The Buddhist marriage is very much liberal and considered as a personal and individual concern, not as a religious duty. It neither forces anyone to be married nor force anyone to remain unmarried.
As well as it does not force anyone to have children; rather it gives freedom to couples to decide for themselves all the issues pertaining to marriage.
1. Match Making
Match-making use to be done by either parents or the eligible himself. When a boy finds a suitable girl for him; he would usually send a family friend to the girl’s house with a bottle of wine or any alcohol; and a white silk scarf-khada to see whether girl’s family show any interest towards the proposal or not and this ritual known as Khachang.
2. Rituals before Marriage
They follow certain rituals which are as follows:
In Khachang if the bridal family is agreed then next step is meeting between two families. This kind of meeting is known as Kikas; where groom’s family use to present something to bride’s family and as well as fix a date for engagement; and use to discuss about the dresses of marriage. They use to avoid the black color but prefer golden or red color.
Nangchang (Buddhist Marriage)
This ceremony holds the formal engagement and it is presided by a lama or rinpoche. Maternal uncle use to play an important role in both parties. Groom’s family use to bring many gifts and especially different meats to the bride’s family.
A special ritual is there where groom’s family use to give chicken and rice to bride’s mother as a token of payment for the mother to have breastfed her daughter. Tsang and meat used to give to unmarried elder sisters and brothers of the bride by the groom’s uncle.
After the engagement, they select a day for the girl’s departure from the maiden house. After engagement couple mostly lives together either in the boy’s house or in girl’s house.
In front of the Lord Buddha shrine couple pays respect by offering flower and candles and recite Tisarana, Pancasila, and Vandana. They also take vows from Sigilovdda Sutta (Digha Nikilya).
Mainly people from Nepal and Sikkim they use to dance and play music in their ceremony. Buddhist marriage always has best foods item and basically from North Indian style along with alcohol.
Conclusion of Buddhist Marriage
India is a multi-cultural and religious society-based country; where we can find different cultural and religious people in one society; and it influences and shapes a lot all marital relationships and families.
We have seen that how different social cultural and religious factors are active workers to change; and influence all families and marital relationships and along with this we have also seen the differences between four major religious marriage customs. From here we can say India plays “Unity in Diversity” in the name of true democracy.