Family Law - II

Nature of Marriage under Hindu Law

The Hindu marriage act of 1955 has reformed the marriage according to Hindu law. It is considered as a landmark in the history of social legislation. Also, this law has not only codified Hindu marriage law. It has also introduced many important changes in many aspects.

Hindu Marriage

hindu marriage

                      Nature of Marriage under Hindu Law

The concept of marriage is to establish a relationship between husband and wife. Based on Hindu law, the marriage is a sacred tie and last of ten sacraments that can never be broken. Also, it is a relationship that is established by birth to birth. Based on smritikars even death cannot break this relationship.

Also, it is not only considered as sacred but it is also a holy union. The main objective of marriage is to enable a woman and a man to perform their religious duties. Along with this, they also have to beget progeny. Based on ancient writings, a woman is considered half of her husband and thus completes him. While a man is also considered incomplete without a woman.

Every Hindu whether they are male or female has to marry. Also, a person could not remain a perpetual student and where he did not desire for an ascetic life. But he was enjoyed or engrained in the shashtra to marry. Therefore marriage is considered as good as compulsory more so in the case of a female.

Contractor Sacrament of Marriage

Marriage is essentially a samskaras and thus is sacramental in nature. There are three characteristics of the sacramental nature of marriage.

  • It is an eternal union wherein it is valid in all the life to come.
  • It is considered as a permanent union where if it is tied once it cannot be untied.
  • Also, it is a holy union where it is essential to perform religious ceremonies.

Now that Hindu marriage is considered as sacramental, there is not a requirement of consent of any of the parties. Thus, even if the person is of unsound mind or minor, the marriage is considered as a valid marriage.

Although under the contract law, the contract of a person with unsound mind or contract of a minor is considered as void. Furthermore, section 12 lays down that when one’s consent is not obtained the marriage is considered void.

Thus, it shows that despite the fact that a party is proving the absence of a consenting mind, the marriage is fully valid and legal.

The modern nature of marriage is contractual. Thus, it receives the ideals of equality and liberty. Also, today it has been established due to the west that for marriage to be effective, there must an agreement of voluntarily entering into it by both the parties.

Thus, to sum up, the Hindu marriage has not remained a contract and neither it has remained a sacrament. But it can be said it is a semblance of both.

Practice Questions

Q. The subject of Hindu marriage has been dealt meticulously within

A. Sruti

B. Customs

C. Smriti

D. All of the above

Answer: D. All of the above

Q. Under the Hindu law of marriage, a marriage is considered as

A. Contract

B. Sacramental

C. Both A and B

D. Neither A nor B

Answer: C. Both A and B

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