Marriage Nischayathaartha Selecting Girl Ritual Details Apsthamba Sutra Explains
Smritis,meaning those remembered,lays down rules to lead a pious, auspicious and happy life.
The Smritis are different from Sruthi,meaning ‘heard’,that is the Vedas.
For deciding any righteousness action,or for any action,in case of confusion,the words of Sruthi is final.
If there is a conflict of views between Srithi and Smriti on any issue,Sruthi is the final authority.
Sruthi is like the Fundamental Rights in the Constitution of India and Smriti is like the Directive Principles of State Policy.
At all times, fundamental rights prevail.
Smritis evolved over a period of time,with its base in Sruthi.
But it also incorporates practices not in contradiction to Vedas.
Please read my article on Smritis.
For those who ollow,ApasthambaSutra,Apasthamba lays down rules of life in his Apasthamba Gruhya Sutra.
Here one would find, not only the rules to follow,but also suggestions on various important events in one’s life,like marriage,Naming ceremony.
I am providing from Apasthamba Gruhya Sutra portions relating to marriage on,
- Seasons,months to marry,
- Which months to a avoid,
- Marriage Nakshatras,
- The attributes of a bride,
- The process of choosing a bride,
- The process of conducting marriage,
12. All seasons are fit for marriage with the exception of the two months of the śiśira season, and of the last summer month.
13. All Nakṣatras which are stated to be pure, (are fit for marriage);
14. And all auspicious performances.
15. And one should learn from women what ceremonies (are required by custom).
16.Under the Invakās (Nakṣatra), (the wooers who go to the girl’s father) are sent out: such wooers are welcome.
Under the Maghās (Nakṣatra) cows are provided;
2. Under the Phalgunī (Nakṣatra) marriage is celebrated.
3. A daughter whom he wishes to be dear (to her husband), a father should give in marriage under the Niṣṭyā (Nakṣatra); thus she becomes dear (to her husband); she does not return (to her father’s) house: this is an observance based on a Brāhmaṇa.
4.The word Invakās means Mṛgaśiras; the word Niṣṭyā means Svāti.
5.At the wedding one cow;
6. In the house one cow:
7. With the (first cow) he should prepare an Argha reception for the bridegroom as for a guest,
8. With the other (the bridegroom [?] should do so) for a person whom he reveres.
9. These are the occasions for killing a cow: (the arrival of) a guest, (the Aṣṭakā sacrifice offered to) the Fathers, and marriage.
10. Let (the wooer) avoid in his wooing a girl that sleeps, or cries, or has left home.
11.And let him avoid one who has been given (to another), and who is guarded (by her relations), and one who looks wicked (?), or who is a most excellent one (?), or (who is like the fabulous deer) śarabha (?), a hunch-back, a girl of monstrous appearance, a bald-headed girl, a girl whose skin is like a frog’s (?), a girl who has gone over to another family (?), a girl given to sensual pleasures (?), or a herdess, or one who has too many friends, or who has a fine younger sister, or one whose age is too near to that of the bridegroom (?).
12.Girls who have the name of a Nakṣatra, or of a river, or of a tree, are objectionable.
13. And all girls in whose names the last letter but one is r or l, one should avoid in wooing.
14. If possible, he should place (the following) objects hidden before the girl, and should say to her, ‘Touch (one of these things).’
15. (The objects are), different kinds of seeds mixed together, loose earth from (the kind of sacrificial altar called) vedi, an earth-clod from a field, cow-dung, and an earth-clod from a cemetery.
16. If she touches one of the former (objects, this portends) prosperity as characterized (by the nature of what she has touched).
17. The last is regarded as objectionable.
18. Let him marry a girl of good family and character, with auspicious characteristics, and of good health.
19. Good family, a good character, auspicious characteristics, learning, and good health: these are the accomplishments of a bridegroom.
20. A wife who is pleasing to his mind and his eyes, will bring happiness to him; let him pay no attention to the other things: such is the opinion of some.
Praśna 2, Section 4
1. Let him send out as his wooers friends who have assembled, who are versed in the Mantras.
2. He should recite over them the first two verses (Mantrap. I, 1, 1. 2).
3. When he himself has seen (the bride), let him murmur the third (verse; M. I, 1, 3).
4. With the fourth (M. I, 1, 4) let him behold her.
5. Let him seize with his thumb and fourth finger a Darbha blade, and let him wipe (therewith) the interstice between her eye-brows with the next Yajus (M. I, 1, 5), and let him throw it away towards the west.
