In Hindu dharma, marriage is viewed as a sacrament and not a
contract. Hindu marriage is a life-long commitment of one wife and one husband, and is the
strongest social bond that takes place between a man and a woman.
Ashram (the householder stage), the second of the four stages of life begins when a man
and a woman marry and start a household. For a Hindu marriage is the only way to continue
the family and thereby repay his debt to his/her ancestors.
In Hindu view, marriage is not a concession to human weakness, but a means for
spiritual growth. Man and woman are soul mates who, through the institution of marriage,
can direct the energy associated with their individual instincts and passion into the
progress of their souls.