In support of this we have the following from the Markandeya Purana: 'The
funeral rites of a maiden wedded in accordance with the marriages beginning with Brahma,
i.e. Brahma, Daiva, Prajapatya and Arsha, should be performed by the Gotra of her husband;
but of marriages beginning with Gandharva, i.e. the last four kinds, by the Gotra
of her father'. 16
The above reveals to us two important points: (1) the legal importance
given to the persons, viz. father, brother and others who are entitled to give away the
maiden in marriage and (2) the cause of the rejection of the last four kinds of marriages
as lawful. As the bride did not obtain the Gotra and the sameness of Pinda with her
husband, they were not counted as marriages at all and hence became obsolete in society.
This notion, that, unless the girl is given away by her guardians, she
does not belong to the family husband, is clearly a later development; for we do not find
anything in support of it in the earlier law-books. In the Grhya-Sastras, this part of the
ritual has not attained such unique legal importance. In the earliest Grhya rituals
there is no mention of it. It gradually developed until it acquired this legal importance
at the bands of later lawgivers.
It is clear from the above that the entire question of consanguinity
depended upon the sharing of the funeral cake, or Pinda, by the Pitrus in the life after
death. The same eschatological belief that stressed the necessity of a son and laid such
extraordinary emphasis on the birth of sons at the sacrifice of all other considerations
in the earlier ages, now formed the basis for determining the question of consanguinity
and the validity of the marriages of later times.
The marriage ceremony as described in the Grhya-sutras extended over
four clays; but it is not clear at what stage the, marriage could be considered valid. The
earlier Dharma-Sastras, too, have not mentioned any thing about it. The arrangement of the
constituent parts of the ceremony is not the same in all schools. As the ceremony of
taking mutual vows before the fire, which was considered a witness of the union, the
centre of the older ritual, and as all the schools unanimously adopt this, it may be
presumed that this determined the validity of the marriage.