Are Inter Caste marriages prohibited by the Scriptures? Is it allowed for devotees?
Actual Question from a Kshatriya, ie, a marine engineer who loves a Brahmin girl:
“Hello sir jai shri radhe Krishna. I’m asking my second question from you after being answered the first one, few months ago. Sir my question is that is inter caste marriage is sinful? I’m a marine engineer and belongs to kshtriya caste and the girl belongs to a brahmin caste, her mother says that if she marries a person like me having a lower caste her pious deeds and Karmas will get wasted after having gotten a brahmin birth. We both are devotees sir. I pray daily to shri Krishna for his mercy, cause I want to do his devotional service with this girl and render service unto him wholeheartedly. Why this caste barrier exists sir? And lastly one last thing, can you please see my birth chart and tell me if I’m able to marry that girl sir please? I’ll very heart broken dear sir. Please suggest something. I’ll be very obliged to you sir if you please kindly suggest me about my birth chart sir (only if you like and willing sir). Hare Krishna. Radhe radhe.”
You can see this page of this site if you like to check the horoscope matching for marriage. However, I will give general tips related to your query.
I like to explain this in detail to explain why such views exist among the parents. This may be helpful for the MODERN boys and girls to understand the actual reasons behind some popular views existing among the people.
HOW THE CASTE SYSTEM STARTED?
Actually, there are thousands of castes in India. This is not the actual system started by Krishna. In fact, Lord Krishna classified the people into JUST FOUR VARNAS based on the profession and consciousness to enable all the mutual needs in a society are fulfilled. Not by birth.
The actual classification was:
(i) Brahmanas to guide all the people on the vedic way of life and dharma.
(ii) Kshatriyas to protect the country from enemies, anti national and anti social elements. In today’s world, the rulers, members of parliaments and legislatures, Security personnel (army, Navy, airforce), Policemen, etc can be considered as Kshatriyas.
(iii) Vaishyas to produce the products and sell them so that all the people get their needs to live.
(iv) Sudras to work and earn from Vaishyas and Kshatriyas.
If you closely analyze the above four classes of people, you can feel that all the four varnas represent entire society perfectly. Every person will come under anyone of this varnas. Since the persons of every varna were dependent on other varnas for living, there can be no suppression among them.
Because of the advancing kaliyuga, later, thousands of sub sects and castes were created by the people for their convenience and suppression also started to exist.
Let me explain your question based on ancient system of varna first:
WHY A BRAHMANA IS PROHIBITED FROM INTER CASTE MARRIAGE, ie, MARRYING FROM OTHER CASTE?
Because, there is a belief that if a Brahmana performs inter caste marriage with the boy / girl of another caste, their generation comes to an end. A generation is formed within the same community. Therefore, the boy or girl child who was born for inter caste parents can’t perform any of the vedic rituals since vedic rituals can be done only by the brahmanas.
In Garuda Purana, it is said by the Lord Himself that if no rituals are done by the son for any person after his/ her death, he/ she has to get a life in the hells.
In the case of inter caste marriages, they will get a child, but, that child has no rights to perform the rituals for his parents after their death.
Since the vedic rituals are not done, it is believed that the parents get a hellish life for a certain period.
That is why, the parents of that girl has told you as mentioned in your message.
Let me give some points about dealing with the caste in marriage and a solution for this issue. IF YOU ARE SERIOUS, FOLLOW THAT AND MARRY. OTHERWISE, FORGET THAT GIRL.
HOW THE CASTE BASED MARRIAGES BECAME POPULAR?
Actually, any boy can marry any girl. No problem. If a male connects with a female, reproduction happens. Children come.
So, as far as child birth is concerned, any boy can marry any girl.
Then why other formalities like caste, family background, etc?
Because, the life does not end just with getting a child. They have to live together WITH UNDERSTANDING AND COOPERATION TILL THEY DIE. Small problems in day to day life is allowed as they will not harm the marriage life.
But, if the nature and character of the wife and husband are TOTALLY different, what will happen?
If the wife is an advanced devotee, but, the husband is a drinker and meat eater, what will happen? Naturally, the problems will start. The husband would like to eat immediately after cooking. But, the wife would say that he can eat only after she offers food to Lord. Since he can’t wait for even ten minutes, he would shout at her.
Then, he would tell his wife NOT TO go to Lord’s temples hereafter since she is not respecting his feelings. But, the wife can’t remain even a single day without visiting the temple. She would start to go secretly. The husband would find it out one day. Problems would start.
