In India, wedding is an elaborate ceremony that starts days before the actual ritual. The customary and traditional fervor here in this country is manifested on account of the broad import of the religious & spiritual value. This value delivers the depth to the Indian wedding. Hindus have been carrying spiritual values on account of their Vedic sciences that are the source of wedding and all other customs of Hindu faith.
The unique traditions have been kept vibrant for entire Hindu society through the escorts of the Pundits that have been offering their service for the wedlock. No wonder, we find marked authenticity and optimizations of the relevant wedding customs in the Hindu Brahmin marriage. Let’s look into the fundamental wedding traditions and rituals of a Brahmin wedding ceremony.
Rituals of Brahmin marriage -
Broadly speaking, the wedding customs have been arranged in a general succession that is a characteristic feature of the Indian weddings. This involves the marriage procession arriving at the bride’s place where the guests are greeted, offered food and sweets and the couple ties the knot. It is here that the customs and rituals start. The Brahmin rituals could be counted as three fundamental ones which are –
The saptpadi or the saat phere
These rituals are completed with the chanting of the elaborate Vedic mantras of relevance and the guests behold the ceremony while showering their blessings and good fortune. This may take several hours as the Vedic priest does the job of wedlock through his expertise. Now let us look into these three rituals separately.
Kanya means the ‘girl and here the bride! Daan means the giving away with a good will. This is the most defining custom of all the Hindu marriages; when the father or the father like person (if father is not there) offers his daughter as a gift to the groom for life. Father while holding the hand of his daughter places the same over that of groom and this signifies the kanya daan (the gifting away of the daughter)! She (bride) is thus offered as a pious gift by her father and her groom is now the new master of her life. This ritual paves way for other rituals that are then taken up.
In this ritual the groom offers to willfully accept the bride (that has been offered by her father) as his wife forever. This is also referred to as ‘holding the hand’ ritual as here the groom holds the hands of his bride while the priest recites ancient Vedic mantra from the rig Veda.
Saptapadi or the 7 steps refers to the seven rounds that the couple tying the knot takes around the fire that is held as the witness to the pious oaths. Actually with each round, the bride and groom offer promises to each other and these promises are related to the great responsibilities of marriage & towards each other. During the rounds, the tail ends of the garments of bride and groom are tied together.