Caryacarya-1

18. Marriage Ceremony

The marriage premises and the marriage hall should be artistically decorated within one’s economic means. If possible the courtyard of the house should be kept vibrant with music. The pratiika [emblem of Ananda Marga] should be placed in an elevated place in the marriage hall. Incense may be burnt at the time of the marriage. During the solemnization of the marriage at least ten persons should be present. The bride and the bridegroom, dressed in neat and appropriate clothing, will enter the marriage hall and sit facing each other. The persons present should greet them by blowing the conch or by other auspicious sounds. As directed by the ácárya/á, collective Iishvara Prańidhána will be done.

Two ácárya/ás (one on the groom’s side and the other on the bride’s side) will officiate. If two ácárya/ás are not available, one can officiate. In the absence of any ácárya/á, the seniormost Margi present will officiate.

Marriage Solemnization
First the ácárya/á will recite:

Oṋḿ madhu vátá rtáyate madhu kśarantu sindhavah;
Mádhviirnah santvośadhiih.
Madhu naktamutośaso madhumat párthivaḿ rajah;
Madhu dyaorastu nah pitá.
Madhumán no vanaspatirmadhumán astu súryah;
Mádhviirgávo bhavantu nah.
Oṋḿ madhu oṋḿ madhu oṋḿ madhu.

Following the ácárya/á, the bridegroom will repeat, “I say on oath in the name of Parama Brahma and Márga Gurudeva that out of my own free will I accept Shriimatii/Ms. . . . . . . . as my wife. I take upon myself all the responsibility for her food, clothes, education, medical care, etc., from today.”

Then the ácárya/á will recite:

Oṋḿ madhu vátá rtáyate madhu kśarantu sindhavah;
Mádhviirnah santvośadhiih.
Madhu naktamutośaso madhumat párthivaḿ rajah;
Madhu dyaorastu nah pitá.
Madhumán no vanaspatirmadhumán astu súryah;
Mádhviirgávo bhavantu nah.
Oṋḿ madhu oṋḿ madhu oṋḿ madhu.

Then the bride will say, “I say on oath in the name of Parama Brahma and Márga Gurudeva that out of my own free will I accept Shrii/Mr. . . . . . . . as my husband. I take upon myself all the responsibility to look after his family life from today.”

Thereafter the ácárya/á will again recite:

Oṋḿ madhu vátá rtáyate madhu kśarantu sindhavah;
Mádhviirnah santvośadhiih.
Madhu naktamutośaso madhumat párthivaḿ rajah;
Madhu dyaorastu nah pitá.
Madhumán no vanaspatirmadhumán astu súryah;
Mádhviirgávo bhavantu nah.
Oṋḿ madhu oṋḿ madhu oṋḿ madhu.

Then the bridegroom will say, “I say on oath in the name of Parama Brahma and Márga Gurudeva that out of my own free will I accept Shriimatii/Ms. . . . . . . . as my wife. I will be vigilant in every way to safeguard her mental peace and ensure her mental progress from today.”

The ácárya/á will then recite:

Oṋḿ madhu vátá rtáyate madhu kśarantu sindhavah;
Mádhviirnah santvośadhiih.
Madhu naktamutośaso madhumat párthivaḿ rajah;
Madhu dyaorastu nah pitá.
Madhumán no vanaspatirmadhumán astu súryah;
Mádhviirgávo bhavantu nah.
Oṋḿ madhu oṋḿ madhu oṋḿ madhu.

Then the bride will say, “I say on oath in the name of Parama Brahma and Márga Gurudeva that out of my own free will I accept Shrii/Mr. . . . . . . . as my husband. I will be vigilant in every way to safeguard his mental peace and ensure his mental progress from today.”

Then the ácárya/á will recite:

Oṋḿ madhu vátá rtáyate madhu kśarantu sindhavah;
Mádhviirnah santvośadhiih.
Madhu naktamutośaso madhumat párthivaḿ rajah;
Madhu dyaorastu nah pitá.
Madhumán no vanaspatirmadhumán astu súryah;
Mádhviirgávo bhavantu nah.
Oṋḿ madhu oṋḿ madhu oṋḿ madhu.

Then, the bridegroom will say, “I say on oath in the name of Parama Brahma and Márga Gurudeva that I accept Shriimati/Ms. . . . . . . . as my wife. I will be vigilant in every way to ensure her spiritual progress from today.”

Then the ácárya/á will recite:

Oṋḿ madhu vátá rtáyate madhu kśarantu sindhavah;
Mádhviirnah santvośadhiih.
Madhu naktamutośaso madhumat párthivaḿ rajah;
Madhu dyaorastu nah pitá.
Madhumán no vanaspatirmadhumán astu súryah;
Mádhviirgávo bhavantu nah.
Oṋḿ madhu oṋḿ madhu oṋḿ madhu.

