Ashta Vivaha Or Marriage Part 1 | Kaartik Gor​​
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Ashta Vivaha: The 8 types of marriage according to Vedic Astrology

 Ashta Vivaha
Most marriages don’t work since they don’t follow the 12th House rule: it’s all about giving, not taking. Find out how this works!

‘Whatever happens in your married life, the most important thing is facing the future together’.

No eye-rolling, please. Whoever said this has grappled with the thing called vivaha?. From the instance we become aware of the laws of attraction between a man and a woman, we dream about getting married. But beyond the romance, pink clouds and expensive roses, vivaha is a serious matter. It can be a picnic or a punishment. It depends on your Karma. Aha! that K-word again, but not many people realize that marriage and Karma are inextricably linked.

Vedic Astrology answers why a marriage stays on track or goes off the rails. It can tell you when you will get married, if there will be a divorce, whether there will be affairs, and if you will ever find a match. So, let’s dive into this ocean and discover the truths.

Table of Content
  • Introduction
  • Types of Marriages
  • What is marriage/Vivaha?
  • Conclusion

In all its facets, the term for marriage is Ashta Vivaha in Vedic Astrology. ‘Ashta’ means eight, and ‘Vivaha’ is Vivaha. Essentially, there were eight types of marriages mentioned in the scriptures. These are:

Brahma Vivaha

Types of Marriages

Brahma Vivāha (Jupiter): This is the best type of union. The vivaha is on an equal footing, with the girl accorded the highest respect. The boy and girl come from good families, are from the same caste or Varna and are both educated. There is no dowry; the groom’s family approaches the bride’s family with the utmost respect, and the vivaha takes place according to tradition. Planet Jupiter signifies this marriage; hence it is considered the purest union.

Prajapatya Vivaha

Prajapatya Vivāha (Sun): This type of marriage is like the Brahma Vivah, with the groom’s father accorded the highest respect. The bride’s father offers his daughter a gift to the groom’s father. This was applicable in the olden days when couples married young. This type of vivaha occurs even today, especially when the groom’s father is an exceptional personality whom the bride’s father respects and trusts and is happy to have his daughter be a part of such a family. The marriage is based on trust and respect and not money, and hence it is a respectable marriage. Planet Sun signifies this marriage which is also considered pure.

Daiva Vivah

Daiva Vivāha (Mars): This marriage is denoted by Mars and is performed in case of delays due to affliction in a groom or bride’s birth chart. It usually happens in the case of Kuja dosha (Mars occupying certain houses in the birth chart) and when the bride remains unmarried at the age of 28. The bride’s father is under pressure, and he is willing to get his daughter married to a groom from a lower social status. The bride enters the groom’s house with plenty of ornaments and gifts.

Arsha Vivaha

Arsha Vivāha (Moon): In this type of marriage, a girl from ordinary circumstances is married to a poor boy for a small price, which means having two cows and bulls to sustain the couple in the olden days. The groom is educated, a saving grace for the bride’s family. Moon signifies this type of marriage which is not considered harmful as the bride’s family gets an educated son-in-law.

Asura Vivaha

Asura Vivāha (Mercury): This kind of marriage is a show of financial strength by the groom/family. The groom is not a match for the bride, but he bribes his way to the bride’s parents/relatives. This marriage is not respectful to the bride since her dignity is compromised. Generally, the groom is from a lower social rank but has financial power. Asura raja Mercury rules such an association – Dama (buying it out) neeti (policy).

Gandharva Vivaha

Gandharva Vivāha (Venus): This marriage is all about physical chemistry, and the couple is sexually attracted to each other. One-night stands (ONS) also are based on this concept and are considered Gandharva Vivāh! When a man and a woman marry for love without their family’s consent, it is called a ‘love marriage.’ Venus signifies this type of marriage.

Rakshasa Vivaha

Rakshasa Vivāha (Saturn): Among the most brutal types of marriage, it denotes union by abduction or rape. The bride/her family is threatened with severe consequences if they object to the marriage, and the wedding takes place in fear/terror. However, there are exceptions. If the bride is in love with the groom, and the bride’s father objects to the marriage, the groom can abduct her and marry her. The union of Krishna-Rukmini and Arjun-Subhadra can be considered Rakshasa Vivāha, and since the bride was willing, the results were excellent! Saturn rules such marriages.

Pishacha Vivaha

Pishacha Vivāha (Rahu & Ketu): This is the worst type of marriage since the bride is intoxicated or drugged and forced to marry. In short, a criminal offence. This kind of marriage doesn’t last long, and the nodes which don’t possess a head (Ketu) or body (Rahu) signify such a union.

So, there we are. Eight kinds of marriages, of which the wrong types are thankfully uncommon.

This blog will talk about traditional marriage, where healthy love or a balanced effort to match-make is the basis for the union.  

What is marriage/Vivaha?


