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Manu suggested that of them, 1-6 were lawful for Brahmanas, 3-6 for Kshatriyas, and 4-6 for Vaisyas and Sudras. In most classifications, the first four are considered auspicious and lawful, and the last four are considered unlawful and inauspicious.

Although we do not find any descriptions of it in the law books, it appears that in ancient times the Brahma type marriage was practiced by the Brahmanas since it led to the birth of virtuous progeny, and the Daiva type by the Kshatriyas, since gods like Indra, Varuna, or Soma, who acted as the witnesses to the marriage were warrior gods.

The eight types of marriages as listed in the Manusmriti are, Brahma, Daiva, Arsha, Prajapatya, Asura, Gandharva, Rakshasa, and Paisachika.

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Rapes are rampant in present-day Indian society, but unlike in the past now they result in court cases rather than marriages.

The law books are clear about which types of marriages are lawful.

It was probably not true that the law books invented the eight types.

They might be prevailing practices to which the law books might have given their stamp of approval.

by Jayaram VThis article presents a historical analysis of premarital sex, caste distinctions, and sexual mores of ancient Hindu communities in the context of changing traditional values among the youth and the new social challenges that may impact Hindu society. Hence it may be revised further if research brings out new information.

The Hindu law books thus approached the institution of marriage from a very broad perspective to reflect the diverse ways and circumstances in which men could enter marital relationships or consummate their marriages.According to a recent report, such marriages are still practiced in some parts of northern India, and it is usually the groom rather than the bride who is kidnapped and forced to marry.The last type of marriage is called demonic (Paisachika) and considered the most heinous because in it the bride is first raped when she was asleep, intoxicated or out of senses, and forced into a marriage.They make it abundantly clear that the consent of the father is of utmost importance because as her father and chief provider or nourisher he is primarily responsible for her birth, life, and existence.Hence, no marriage is lawful if his permission is not taken before her marriage or if she is obtained by tempting him with money against his free will.Traditionally, the Hindu code of conduct, as enshrined in the law books, does not recognize any marriage in which the bride is not a maiden.