥ ३३ ॥

hatvā chittvā ca bhittvā ca krośantīṃ rudatīṃ gṛhāt | prasahya kanyāharaṇaṃ rākṣaso vidhirucyate || 33 ||

The forcible abduction of the maiden from her home, while she is crying out and weeping, after having beaten and wounded and pierced,—is called the “Rākṣasa” form.—(33).

And the most forbidden, the Paishacha Vivah:

सुप्तां मत्तां प्रमत्तां वा रहो यत्रोपगच्छति । स पापिष्ठो विवाहानां पैशाचश्चाष्टमोऽधमः ॥ ३४ ॥

suptāṃ mattāṃ pramattāṃ vā raho yatropagacchati | sa pāpiṣṭho vivāhānāṃ paiśācaścāṣṭamo'dhamaḥ || 34 ||

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 beast of marriages.—(34).

Thus, we can infer that only the Paishacha Vivah are the only unacceptable form of marriage, and the Rakshasha Vivah is recently looked down upon and is no longer commendable for Kshastriyas, and it is even said by Manu to be the seventh in order, right next to the Paishacha and only right above it.

Gandharva Vivah may be performed by Brahmins but is not something to be praised for.

Jai Shri Rama.

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