Marriage is an auspicious and sacred occasion that brings forth the unity of two souls. The bride and groom make a lifelong commitment amongst the people gathered and get the blessings from the invitees.
Indian weddings are known for its traditions which are inherited from ancestors. Similar to other Indian wedding customs, Jain weddings are also performed with great joy and enthusiasm. They also follow a series of traditions and are ritualistic.
Pre wedding rituals
Initially, the wedding ceremony starts with prior planning of the marriage date and venue which takes place at the bride’s house. The priest fixes the desired date and sends the message to the groom’s house. In Indian weddings, the formal engagement takes place at the groom’s house.
Phere in Jain marriage
The most significant event in the Jain wedding is the Phere. The bride and the groom arrive at the wedding venue in their wedding attire. They are accompanied by the family members and close relatives. The bride and groom take their respective places in the hall and bow their heads to get the blessings from the people gathered. The planning for the upcoming rituals is made beforehand.
Kanyadan in Jain marriage
The most awaited ceremony in this grand occasion is the kanyadan. The maternal uncle and parents of the bride have a major role to play in this emotional ceremony. The bride is made to sit at the right side of the groom in this tradition. The parents of the bride place one rupee and twenty five paisa coins along with rice in the right hand of the bride.
Significance of kanyadan
The purpose of performing kanyadan is to result in the unity of the couple’s. The groom whole heartedly accepts the bride from her family members. Mostly this ceremony ends with tears from the bride’s parents as their daughter leaves them and enters into a new family to spread love and care. The priest sprays holy water thrice on the hands of the couple’s by chanting the mantras side by side.
The married women of both bride and groom’s family members have got an important role in this tradition. She ties the one end of the groom’s shawl with the one end of the bride’s sari. The couple are then made to come around the sacred fire. Here the sacred fire is made as the ultimate proof of their wedding.
Importance of granthi bandhan
The couple’s make seven vows as they go around the fire in clockwise direction. The priest recites the seven promises and then the couple’s repeat the same. The groom follows the bride in the first round. From then on the bride follows the groom for the remaining rounds.
As this ceremony takes place the married women sing mangal geet in the background wishing them a happy married life. Now the bride sits on the left side of the groom symbolizing the fact that the bride forms the better half of the groom just like Lord Shiva and Parvati. The marriage thus ends by exchanging garlands and flowers.