Wedding is a ritual which is invented by the civilized people of this world. Men, when they were beastly, they did not need any marriage, to involve with someone sexually. But as days past, men started becoming civilized, educated, they started controlling their hidden sexual desire. Now they started distinguishing themselves from other animal. Now they started becoming superior to other animal. They started forming clan, from clan, community, from community, family, and from family, society. This society started forming many laws, laws that gives us license too many things and at the same time to, not to many things. Among all these laws, one is the marriage.
Marriage is now an institution. This institution is there so that both man and woman can have a peaceful sexual life. At least, at those time when both men and women are not allowed to have sex without marriage! And especially, women, who get involved sexually with another person, are almost a social outcast to the society. So at that time the wedding bed used to signifies many things to the men and women. It was the bed where they would have their first sexual experience. It was the bed to share all their happiness and sorrow. Earlier, especially in India, marriage used to be arranged by the families. This involves both the bride’s and the groom’s family. And during the whole wedding ceremony both bride and the groom did not even receive time to know each other. So on the wedding night, on the wedding bed they use to know each other. Sometimes it turns out to be good and sometimes bad. There are numerous stories which are related to wedding beds. Some related to Hindu mythology, then some to Greek, again some to Hebrew. Let’s see what they are.
Bengali wedding and the story of Behula- Lakhinder
In Bengali wedding the day, when both the bride and the groom will sleep together is called Phool Sajja. But interestingly, both bride and the groom do not sleep on the wedding bed on the night of their wedding. It has a story behind it. Many years ago, almost a 1000 years ago, there was a businessman, whose name was Chand Swadagar. Chand was the greatest devotee of Lord Shiva. Shiva on other hand had an illegitimate daughter whose name was, Manasa. Manasa was the Goddess of the snakes. She used to reside in the underground (not the Greek underworld). She had a painful, as she was not accepted either by Shiva or by her step mother Parvati. She had a failed marriage because of her step mother, who asked her to decorate her hair with snakes and sit on the wedding bed and wait for her husband. After her husband saw her in that look, he got afraid and as he was a sage, he cursed her, and Manasa lost her one eye. Manasa wanted a place in the heaven, and for that people had to start worshipping her. Manasa decided that she would persuade Chand to worship her. But Chand was proud to be the greatest devotee of Lord Shiva, so he refused. Manasa tricked and brought a great loss in Chand’s business. Two of his boats, filled with gold were lost in the river and he lost his seven sons, yet he was too adamant to worship Manasa.
Here comes the twist. He had one more son, Manasa promise to kill him on his wedding night and on the wedding bed. Chand too promised to save his son. He asked Vishwakarma, the engineer of the Gods to make the wedding bed with iron and the wedding room too with iron. And he also asked him to make the room in such a way that no one could enter in it. But Manasa, somehow persuaded Vishwakarma to keep a tiny hole. Chand’s son Lakhinder got married to Behula. But, Manasa, as she had promised enter the room through that tiny whole in disguise of a snake, Kalnagini, and killed Lakhinder on his wedding night on the wedding bed. And Behula with his dead body went to heaven, dance to entertain the Gods, so that they bring back his life. And later also persuade Chand to worship Manasa, and brought back the lives of his seven sons with Lakhinder.
- In the story the wedding night and the wedding bed plays a very important role. In Bengali custom the bride and the groom never sleep on the wedding bed together on the day of their marriage. The wedding night is called the Kalratri, as because on the wedding night, Manasa killed Lakhinder on the wedding bed.
- And Bengalis never use iron bed, or rot-iron bed as a wedding bed, as because Lakhinder’s bed was made up of iron.
What the Hebrew believes?
According to the Hebrews, the wedding bed was watched by the Gods on the wedding night. They use to make sure the couples who are making love on the bed are sexually immoral or not. They also watch them to find out whether they are into any adulterous relationship or not.
Why it is always decorated with rose?
You belong to any religion, any caste, you are rich or poor; you will find that your wedding bed is decorated with flower. According to religion, and country flower will differ from Rajnigandha to orchid, but every wedding bed will have one or a bunch of red roses. Why?
It is because; the Greek goddess of love, Aphrodite’s favorite flower is Rose. The love potion she made is not complete without a little drop of rose oil. So when the wedding beds are decorated people never forget to decorate it with roses. After all Goddess of love, loved it. And it is not wise for a newly married couple to do anything which will make the Goddess of love angry.
To decorate the wedding bed mostly white and red color is used. Red is the color of love and white is the color of peace. Green leaves are used, because in Hindu culture some leaves are very auspicious, and green signifies youth. The decoration depends on people, person and culture. But most importantly on LOVE!