Sometimes, the husband would like to have sex. The wife would refuse since it was ekadasi. The husband would behave like mad and forcefully try with her. The wife starts to hate him because he is unable to wait even a single day without sex.
Problem starts. Both of them start to see like enemies. Beating….abusing, then, ends in divorcing.
Why these things happen? Because, they did not properly evaluate their preferences and characters before marriage.
That is why, elders followed the systems like castes , horoscopes, etc to find like minded people.
Caste actually means a community. Community means, A GROUP OF SIMILAR NATURED PEOPLE.
Even spiritual organizations are also the communities. There are communities for religions, castes, sub-castes, actors, politicians, etc. The objective of the members of every community will be the same. Do you agree with me?
Similarly, the caste is also a community. How? Every caste, ie, community has almost same natured people with similar preferences in their life.
Brahmins have some preferences. They will give importance for vedic rituals in every action. Traders have some preferences. They will see money in all their actions. So, if a brahmin marries a trader, they will find it difficult to cope up with each other. Problems may start occasionally.
That is why, the marriages were arranged within the same caste. If the son of a trader and the daughter of another trader marry, both of them will concentrate in making more wealth for the family. So, both will have the same taste and preferences.
If the son of a brahmana and the daughter of another brahmana marry, both of them will concentrate in leading a family keeping God at the center Both will have same taste and preferences.
The brahmin community have a life style of prayers, vegetarian food, not going to movies, etc. If a person of another community marries a person of brahmin community, he can’t cope with this life style.
Same applies for many other marriages if they have totally contrary life styles.
This is the real purpose of same caste marriages. In those days, the family, nature, etc of a groom or boy were evaluated before marriage. Since evaluating them was difficult, they evaluated through the caste since every caste had their own customized preferences in life.
That is why, in those days there were no or less divorces. Though the chances of problems were still there because of other personal reasons, the rate of DIVORCE BECAUSE OF THE DIFFERENCE OF BASIC NATURE were less in same caste marriages.
Caste system has deep rooted in the society. The political leaders may speak about eradicating the caste system. They say that they can achieve that by encouraging inter caste marriages.
Yes, it is partly possible through inter caste marriages. But, the caste of the child is still decided based on the caste of the father. What to do for that?
Not only that.
How will they eradicate other type of divisions and preferences of people? Logically, the following are also similar to the castes that can never be eradicated from this society.
Let us see some examples for such divisions:
Though we minimize the existence of castes, a boy of a religion will prefer the girl of the same religion only.
Because, they will have same type of devotional and life preferences!
Even in this “so called” modern India, or, even in the western countries, the filtering of groom or bride based on some other factors are existing.
Krishna devotees like to marry only the Krishna devotees, not the Shiva devotees saying that they can follow their devotion together comfortably.
A tall boy likes to marry only the tall girl saying that they can establish their image.
A fair boy likes to marry only the fair girl saying that they can claim that they are the best match.
A politician likes to marry another politician saying that they can establish their image.
Even a doctor likes to marry another doctor saying that both of them know the nature of the profession of a doctor.
An actor likes to marry another actor saying that both of them know the nature of the profession of acting.
Rich boy likes to marry a rich girl to increase their status.
What will happen if the persons of different natures marry?
Just imagine if a shop owner marries a government employee in an office, how can they understand each other properly? The government office has a fixed time of duty, ie, like a school or college. That employee may have plenty of free time and holidays.
But, running of a shop is not like that. They may need to work even till late night and start in the morning even before 7AM. They may develop misunderstanding because of this different work schedules and pressures.
Therefore, we cannot eradicate the filtering the people based on certain factors. It will always exist.
Caste was also considered as a filter to choose like-minded people for marriage because of having SAME PREFERENCES IN LIFE.
Now, anyone marries anyone. But, the problems should have come down. But, in the reality, some other problems are increasing.
Since the sex and money became the prime considerations for marriage leaving behind the community and family backgrounds, the caste considerations have come down.
But, other new problems have increased. The divorces have increased alarmingly. The happiness have come down in the family since leading the life has become very costly in the changing economies. In the name of equality, both the husband and wife go to jobs and hence the children are becoming self-centered and independent without caring the family structure and society.
While loving, ONLY THE POSITIVES are shown by the boy and girl. If a boy says that he takes bath once in 3 days only, will that girl marry that boy? No. But, that boy will not tell that fact to girl while loving. She will come to know that he baths once in 3 days ONLY AFTER MARRYING.
The objective was good in caste marriages, ie to get same natured groom or bride.
Why the caste based choice can’t succeed now a days?
But, now a days, all people have become materialistic. So, the people of all castes behave similarly.
