Can Jains, Hindus, and Brahmin Get Married?

Man Sits Beside Woman Touching the Left Shoulder of Man

Southeastern Asia has a deep history of ancient religions and ritual practices, with Jainism and Hinduism being two of the largest and oldest. As these millennia-old religions coexist with each other in modern life, it can be confusing to figure out how they interact during love and marriage. Can Jains, Hindus, and Brahmin get married?

Jains, Hindus, and Brahmin are allowed to get married as long as:

  • The lifestyles of the two people are close enough
  • The family has no major objections

While that’s the simple answer, it can be more complicated depending on exactly who is marrying and why. In addition, many of the cultural practices around this topic are in the process of adapting to modern life, which brings about changes. We’ll cover all of this in more detail.

Jains, Brahmins, Hindus, and Modern Life

Jainism and Hinduism are two of the oldest and largest religions in Southeast Asia. They have roots that stretch as far back as millennia, and in older times the religious rituals and codes were much stricter.

In modern times, many Hindu and Jain families have become more relaxed and liberal about certain aspects of the ancient traditions. For example, Jains are usually vegetarian because of their beliefs, but some modern families eat vegetarian at home but will eat meat if they are at a restaurant, party, or other special occasion.

Since there is such a wide range of how strict or loose, any given Jain or Hindu family will be about their beliefs, much of the answer will depend on the exact two people (and families) getting married!

Can a Jain Marry a Hindu?

While Jains are usually pushed to marry another Jain, these days it’s not that uncommon for a Jain to get married to a non-Jain, whether Hindu or not.

For a Jain to get married, there are things other than religion that are typically more important:

  • Their spouse must be willing to abide by their lifestyle. For example, they must be willing to not eat meat any longer.
  • Their spouse should be able to worship with them at their place of worship, or at least to help them worship
  • Their spouse should be good enough to be approved by their family

The biggest key thing is that the two families don’t have lifestyles that are too different. In Jainism, this is considered a big red flag for marriage. For example, if a Jain wants to marry someone who’s family would force them to break their vows and eat meat, that’s obviously going to cause some friction!

Find out more about the differences between Jain and Hindu weddings.

How Do Societal Pressures Affect Jain and Hindu Marriage?

For a Jain, there is not likely to be much resistance from society about marrying a Hindu in modern times. Finding another Jain to marry can make it easier to get approval from their family, but in general modern Jains are allowed to marry who they wish (or are arranged with) so long as that person follows the basic tenets of Jainism, like mentioned above.

Family Objections Can Play a Large Role

Family influence plays a big part in marriage decisions for Jainism and Hinduism. If your family really doesn’t like your choice of spouse, a marriage can be difficult to make happen. You may be forced to elope and risk angering both families.

Fortunately, for most Jains, this is not a big deal these days. So long as their choice of spouse is a good and successful person who is willing to follow the basic tenets, the Jain’s family is unlikely to stop a marriage.

Can a Jain Marry a Brahmin?

Fortunately, just like the other castes of Hinduism, modern Jains usually won’t be prohibited from marrying a Brahmin. In fact, it may be easier for a Jain-Brahmin marriage to occur. However, the same caveats still apply. Gender can play a large part in Brahmin-Jain marriages, too. For example:

  • If the Brahmin is a woman, she should be ready to adapt to the Jain’s lifestyle.
  • If the Brahmin is a man, he should be ready to help his wife adapt to his family’s lifestyle.

Brahmins Have High Status Marriages

Brahmin is the highest level of the traditional Hindu caste system. Even though the caste system is far less rigid than it used to traditionally be, this still has an impact on modern life. Brahmin are more likely to be successful, educated, and well-supported.

Because of this, it is often easier for a Jain to get their family to approve their marriage to a Brahmin, because the Brahmin:

  • Is likely already successful
  • High-status in their society
  • Comes from a good, established family

In general, because a Brahmin is usually already of high status, they have a good chance of being accepted by the Jain’s family.

Brahmin Marriage

Brahmin, being “higher-status” members of a Hindu society, often have higher demands and expectations placed on them for marriage and family life. These expectations and rigid rules have relaxed over the course of time, and nowadays there are more options for Brahmin to get married to non-Brahmin spouses, as we’ll explore below.

Can a Brahmin Marry a Hindu of a Lower Caste?

Traditionally, whether or not a Brahmin could marry a non-Brahmin depended on the gender of the person.

  • A Brahmin man can marry a non-Brahmin woman, because the woman then becomes Brahmin by marriage
  • A Brahmin woman could not marry a non-Brahmin, because her status would be demoted to the lower caste (and her family would be very displeased)

While many of the old traditions have loosened with time, most Brahmin families will still be very resistant to allowing their daughter to marry a person of a lower caste. However, they may be able to convince their family if their chosen spouse is:

  • Well educated
  • Independently successful
  • Not from a bad family

In those circumstances, a modern Brahmin family may be more willing to accept their daughter’s non-Brahmin spouse.

Can a Brahmin Marry a Jain?

Like we talked about above, a Brahmin woman will have a hard time convincing their family to accept a non-Brahmin spouse, even if he is successful.

While her spouse being Jain is not a major concern, it can still be another thing for the family to object to. It can make convincing her family an even harder job. But there have been Brahmin-Jain marriages before, and in modern times such marriages are becoming more and more common.

Brahmin Man and Jain Woman

Even though Brahmin men can marry from any societal status, marrying a Jain woman can still create an additional roadblock. It is not a major concern, especially if the Jain woman is willing to adapt to her husband’s Hindu lifestyle.

However, some more traditional Brahmin families still insist their son marries a Brahmin woman in order to maintain the household as pure Brahmin.

Marriage between Jains, Brahmins, and Hindus

These millennia-old religions used to have very strict rules and codes about marriages between castes and between religions. In ancient times, a Hindu marrying a Jain would have been a much more difficult affair.

Thankfully, in modern times, many of the families practicing these religions are much more relaxed about marriage. While family still has a large say in who marries who, many of the old obstacles can be overcome with a bit of talking and choosing a good spouse.

To recap, Jains, Hindus, and Brahmin are allowed to get married as long as:

  • The lifestyles of the two people are close enough
  • The family has no major objections

So long as those two things are in order, then a Jain can marry a Brahmin or a Hindu of a lower caste with few to no issues!

Recent Posts