I would like to start with a satirical quote known to many…
“Everyone should marry, after all happiness is not the only thing in life.”
Marriage is an important phase in people’s life. It is the union of two persons from different places, different families, different mindsets who live together for the rest of their life. Marriage transforms the life of a person in a dramatic way; it either ruins his/her life or makes his/her life. That is the reason people give a lot of importance to marriage. Everyone right from a new born to the oldest in the family involve themselves in the activities of marriage right from selection of the bride/groom (not applicable in case of love marriage, unlucky them), shopping till their first night. It is a big festival for the family.
Over the years, the face of marriage has changed. In mythology, we read about Swayamvar, in which the bride chooses the groom of her choice. In our grandparent’s generation, the bride and the groom never saw each other’s face until their marriage. It is really hard to imagine such things existed isn’t it? If we consider the marriages of our parents, they had at least seen each other before marriage but married as per their parents wish. Coming on to our generation, we take many considerations into account before getting into any commitment. The bride and groom spend some time with each other to understand each other’s goals, aspirations, priorities etc… and then if they think they can live happily forever then they take the step forward to marriage.
Now the important question:
What kind of marriage is better Love Marriage or Arranged Marriage?
Before I started writing this post I conducted a poll on my blog for public opinion. Among those who have participated, majority voted for Love Marriage and least for Arranged Marriage. Now, I would like to draw scientific conclusions to justify what kind of marriage is the best.
Love Marriage: Love marriage can be related to the Darwin’s theory of Natural Selection, wherein the boy/girl explore the world to find their partner, with whom they can spend their life, through tools of natural selection like dating, live-in relationships etc…and if they find themselves to be compatible they marry. As Darwin’s theory says, Survival of the Fittest, the relationship built on the foundations of love, understanding, compatibility, caring etc… survives while all the other relationships which are loosely built on foundations of beauty, lust, attraction etc…don’t sustain. The latter is the reason why many parents do not believe in love marriages. They think its only attraction which may be driving him/her towards another but not love. It’s the compatibility and love which matters the most. Beauty plays a role, only to create an initial interest in a person, but not the only factor on which a relationship can be built. After all beauty is temporary while character is permanent. Therefore, to test each other’s compatibility, he/she has to spend time with him/her, try to understand him/her. If your love is based on compatibility, understanding each other then yours will be a happy married life.
There is one important aspect, which many people, who prefer love marriages, miss out i.e. how your partner will be with your family. Will he/she love your family as you do? Very few couples take this factor into consideration. People who love their partners, their respective families and give importance to them are the right people. I think caste would never become a barrier in love marriages if they take this into account.
Arranged Marriage: Arranged marriage is like a modern-day science which has been in practice since ages. It is like a scientific experiment conducted in a laboratory. For example, if we try to mate two different species in a laboratory, we take into considerations the conditions required, like temperature, environment, location etc… and also try to deduce the possible outcome of the mating of these species based on our past experiences and facts available. The result of the experiment may be or may not be as expected, but will give us an indication of the outcomes.
Similarly, in an arranged marriage people take into account information about Janma Patri, Kundali, Caste etc…These are the information which would give the information about the compatibility of the two unknown persons. It also gives an indicator but not a guarantee. What I like about arranged marriages is that they give priority to compatibility of individuals over their external beauty. Many girls and boys who aren’t so good looking also get married and live happily together. That is why Indian Arranged marriages are so successful and respected around the world.
The important factors in Arranged Marriages:
1) Astrology: People check for matching of the Kundalis of the bride with that of the groom. In today’s generation, many are apprehensive about astrology. They do not believe in it, it is so because they actually are not aware of its emergence. Astrology has not come into existence just like that with any foundation, rather it is prepared based on a huge collection of data, which is gathered from life experiences of millions people over centuries, and documented in Vedas. It is called Vedic astrology. Therefore Vedic astrology has such a huge number of followers worldwide. There’s nothing wrong in believing astrology, but do not completely rely on it. It only tells what may happen but not what will happen.
2) Caste: By the way I am completely against Casteism, but I would like to tell what role the caste plays in arranged marriage. Caste of a person tells us about what kind of environment he/she was brought up, what behavior he/she may possess, how he/she would mingle with the family etc… Caste is a small factor; rather a miniscule factor but elders are giving caste a higher priority than other things which is a concern.
Now a thought-provoking question….
Many of our parent’s marriages were arranged marriages and they are living happily together. Then why today’s generation is skeptical about Arranged marriages? I can’t understand it. People are becoming practical and believe in science and technology, then why are they preferring Love marriages which follows old Darwin’s Theory of Natural Selection rather than the Arranged marriages which can be related to modern science. However, I think both are equally good. People often say -“Old is Gold” so Love Marriage is good because it follows old Darwin’s philosophy and Arranged marriage is good because it is followed since ages. Thus both are justified.
Finally, I would like to conclude that Arranged Marriage or Love Marriage have their pros and cons. Neither are all the love marriages failures nor are all the arranged marriages successful. It depends on care, compatibility and love you have for each other. In case of love marriage one should be able to sustain the love one had for the other before marriage while in case of arranged marriage one should be able to love his partner after marriage.
I would like to end the post with a SMS message I received in my mobile long time back –
“The one who failed in love loves his wife more than one who never failed in love. ” (So girls look out for guys who failed in love )