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The Age of Marriage and the Law
(HinduDharma: Marriage)

We saw that it would be best to perform a boy's upanayana when he is seven years old. A girl must be married about the same age so that she too will develop the attitude of surrender. But you will ask :" Is it possible these days? Will it not be against the law? "

It would not be right on my part to ask you to disobey the law. Those who rule us today themselves resorted to civil disobedience once. They justified their action thus: "Some people have enacted what are called laws. But we won't let them come in the way of our freedom." Why do I ask you not to defy the law that stipulates the minimum age for the bride? Not because people are not spirited enough to rise in protest against it, not because they are not ready to go to gaol or even die instead of accepting a law that has brought down the marriage samskara with its high ideal of Atmic well-being to the mundane level. I ask you not to disobey the law because the attitude of defiance, if extended to other matter, will jeopardise discipline and order in society itself. We must, however, keep impressing upon the government the sastric view with regard to the age at which a girl ought to be married.

But it is not the government alone that has gone against the sastras. More than 90 per cent of our people do not respect the sastric view. The few conversant with the scriptures must keep enlightening the rest about this view. Without going against the law they must resolve themselves to do their best, in a peaceful manner, to restore a worthy custom, no matter whether it takes a hundred years or even more to yield results. Why, even if we do not live to see the results, even if it takes a thousand years, we must sow the seeds now. Nothing will be achieved without effort. The tree does not grow if the seed is not sown.

We must, in a persuasive manner, keep impressing upon the government and the public that the Dharmasastra itself is a great legal code.

"Hindu Dharma" is a book which contains English translation of certain invaluable and engrossing speeches of Sri Sri Sri Chandrasekharendra Saraswathi MahaSwamiji (at various times during the years 1907 to 1994).
For a general background, please see here