Then the bride will say, “I say on oath in the name of Parama Brahma and Márga Gurudeva that I accept Shrii/Mr. . . . . . . . as my husband. I will be vigilant in every way to ensure his spiritual progress from today.”

Those present, [[at least ten persons,]] led by the ácárya/á, will repeat, “We say on oath in the name of Parama Brahma and Márga Gurudeva that we are witnesses to this wedding. By the grace of all-merciful Brahma, may we be helpful to the best of our capacity for the all-round progress of this newly-married couple.”

Thereafter the newly-married couple will garland each other and exchange the garlands three times. In the absence of garlands, they may exchange flowers. According to custom, the bridegroom may put a vermilion mark in the parting of the hair of the bride three times, and the bride may put a vermilion mark on the forehead of the bridegroom.

The newly-married couple will hold each other’s hands. A conch may be blown and other auspicious sounds may be made. If possible, arrangement may also be made for vocal and instrumental music. The newly-married couple will do prańáma [salutations] to the ácárya/ás and to their parents or guardians.

A marriage feast is completely optional and depends upon the financial capacity of the people concerned. Arranging the feast by taking a loan or incurring a debt is prohibited. A Few Instructions:

(1) While arranging a marriage [in the case of that kind of marriage], the guardians should not consider the caste or nationality of the bride and bridegroom, but they must consider the family and the merits and demerits of the two. The guardians, before fixing the marriage, will seek the opinions of the bride and the bridegroom and proceed accordingly. The guardians should not allow matrimony between persons connected with each other either on the paternal or the maternal side for three generations, ascending or descending.

(2) In the case of arranged marriages, the guardians should finally meet and ascertain the consent of the bride and bridegroom, and bless them, at least a day before the marriage is solemnized.

(3) If the boy and the girl settle their marriage themselves, it is proper for the guardians to give their consent. In case the guardians feel that the consequences of such a marriage will be harmful, they may ask the boy and the girl to reconsider their decision. Even then, if they do not change their opinion, the guardians will give their consent, but they will be in no way responsible for such a marriage.

(4) Every person should marry if there is not sufficient reason against marriage. A decision for marriage should be taken with full consideration of one’s physical, mental, and financial conditions and environmental circumstances. No one should exert pressure in the matter of marriage. [[According to Ananda Marga,]] marriage is not a hindrance to dharma sádhaná; rather, marriage is a dhármika ceremony.

(5) Male members of the Marga can marry females outside the Marga, but it will be better to marry a female member of the Marga to a male member of the Marga, as far as possible. If a suitable match is available outside the Marga, the marriage may be solemnized, but efforts should be made to initiate him into the Marga without delay.

(6) For marriage, neither party can demand a dowry.

(7) A widow or a woman forsaken by her husband can remarry. A man marrying such a woman will be given a special status in the society. He will have to shoulder the responsibility of bringing up the children by her previous husband.

(8) If a woman forsaken by the society desires to lead an honourable life, proper opportunities should be afforded to her. If anyone marries such a woman in the manner prescribed by the Marga, the marriage should be properly respected.

(9) Men can prove their manliness by marrying shelterless women. Do not at all allow a woman to live [[in neglect]].

(10) It is proper not to marry again when one’s wife is alive. But sometimes, due to social or family necessity,(3) more than one marriage can be accepted. If there is a need of more than one marriage, the clear permission of the wife has to be obtained in the presence of five responsible persons (one of whom will preferably be an ácárya/á). The second marriage will not be permissible without the permission of the wife. These five persons will specifically ascertain the veracity of the statement of the petitioner.

(11) In Ananda Marga no one will be looked down upon as an illegitimate child. In such circumstances, the parents of the child will be compelled to marry in the prescribed manner, and if need be, the man will have to agree to more than one marriage. In order that the dignity of a child born out of wedlock may be saved, it will not be necessary to take the permission of the earlier wife for the marriage.

(12) The mantras in the Ananda Marga marriage system are such that the question of divorce does not arise; but in very extraordinary circumstances, on charges of characterlessness, irresponsibility, or cruelty, divorce may be accepted. The complainant (man or woman) will appeal to five important responsible persons of the Marga (an ácárya/á preferably being one of them). On being satisfied regarding the validity of the complaint, they will allow the complainant six months’ time for reconsideration. If the petition is still not withdrawn and the reasons for the complaint remain unaltered, divorce will be accepted. In this connection, the procedure for the division of the properties will be formulated according to the demands of the time.

1956, Jamalpur