Jain customs and traditions with respect to marriages are pretty simple and yet quite ritualistic in nature. This community believes in solemnizing the wedding in a very simple manner and with just the blessings of the elders and almighty. In order to seek the divine grace and blessings of the Lord for the happiness of the marrying couple, they hold a number of Jain pre marriage ceremonies.
Some of these Jain pre wedding customs have been discussed below:
The ceremony of Lagna Lekhan is a pretty close affair where only close family members of the bride gather at her house and a small puja is done. The purpose of the puja is to determine an auspicious date when the wedding ceremony can be held. This determination of the Jain Indian wedding date is also known as determining the Muhurat or lagna. The priest conducting the puja is the one who matches the horoscopes of the bride and the groom and based on that the wedding muhurat or lagna is determined by him. Finally, towards the end of the ceremony, the priest writes down the lagna patrika or the letter mentioning the date of the wedding and the same is then sent to the groom’s family.
Lagan Patrika Vachan
The lagna patrika vachan is supposed to be read at the groom’s house before the wedding. In many cases this ceremony is done on the day of the engagement, after the groom has done the Vinayakyantra puja. Once this puja has been done, the priest then reads out loud the lagan patrika.
The sagai ceremony is supposed to be held at the groom’s house. The groom dresses up in a traditional manner, especially wearing the special headgear which is mandatory as per the Jain pre wedding rituals. He then washes his hands carefully and performs the Vinayakyantra puja. This is followed by the brother of the bride putting a Tilak on the groom’s forehead and presenting him with gifts, which may include gold chain, ring, clothes, sweets and even money. The lagan patrika is at this time handed over to the groom by the bride’s brother and the priest then reads it out loud in front of everyone gathered there. Once all these rituals are over, the groom then seeks the blessings of happiness from the elders present for the ceremony.
Mada mandap is yet another pre wedding ceremony, which holds a very place in a Jain wedding. This ceremony is held separately in both the groom as well as the bride’s house and it is the responsibility of the priest to conduct all rituals properly during this ceremony.
Barati and Aarti
At the barati ceremony, the marriage procession of the groom is received by the bride’s brother at the gate of the venue for the wedding. Here the brother applies Tilak on the forehead of the groom and presents him with gifts. In turn the groom also applies Tilak on the brother’s forehead and offers him a coconut. The married ladies from the bride’s side perform the Aarti and sing mangal geet.