Questions like how a matrimony website differs from a dating site are common for us at the Art of Living Matrimony (used to be called as Sri Sri Matrimony/AOL Matrimony). The internet is full of writeups about the merits and demerits of online dating websites and matrimony websites. So we decided to go deeper and have an unbiased discussion on the institution of marriage and dating, the two contentious issues of the present era.
Was ‘gandharva vivaha’ a precursor of dating?
The concept of dating is relatively new in India. Though, ‘gandharva vivaha’ was prevalent in ancient times, dating was never a custom.
‘Gandharva vivaha’ was one of the eight types of Hindu marriage, mentioned in scriptures. The basis of this marriage was mutual attraction. According to ‘Rig-Veda’, when a girl reaches her age, she could choose a life partner on her own.
A girl and a boy would decide to stay together and have children. There was nothing scandalous about it. The kinsmen of the couple would give their consents, happily.
‘Gandharva vivaha’ was one of the earliest types of Hindu marriage. As children we have read Shakuntala and king Dushyanta chose to have a ‘Gandharva vivaha’. They had an illustrious son named Bharat.
For a matter of fact, our country ‘Bharatvarsha’ got her name from king Bharat.
The ultimate objective of a marriage in India
With time, parents looking for brides or grooms would appoint family priests for matchmaking. The latter would also perform the rituals for the consummation of a marriage.
In India, we believe that a marriage harmonises the union between couples for eternity. The union brings the ultimate advancement of human life through the pursuance of ‘dharma’ (truth), ‘artha’ (honestly earned wealth), ‘kama’ (physical desires), and ‘moksha’ (the ultimate liberation).
Dating, a way of courtship in the modern era
Dating is a form of courtship where a couple would socially interact with each other to find out the suitability of having an intimate romantic relationship. We can say that dating is an exploratory phase where two adults look for serious/ casual/ one-night relationships or just friendship.
Some even get married to the person they have met on dating sites. According to a survey conducted by Simple Texting, a messaging service, 13.6 percent of people R1 have said that they got engaged or married through dating apps.
Nowadays, it’s no more difficult to find a date. Technology has reduced the geographical distance between two people by a simple step of swipe-to-the-left on a mobile device.
People of miscellaneous age groups are members of online dating sites. This is an interesting fact since people in their forties, and beyond are supposed to be settled down,as householders.
Middle-aged people being the members of dating sites put a serious question mark on the authenticity of intention.
Matrimony sites, the online marriage brokers
In India, matrimonial alliances have always been the beginning of a new relationship between two families. Until a few years back, the elders would have the final say on a matrimonial alliance. Mostly the family priest would play the role of a match-maker.
Nowadays, many youngsters wouldn’t agree with the practice. Thankfully, websites like the Art of Living Matrimonial (AOL matrimony) have brought a fresh air of change. They bring the best of the traditional Indian customs and the benefits of technology together in one frame. Have a look at the services offered by marriage dot coms:
- People, who are serious about marriage, register with matrimonial websites after furnishing their biodata. The format of marriage bio data helps a person to include a whole lot of information.
Based on the information, the matrimony websites use advanced match-making algorithms to bring forth the lists of brides and grooms having similar interests and views in life.
- The websites also offer the facilities of chatting platforms. Members can not only send text messages but also share pictures and videos.
- Via matrimonial websites, registered members can link their social media accounts. Social media activities speak a lot about the person we are.
Can we match ‘kundalis’ (horoscopes) through matrimony sites?
Yes, we can.
Earlier, family priests would bring horoscopes of brides and grooms, match the horoscopes, and select the best matches. Nowadays, online marriage bureaus offer this service. Couples can upload their horoscopes on their accounts. The former can consult with astrologers for horoscope matching.
Are people serious about dating?
Though people in India are opening up to the concept of dating, there is a serious risk of coming across many who open their accounts on dating apps for having mere flings or casual relations. While about 44.1 percent of women and 38.4 percent of menR1 look for a long-term relationship, only 13.6 percent walk down the aisle.
Adults can handle the pros and cons of dating as they have the maturity, experience and financial independence to make decisions in their lives. In contrast, when teenagers and the students of colleges opt for dating, many times, they put themselves at the risk of exploitation.
The position of women in traditional Indian families
Marriage is the most mature phase of love where a woman and a man share equal status in their relationship. For the matter of fact, the wife is given the status of ‘ardhangini’ and the husband is considered to be incomplete without his wife.
It is believed that God is composed of two halves, each of which is a manifestation of a man and a woman. The two halves complement each other.
“In each species, the male and female of the species evolve roles, responsibilities innate to their character so that they complement each other in keeping themselves sustained, creating progeny and safeguarding them for the continued existence, the survival of the species as a whole….The ancients had, therefore, divined the principles and workings of the cosmos into three primary masculine divinities – Brahma, Vishnu and Shiva, and their feminine counterpart divinities – Sarasvati, Lakshmi, and Durga or Shakti respectively.”-Navaratri- A Time to Honour Women, authored by Dr. D. K. Hari and Dr. Hema Hari.
Responsibilities and duties of a couple
The institution of marriage brings two people together who agree to share their mutual responsibilities. The couples perform diverse duties to achieve common objectives. They work towards the progress of their families and society as a whole.
Today, when advanced countries like the USA record a 46 percent divorce rateR2, it seems that India with just 1 percent divorce rate holds the secrets of how to nurture a long-lasting relationship throughout a lifetime.
The secrets of a successful marriage
In his discourse on the topic of what it means to build an ultimate relationship in a marriageR3, his holiness Sri Sri Ravishankar touched many aspects of a successful marriage. To bring the ultimate progress in your physical and spiritual worlds, don’t miss to listen to the audio-video clip published on YouTube.
Though it seems that in an era where demands soar higher than commitments, it is hard to build a successful marriage, a clear concept about love and devotion is what we need.
Perhaps the way Narada muni defined divine love- “Gunmahatmyasakti roopasakti poojasakti smaranasakti dasyasakti sakhyasakti vatsalyasakti kantasakti atmanivedanasakti tanmayasakti paramavirahasakti rupa ekada api ekadasadha bhavati”- Narada Bhakti Sutra | Sutra 82- no one else could.
Indians believe that in its perfection, marriage helps spouses to attain the qualities of a devotional lover. Those who reach that phase can easily master the art of living.
The list of reference