Is the caste a hurdle for the marriage between a boy and girl of same religion?
Actual Question from a girl devotee:
Two families follow sanatana dharma. In this case, is caste a hurdle for a girl and boy to marry from the families? What does caste mean in today’s context.. will their marriage affect their ancestors?
Well, Four Varnas are needed in a society. But, not the caste system that is existing now. Lord Himself created a system of Varnashrama Dharma that classifieds the people in 4 classes based on their profession only. Not birth.
Actually, Brahmanas are to advice the kings and people according to the instructions of scriptures. Kshatriyas are to protect the country from enemies. Vaishyas are to supply food and other materials for the people to live. Sudras are to assist all the other three varnas by working and getting salary.
Thus, if there is no brahmana to guide in sastras, the kings & people will become rascals.
If there is no kshatriyas to protect, the country will become under the control of enemy nations and thieves.
If there is no vaishyas to produce grains, vegetables and milk, the world will die of starvation.
If there is no sudras, no other varnas can perform their duties as they need man power in all their activities.
Thus, Krishna wonderfully planned the system. In His system, all are equally important and every varna is the backbone of a society.
However, with the advancement of kaliyuga, the original varna system disappeared and birth based caste system is existing now. This is not a right system as it leads to chaos in the society.
Because of this birth based caste system, there are many deviations in every varna, particularly in brahmanas. For example, I took birth in a vedic brahmana family. My parents were very orthodox. One day, when I was 7 or 8, I was eating rice food and my left hand fingers were holding the side dish roasted potato chips. My father had advised that we should not use our left hand for eating. As I took chips through left hand, he took a stick and gave a strong blow on my left hand when I was eating. That pain lasted for 4-5 days. After that, I never use my left hand while taking food even to take side dish.
So, Though I am a brahmana person who came from such an orthodox family and though I am chanting ‘Gayathri Manthra’ also as per our family traditions, I am not ACTUALLY a brahmana now. Because, instead of vedic profession, I am doing a business and earning now. So, I must be called as a vaishya, not a brahmana.
However, to regain my brahmin status, I am thinking of selling my company when I reach the age of 52-55 and then concentrate only in preaching throughout the world till I die.
So, such varnashrama system of classification is the real caste system and it is good for the society. Only because some brahmanas misused vedic instructions and this varnashrama dharma, Lord Krishna came as Buddha and opposed vedas. Though vedas are the guiding lights for the society, Lord Himself temporarily opposed it because a section of brahmanas misused it to suppress other communities.
CASE-1: IF YOU ARE NOT A SERIOUS DEVOTEE:
It is better to marry a person within the same caste because, the life style and preferences of both husband and wife MAY BE the same. If a brahmana girl marries a vaishya boy, she may find it difficult to cope with the boy’s family as the life styles will be different for both brahmanas and vaishyas.
If a Brahmana marries a vaishya girl, she may find his daily chanting of Gayathri manthra and other manthras as peculiar. She may argue with him. So, if a brahmana boy marries a brahmana girl, she can understand the rituals followed by her husband and adjust with him.
So, if possible, try your best to marry within your caste. Failures will be less compared to mixed marriages in same caste marriage, but, failures are not totally ruled out. Only because the inter caste marriages are increasing, there are more and more divorce cases in the courts. In Chennai alone, one third of inter caste marriages end in divorce. Two thirds are somehow managing.
If there is unavoidable situation, you may go for marriage with other castes if you know that the bride or groom is really an adjustable boy/ girl.
CASE-2: IF BOTH OF YOU ARE SERIOUS DEVOTEES:
What do you mean by the term DEVOTEES? Just because he is coming to temple, or wearing religious symbols on body or wearing religious clothes or speaking of God? That alone is not the requirement to be a devotee!
So, though you like to marry a devotee, you must enquire about him thoroughly from his surroundings and particularly friends. Being a devotee member in a spiritual organisation is NOT a CLEAN CHIT or a CONDUCT CERTIFICATE that we can marry him without fear.
Only if a devotee has successfully given up his/ her life style before his initiation, and have started to live only for pleasing Krishna, he would have forgotten the vasana of his caste. Otherwise, he will still have the caste based feeling within himself.
Just being a devotee is not a clean chit for marrying him. Enquire thoroughly whoever he is! See whether he is mentally advanced to the level of forgetting his caste background. After that marry him. That’s all I can say.
In a nutshell:
(1) CASTE IS NOT A BARRIER IF THE BRIDE/ GROOM IS VERY GENTLE , COMPASSIONATE, DECENT, SOFT SPEAKING AND NOT ABUSIVE!
(2) Or, CASTE IS NOT A BARRIER IF THE BOY AND GIRL ARE SERIOUSLY FOLLOWING DEVOTIONAL PRACTICES AND HAVE DEVELOPED SURRENDERED MINDSET TO KRISHNA.
If two serious devotees marry, they will go back to Krishna and hence their ancestors will also get liberated. Such inter caste marriages will not affect the ancestors.
Otherwise, if the boys and girls are just starting level or casual devotees, then, the ancestors will be affected because their son or grandson can not perform rituals for their ancestors. Because of the inter caste marriage, their lineage is broken and a new mixed lineage is formed.
I do not support castes. But, the members of the same caste are expected to have similar characteristics. That is why, the people like to marry within a community.
Just compare the followers of our website and the website of a Hollywood actress. Will their taste be similar?
Even the communities in the social media is also like the castes that have the audience having similar choices. Just think of it with a balanced mind. You will understand my point why castes can not be eradicated. Such sections are existing in almost all religions in different manner.
Thus, castes are just the easy way followed by the people to get like minded people.
But, when we give too much of importance for the castes to separate the people, it is not permissible. Castes are just the indicators of the groups of persons of similar preferences. Of course, there may be some deviations from these patterns within the same castes also. However, it is an indication of majority of the people.
Hope you are clear now.