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  • Category: Miscellaneous

    Did ancient India support inter-caste marriage?

    Inter-caste marriage. Even in 21st century Indians call it a sin. Or is it? Nowhere in our vedas, puranas and upanishads, we see that inter-caste/religion marriage is a sin. On contrary many of our Gods and Monarchs ended up marrying out of their caste and religion.
    It is said that there were Greek woman in Samrat Ashoka's family.
    Akbar had a Hindu wife Jodha. Tamil God Murugan marries a Tribal princess Devayani.
    Dritharashtra married Gandhari, a princess of Gandhar ( in present day Afghanisthan).
    Infact many of our temples even depict same-sexual marriage.

    Conclusion, nowhere in our scriptures interracial, inter-religious or foreigner marriages were forbidden. Instead these marriages let to the strengthening of the bonds of kingdoms.
    But in medieval and modern times caste-system so prevailed that we started forbidding these acts.
    When our ancestors saw good in it, why shouldn't we?
  • #581060
    Well when ever such controversial subject is raked up there would be mixed responses. First of all I would like to ask what is the need for Inter caste marriage ? is there any dearth or shortage of opposite sex in a particular religion. By the way the Kings and rulers of past where fond of marrying different women not for the lust but just for the sake of her beauty. When ever a King wins over other surely the first targets were the beautiful women of that place they used to marry. So that kind of culture we cannot continue nor agreed in the present circumstances. But there are dare people who would convince their parents and marry the girl from even other country in present day. One such marriage was held at Warangal where in the bride is from France. The marriage was held as per Hindu rituals and the bride was attired with Hindu bridal costumes.
    K Mohan
    'Idhuvum Kadandhu Pogum "
    Even this challenging situation would ease

  • #581067
    There was no special support or opposition to many things in ancient period. The people had their freedom to choose their path.
    King Shantanu in Mahabharata ( ancestor of Pandavas and Kauravas) married a fisherwoman Satyavati. There was no objection, but was accepted and the clan continued by her children.

    Generally only very few things were strictly prohibited in those times. Most other matters were classified as Uthama, (the best), Madhyama(medium) and Adhama(worst). So it is for the people to choose what they want and enjoy or suffer the consequences.

  • #581081
    Though the stratification of the society on the basis of 'varna' and 'jati' system has pre-modern era origin, but its present form emerged during the British period only when they started granting administrative jobs and senior appointments only to the upper castes Indians. After the independence of India, the caste system got further consolidated as it was incorporated in the Constitution of India.

    Therefore, it appears that in the ancient India, there was no such stratified caste system and restrictions on marriages etc.

    Nowadays, many upper caste women are marrying individuals having reservations in admissions and jobs.

    Let us encourage each other in sharing knowledge.

  • #581085

    We all know that, Indian history begins with the Indus Civilization. But still now we haven't found any evidence that the caste system was prevalent during Indus Civilization. If we deliberately examine the ancient Indian history, the caste system originated during the Vedic Period i.e., B.C.1500 - B.C. 500. The entire society was classified into 4 Varnas based on the Varnashrama Dharma namely Brahmans, Kshatriyas, Vaishyas and Shudras. Separate works were allotted to each Varna. For example, Brahmans only should learn Vedas and practice Astrology and Medicine. Kshatriyas should rule the country and perform warfare. Vaishyas should do agriculture and other trade activities. Shudras were the ill-treated in the Indian society and their job was to serve the above the 3 Varnas. During Vedic Age, people could only marry among the same Varnas.

    As years passed, the Varnashrama Dharma had spread deep into the Indian society and the 4 Varnas had got many new branches among them called 'Jatis' (Castes). Now, people started to marry within their Jatis in order to preserve and continue their relationship. But later it became a custom. People started to follow the same caste marriage system very fiercely and inter-caste marriage was considered as a sin. People who did inter-caste marriage were ostracized from the society. This state continued in India for a long period of time.

    The 19th century of Indian history witnessed a strong wave of social and religious reform movements. Initiated by Raja Rammohan Roy through Brahmo Samaj, many new Sabhas were started to eradicate the social evils such as caste-based discrimination, practice of Sati, child marriage, female infanticide etc from the society. Some of the important such movements were Arya Samaj by Swami Dayananda Saraswathi, Prarthana Samaj by Atmaram Pandurang, Sarvajanik Sabha by Jyotibha Phule. These reform movements voiced for inter-caste marriage, inter-dining, widow remarriage, abolition of Sati etc. As a result of these reform movements, many of the social evils stated above were eradicated from the society to a great extent. But still some exist. Such movements played a major role in the unification of the country too.

    But, still, some of the conservative sections of Indian society are against inter-caste marriage. As a result, we are still witnessing honor killings, ostracism in our society. As the population of educated Indians is increasing, we could see such shameful incidents decreasing in the future. Soon, our nation will be free of caste based discrimination. For this, government has to introduce economic status based reservation system.

    Coming to your question, I would say ancient India did not support inter-caste marriage. I, say so, because of the following reasons.
    1. Caste system was very strictly practiced during ancient period.
    2. The persons you have mentioned such as Akbar, Asoka etc were from the aristocratic level of the society and so they were not criticized. But, if a common man had done that, he would have been ostracized from the society.
    3. The same epic you have quoted, Mahabharata, also states that Dronacharya denied to teach Eklavya as he was not a Kshatriya.

  • #581312
    All are good responses but i try to give some information which is difficult believe in these days.We see some children behaves like their grandfathers or fore grandfathers because of their blood flows in that family simply we can say DNA in medicine. Some caste people belongs to a particular work, of course, may not now but in past. Those people have different mentalities and different inner powers in them. Simply we see brahmin students have bright mind as compare to others, Kshatriya people are more courageous than others, etc. Once we have to think how they get those powers without there is a great family seed. These days we see many strength less people, how it is possible? We have to think. This is my scientific DNA view.

    Now coming to this world there is a sukshma prapancha (micro/nano world) which we can not see but vedic rishis can see like virus can not seen by man with naked eye but by using micro scope we can see. So we may not see the sukshma prapancha but there it is. Here there is system known as pitru devatha system which is corrupted by wrong deeds like our question. In a particular cast particular rights (dharmas) are there which are corrupted by this negligence. So entire positive energy in this atmosphere disturbed and negative energies increased which are caused to destruction of nature, what presently happening. You may asked about santana maharaja from Mahabharata, for this you have to study the Mahabharata clearly. Mathsya gandhi is not a own daughter of daasa raja. Coming to medieval India Kshatriya marriages were done but not inter cast. We have to know that Kshatriya is a ruler of a country. So there is no problem.
    I proved here with the reference of DNA and also with the reference of our great rishis. I am neither a rishi nor a doctor but a man who believe that rishis are greater personalities. Just think ancient healthy satisfied people and today's unhealthy unsatisfied people. What is the difference and how it happens.


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