As said by the scriptures, most of the people are sudras (working class) in kaliyuga, since now a days, all the communities are studying and going to jobs.
Even brahmanas have started to work under some persons and earn from them. Therefore, they naturally lose their Brahmana status. Anyone who works under some others or companies are called Sudras (Working classes). If a brahmana runs a business, he becomes a VAISHYA losing his Brahmana status.
Therefore, now, In India, there are only a limited number of brahmanas who are having vedic service as their prime profession.
Now a days, though India has thousands of castes, the number of true brahmanas are very less.
Even among the other communities, there are many divisions.
Moreover, a girl or boy are chosen for love or marriage just on seeing the outside factors.
Therefore, now a days, if a good boy / girl is available in your same caste, marry him/ her after evaluating thoroughly. If no one is available, and if you choose from other community, ensure that the preferences are almost the same for both of you.
If we do not evaluate a person before marriage, we will have to feel later. That is why, these caste systems were considered for marriage. During the earlier days, this system worked partly well.
Now, such a strict caste system does not exist. So, They can no longer use the caste as the tool for evaluating the nature and preferences of a person.
If the two people of different castes are vaishnavas, can they marry?
This is applicable only for those who 100% trust Lord and everything related to Him. This is not practically acceptable in all cases, as many people are following VIDHI BAKTHI (rituals) only and hence they won’t have become fully matured to accept the different customs of spouse.
Some people may use devotional banner as a card to get introduced with girls and to discuss with them. So, they speak of devotion much.
Thus, one should be careful in selecting brides or grooms among devotees also.
So, one should not believe a person and entrust you just because he is also speaking about Krishna. In many ISKCON temples, they have a procedure for arranging matches for its devotees. The male and female devotees who have attained their age, should register their name and horoscope to the temple president or to the concerned devotee. He will suggest some matches to the registered persons.
Instead of doing so, developing love just because a person is speaking about Lord is pre matured. Because, a sizeable portion of devotees fall into material trap after a few months or years after coming to devotional way of life. Then, they will approach their wives with material approach only.
So, though a boy and girl are the devotees, ONLY IF BOTH OF THEM HAVE SAME STRONG VIEWS IN IMPORTANT MATTERS, that marriage will be successful.
If the marriage between the two vaishnavas will be successful , why there are so many separations among devotees also?
So, these are all interesting to speak. But, very difficult to implement.
CAN BOTH OF YOU GO OUT AND MARRY DESERTING THE PARENTS?
It is my categorical view that it is difficult for a couple to live without the support of their parents.
However, in your case, first ensure that she is a genuine girl and she is strong in marrying you because of performing devotion together, not for just attractions. Talk to her everything. If you find hem genuine, follow these tips:
Check the horoscope of that girl with a good astrologer. If there is a karma for her to marry a boy from other caste, in such cases, if the marriage happens within different castes, it succeeds. Otherwise it fails.
So, if the astrologers are firm about it, tell about this dosha to her parents and tell them that your marriage life will be stable only if their daughter marries a boy from other caste. Meet their parents and convince them. If they get convinced, marry her.
After getting the consent of your and her parents, marry her that will clear the dosha she has in her horoscope.
If that girl does not have any dosha to marry from other caste, please skip her, as inter caste marriages will face many hurdles if the parents do not agree and if the persons have no such karma to marry from other caste.
WHO CAN MARRY FROM OTHER CASTE?
Only one solution is there.
(1) After marriage, both of you should be prepared to adopt each other’s life style and preferences.
(2) Both of you should discuss this important aspect before marrying and decide to marry only to serve Krishna. If you do so and agree, both of you can marry.
(3) There is another way. Take a new birth by accepting a bonafide guru. It is the new birth for both of you as the vaishnavas.
Taking initiation alone is insufficient. Follow the diksha rules strictly in life. Develop detachment from materialistic way of life.
If both of you involve seriously in Krishna Conscious practices and advance in it, both of you will have the same target Krishna. Therefore, if both of you live life to serve Krishna, then, there is no need to see the caste.
And, IN THE CASE OF SUCH DEDICATED VAISHNAVAS, NO RITUALS ARE NECESSARY AFTER THEIR DEATH. HENCE, THERE IS NO NEED TO WORRY FOR THE SON TO PERFORM THE RITUALS AFTER THE DEATH.
WARNING: If you do not lead a serious devotional way of life, the planets will still have their effects. Therefore, be serious about becoming sincere devotees marrying and living for Krishna, not for your senses.
Show this part of answer to the parents of that girl. Both of you take a pledge to become serious vaishnavas with material detachment.
Take steps for that.