Origin of Kanyadaan | Fusion - WeRIndia

Origin of Kanyadaan

Origin of Kanyadaan

Kanyaadaan is one of the most important rituals in Hindu marriage. In this event, the bride is given as a ‘gift’ to the groom by the girl’s parents.

Some people say that this ritual helps the bride’s parents attain ‘moksha’ by relieving them from all sins.

While others say that the bride is treated as Goddess Lakshmi on her wedding day and the groom is considered as Lord Vishnu, hence this ritual is the most significant one in the Hindu wedding.

And most importantly, this ritual has a spiritual meaning rather than physical.

Not just the girl’s parents, but any elders in the family can perform this ritual as the guardians of the girl.

As Manusmriti cites, this ritual is one of the most precious gifts or ‘daan’ (donation or gift).

Some people who do not have daughters perform this ritual in the weddings of their brother or sister’s daughters.

But, this is an age old tradition and several girls these days argue that they are not objects to be given away as a gift or donated to someone else.

They also say that in real context, this practice is not being performed in a spiritual manner.

In this regard, it is quite good to know about the origin of this practice.

As per several Vedic Scholars, kanyadaan was not mentioned in the Vedas which are believed to be the source of several Hindu traditions.

Rather, Vedas had given importance to the consent of a girl to her marriage. The concept of offering his daughter as a gift to the groom by her father was never mentioned.

Then, how and when did it become one of the most important wedding traditions in India?

In the later Vedic periods, especially in Manusmriti, this tradition evolved.

Manu was one of the prominent rishis in the ancient time and compiled Hindu laws in the medieval period.

At that time, the status of women in the Hindu society was changed and their position was put down. It was the time which led to several evil practises later.

Image Credit:- “Kanyadaas” by Priyambada Nath  is licensed under CC BY 2.0.

Image Reference: https://www.flickr.com/photos/priyamn/7147776685

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