The special bond of love is celebrated to define the relationship with the most sacred ritual known as marriage. It is observed as the most auspicious occasion in every person’s life. India being a multi-cultural country with diverse languages the marriage practices rituals and traditions also differ from one another. They also vary depending on the caste, religion, community of the bride and groom. What rituals take place during a hindu marriage ceremony and What is so special about Indian Marriage? This article answers all the questions surrounding Hindu marriage.
Hindu matrimonial ceremonies are usually conducted partly in Sanskrit the language in which most of the Hindu holy ceremonies are performed and the local language. Hindus attach a lot of importance to marriages and the rituals which are very vivid in nature and can extend for several days. Some of the pre-wedding ceremonies include engagement and lagna-patra or written declaration of the marriage which is distributed amongst friends and relatives to invite them for the occasion.
The Hindu marriage ceremony is a very elaborate and lengthy, with every step are embedded with Vedic customs, symbolizing various aspects of life that is to follow after the wedding by the couple. “Mandap” or marriage stage is where the rituals are conducted is often decorated with flowers and with a sacred fire as witness, the Hindu wedding ceremony begins. The groom arrives for the wedding with the family and friends and they are all greeted by the bride’s family. The mother of the bride performs the welcoming customs and led the groom to the mandap.
This auspicious occasion begins by worshipping a prayer Hindu Lord Ganesha. Since it is believed that he may remove all obstacles, blessing the bride and groom for their journey ahead. After the pooja the bride is accompanied down the aisle to the mandap by her father. The bride and groom are divided by a curtain also known as antarpat, it is lowered once the priest recite a prayer for the couple. It is then followed by an ageold ritual that is considered very important while giving the bride away. It is called as “KanyaDaan” & “Hastmelap”. In the hindu religion Kanyadaan symbolizes the Groom as Lord Narayana and bride in the form of Goddess Laxmi. The next sacrament allows the bride and groom to exchange “varmala” also known as “jaimala” and is crafted with flowers. Exchanging of the jaimala signifies the approval of one another and to pledge admiration for one another as partners in life.
The next Hindu matrimonial ritual is Saat-Pehraa in which the bride and the groom circle the holy fire with the wedding scarves tied together. The bride and groom seek blessing from God as they take seven sacred vows together during this sacrament. Then the groom ties Mangal-sutra a sanctified necklace made from black beads around the bride’s neck. He then applies sindoor in the center-parting forehead of the bride’s hair as a promise to fulfill her every desire. Finally the wedding is concluded by the priest and the married couple is offered blessings by their family and friend for their journey ahead. The last marriage tradition is vidai where the bride’s family bids farewell to her family.
These wedding traditions are considered as holy affairs and couples have been happily following them with great significance.