Written by Sri Swami Chandrashekarendra
Girls today are sometimes married at the age of 25 or 30, far beyond the
limit fixed by the law. The inability to raise the money required for
wedding is one reason for this. All the ostentation at weddings, dowry
and other gifts given to the groom's people have no sanction in the
sastras. To demand a suit for the groom or a pair of boots, an expensive
wrist-watch or other luxury articles is nothing but extortion. It is as
as milking the bride's party dry. This kind of plunder is not approved
the sastras. So too the procession called "janavasam", with all its
taken out on the eve of the wedding as though it were an essential part
of the ceremonies.
In the past, when the bride and groom were very young, the wedding
included functions to keep the couple in good cheer since they would
perhaps have felt uncomfortable before the smoke of the sacred fire.
There were elements of play like nalangu and also the procession.
"Kanyam Kanaka-sampannam" (the bride adorned with gold): these
words occur in the sastras relating to the marriage rites. Gold
the grace of Laksmi but a mangalasutra with a grain of gold as part of
enough. There is no need for other types of expensive jewellery, diamond
studs, and so on. No silks are required. A cotton sari will serve the
purpose of the kurapudavai. Above all the custom of dowry must be
scrapped. There is also no justification on holding a lavish wedding
for the whole neighbourhood. Nor is a music or dance recital needed. A
big pandal too is not necessary.