Can a woman have two husbands in Hinduism?


The practice of marrying more than one husband in Hinduism was observed only in the times of ancient India. Now, a Hindu woman cannot have two husbands at the same time because it is unethical both traditionally and legally. Even back then it was only allowed and practiced by the upper caste and those who had great wealth.

There were reasons for Polygamy in ancient India. Sometimes it was a personal wish, and at times even done to attain a status in the society. Even traditional and morals views were some reasons.  The system of marriage was to get offspring’s and continue the generation in earlier times. And also, to attain the four Dharma so that one could live up to the aim of his or her life.

Hindu Bride

Polyamory in the Hindu Law Books

The term polyamory means to have more than one spouse at the same time. The law books of Hinduism had certain reasons behind permitting the practice of polyamory. It was not served for the purpose of fulfilling personal desires and satisfy self but to continue the generation.

The woman had no freedom according to these law books. She always had to be careful about her close contacts with other people so that no activity would lead to the damage to her and her family and their status. And so the husband and the others always kept an eye on the wives so that she does not get close to any another male around her.

Even if her husband died, she only had been permitted to marry one of his siblings to keep the family generation on if they had no children. And also, because she could find shelter and support. If a woman’s husband has abandoned her or accepted sanyaas she had the permission to get married according to the scriptures. This kind of marriage was dependent on personal will.

Hindu Women sad

During the old time women, we’re not treated quite well and were also sold and purchased in some markets. This practice was not for any kind of misuse or slavery but the women who were bought were deemed to do all the house chores and take care of it.

A man could not marry a woman that he had purchased and this practice was unethical. One of the scriptures in the holy books started that a man should only marry a woman who had never been married before. But the same rule was never imposed over a man.

The scriptures also said that if any woman performs any foul activity than her husband has the free will to take another wife as his. Still, it is also mentioned that the wife should be taken care of and not left on her own.

Hindu religion does Not support Polyamory

The Hindu scriptures teach us that marriages are a public affair but also consider it to be a very vital area in the world. For utmost understanding, the establishment of a family is created to keep every member locked to the universe of misconception. The bond between the families is made to bring with them the needs of attachment, wants, and selfishness. But at last, all the relationships in the world do not last forever because at the end of the day it is only a person’s own self that stays with them and takes care of their well-being.

Marriage Stars lighting

It is well said in the modern age that the person who knows you the best is you. The purpose of the important objectives of mankind’s life is dharma or faith, Artha or income, and Kama or sensual satisfaction. One may also take the wrong advantage of their relationships, so the fourth goal which is the Moksha or liberation says that one needs to take their own responsibility to revoke themselves from the attachments and enticement caused by these relationships.

Hindu Bride Sad

Taking a check on it from a sacred viewpoint we see how Hinduism is true on its beliefs of the family as a delusion and also the primary reason of all our attachments may it be healthy or unhealthy. A family is a unity of the different spirits and souls who come together by similar goals and for a particular cause that helps an individual attain the final destiny. It is believed that people who come together to be a family are also linked with the karma that they do in their previous birth.

Certain relationships last for not just one life but all the seven lives whereas others are just meant for a small-time period and particular purpose. W learn and grow from the lessons that we learn and the experiences that we gain in each relationship in our life. But each of the soul has to work for their own salvation by taking efforts and nobody else can do that for them.

Often people have involvement in other people’s lives which may not be liked but it has not got anything to do with others but their own being. Considering the attachments that the family bonds caused, it is said that they are mere distractions for the soul.

The religion believes in primarily creating the most valuable and attainable relationship with God. The Hindu religion does not believe in the practice of polygamy for spiritual reasons too. They believe in the fruit of karma and when a person performs any activity against the holy books it is also against God and thus this evil practice of violating the laws is counted punishable in next life.

And, this does not just be attached to you but also to your spouses and your children and their descendants. It is believed that one wrong step can affect many lives up to not only this life but even further. So according to the Hindu scriptures, a woman cannot have two husbands at a time. 

Appropriateness of polyamory in the present time

Hindus nowadays do not perform polyamory. This practice is considered to be crude and guilty by many of the well-educated Hindus now. The residues of a historical world that have little similarity to the society which are living in. It is not that polyamory is completely gotten rid off but those who practice it are generally under some kind of religious, social or family-related burden.

Many a times people keep their second marriage a secret because of to maintain their image among the community. The Hindu Marriage Act 1955, in India, proclaims polyamory as criminal and punishable by the law. The only condition that a person can marry is that none of the two has their spouse living with them at the same time. The women need to be a widow or divorced to be able to marry again.

 This law states that the divorce can be filed on the basis if either of the two were married and not divorced or have committed adultery or have not been legally divorced before getting married the other person. The Act clearly states bigamy which is a punishable crime under the Indian Penal Code. Although a Hindu man can marry another woman if his wife permits him to do so.

But as of a Hindu woman she is not allowed to have two husbands at the same time. Legally also she needs to make sure that she has been divorced or her husband is no more alive in other to marry another man. Or else strict punishable legal actions can be taken in such cases.

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