Wedding is a significant custom of life and brings together a man and woman to live as a couple. This custom also marks the basis of social continuity forever. With such significance attached to wedding in the life of the individual and society, wholesome rituals and traditions have been developed by cultures around the world. Most of these rituals and adherences are derived from the religious chronicles that act as the guidelines. Supplementary fervor is developed through the glam adorations and appeals of entire diversity including through the feasting. Jain weddings also depict the practice of authentic customs and rituals as a part of the wedding ceremony. These in spite of being similar to the Hindu wedding are much distinct. Let’s us find out the prominent and fundamental rituals of a Jain wedding ceremony.
The Jain wedding starts with the sagai or the engagement ceremony that takes place at the groom’s house. The vermillion is applied on the forehead of the groom by the brother of bride. The groom offers gifts and pleasantries on his part. The significance of sagai is derived from a specific puja that is called as viniyak yantra puja.
The lagna lekhan and lagna vachan
The lagna lekhan is a ceremony that is held post sagai at the house of bride to be. The main objective touched upon in lahna lekhan is the determination of the day and date as also the auspicious time for the wedding. This marks the beginning of the planning also in an objective manner as the actual date is finalized. However, the finalization process is incomplete till these dates are read at the groom’s place and then it is called as the lagna vachan. This leads to the dual side acceptance of the dates and thus the preparations of actual wedding could be done.
The mada mandap and the actual wedding rituals
Mada mandap is designed to perform the main wedding ceremony and this is synonymous to the Hindu wedding. The main components of the mandap ceremony include the ‘kanyadanam’ – again the same ritual as that of Hindu faith. The father holds the hand of his daughter along with some rice and money and then hands over the same to the groom as the final and ultimate caretaker/master of her. This authentic handing over of the bride to the groom is then followed by the granthi bandhan in preparation to the seven phere or the seven rounds around the holy fire around the mandap.
The mahavirasthak mantra offers supreme authenticity to the wedding
As the bride and groom take the phere, the mahavirasthak mantra is chanted in the background that lends authenticity to the entire process. The significance of this mantra is tremendous because it reads out the true and core values enshrined in the Jain religion. The sever phere ritual finally leads to the exchange of the garlands by the bride and groom. After the wedding is done, aashirvad ceremony is conducted where all bless the newlywed couple.