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Gandharva Vivaha in Ancient Hinduism – Love Marriage in Hindu Religion

Gandharva Vivaha is one of the eight forms of marriage accepted by Hindu sociological texts. As per Gandharva Vivaha, the mutual love and consent of the male and female are the only condition required to conduct marriage. The marriage takes its name from Gandharvas – demigods in Hinduism.


One of the qualities of Gandharvas was that they can remain invisible to people but at the same time visible to those whom they liked. Gandharva Vivaha thus means a marriage that remains secret unless it is disclosed by the parties concerned.

Gandharva Vivaha only needs the permission of the boy and the girl. It can be performed even without any marriage ceremonies.

Asvalayana Grahyasutra states that Gandharva Vivaha falls under the category of Adharmya Vivaha as it does not help the ancestors of the bride and the groom to attain Moksha.

Gandharva Vivaha is based on the faith that the bride and the groom have on each other. In many cases Gandharva Vivaha is the result of strong physical attraction.

The most famous Gandharva Vivaha is that of Dushyanta and Shakuntala.