Friday, July 13, 2012

Hindu Wedding Rituals

Just had to share it!!
Hindu believes in the sixteen sanskaras (sacraments) that make the life of the individual noble and prosperous, with the most important sanskara being 'vivaha' (marriage). It's a ceremony whereby two souls are brought into union spiritually, mentally and physically in the scared bond of matrimony. 
As per the shastras, the groom is considered to be Mahavishnu Svarupaya Varahaya ie The great Vishnu himself and the bride is believed to be Godess Lakshmi.

The marriage ceremony always begins with 'Ganesh Puja' with the belief that Lord Ganesha dispels the darkness of ignorance and removes obstacles.

 This is followed by 'Navgrah Shanti Puja' performed separately by parents of the bride and the groom. 
Pre-wedding rituals require the bride to tie a holy thread on her wrist which is meant to ward off all evil spirits, symbolizing a kind of a protective armor for the bride. 
For the groom, the holy thread comprises of the various Gods .. 'Indra', 'Soma', 'Chandra' and 'Agni'. From there on, the groom prepares himself for a new chapter in his life as a householder or 'Grihasta'
The holy thread is usually more fancier than this, and mostly red...but could not find another picture

The ceremony also involves the bride and groom being anointed with a fragrant paste made out of turmeric powder, curd, sandal-wood and scented water in their respective houses.

 'Mandap Ropan'or 'Vedi' formation takes place at the bride's house where four pillars (made out of bamboo) are erected at four corners and are blessed. It is under thismandap that the agni parikrama takes place.

On the day of the wedding, the groom is welcomed by the bride's parents to their house with 'arti' after washing his right foot (or just the toe) with five substances considered holy (viz milk, curd, ghee, sugar and honey). At an auspicious hour, the bride is ushered in by her mother or maternal uncle as per the tradition for 'Kanya Daan' which symbolizes 'parents giving away their daughter to the groom and his family along with the consent for the marriage ceremonies to begin'.

After the 'Kanya Daan' ritual, the parents of the bride proffer her hand to the groom and officially request him to accept her as his bride, also known as 'Pani Grah'. In return the groom usually offers clothes and jewelry to welcome her in his life.
'Agni' or the sacred fire, central to all Hindu religious ceremony, is invoked and offerings of wood, grains and ghee are poured in. Agniis considered to be the "mouth of the Gods" and the Gods obtain our offering through this medium. Agni Parikrama the central part of the Hindu marriage ceremony requires bride and groom circumbulate the sacred fire seven times depending upon the various communities.

Meaning of Saat Phere

1. Nourishment
With our first step together we pray to God to provide us with pure and nourishing food. Together we will live our lives with honour and respect for each other.
2. Strength
With our second step together we pledge to grow in physical, mental and spiritual strengths. Together we will share happiness and enjoy life.
3. Prosperity
With our third step we promise each other to earn and increase wealth by righteous way and provide comfort to the family. Together we will share all our sorrows and joys.

4. Family
With our forth step together we pledge not to forget our parents and elders. Together we will maintain and strengthen the family bonds.

5. Progeny
With our fifth step together we pray to God to bless us with beautiful, kind and brave children.  Together as responsible parents, we shall provide them with good education and values of life. 

6. Health
With our sixth step together, we pray to God for a healthy and disease free life for us and our families. Together we will live a balanced and harmonious life.

7. Friendship and love
With our seventh step together, we promise to be a loyal companion. Together we will live a life of mutual trust, love and friendship.

Then the groom fills the parting right above the forehead with 'sindur' (vermilion) and places a dot of the red powder on her forehead as a symbol of declaring her to be his wife. At this time, he also ties a sacred thread around her neck -Mangalsutra - to signify their marriage. Usually this thread is covered with gold and black glass beads, though in essence, it can be made of anything auspicious including cotton and silk depending upon the customs in various parts of India.

The priest blesses the couple and the guests shower the couple with their blessings.
The bride leaves her parents and friends to commence a new life with her husband. She throws rice over her head , to indicate that even if she is leaving her parents home, she wishes it will be filled with happiness and prosperity. 

She is given a warm welcome into her new home and is believed to have brought along with her prosperity and good fortune into the house. She is blessed by all the elders in the family and is introduced to everybody. Depending upon the customs and traditions, a number of small ceremonies continue happening within family and close friends in order to acquaint the bride to her new family and to make the entire affair a happy and lively experience for the newly wedded.

PS : Some Text and picture's have been taken from various sources via Google (Maata), if anyone finds it offeneding let me knw will remove :)


  1. Hi Roli , I always love posts like this . How are you .. loong time :) !

    Please accept this blog award : .

    1. Been good , just super busy :)

      I know you like anything about Indian wedding thats why linked you :)

      aaawwwww... thanks for the award will pass it on for sure!!


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