Archive for the ‘Choosing a spouse’ Category

Choosing a spouse

April 1, 2009

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“In connecting himself with wife, let a man studiously avoid the following ten families, be they ever so great in political power or rank, or ever so rich in cows, goats, horses, elephants, gold or grain.”* MANU 3: 6.
*Similarly, while choosing a husband, let a girl avoid a man from the aforesaid families.

“The family which is not religious, that which is destitute of men of character, that in which the study of the Veda is neglected, that the members whereof have long and thick hair on the body and that which is subject to such diseases as Piles, consumption, Asthma, Bronchitis, Dyspepsia, Epilepsy, Leprosy, and Albinism; because all these faults and diseases are transmitted to the offspring.* Therefore both husband and
*A good example is given by Sir Alfred Garrod, who writes:- “A few years since, I was consulted by a gentleman laboring under a severe form of gout with chalk stones, and although not more than fifty years old, hea had suffered from the disease for a long period. On inquiry, i ascertained that for upwards of four centuries the eldest son of the family had invariably been afflicted with gout when he came into possession of the family estate.” (Gout and Rheumatic Gout, by H.A. Garrod, M.D., F.R.S.) – (Marriage and Disease, by S.A. Strahan, P.220.)As to advice respecting marriage, it may at once be said that those already suffering from any form of tubercular disease should not marry. Neither should anyone marry a member of a family in whicn consumption or other form of tubercular disease is common. – (Marriage and Disease, by S.A. Strahan, p. 212).

wife should come from good (physically, morally and intellectually) families.” MANU 3: 7.
*Epilepsy is, in fact, one of the most strongly hereditary of all diseases. In this respect, it is on a footing with the suicidal impulse, melancholia, drunkenness, and gout. Dr. Russell Renolds found heredity well marked in 31 per cent of his cases, and says, ” I am therefore, led to believe that an hereditary tendency of epilepsy is much more common that it is generally represented to be by recent writers on the subject.” Echeverria said 28 per cent of all cases coming under his notice were hereditary. Webster in England, and Esquirol in France, declared that a third of all cases of epilepsy depended on family taint, while Dr. Gowers, one of the greatest authorities on the subject, asserts that no less than 36 per cent of all epilepsy has hereditary transmitted predisposition as a foundation.
I myself have records of 143 consecutive cases of epilepsy, as they appeared for admission into an asylum for the insane. There were 93 males and 50 females. Of the males, 344 per cent were members of families in which either epilepsy or insanity of some description had already appeared; of the females, 50 per cent belonged to the same classes; while in 398 of the total of both sexes there was positive evidence of hereditary taint. I would also remark that in a considerable number of my cases, no history of any kind could be obtained.- (Marriage and Disease, by S.A. Strahan, p – 134-135)
“Let a man never marry one who is pale and anaemic, nor one who is altogether a bigger and stronger person than himself or has a redundant member,* nor one who is an invalid, nor one either with no hair or too much hair or too much hair,** nor one immoderately talkative, nor one with red*** eyes.” MANU 3: 8.
*All families in which diabetes occurs should be looked upon with suspicion, and should epilepsy, idiocy, insanity, or deaf-mutism also have appeared in the family, it is a very grave question whether marriage should be ventured upon. -(Marriage and disease, by S.A. Strahan, p.131).**Here we do at times find cases to support the theory, but it is amongst those less grave characters which, while unmistakably marked, do not so rapidly go to extinction of the family that we must find our strongest proof, among such characters are hore-lip, cleft palate, club-foot squint, cataract supernumerary fingers or toes, color-blindness, premature baldness, or greyness, deaf-mutbifida, and the like; or on the other hand, where the characters physiological. Instances of repeated transmission of any or all of the above-mentioned characters can be found everywhere around, and , doubtless, cases will present to the mind of the reader.. -(Marriage and Disease, by Dr. S.A. .Strahan, p.63).
A still more peculiar case was that of Edward Lambart, “the human porcupine”, as he was called; this man’s skin was covered by warty projections which were periodically moulted. He had six sons and two grandsons similarly affected, while the females of the family escaped; the two grandsons mentioned having seven sisters who were free from the peculiarity. (Dr.S.A. Strahan’s Marriage and Disease, p. 71).
“In the village of Koshilovo (Grodno Government) there are over 50 peasants who have more than usual number of fingers. According to interesting particulars published in the Novoe Vremye, they are all descendants of a peasant who married in the first half of the last century, and who had extra fingers on one of his hands. In the present generation this abnormality is reported to the extent of 2, 3, 4, and 5 even additional fingers. Some cases simply show a thumb duplicated from the first joint. As the result of intermarriage the deformity is spreading to neighboring villages. It dispenses the young men from military service, however sound they may be constitutionally.” – (the Eugenics Review, London.).***The word in the text is Bhura or brown. But I think this is not right. Very likely there has been a slip of the pen here. The word in the verse which has been translated into Bhura (brown) is Fingalaa which has been rendered into Pilaa or yellow in the author’s book called Sanskaar Vidhi. Here however, it seems that the word means red. -Tr.

“Nor one with the name of star,* of a tree,** or of a river,*** or of a mountain,**** nor one bearing a name denoting low origin,^ or servility,^^ nor one named after a bird,+ , a snake, ++ nor one whose name inspires terror.” MANU 3: 9. These names are despicable and belong to other things as well.+++ “Let him choose for his wife, a girl who has a graceful figure without any deformity, who has a pretty name, who walks gracefully like a swan or an elephant, who has fine hair and lovely teeth, and whose body is exquisitely soft.” MANU 3: 10.