The Vivaha: Hindu Marriage Samskaras


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Ceremonial rites and rituals occupy a place of utmost importance in the life of a devout Hindu. In fact, there are no vital actions-birth, initiation, marriage, death etc.-which can be allowed to be performed without its appropriate rite or samskara. The number of samskaras has been fluctuating but was finally fixed at sixteen.


Marriage is the most important and elaborate out of these sixteen samskaras. Manu enjoins that rituals should be performed in the case of a virgin for legalizing the marriage, legitimatizing children and avoiding public scandal.


The mantras used in the nuptial rites being in Sanskrit are beyond the comprehension of not only the average Hindu but even the common priest entrusted with the duty of conducting the rituals. To overcome this difficulty the present book was originally prepared in Hindi and is now translated into English with the mantras etc. Romanized for the benefit of those who do not have adequate knowledge of Hindi, for example especially those whose forefathers had migrated to remote countries during the last one hundred years or so.


Dr. R.C. Prasad, taught English Literature at Patna University for over forty years, during which he wrote scores of books, including biographies and translations, the most outstanding of which was his prose rendering of the Ramacharitamanasa.


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