[Advaita-l] Sa-gotra marriages

V Subrahmanian v.subrahmanian at gmail.com
Mon Oct 24 12:02:50 CDT 2016

Many thanks Anand ji for the detailed clarifications.


On Mon, Oct 24, 2016 at 10:11 PM, Anand Hudli via Advaita-l <
advaita-l at lists.advaita-vedanta.org> wrote:

> >Is there provision in the śāstra-s for sa-gotra marriages? Some people say
> >that in rare cases where a sa-gotra marriage is arranged, it is possible
> to
> >overcome the 'defect' by having the girl formally 'given' in marriage by a
> >person of a different gotra instead of the girl's father doing the 'giving
> >away' ritual (dhāra).  Is this arrangement in agreement with the
> śiṣṭācāra?
> I am not aware this being sanctioned by the dharmashAstra works like
> nirNayasindhu and dharmasindhu; this could be a recent development. The
> general rule, according to the dharmashAstra texts is that sAmya (same
> Rishi) is to be avoided in Gotra and in two or more pravaras, in the case
> of three-pravara Gotras, or in three or more pravaras, in the case of
> five-pravara Gotras. The courts of India, however, have held sagotra
> marriages to be legally valid, since 1955. When it comes to customs and
> shiShTAcAra, it is a different matter. I have heard that the prohibition of
> sagotra marriages is strictly enforced among several communities- the Jats
> of Haryana, for example. Those who support acceptance of sagotra marriages
> argue that a man and woman who come from geographically distant places and
> families who do not have common relatives will have no kind of blood
> relationship and should be allowed to marry, and sagotra marriage
> prohibition makes sense only in closely knit communities. Perhaps, based on
> this argument there may have been certain improvisations to circumvent the
> sagotra marriage ban. Of course, when the two people in question are in
> love, gotra restrictions may not matter much to them, and the elders may
> look for "loopholes" to avoid being viewed as acting against dharma.
> As per dharma shAstras, a sagotra or sapravara marriage cannot be a valid
> one. The man who commits this mistake without knowledge or out of
> carelessness has to undergo three ChAndrayaNas as prAyashcitta, and further
> treat the woman as his mother, ie. he is prevented from having the
> usual spousal relationship with her. However, he is not to abandon her but
> maintain her under his care. A man who commits this mistake knowingly has
> to do prAyashcitta as a man who has committed gurutalpagamana (violator of
> Guru's bed). And, he is to treat the woman as his mother and maintain her.
> The child, if any, born out of such a marriage is a equal to a chANDAla.
> But I must add that I have heard of sagotra marriages happening in recent
> times, perhaps with the improvisations mentioned above.
> Anand
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