न कन्यायाः पिता विद्वान् गृह्णीयात् शुल्कमण्वपि ।
गृह्णन् शुल्कं हि लोभेन स्यान्नरोऽपत्यविक्रयी ॥
- मनु स्मृति
Long ago the dowry custom in India was reverse of what exists today. The groom paid the bride's father a fee before asking for his daughter's hand. But this shloka advises the father not to accept even a small fee. The father of the bride is warned that if he accepts even a small amount as fee, it would tantamount to selling his own child.
- Manu Smriti