This blog speaks about the idea of Hindu marriage as a sacrament or a contract. The idea of a wedding under the Hindu Marriage Act is to unify a couple in the vision of Hindu law. Hindu marriage is a holy tie and the last ten ceremonies that can never break. It is a relationship that can never break and it is a set up for seven concurring births. The sacramental form of Hindu marriage has been changed by various Acts. The Hindu Marriage Act, 1955 has the following effect on Hindu marriage. The cultural form of marriage has been affected and many of the signs of contract have been added to it. After this, the practical method has been influenced in the context of Hindus in the corner.
Marriage is the most important institution in human society. It exists in society since the Vedic period. In the Vedic period, marriage has the purpose of promoting religion through the performance of household sacrifices. Hindu marriage refers to a Kanyadaan, which means the father of the bride gives away his daughter. Marriage is an essential thing or worship without which the person is only half. Hindu marriage is considered to be the most important and sacred of the sixteen sacraments, hence the marriage is considered to be a permanent monolithic and birth-birth relationship. In this world, man is incomplete without a wife. In Mahabharata, it has been said that the wife is the soul of a man. Calcutta Court observed that a Hindu marriage is more religious than secular in character, marriage is said to be the union of bone and mass. According to Vedas, marriage is the union of flesh with flesh and bone with bone. It is regarded as a permanent and indissoluble union.
MARRIAGE AS A SACRAMENT
Hindu marriage is a sacrament that means something which is sacred or holy. It is a matter of religious duty. Hindu marriage is looked upon as 'samskara' having three objects of dharma, rati and praja. Marriage is a union between the rituals and law, it is considered to be the worship of their happy life. There are 16 ceremonies in Hindu marriage. Hindu marriage cannot be called a contract because the parties must have an adult and healthy brain for the contract whereas in Hindu marriages can also be the party is a minor. There are so many characteristics of the sacramental nature of marriage are:
It is an enduring bond between husband and wife that is permanent or perpetual even after death and they will endure together after death. Once it is tied, it cannot be untied. It is a religious and sacred union of the bride and groom which is necessary to carry out through religious rituals to get to heaven. Freedom from Pritrin which means father's debts can be achieved only when a son is born. For religious rituals relationships are unbreakable or indissoluble.
Section 5 in The Hindu Marriage Act, 1955: 5 Conditions for a Hindu Marriage
Marriage is solemnized between any two Hindus, these are the conditions are fulfilled by the bride and groom that are neither party has a spouse living at the time of the marriage and at the time of the marriage, neither party is unable to give valid consent to it in consequence of unsoundness of mind nor capable of giving a valid consent, has been suffering from mental disorder of such a kind or to such an extent as to be unfit for marriage and the procreation of children. In the Hindu Marriage Act, the bridegroom has completed the age of twenty-one years and the bride, the age of eighteen years at the time of the marriage and the parties are not in the prohibited relationship unless the custom governing each of them permits a marriage between the two or the parties are not sapindas of each other, unless the custom or usage governing each of them permits of a marriage between the two.
Section 7 in The Hindu Marriage Act, 1955: 7 Ceremonies for a Hindu Marriage
A Hindu marriage is solemnized comparatively the customary rituals and ceremonies of either party to that where such rites and ceremonies include the saptpadi that is, the taking of seven steps by the bridegroom and the bride jointly before the sacred fire, the marriage becomes complete and binding when the seventh step is taken.
MARRIAGE AS A CONTRACT
The Court in Muthusami v. Masilamani held that marriage, whether a sacrament or institution, is undoubtedly a contract entered into for consideration, with co-relative rights and duties. In Purushottamdas v. Purushottamdas, the court held that the marriage of a Hindu person is a contract made by their parents. In Bhagwati Saran Singh v. Parmeshwari Nardar Singh, the court referred the Hindu Law of Macnaghten, the Hindu Law of Starnages and Vyawastha Chandrika and finally expressed the opinion that Hindu marriage was not only a sacrament but also a contract. Furthermore, the Calcutta High Court held in Anjana Dasi v. Ghose, that lawsuits related to marriage concern what in the eyes of the law should be treated as a civil contract, and important civil rights derive from that contract.
Also, Kanyadaan is the most important thing and sacred ritual or gift under the Hindu law. Under Kanyadaan father gave her daughter’s hand to her groom to protect her life from evil and love her. Hence, it is a contract. But Section 12 of the Hindu Marriage Act of 1955 states that when consent is not found between the bride and groom, the marriage is considered as void. It shows that despite the absence of the bride’s consent, the marriage is valid and legal. In current times, the Hindu marriage act of 1955, considers some elements of the contract that are matrimonial nullity which means marriage is not valid between bride and groom, it is not like divorce. Judicial separation means Marriage is dissolved by the suspension of martial duties and Divorce or the legal separation of Marriage between bride and groom and divorce is given by the couple by their mutual consent. It is enough to have only one act of adultery.
According to Section 5(3), the marriage age of the girl should be 18 years and the boy 21 years, in convenience to each other to marry and enjoy their life in society, and marriages are said to be a contract because they are bound by the law and practice a marriage according to law and rules of law.
On the basis of the above, it can be said that Hindu marriage is neither a perfection contract nor a perfection Sacrament. It is a mixed form of fragment contract and Sacrament. In ancient times Hindu marriage was a complete sacrament but later in modern, times the Widow Remarriage Act 1856, Hindu Law Act 1955, Hindu Law Act Amendment Act 1977, 1978, the elements of the contract are partially incorporated yet. Still, this is not a contract.