Monogamy in Hinduism | Hindu Monogamy

Hindu Monogamy

The Hindu Marriage Act, 1955 strictly prohibits the Hindus to practice polygamy. Monogamy is the law and practice of the Hindu society.

Monogamy is a form of marriage when one man only marries one woman.

Ever since the Vedic times in India, monogamy has been the most dominant form of marriage being practiced by the Hindus. Every man and woman are expected to remain faithful towards their partner.

Vatsyayana, an authority on “Kama-sutra”, remarked: “At best a man can only please one woman physically, mentally and spiritually.”

Monogamy gives, what can be best called the family protection to the old and invalid, to the grown up and growing children, and makes for family stability and equilibrium. Monogamy lay solid foundation for a prosperous, happy, and stable family. The children grow in an atmosphere of love and harmony.

Most of the Hindu shastrakaras including Manu recommended monogamy as the best form of marriage. The great epic Ramayana highlights the character of Sri Ramachandra, the hero of Ramayana, as the champion of ekapatnivratashta (ardent follower of monogamous marriage). The Hindus look upon Sri Ramachandra as an incarnation of Lord Vishnu. He is the beloved God of the Hindus.

The Hindu shastrakaras have permitted bigamy and polygyny under some conditions but never recommended them as the best ones. It can also be said that among the higher castes monogamy prevailed, the ideal of having only one wife [ekapatnivrata] being as old as the Ramayana. Prior to the passing of The Hindu Marriage Act, 1955, other forms of marriage also prevailed among the Hindus. But after 1955, due to the relative stringent enforcement of the Act only monogamy prevails among majority of the Hindus.