Paiśāca Vivāha: Rāhu (or Ketu)

This entry is part 10 of 10 in the series Ashta Vivaha

At the outset, let us be very clear, that this type of vivāha (copulation that brings forth children) shall always be regarded as a criminal offence. This completely prohibited type of marriage (for all castes) is the Paiśāca vivāha which is carried out in stealth by seducing or raping the bride after intoxication or taking […]

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Rākṣasa Vivaha: Saturn

This entry is part 9 of 10 in the series Ashta Vivaha

The word Rākṣasa is derived from rakṣa or protection and indicates a very insecure, fearful or dangerous situation for the bride. In this marriage1hatvā chittvā ca bhittvā ca krośantīṁ rudatīṁ gṛhāth | prasahya kanyāharaṇaṁ rākśaso vidhirucyate || MS iii.33 the groom kidnaps or forcibly captures and takes away the bride either with or without her […]

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Gāndharva Vivāha: Venus

This entry is part 8 of 10 in the series Ashta Vivaha

Manu1icchayāanyonyasanyogaḥ kanyāyāśca varasya ca | gāndharvaḥ sa tu vijñeyo maithunyaḥ kāmasambhavaḥ || MS iii.32 describes the Gāndharva vivāha as the voluntary union between the bride and the groom leading to the sexual act being overcome by sexual desire. This is the love marriage of the modern world. It is pure and simple physical attraction and […]

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Āsura Vivāha: Mercury

This entry is part 7 of 10 in the series Ashta Vivaha

असुर (asura) an evil spirit, demon, ghost, opponent of the gods (RV. viii.96.9). These Asuras are often regarded as the children of Diti by Kashyapa and referred to as daitya. As such they are demons of the first order in perpetual hostility with the devas, and must not be confused with the Rakshasas or imps […]

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Prājāpatya Vivāha: Sun

This entry is part 6 of 10 in the series Ashta Vivaha

prajā procreation, propagation, birth of offspring. Children for expansion of family and continuity of race, posterity; descendants who will fulfill dharma and maintain the blood line. In this marriage, the bride’s father seeks the hand of a suitable groom for his daughter (unlike the Brahma vivāha where the groom’s father seeks the hand of the […]

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Ritu Malhotra
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