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What is the best time for marriage and which is the best form?

April 1, 2009

The best time for marriage, for a girl, is from the sixteenth to the twenty-fourth year of her life and for a man, from the twenty-fifth to the forty-eighth year. The marriage of a girl of sixteen to a man of twenty-five years is called Inferior marriage. Of a girl of eighteen or twenty with a man of thirty-five or forty is called medium marriage. Of a girl of twenty-four with a man of forty-eight is called superior marriage.
The best form of marriage is that by choice (Swayamvara), after the education of the contracting parties is finished and their Brahmacharya for the aforesaid period completed. Happy is the country wherein the people devote themselves to the pursuit of knowledge, live chaste lives, and adopt the aforesaid form of marriage. Down into the depths of misery sinks that country wherein the people do not practice Brahmacharya, nor acquire knowledge, where early
*As Ashvini, Rohni, etc.**As Rose, etc.***Such as Ganges, etc.****Himdlyd.^Kali (Black), etc.^^Chaandali (an outcast), etc.+ Mend, Parrot, etc.++ As Naagi (snake), etc.+++ The idea of the sage Manu seems to be that the people should not give ugly name to their children. -Tr.
marriage and marriage between the unsuitable, are prevalent, for, marriage preceded by the practice of Brahmacharya and perfection of knowledge is the basis of all true reform and the source of all true happiness; the reverse of it brings on the absolute ruin of people who follow it.