6. If an omen occurs (such as the bride’s or her relations’ weeping), let him murmur the next (verse; M. I, 1, 6).
7. With the next (verse; M. I, 1, 7) let him send an even number of persons who have assembled there, and who are versed in the Mantras, to fetch water.
8. With the next Yajus (M. I, 1, 8) he places a round piece of Darbha net-work on her head; on that, with the next (verse; M. I, 1, 9) he places a right yoke-hole; on this hole he lays with the next (verse; M. I, 1, 10), a piece of gold, and washes her with the next five verses (M. I, 2, 1-5), (so that the water runs over that gold and through the yoke-hole); with the next (verse; M. I, 2, 6) he causes her to dress in a fresh garment, and with the next (M. I, 2, 7) he girds her with a rope.
9. Then he takes hold of her with the next (verse; M. I, 2, 8) by her right hand, leads her to the fire, spreads a mat, west of the fire, so that the points of the blades in it are directed towards the north, and on this mat they both sit down, the bridegroom to the north.
10. After the ceremonies have been performed from the putting of wood on the fire down to the Ājyabhāga oblations, he recites over her the first two (verses of the third Anuvāka).
11. Then he should take with his right hand, palm down, her right hand which she holds palm up.
12. If he wishes that only daughters may be born to him, he should seize only the fingers (without the thumb);
13. If he wishes that only sons may be born to him, the thumb.
14. He takes (her hand) so as just to touch her thumb and the little hairs (on her hand),
15. With the four verses, ‘I take thy hand’ (Mantrap. I, 3, 3-6).
16. He then makes her step forward with her right foot, to the north of the fire, in an easterly or northerly direction, with (the formula), ‘One step for sap’ (M. I, 3, 7).
17. At her seventh step he murmurs, ‘Be a friend’ (M. I, 3, 14).
Having before the sacrifice gone round the fire, so that their right sides are turned towards it,
2. They sit down in their former position, and while she takes hold of him, he offers the oblations (indicated by the) next (Mantras), with (the Mantras), ‘To Soma, the acquirer of a wife, Svāhā!’ (M. I, 4, I-16), one oblation with each Mantra.
3. He then causes her, to the north of the fire, to tread with her right foot on a stone, with (the verse), ‘Tread’ (M. I, 5, 1).
4. Having ‘spread under’ Ājya into her joined hands, he pours roasted grain twice (into them), and sprinkles Ājya over it.
5. Some say that an uterine relation of hers pours the grain (into her hands).
6. He (?) sacrifices (that grain) with (the verse), ‘This wife’ (M. I, 5, 2).
7.Having gone round the fire, with the right side turned towards it, with the next three (verses; M. I, 5, 3-5) he makes her tread on the stone as above (M. I, 5, 6).
8. And the oblation (is performed) with the next (verse; M. I, 5, 7).
10. (Then) the circumambulation again (I, 5, 13-15).
11. He enters upon the performance of the Jaya and following oblations.
12. Having performed (the rites) down to the sprinkling (of water) round (the fire), and having untied the rope with the next two verses (I, 5, 16. 17), he should then make her depart (from her father’s house in a vehicle), or should have her taken away.
13. Having put that fire (with which the marriage rites have been performed, into a vessel), they carry it behind (the newly-married couple).
14. It should be kept constantly.
15. If it goes out, (a new fire) should be kindled by attrition,
16. Or it should be fetched from the house of a Śrotriya.
17. Besides, if (the fire) goes out, one of them, either the wife or the husband, should fast.
18. Or he may sacrifice with the next (verse; M. I, 5, 18), and not fast.
19. The next (verse; M. I, 6, 1) is for putting the chariot (on which the young couple is to depart), in position;
20. With the next two (verses; M. I, 6, 2. 3), he puts the two animals to the chariot;
21. First the right one.
22. When she mounts (the chariot), he recites over her the next (verses; M. I, 6, 4-7).
23. With the next (verse; M. I, 6, 8), he spreads out two threads in the wheel-tracks (in which the chariot is to go), a dark-blue one in the right (track), a red one in the left.
24. With the next (verses; M. I, 6, 9-11), he walks on these (threads).
25. And when they pass by bathing-places, posts, or cross-roads, let him murmur the next (verse; M. I, 6, 12).
The next (verse; M. I, 6, 13), he recites over a boat (with which they are going to cross a river).
