In Hindu religion, is it ethical for a man to marry his real mama's daughter?Arjuna abducted his mama's daughter ( krishna's sister ) and married her. like wise abhimanyu abducted daughter of...

In Hindu religion, is it ethical for a man to marry his real mama's daughter?

Arjuna abducted his mama's daughter ( krishna's sister ) and married her. like wise abhimanyu abducted daughter of balaram (abhimanyu's mother's real brother) and married her.

in south india practice of marrying a girl with her mama is still prevellant. are south indians not hindu ? if they are then why it is thought to be a sin for a north indian hindu girl to marry mama or mama's son?

Expert Answers
Ashley Kannan eNotes educator| Certified Educator

This is going to be a challenging question to answer.  Anytime one has to engage in a study of the texts that guide one of the world's oldest and most intricate of religions, some level of ambiguity may result.  The basis of the question takes two things into account that have to be analyzed.  The first is that the use of the sacred text taken in a literal light. There are many examples in the Vedic texts, Upanishads, Mahabarata, and Ramayana where literal interpretation might not be the exact intent of the teachings.  With a religion that does not profess dogmatism and monist interpretation of the good, it is challenging to sift between what is more symbolic and what it literal.  There are things that the Gods and Goddesses are able to do and can do that humans were not meant to replicate.  The practice of marrying within one's family might be one such situation.  This has become a cultural practice within Hindu communities in both North and South.  Different parts of India might not embrace it as much as others, but this practice is present.  It might be found in the texts, but there is little to indicate that such a practice has been sanctified by the deities or is something that was told must be done by mortals in their attempt to please the divine powers.

The second is the question of ethical practice.  There is a difference between ethics and cultural expression.  Even though something might be culturally practiced, it might exist outside of a level of ethics.  This might be one of these examples.