Unlike all other Hindu weddings, which involve a lot of glamour, pomp and show, Buddhist weddings are very simple in nature. There are absolutely no complex Buddhist wedding rituals which one needs to follow during these weddings. The best thing about Buddhist marriage traditions is that they based mostly on faith, unlike other Indian Hindu marriages, which are based more on religion.
Phases In A Typical Buddhist Wedding
A typical Buddhist wedding is conducted in two phases. One phase is based on the Buddhist component, while the other is the non-Buddhist component.
- Buddhist Component – This aspect of Buddhist wedding ceremony involves, the families of the bride and the groom offering their prayers and giving gifts to the monks along with Buddha images.
- Non-Buddhist Component – This aspect of the marriage engulfs the traditional practices relating to weddings, which are followed by the families of the bride and the groom.
The rituals and ceremonies involved in a Buddhist ceremony are as follows:
Pre Wedding Ceremonies
The pre wedding rituals at a Buddhist wedding involve the following activities:
- The first step in Buddhist pre wedding functions is to match the horoscopes of the prospective bride and groom. In a Buddhist wedding, if the horoscopes are not matched, then the wedding cannot be fixed. Therefore, this is the most crucial step in the wedding. Only when everything works out well at this stage, the wedding goes ahead.
- Once the horoscopes have been matched, the next step is for the father of the groom to consult the Lama, and in accordance with the lama’s suggestions, fix the date for the proposal of the wedding.
- Next, the Chessian Betrothal ceremony is performed. During this ceremony, the maternal uncle of the bride is made to sit on a raised platform, while the priests recite holy prayers and give everyone Madyan, which is a holy drink.
- Finally, the wedding date is decided in consultation with an astrologer.
Buddhist weddings generally take place in a temple. The wedding ceremony is carried out in the order Given below.
- The bride and the groom bow down before the image of Buddha, chant prayers and light incense sticks.
- They are then connected with, by their parents, through a loop of strings tied around their heads.
- Offerings are then made by the couple to the monk. The offerings may include food catering services, sweets, flowers, medicines, etc. Some couples may even donate some money to the temple as well.
- Threads are then placed on the heads of the monks by a priest.
- Recitations are made in Pali language, seeking blessings for the happiness and growing love between the couple.
- The strings on the head of the couple are connected to a container which is sanctified after the ceremony and red paste is also applied to their foreheads.
Buddhist weddings are quite simple in nature and although they do not involve too many rituals, still the nature of these weddings has changed drastically in the present times, especially the role of the monks, who earlier were not allowed to even attend these weddings as they used to attend funerals, but now their participation in the wedding ceremony has become profound.