Brahma marriage defined in Manu Smriti (Verse 3.27)
ācchādya cārcayitvā ca śrutaśīlavate svayam |
āhūya dānaṃ kanyāyā brāhmo dharmaḥ prakīrtitaḥ ||
आच्छाद्य चार्चयित्वा च श्रुतशीलवते स्वयम् ।
आहूय दानं कन्याया ब्राह्मो धर्मः प्रकीर्तितः ॥
This means that when bride's father himself invites a man as groom, who is endowed with learning and character and decides to give his daughter to him, this is called Brahma marriage. Before giving away his daughter, she is suitably dressed (preferably with some ornaments), he worship the couple (bride and groom).
Confarreatio” marriage practiced in the ancient Rome also resemble the Brahma form of marriage, Manu (Latin: 'manʊs') and Yajnavalkya (Sanskrit: याज्ञवल्क्य, Yājñavalkya). This form of marriage held that the son born of a marriage redeems form sins of ten ancestors, ten descendants and himself. In the Mahabharata, it is found that the Kshatriyas practiced the Brahma form of marriage, although as suggested by its name, it was mostly practiced by Brahamins.
In this form of marriage social decency was maintained to full extent and the religious rites were observed to the extent possible. It also implies an advanced stage of social progress as the form of marriage appears to have been intended as a reward for learning in the Hindu scriptures and thought to be an impelling force for the study of the Vedas.
This type of marriage has the supreme position and most prevalent type of marriage within Hindu society within the eight types according to the ancient Indian scriptures like Manu Smriti, Mahabharata and Veda, etc., and as specifically mentioned in Manu Smriti (Verse 3.21),
Brāhmo daivastathaivārṣaḥ prājāpatyastathā'suraḥ |
Gāndharvo rākṣasaścaiva paiśācaścāṣṭamo'dhamaḥ || 21 ||
ब्राह्मो दैवस्तथैवार्षः प्राजापत्यस्तथाऽसुरः ।
गान्धर्वो राक्षसश्चैव पैशाचश्चाष्टमोऽधमः ॥ २१ ॥
These eight types are mentioned below:
(1) Brahma marriage (Hindi: ब्रह्म विवाह),
(2) Daiva marriage (Hindi: दैव विवाह),
(3) Arsha marriage (Hindi: अर्श विवाह),
(4) Prajapatya marriage (Hindi: प्राजापत्य विवाह),
(5) Asura marriage (Hindi: असुर विवाह),
(6) Gandharva marriage (Hindi: गन्धर्व विवाह),
(7) Rakshasa marriage (Hindi: राक्षस विवाह), and
(8) Paishacha marriage (Hindi: पैशाच विवाह).
Bridegroom, his father and family, on the basis of proposal received from bride's father or family, checks the compatibility of bride and her family with their own family, traditions, value systems, etc. and decides to proceed with the relationship or otherwise. In the ancient age groom's birth, conduct, character, learning, knowledge of Vedas, etc., was an essential constituents of inquiry by Bride's father but nowadays educational and professional qualification, social status have become more important.
The Brahma marriage is most common type of arranged marriage nowadays, wherein father of girl (bride) marries her to a man (groom) of good conduct. Bride's father make selection of bridegroom and invite him for marriage through formal means by sending a messenger or through personal meeting and followed by rituals depending on religious traditions.
- Manusmriti with the Commentary of Medhatithi by Ganganatha Jha | 1920 | 1,381,940 words | ISBN 8120811550 (https://www.wisdomlib.org/hinduism/book/manusmriti-with-the-commentary-of-medhatithi/d/doc199802.html)
- 8 Traditional forms of Hindu Marriage in India, Article shared by Nitisha
- Manusmriti with the Commentary of Medhatithi by Ganganatha Jha | 1920 | 1,381,940 words | ISBN 8120811550l (https://www.wisdomlib.org/hinduism/book/manusmriti-with-the-commentary-of-medhatithi/d/doc199794.htm)
- Hindu Matrimony