The sublime definition of marriage is the sacred union between two souls. But that’s one side of the story. Through time, men and women have chosen to love each other deeply and yet not enter a formal arrangement called marriage. So, is their relationship different from marriage? Throughout my career as a Vedic Astrologer, couples in a live-in relationship approach me to know if they can perform a ritual/pooja? The answer is YES. Yes, you can perform pujas and rituals just like a married couple and here is the reason.

In Vedic Astrology, marriage is associated with a particular ascendant or Lagna called Upapada, the reference point for which is the 12th house. The Upapada Lagna is calculated to see the qualities and characteristics of the spouse. Why the 12th house? It’s the house of loss, so is marriage a loss? There is where knowledge from a parampara helps to provide you with a deeper perspective. Yes, the 12th house is a house of loss, but only if you don’t want to give. If you are happy to be a giver, it will transform into the House of Giving and take you to spiritual heights.

Now let’s connect that to marriage. The concept of marriage is about giving, NOT giving and receiving. Most marriages don’t work since they don’t follow the 12th House rule and treat marriage as a 7th House activity – business-minded give and take. Of course, the 7th House is the start of the interaction between marriage partners based on which we take the person home (signified by the 4th house) and finally get married, signified by the 12th House (which also represents bedroom, bed pleasures and comfort). So, we need to pass through the three stages successfully for a marriage to happen. But is a formally solemnized marriage the only meeting of souls? Is the concept of marriage based on taking a few vows or a priest pronouncing the couple husband and wife?

The point is to understand that marriage happens at a soul level, and at times, a formal wedding does not occur due to some blockage/curses; a traditional wedding does not occur. If you have had five serious relationships, and some lasted more than a year, does it mean you never married?

You will get the answer in the next para.

How do we determine the essence of marriage/partner in a chart?

The first hint is the number 12, like the 12th house and Sun. Why the Sun? He is a witness in the Sky and of Agni tattva (fire element), the ruler of Purity, critical to sustaining a marriage/relationship.

How is this Purity assessed? It is based on Shree Krishna’s concept; he established the rule of Upapada: “If you are with someone till the Sun transits the Zodiac (12 signs), then he/she is technically your husband/wife.’ If you have been with someone for one year, it is considered marriage. This rule must be followed when analyzing relationships, marriages, and outcomes.

Now that the definition of marriage has transformed let us study some charts.

Scorpio is the Ascendant in the chart above, while the 7th House lord Venus is exalted and retrograde in the 5th House Pisces. The presence of 7th House lord in 5th House leads to a romantic (non-traditional) relationship. However, there are challenges:

  • In this chart, Venus is the Ātmakāraka (planet with the highest degree in the birth chart); hence it is the carrier of the highest Karma. Venus denotes relationship.
  • 7th House lord Venus is retrograde, confirming at least three heartbreaks before the native gets a cherished partner. The rule is, ‘Retrograde planets make you strive three times harder.
  • 7th House lord Venus is associated with three planets, so the more the planets, the more significant the confusion or, shall I say, distractions!
  • Ketu, who grants moksha, is in the 12th House, so it is not a good indication for the first marriage/relationship.

A few years back, the native had shown me a horoscope of a prospective alliance, and I told him, ‘She is the one.’ However, some Venus karma was pending, and it took him a while before he was sure about her, and he married her in the Vrishabh/Cancer Narayan Dasha. In his chart, we see the Moon/Taurus position; the marriage was advised in Somnath.

The native has a beautiful moon in the 12th House in the chart above. A benefic planet in the 12th House ensures quick marriage due to Jala Tattva (Water Element). The native had a traditional wedding.

However, the 7th House lord is debilitated with Sun creating conflicts with the partner. Further, Sun is also a Darakaraka, creating conflicts due to petty ego (Sun has a huge ego), leading to rifts that can encourage the native to indulge in extramarital liaisons. Saturn is in the 7th House confirms grief and coldness in marriage because it is a cold planet, and the native began an affair in the Saturn-Venus dasha.

Venus is the 7th House lord and debilitated. I suggested remedies, and the saving grace was Jupiter in Lagna, so better sense prevailed, and he is cleaning up the mess. However, a debilitated Venus got him into financial trouble, which took time to clear.  

Are relationships and marriage different aspects to consider in a birth chart?

As I explained earlier, the idea of a serious relationship is based on the Sun’s annual transit, and if a relationship lasts through that period, it is considered pure. Why? Because an ideal Vivāha has that purity and willingness to go through testing times together.

So, can we separate relationships and marriage?

Yes. General connections are seen from Upapada Lagna, while marriage is seen from the 7th House. The 8th House, which is 2nd from the 7th House, is the house of Divorce/Separation, and the 7th House, from the house of breakup (the 8th House), signifies the second marriage (the 2nd House). The same calculation applies to relationships that don’t reach (official) marriage status.

I hope this blog has been an educative read. Do share it, this powerful knowledge of vedic astrology must spread .I look forward to your comments, Please reach out if you need clarification.


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