Marriage matching or match making is a solemn decision taken on behalf of the boy and a girl before they tie the knot to hold and to behold each other for the rest of their lives. The Hindus ensure that the compatibility of this solemn lifelong binding enables the couple to live 'happily ever after'.
For this vital decision of their lives, the parents of both the girl and the boy who are to get married and the elders of their families get together; they then follow an ancient method, laid down by the sages of old, to see the marriage compatibility between the girl and the boy. This method is called ‘Porutham’ or koota agreement.
Poruthams are chalked out after the study of the birth stars of both the boy and the girl who are contemplating marriage. The sages had initially devised 20 poruthams but now only 10 are in use. According to them, there are 27 birth stars (nakshatras) for each person in an oval configuration which constitutes a zodiac. The zodiac influences the person through the nine planets (navgrahas).
The 10 poruthams (kootas) thus chalked out are: dinam, ganam, yoni, rasi, rasiyathipaty, rajju, vedha, vasya, mahendram and stree deergham.
While considering a marriage alliance, the Hindu custom does not allow the tying of the knot until the ten poruthams are studied and matched for the couple who desires to be joined in matrimony. Only in cases of a love affair or marriage contemplation between a boy and a girl of an older age group, the application of the poruthams can be omitted.
Poruthams or kootas are based on the birth stars and the janam rashi of the boy and the girl in question. Originally, Twenty poruthams or kootas were charted by the sages but today only ten poruthams suffice to come to a decision whether the boy and the girl who wish to marry should go ahead with it or not. Each porutham is significant according to different aspects of a person's mind, body and personality, and the effects of each are considered one by one.