varanasi wedding

During my travels through India, the topic of arranged marriages and romantic love kept cropping up as a subject of conversation.  The majority of Hindu marriages are still arranged by the parents, although this is changing in larger cities like Pune and Mumbai.  However, in Northern India this is still the norm. Here, most of the people never met their bride (or groom) prior to the wedding.

All decisions pertaining to the marriage, beginning with the choice of a partner, to the date and economics of the wedding, are taken by the parents of the respective families.  The marriages still must be of the same religion and caste.

Before marriage negotiations take any definite form, individual horoscopes of the boy and girl are evaluated to determine if the couple is suited to each other. These horoscopes are quite elaborate and much more detailed than our Western notions of zodiac signs and astrological compatibility. If the numbers don’t work, the negotiations come to a halt and a new match is sought after.

Were they happy?  Some were very much in love proudly showing me photos of their wives and children, while others said they just accept who they have been matched with and make it work.

One of my guides in Jaipur said,

 “Here in India there is no love so all our Bollywood movies are about romantic love.  In your country you have romantic love so all your movies are action films.”


About EssentialYoga Studio

Roberta has been practicing yoga since 1988 and has been teaching yoga since 1994. She has trained under master yoga teachers Swami Padmananda, Patricia Walden, Manouso Manos, Father Joe Pereira, Zoë Stewart, Karin Stephan, Liz Owen and others. She continues to study with her Iyengar teachers, Patricia Walden and Peentz Dubble. Roberta has studied yoga at the Ramamani Iyengar Yoga Memorial Institute in Pune, India during June 2011, February 2014 and attended Abhijata's intensive in Pune, India December 2016. Roberta is currently enrolled in Peentz Dubble's two year Iyengar Yoga Teacher Training Program. Additionally, Roberta completed training and certification with Elise Browning Miller as 'Yoga for Scoliosis' instructor. She completed a 500 hour Hatha Yoga Certification program with AURA Wellness Center and is registered with Yoga Alliance as an E-RYT 500. She has been a Certified Meditation Teacher since June 2007 and has been an Usui Reiki Practitioner since 1989. Roberta's Personal Practice Philosophy: Health issues have changed and deepened my practice. You will see many photos of me using a variety of props. On days I don't feel well, instead of saying, "I can't practice today", Iyengar Yoga has taught me to say, "How can I practice today".
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