What could be the religious reasons for avoiding inter-caste marriages?

I read in a newspaper that even though the person was handsome, no one came forward to marry him as his parents are from two different castes. So that person got so angry that he killed his mother by hitting hard on her head.

Is there really any need to discourage such marriages?


There are no religious reasons. Swami Vivekananda in his lecture 'The Religion We Are Born In' (Complete Works, V3, p 455, also here - http://cwsv.belurmath.org/volume_3/vol_3_frame.htm) said:

...Then as to customs also, various differences are known to exist. The Jâts are not outcasted even if they marry among the Mohammedans and Christians. They can enter into any Hindu temple without hindrance. In many villages in the Punjab, one who does not eat swine will hardly be considered a Hindu. In Nepal, a Brâhmin can marry in the four Varnas; while in Bengal, a Brahmin cannot marry even among the subdivisions of his own caste.

It is all local custom.

  • It's not merely local custom, there are many Dharma Shastras not recommending inter-caste marriages. Please take a look at my answer in this very thread. – Ikshvaku Jan 13 at 18:08
  • These are historic practices, corrupt historical practices especially, and historic practices that go against Hindu scripture are not the basis of Dharma. – Ikshvaku Jan 13 at 18:51

From ancient time, work has been divided between people according to the cast. As Kshatriya for defence system, bramins for knowledgeable things like yagya, worship, & other religious things which needs deep knowledge, etc. With this system, the work they & their ancesstors did goes into their DNA. So, as the child born in Kshatriya family will be good in wars & same as of bramins, shudras.

As, Karna was born from a Kshatriya woman, he got the DNA & tolerance power of Kshatriyas. By looking at the tolerance power of Karna, Acharya Parshuram called him a Kshatriya & told that he cheated him & given the curse. According to him, only Kshatriya contains this much power of tolerance. So, as Karna was a born Kshatriya, he became a great warrior, since it is in his DNA.

So, from ancient time, people do marriage in their own caste.


There is no scripture which actually goes against intercaste marriages. If you see bhagavatam Lord Kirshna (Yadava) marries Satyabhama (Kshatriya). Same way you can find many references. One more example King Santhanava (Kshatriya) father of beeshma marries masthya gandi (sudra). If you see the gist, marriage has some principles but mostly on mutual consent. Some exceptions to it is Rakshasa vivaha.


Sorry as per comments, please dont consider this as answer

  • First of all, Yadavas are Kshatriyas, so Krishna and Satyabhama did not have an intercaste marriage. As far as Shantanu and Satyavati, Satyvati was actually the daughter of the king Uparichara Vasu; she was just raised by Matsyagandha. – Keshav Srinivasan May 14 '15 at 5:04
  • Also, here is what the Manu Smriti says: sacred-texts.com/hin/manu/manu03.htm "For the first marriage of twice-born men (wives) of equal caste are recommended; but for those who through desire proceed (to marry again) the following females, (chosen) according to the (direct) order (of the castes), are most approved.It is declared that a Sudra woman alone (can be) the wife of a Sudra, she and one of his own caste (the wives) of a Vaisya, those two and one of his own caste (the wives) of a Kshatriya, those three and one of his own caste (the wives) of a Brahmana." – Keshav Srinivasan May 14 '15 at 5:08
  • Thanks for insights, Manu Smriti never stuck my mind. I'll be more careful while answering other questions. I'll keep this answer but agreeing its wrong. – satyasodhaka May 14 '15 at 5:14
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    @KeshavSrinivasan Yadavas are Kshatriyas? i had this doubt. Thanks for clearing it. So Yadavas( not today yadavas) were one clan (sub caste) among different clans of Kshatriyas? So by birth Krishna was Ksahtriya. Good. – The Destroyer Nov 9 '15 at 4:59
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    A common misconception is that Sri Krishna was a Yadava - Cowherders. Sri Krishna is of the Vrishni Vamsha - the descendants of one of the sons of Yayati and Devayani, a Brahmin woman - daughter of Sukracharya. The offsprings of a 'Suta' continue being a 'Suta'. Therefore Sri Krishna was a Kshatriya of lower caste. In Manu Smriti such offsprings are termed 'Suta' - born of a Kshatriya father and Brahmin mother - and amongst Kshatriyas they are treated as inferior. – Suresh Ramaswamy Aug 29 '17 at 6:04

Inter-caste marriages are discouraged in Hinduism because it leads to total destruction of the practice of Dharma. Varnashrama Dharma is a very important part of Hinduism, and without proper division of Varnas, chaos ensues.

Verses from the Manusmriti:

8.352: Those men who are addicted to intercourse with the wives of other men, the king shall banish after having branded them with terror-inspiring punishments.

8.353: For out of that arises the admixture of castes among people;—whence follows root-rending unrighteousness, tending to total destruction.

10.61: That kingdom in which such caste-defilers are born of criminal intercourses, speedily perishes, along with the people.

Anuloma marriages are those where the caste of the husband is greater than or equal to the caste of the wife. Pratiloma marriages are those where the caste of the husband is less than the caste of the wife.

Pratiloma marriages are forbidden, whereas equal-caste Anuloma marriages are permitted and recommended, but Anuloma marriages in which the woman is of a lower caste are also permitted, but not recommended.

  • Anywhere the Dharma sastras say about punishment for intercaste marriage? – Spark Sunshine Jan 13 at 18:16
  • @NaveenKick Actually, I think for the most part, punishments are meted out for inter-caste adultery, and not necessarily for inter-caste marriages. But I found this verse from the Narada Smriti: "(12.77).—‘Let punishment be inflicted by the King on him who has intercourse with a woman intercourse with whom has been forbidden; and let such sinners be purified by performing penances.’ – Ikshvaku Jan 13 at 18:33
  • @NaveenKick Matysa Purana is a Tamasic purana, I wouldn't take it seriously. – Ikshvaku Jan 13 at 18:35
  • @NaveenKick And as for that Narada Smriti verse I just quoted, I think it's referring to Dvijas having sex with Chandalas, Mlecchas, etc. – Ikshvaku Jan 13 at 18:37
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    @NaveenKick All the puranas do help people in achieving liberation; the Mahabharata also says this, but Sri Vaishnava acharyas say that the way in which they help people is that the Tamasa puranas are for people with tamasic guna to elevate them to Rajas, and then the Rajasic puranas elevate those people to sattvika state. – Ikshvaku Jan 13 at 18:40

Usually what happens when you marry a person who is outside your caste is that the rules that you follow,the traditions,customs,beliefs,way of living,food culture might differ from the other caste.Due to these differences there might be conflicts between you and your spouse or between families.In the counterpart when we marry within the religion these conflicts would be avoided.

This is one of the reason why people prefer same religion and there is nothing to do against other religions.

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