In Manu, however, they have gained a special importance in law; for a
divorce could be obtained, if the maiden possessed any disfiguring marks. Anybody gives
away a maiden possessing blemishes without declaring them, the bridegroom may annul that
contract with that evil-minded giver. 2 Manu adopts the system of his predecessors in his
enumeration and definition of the different kinds of marriages.
He enumerates eight kinds of marriages They are, the rite of Brahmanas
Brahma; that of the gods, Daiva; that of the Rishis, Arsha; that of Prajapati, Prajapatya;
that of the Asuras, Asura; that of the Gandharva, Gandharva; that of the
Rakshasa; and that of the Pisacha, Paisacha, 3. 'It is followed by verses declaring their
validity in society, which can be taken to represent different stages in the development
of legal literature. They are as follows :-
One may know that the first six according to the order (followed
above) are lawful for a Brahmana, the four last for a Kshatriya, and the same four,
excepting the Rakshasa rite, for a Vaisya and a Indra. 4
The sages state that the first
four are approved in the case of a Brahmana, the Rakshasa rite in the case of a Kshatriya,
5 and the Asura marriage is that of a Vaisya and of a Sudra.
But in these institutes of the sacred law three of the five last
are declared to be lawful, 6 and two unlawful; the Paisacha and the Asura rites must never
be used. For Kshatriya, those before - mentioned two rites, the Gandharva and
the Rakshasa, 7 whether separate or mixed, are permitted by the sacred tradition.