putryāḥ samāmnāya-vidhau pratītaḥ
ka eva te tanayāṁ nādriyeta
svayaiva kāntyā kṣipatīm iva śriyam
Kardama Muni wanted to marry Devahūti in the recognized manner of marriage prescribed in the scriptures. As stated in the Vedic scriptures, the first-class process is to call the bridegroom to the home of the bride and hand her to him in charity with a dowry of necessary ornaments, gold, furniture and other household paraphernalia. This form of marriage is prevalent among higher-class Hindus even today and is declared in the śāstras to confer great religious merit on the bride’s father. To give a daughter in charity to a suitable son-in-law is considered to be one of the pious activities of a householder. There are eight forms of marriage mentioned in the scripture Manu-smṛti, but only one process of marriage, brāhma or rājasika marriage, is now current. Other kinds of marriage — by love, by exchange of garlands or by kidnapping the bride — are now forbidden in this Kali age. Formerly, at their pleasure kṣatriyas would kidnap a princess from another royal house and there would be a fight between the kṣatriya and the girl’s family; then, if the kidnapper was the winner, the girl would be offered to him for marriage. Even Kṛṣṇa married Rukmiṇī by that process, and some of His sons and grandsons also married by kidnapping. Kṛṣṇa’s grandsons kidnapped Duryodhana’s daughter, which caused a fight between the Kuru and Yadu families. Afterward, an adjustment was made by the elderly members of the Kuru family. Such marriages were current in bygone ages, but at the present moment they are impossible because the strict principles of kṣatriya life have practically been abolished. Since India has become dependent on foreign countries, the particular influences of her social orders have been lost; now, according to the scriptures, everyone is a śūdra. The so-called brāhmaṇas, kṣatriyas and vaiśyas have forgotten their traditional activities, and in the absence of these activities they are called śūdras. It is said in the scriptures, kalau śūdra-sambhavaḥ. In the Age of Kali everyone will be like śūdras. The traditional social customs are not followed in this age, although formerly they were followed strictly.