‘Syayamvar’ was the custom portrayed in the epics, where the girl was given the privilege to choose her husband. But practically, it was more of a choice in the hands of the groom. The marriage chiefly depended on his consent and mostly all that mattered was the dowry along with the beauty of the girl. Things were even worse when polygamy ( permission for a man to marry more than once , regardless of whether the existing wife is alive or not and whether she likes it or not) prevailed. That was abolished by a great freedom fighter – Raja Ram Möhąn Roy. But the change was not implied efficiently all through the country.
Most of the time, girls were made to marry forcefully owing to other benefits gained by parents, mostly in terms of money. This does not signify that all marriages were made out of selfish intention. The general custom of marriage was that the parents had to choose the groom for the bride. This was mostly based on the act of merely looking at each other and taking into account, the comments give by the peers regarding the character of the person. Above all,the chief concern was astrology. If the stars matched well, since marriages are apparently decided in heaven, the decision is made. Marriage is not a game and is not something to judge with a trial and error method. So, what if the selected person is not the right one?
There are instances where those who got married so have lived peacefully. But the same or more number applies to those who are living unhappily. And as the western culture is being engulfed by the Asians, divorce has become a common affair. Those who cannot immediately go for a divorcee owing to family circumstances and thinking about the consequences to be faced from the orthodox society, either suffer for eternity or give up , committing suicide. This is indeed not the right solution. Does that mean, a love marriage can solve this problem?
Teenage is a crucial stage in everyone’s life. Infatuation is something eventual. But there is no guarantee that it can turn up into being true love. And those who fall into such traps mostly regret at the act done merely due to age. This is mainly because , as we grow up, going to college and work, we happen to come across people with different character and nature often. We might like many, not surprisingly, one more than the other due to each one’s uniqueness. There will come the age, when the mind is stabilized enough to think rationally and take decisions wisely, taking into account the pros and cons. It is around the age of twenty five and by this time, a man would be even financially fit to run a family in an ideal situation. Here, by ideal situation, I intend to mean a well literate person having a good annual income. Age and right time are mandatory, when it comes to choosing the life partner.
From the above discussion, concluding that a love marriage at a ripe age is the best is not appreciable. Can we jump in to the conclusion that the life will be prosperous? I don’t think so. Before marriage, one might put up the best behavior in order to impress the other. The real attitude becomes evident only after a while.
Marriage is , as stated before, an issue of the life. It cannot be taken for granted like in the west and divorce and remarry as many times as one wishes. Such an attitude affects their children as well. A very good understanding of the would – be should not be ignored, regardless of whether the marriage has been arranged or self chosen. There should be a combined sense of selflessness and selfishness between the couple, which could be put in a nutshell as a moderate compromised relationship. Pure friendship enables the understanding of each other’s character. This when developed into a natural, unknown love might ultimately result in a smooth marriage life. But what is essential is that now is the time to wake up in reality and consider this as a serious affair. One should try her best to stay with it and live the life that was destined to the fullest with all the efforts possible instead of instantly looking for an alternative! Epics were written to deliver great moral virtues under the mask of story. That is the actual significance of Mahabharata and Ramayana. Sita’s husband was banished, in the epic Ramayana. Despite of being a princess and having not received the banishment, she voluntarily votes to go with her husband into exile. This was solely because a ‘life partner’ should not abandon the other in a bad phase of life just for his or her own luxury. In a traditional Christian wedding, the couple make a vow by promising companionship through sickness as well as good health, rich or poor, but to love and cherish the life all the time. The same meaning is conveyed through the marriage ritual in all the other religions but symbolically by performing various rituals. So let us not break it but instead , stay truthful to It.