The very complexion of certain glorious traditions, backed by religious sanctions, had undergone total transformations by efflux of time, resulting in their very purpose being defeated. One such is the custom of giving dowry. At present, parents of some bridegrooms extract money from the parents of the brides unmindful of the sacrifice money from the parents of the brides unmindful of the sacrifice the latter have to go through. The demand is often based on the qualification, status and personality of the groom.
In olden day’s the system was the reverse, the emphasis being that the married couple should remain happy throughout, Apart from the girl’s accomplishments, charm and family background, what the elders were concerned about was her compatibility and her capacity to adapt herself to the new surroundings. It was the bridegroom’s family which met the expenses for the marriage. This however, did not mean that the boy’s parents were rich and that their offer was merely to display their prosperity.
The life history of Adi Sankara provides proof of the wisdom of our forbears. At the time of the marriage of his father Siva Guru with Aryamba, the former,s parents insisted on bearing the expenditure on the bride, on the ceremony and on the lavish sum spent by Dasaratha during Sri Rama’s wedding celebrations.
Sri Udayalur A. Rajagopala Sarma in his discourse referred to the outstanding hymn. Bhaja Govindam, composed by Adi Sankara. Pointing out the consequences, flowing out of getting bogged in short-lived pleasures, he saya a woman will hesitate even to touch the body of her husband, whom she loved most, when he dies.
The torchbearer of Vedic religion, a thinker, a reformer said missionary, Adi Sankara was also Sankara was also magnanimous as reflected in accepting a flaw, pointed out by a Harijan. Seeing him coming from the opposite direction, holding four dogs (he was Lord Vishwanath, with four Vedas), Sankara asked him to keep off, when the untouchable told him that his remark seemed to differ from his Adwaita philosophy. Did his command refer to the body or the soul? If so, was the Sun’s reflection in the river Ganges and in the gutter water different? Sankara realised that he was in front of God and offered obeisance.