2. And let the wife, when she is crossing, not see the crew.
3. When they have crossed, let him murmur the next (verse; M. I, 6, 14).
4. If they have to pass over a cemetery, or if any article (which they carry with them), or their chariot is damaged, the ceremonies from the putting of wood on the fire down to the Ājyabhāga oblations are performed, and while she takes hold of him, he offers the oblations (indicated by the) next (Mantras; M. I, 7, 1-7), then he enters upon the performance of the Jaya and following oblations, and performs (the rites) down to the sprinkling (of water) round (the fire).
5. If they pass by trees with milky sap or by other trees that serve as marks, by rivers or by deserts, he should murmur the next two (verses; M. I, 7, 8. 9), according to the characteristics in them (which refer to these different cases).
6. With the next (verse) he shows her the house(M. I, 7, 10).7. With the next two (verses; M. I, 7, 11. 12) he unyokes the two animals; the right one first.
8. Having, with the next (verse; M. I, 8, 1), spread out, in the centre of the house, a red bull’s skin with the neck to the east, with the hair up, he causes her to recite the next (verse; M. I, 8, 2), while he makes her enter the house, (which she does) with her right foot.
9. And she does not stand on the threshold.
10. In the north-east part of the house the ceremonies from the putting of wood on the fire down to the Ājyabhāga oblations are performed, and while she takes hold of him, he offers the oblations (indicated by the) next (Mantras; M. I, 8, 3-15); then he enters upon the performance of the Gaya and following oblations, and performs (the rites) down to the sprinkling (of water) round (the fire). Then they sit down with the next (verse; M. I, 9, 1) on the skin, the bridegroom to the north.
11. He then places with the next (verse; M. I, 9, 2), the son of a wife who has only sons and whose children are alive, in her lap, gives fruits to the (child) with the next Yajus (M. I, 9, 3), and murmurs the next ṭwo (verses; M. I, 9, 4-5). Then he (and his wife) observe silence until the stars appear.
12. When the stars have appeared, he goes out (of the house with her) in an easterly or northerly direction, and shows her the polar star and (the star) Arundhatī with the next two verses (M. I, 9, 6-7), according to the characteristics (contained in those verses).
He then makes her offer the sacrifice of a Sthālīpāka sacred to Agni.
2. The wife husks (the rice grains out of which this Sthālīpāka is prepared).
3. After he has cooked (the Sthālīpāka), and has sprinkled (Ājya) over it, and has taken it from the fire towards the east or the north, and has sprinkled (Ājya) over it while it stands (there near the fire), (the ceremonies) from the putting of wood on the fire down to the Ājyabhāga oblations (are performed), and while she takes hold of him, he sacrifices of that Sthālīpāka.
4. The ‘spreading under’ and the sprinkling over (of Ājya are done) once; two Avadānas (or cut-off portions are taken).
5. Agni is the deity (of the first oblation); the offering is made with the word Svāhā.
6. Or he may sacrifice after having picked out, once, a portion (of the sacrificial food with the Darvi spoon).
7. Agni Sviṣṭakṛt is the second (deity).
8. (At the Sviṣṭakṛt oblation) the ‘spreading under’ and taking an Avadāna are done once, the sprinkling over (of Ājya) twice.
9. The Avadāna for the first deity (is taken) out of the middle (of the Sthālīpāka);
12. It is offered over the easterly part of the northerly part (of the fire).
13Having silently anointed (a part of) the Barhis (by dipping it) into the remains both (of the Sthālīpāka and the Ājya) in the way prescribed (in the Śrauta ritual) for the (part of the Barhis called) Prastara, he throws (that part of the Barhis) into the fire.
14.(The rule regarding) the second sprinkling (of water round the fire) is valid (here).
15. He gives (the remains of) that (sacrificial food) with butter to a Brāhmaṇa to eat—
16. Whom he reveres. To that (Brāhmaṇa) he makes the present of a bull.
17. In the same way, with the exception of the sacrificial gift, they should sacrifice a Sthālīpāka from then onwards, on the days of the new and full moon, after having fasted.
18. Some say that a vessel full (of grain) is the sacrificial gift.
19. From then onwards he should offer morning and evening with his hand these two oblations (to Agni and to Agni Sviṣṭakṛt) of (rice) grains or of barley.
Prasna 1, Section 1 to Prasna 4, Section 8.