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Women And Marriage In Hinduism

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Hinduism is a philosophy about how to live a righteous life. It is the third mostly spread religion after Islam and Christianity. People who live in India and Nepal are main followers of this philosophy. They account for 95% of followers. It does not have any founder. Although it is named as “religion”, Hindus do not believe in existence of one and only God and do not worship. Hinduism more than religion, it is culture. Another fact that makes this religion unique is that there are no fundamental principles that all followers of Hinduism must hold. For example, those who call themselves Muslims have to worship three to five time a day. Yet, in Hinduism there is no such condition, anyone who agrees with beliefs of this philosophy can call themselves Hindus. Moreover, unlike Islam and Christianity, Hinduism has many different sacred writings, and all of them are collected in “Vedas”. Those writings represents codes of behavior and discuss cause effect concept of life. They also mention the role of women in Hindu life. In this paper, I am also going to discuss the role of women in Hindu life, particularly in marriage.

Hindu Marriages

Hinduism considers marriage as a duty for each individual. They see marriage as connection of two lives to pursue their duty, desires, and possessions. These three words are also known as Dharma, Kama, and Artha. Dharma is the most important concept in Hinduism. It is about rules that each Hindu should follow. So, getting married is among those rules to live righteous life. Kama is another goal of Hindus’s lives which is also related to marriage. It is about passion to love. If a person loves another one, they should marry.

Artha is another goal of Hindus and it is about wealth. Then comes a question: what is relation of Artha to marriage? The answer is simple: in order family to exist there is a need to feed family members. Thus, artha is considered as an important goal. We can say that marriage encourages people to follow these three goals of lives. What is important to know for Hindus is that all of three goals (Dharma, Artha, Kama) should be perused together in order to live righteous life. Artha and Kama without Dharma can make people to conduct wrongful deeds.

Hindu word that stands for marriage is “Vivaha”. Hindus believe that relationship between woman and man is sacred and it is not limited to life on Earth. It is two souls that get together, not bodies. Therefore, it is believed that even after death, wife and husband again come together in new lives. From my perspective, such beliefs of Hindus are closely connected with Karma. Only if Karmas of two people are joint, they get marry and never get apart. What is interesting is that family roles of man and woman can change in new life. Even though such approach is very interesting, in modern India two people who marry can even get apart on Earth because there is such thing as divorce. It can be interpreted that if two people got divorced, then their Karmas are not bounded together.

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Marriage in Hinduism is very similar to Marriage in religion as Islam. When a woman gets married, she leaves house of her parents and starts new life with new relatives. Her relationship with family changes and does not remain as sincere as it was before as she rarely meets them. The similar situation was in Ancient Azerbaijan. After marriage Azerbaijani women almost never communicated with their parents and other family members. Two female siblings could never see each after marriage and each of them would live their own life with new families. Therefore, in Ancient Azerbaijan parents valued male children as they were the ones who stayed with them and took care. Hindu women start totally new life after marriage, and it can make them stressful. Yet, in modern India and Azerbaijan situation has changed. The main reason is improved technology, existence of smartphones and internet. Women can talk to their family members whenever they want and meet them.

Women as wifes and mothers

In Hinduism, women have four relationship roles: daughter, wife, mother, sister. Each of these roles is important and they should act sincerely based on mutual respect. However, in modern times these rules are not applied, and women are discriminated. There can be many reason for that. First of all, as most of Hindus are concentrated in developing countries of Asia, they have own mentality and culture that negatively affect women. For example, in India, there are not only Hindu leaders, but also Muslims whose culture also negatively treat women. Even though both in Quran and Hindu writings the respect to women is highlighted, in practice they are treated as inferior to men. Men consider themselves as head of family as they are the ones who earn money, therefore they think that women should obey them.

As wifes, the main role of women is to please all family members. Pleased family members is the main secret of long lasting successful marriages. She also must be loyal to her husband and never cheat on him, in turn, her husband should love and take care of her. Women are also the ones who do household work and raise children. Her role is to feed children and make sure that they grow up with love. From my perspective, in Hinduism, women have similar role as in other religions. However, in modern times, those role change as more women get empowered.

The important role of mother in life of her child is undeniable. Hinduism also stresses the importance of women for their children. Women determine successful life of their children. In holy scriptures of Hinduism is written that women are created from “Shakti”. “Shakti” is an element that helped the most powerful Gods to create the universe. So, we can conclude that the same as Gods created universe with the help of Shakti, women create (give birth) to new lives. So, we can say that women with their ability to give birth are compared to Goddesses. Such situation should make them to have the highest status in the society; yet, in reality men consider themselves superior to women. However, they also should be grateful to women as much as children because without women they would never have neither children no heir.

To conclude, Hinduism is a teaching about life. It is philosophy that teaches it followers to live right life. Hinduism values the role of women both as wives and mothers. It also considers marriage as one of the essentials goals for each Hindu as marriage is closely associated with other three important goals of life: Dharma, Artha, and Kama. I believe that some of these beliefs are still held in modern India; however; many aspects of women in society and their role in marriage have changed.

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Women And Marriage In Hinduism. (2022, February 17). Edubirdie. Retrieved February 6, 2023, from https://edubirdie.com/examples/women-and-marriage-in-hinduism/
“Women And Marriage In Hinduism.” Edubirdie, 17 Feb. 2022, edubirdie.com/examples/women-and-marriage-in-hinduism/
Women And Marriage In Hinduism. [online]. Available at: <https://edubirdie.com/examples/women-and-marriage-in-hinduism/> [Accessed 6 Feb. 2023].
Women And Marriage In Hinduism [Internet]. Edubirdie. 2022 Feb 17 [cited 2023 Feb 6]. Available from: https://edubirdie.com/examples/women-and-marriage-in-hinduism/
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