Indian Marriages are most authentic institutions in which every couple decides to step in. They vow to this institution with respect and commitment when they realize their devoted love for one another. There are different types of Indian marriages. Among them one of the well-known is Vedic marriage. Certainly, there are certain customs and norms being followed in a Vedic marriage. These rituals are described step-by-step in a chronological manner.
The warm and cordial reception at bride’s house:
On the marriage day itself, as the groom arrives at the house of bride, the bride’s mother welcomes him. This ritual or custom is precisely known as Vara Satkaarah. The groom and his family members are received with love and respect by the bride’s mother. Along with the priests chanting some holy mantras, the bride’s mother applies tilak made of vermilion and turmeric powder on the groom’s forehead. Bride’s mother blesses the groom with rice and trefoil as they are considered holy.
Welcome reception with loads of blessings:
The groom is welcomed in the bride’s house and made him seated at an altar. The next set of custom follows with the blessing by bride’s father. Popularly known as Madhuparka ceremony; the bride’s father blesses the groom with loads of gifts as tokens of love. The bride’s father as well as other relatives feed the groom with honey and yoghurt as a symbol of starting a new set of relationships which should be full of sweetness and love. Certain mantras are recited by the pundits to make the custom a holy one.
Garlands exchanging between bride and groom:
The next set of customs involves the bride to be brought in the wedding hall to start with the initial form of garland exchanging. This custom is thoroughly known as Jayamala or Varmala Rasam. The bride and groom exchange garlands as a symbol of accepting one another as their beloved partners. The priests recite certain specific mantras and bond them with the custom.
The marriage rituals to be followed:
Once the wedding starts, the bride’s father has to take an active part in tying the bride with the groom in the sacred institution of love, responsibility and commitment, in form of Vedic marriage. The father of bride hands over the bride to the groom. Popularly known as Kanya Daan; the bride’s father hands over the responsibility of his daughter to the next best man, the groom. This custom is bestowed with series of mantra chanted by the pundits along with the blessings showered by the bride’s father on the couple.
The lawful acceptance of the groom:
The bride is accepted by the groom as the father places her palm on the palm of the groom. The priests chant the mantras as the groom lawfully accepts the bride to be his beloved wife for life. This ritual is famously pronounced as Pani Grahan. The bride’s right hand is placed on the groom’s left hand by the bride’s father as an honor.
Fire lights the beauty and serenity of marriage:
Clearly, fire is the most auspicious and pure form of god. The Vedic marriage is incomplete without the presence of fire during the whole ceremony. The Vedic marriage ceremony is followed as well as the vows are taken keeping the Agni dev at forefront. The fire god is a medium to seek blessings; the newly marrying couple seeks power, wisdom as well as courage from the Agni dev for their future relationship. This ritual is famously known as Vivah Homa or Havan lightning. The pundits keep on chanting mantras as the wedding couples bow down in front of the Agni dev.
Worshiping fire god by offerings:
The bride is offered by her close family members with parched grains which she along with the groom offers it into the fire. The groom helps her from the back by holding the parched grains and slowly offering it to the fire. The priests keep on reciting the mantras while the couple offers the parched grains.
Bride and groom taking oaths from fire god:
The bride and groom go on taking oaths. The couple is tied by their holy serene outer garments or cloths and they walk around the holy flames of fire. They promise to be loyal towards one another, to be in love and to maintain fidelity towards one another. They circle the fire seven times and each time solemnly promises one another with an oath. This ritual is popularly known as Pratigna Karan or Agni Pradakhina. The ritual is followed by the priests chanting some precisely serene mantras.
The bride and groom taking vows and promises to fulfill their marriage life:
The bride and groom complete taking their oaths by circling the fire. They sit in their respective places and pray to all the Hindu as well as Vedic gods to provide them with power to keep believing each other. They promise to god that they will love and care for one another; they will be at their partner’s side through kith and kin. They will solemnly trust their partner and will show compassion as well as sympathy at times.
The promises on the rock:
The bride’s family offers the bride a rock slab to stand on it. The bride takes oaths to stand like a rock by her husband at bad times of their marriage. She is helped by her family members and pundits by chanting the specific set of mantras. This custom is thoroughly known as Shila Arohon or Shila Rohan or rock ceremony.
Mantras of peace and divination for bride and groom:
The couple promises to help one another at critical times and will be at each other’s side at the times of darkness. They promise to be one another’s shadow at times of blinding lights. They serenely promise to be best friends to each other. They promise to be strong and prevent their partners from doing any sin at the right times. They promise to be one another’s souls and heart beats and together they promise to make their love a beautiful home and family.