Arya Samaj holds an important place in India. Founded in 1875 by Shri. Dayanand Sarasvati, Arya Samaj rituals are a little different from the Hindu religion. Similarly, Arya Samaj weddings are different from Hindu wedding Arya Samajis do not believe in idol worship. Their ceremonies are conducted as per Vedic rituals and its statutory validation is obtained from the Arya Samaj Marriage Validation Act, 1937 and the Hindu Marriage Act. Unlike Hindu Marriages, apart from the rituals, the Arya Samaj marriages require certain documents as well. This adds on to the legal validity of the Arya Samaj Marriages.
Eligibility for an Arya Samaj Marriage
A couple is eligible to contract an Arya Samaj Marriage if he fulfils the following eligibility criteria-
The bride must be at least 18 years of age and the groom must be at least be 21 years of age.
Arya Samaj Marriages can be performed by Hindu, Buddhist, Jain or Sikh couples.
A person not belonging to the Muslims, Christians, Parsis or Jews can also perform this Marriage.
Inter-Caste Marriages and Inter-Religious Marriages are also solemnised if none of the member of the couple is Muslim, Christian, Parsi or Jew.
A non-Hindu couple can also perform the marriage, after undergoing a process called Shuddhi. Muslims, Christians, Parsis or Jews, if, voluntarily wish to convert themselves into Hindus, they can do so through the process called Shuddhi. After this they can undergo an Arya Samaj Marriage.
Benefits of an Arya Samaj Marriage
Arya Samaj marriages have numerous benefits in comparison to a Hindu Marriage. It is a better option for couples who wish to marry in a simple and in a less flashy manner. It promotes the idea of a united India and does not favour any caste. 5 most important benefits of an Arya Samaj Marriage are-
Quick, easy, simple and legally valid
It is a preferred form of marriage due to its authenticity and simplicity. These marriages are recognised and legally valid. Couples out of their will can perform inter-caste, inter-religion and love marriages with proper Vedic rituals and without any unnecessary constraints. The procedure of an Arya Samaj marriage is simple, and it takes around 2-3 hours to complete the process. Certain documents are required for this marriage which adds on to its legal validity.
Arya Samaj is against the giving and taking of dowry. This marriage protects the people from the illegal concept of dowry. It also prevents coercive marriages. As various documentary evidences are involved, the couple cannot get forcefully married.
Prevents Child Marriage
Arya Samaj marriages prevent child marriages. A bride must be at least 18 years of age while the groom must be at least 21 years of age to be eligible to contract an Arya Samaj marriage. This is also a requirement by the Indian law. Documents certifying the age of the bride and groom need to be submitted. This in turn prevents child marriages.
Against Caste System
Arya Samaj favours no individual caste. It treats all kinds of people equally without discriminating them on the basis of religion or caste. It follows the mantra of “all human is human, NO CAST NO RELIGION ONLY ONE UNITED INDIA…!!” Inter caste and inter religion marriages can also be contracted in an Arya Samaj mandir.
Certificate of Marriage
A certificate is issued after every marriage that takes place in an Arya Samaj mandir. It is a legal recognition of marriage which is provided after collecting proper documentation and performing religious ceremonies. This certificate further aids in registration of marriage with the registrar.
Another benefit of marrying in an Arya Samaj Mandir is that it takes only 2-4 hours. On the date fixed for contracting the marriage, the couple visits the Arya Samaj temple with the requisite documents, things and two witnesses. Marriage is completed on the same day itself and a certificate is issued towards the end of the marriage. The certificate is valid all over India but requires a formal validation for international purposes.
Whether registration is required in the case of an Arya Samaj Marriage?
Yes, the registration of marriage is required in case of an Arya Samaj Marriage. The Marriage certificate provided by the mandir does not have a legal validity and proper registration of marriage is required. Marriage registration is required for visa, work permit, insurance and other purposes.
Separate affidavits from bride and groom stating: Date of birth, present marital status: unmarried/widower/ divorcee, affirmation that the parties are not related to each other within the degree of prohibited relationship
Proof of date of birth and address proof of the couple
Age proof of the bride and groom is required.
Two witnesses are required to attest the marriage, their age/ residence proof along with two passport size photographs
If one of the parties to the marriage is divorced, then, a certified copy of the divorce certificate issued by the competent court is required.
If one of the parties to the marriage is a widow, the death certificate of the deceased spouse is required.
If one of the parties is a foreign citizen or holding a foreign passport or is having foreign residential address- NOC and certificate of present marital status from the embassy is required.
Apart from this a Mangal sutra, 2 garlands/jaimala and 2kgs sweets is required. On completion of marriage the mandir gives a marriage certificate.
Arya Samaj marriage is comparatively budget friendly and gets completed within 2-4 hours. The marriage certificate aids in further registration of marriage. An Arya Samaj Marriage can be easily solemnised with the help of a lawyer. It prevents child marriage and is against caste system. It entitles the couple to perform consensual marriages as per the Vedic rituals.
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