The Hindu seers of the ancient times invented a very ingenious method of tying the wedding knot. There is perhaps no other example of creating a bond that goes beyond the mortal life on this earth than with the Hindu man and his wife. According to Hindu scriptures, marriage is a duty. Non-performance renders the individual as incomplete. It is based on the principles of love, sacrifice, and service to build a good family and lay a strong foundation for noble society. Hindu marriage is often an elaborate affair. It is believed that a Hindu wedding is not just a relationship of two individuals; rather, it is a relationship of two families. Participation of the family members is very deliberate and vocal.
Even though the Vedic society was considered paternal in the beginning, it soon recognized the esteem of the woman and accorded the highest status to her, on par with the man. The wife was called ardhangini (half-body) or sahadharmini (partner in spiritual life). In the long voyage of the married life, the Hindu wife becomes her husband’s true and honored partner. There is no family occasion, religious ceremony, or a spiritual ritual where she is not a major participant. The high status, which a Hindu wife earned more than five thousand years ago, is way ahead of most women in other cultures of the world.
The parents generally arrange Hindu marriages. Even when the man and woman seek each other directly, the family usually endorses the wedding. Nowadays, the involvement and influence of the parents and elders has been reduced in the choice of selection, especially in the urban sector.