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Anuloma Pratiloma In Hinduism

Anuloma – Pratiloma is marriage to a partner of a lower or higher caste. In Hinduism, marriage is a sacrosanct relationship between a man and a woman. It is not viewed in the Hindu tradition as a contract that can be terminated by mutual consent or otherwise. The purpose of marriage is to beget good children who would help perpetuate the family traditions and uphold dharma (righteousness, and in particular the discharge of one’s ‘debts’ to the gods, the seers and the ancestors). This is possible only if marriages are arranged within one’s own caste. According to the sages, one should marry a girl who is Anurupa and sadrusi, meaning ‘befitting’. Manusmriti deals elaborately with kinds of marriage in 131 verses.

However, a brahmin may marry a girl born in a kshatriya, vaishya or shudra community owing to circumstantial pressure. Similarly, a kshatriya marrying a vaishya or a shudra girl or a Vaishya marrying a shudra girl do not represent regular forms of marriage. The children born of them do not belong strictly to the caste of the father since the other partner is of a different caste. They are given different names such as ambastha, nishada and ugra. Similarly, a shudra may marry, brahmin, kshatriya or vaishya girl. This is the pratiloma form of marriage. Different names are given to the offspring of such marriages and different vocations are prescribed for them in Manusmriti. But all are required to follow the principles of nonviolence, truth, non-stealing, purity (internal and external) and sense control.