Types of Marriages
Sacred literatures of the Vedic tradition mentions about different types of marriages.
When the father of the daughter after making a thorough assessment of the conduct and disposition of the person, his deeds and achievements, his learning and character, bestow the daughter to such a bridegroom then such a marriage is known as Brahma marriage.
When the father chooses an eligible bridegroom and induces him to marry his daughter by means different gifts, land, wealth and other presents. Such marriages are common amongst the Kshatriyas. This kind of marriage is known as Prajapatya marriage.
When the parents disregarding their own wishes and desires, bestows their daughters to a person whom she likes, that form of marriages are known as Gandharva marriage.
The wise men of the yore says that when wedding happens after purchasing the girl at a high cost and pleasing her relatives such marriage is called as Asura vivaha.
¶ hrtva chhintva ca sirshani rudratam rudanti grhnat
prasantya haranam tat rakshasao vidhiruchyate ¶
And when marriage is done forcibly by killing the kinsmen of the girl then it is known as Rakshasa or paisacha marriage.
The Brahma, prajapatya, and Gandharva forms of marriages are righteous, but the Asura and Rakshasa marriages are unrighteous and should not be resorted to by civilized people.
Mahabharata, Vyasadeva, Translator, Pandit Ramanarayana Dutta Sastri Pandey Rama, Gorakpur Gita Press, Anusasana Parva, Chapter 44,
, p. 5613