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The Hindu Tradition :Marriage, perhaps the most important event in one’s life has many connotations attached to it in Hindu tradition. Marriages are said to be made in heaven and the sanctity associated with it is unparallel. No doubt, even in modern age, this is one tradition that has not lost its own glory and importance. While the meloddrama, the number of functions, the dances, the rituals, the ceremonies, the hulla balloo, are there in all marriages, it is all the more so in Hindu marriages. Moreover the culture and the traditions attached with it also give valuable lessons to be followed in times to come when the initial euphoria is gone and the couple has to take the big responsibility of adjusting in the new environment and life after the big day.
One of the important features of Hindu marriages is Saat Phere or Seven rounds of a pious fire lit for the purpose. In saat phere, the groom with his right hand holds the left hand of the bride and takes steps together in rhythm with each other around the fire. First the right foot is taken forward and then the left foot amidst chanting of pious Vedic mantras. Every phera or circle around the fire has got a specific meaning attached to it and denotes a solemn vow taken which needs to be followed through out the life. Let us have a look at the meaning of each step or phera.
Step 1> A vow to earn and provide a meaningful living for the household and to avoid things that may harm them. To take all steps necessary in life to be productive and independent financially as a family.
Step 2> A vow to build, harness and develop the physical, mental and spiritual powers and to lead a healthy life style.
Step 3> A vow to earn and increase the wealthy through righteous and proper means as a way of family comfort and existence.
Step 4> A vow to acquire happiness, knowledge and perfect harmony by mutual love, understanding, compassion, companionship, faith and trust.
Step 5> A vow to lead a productive life, to have children and to be responsible for them.
Step 6> A vow to maintain self control and self discipline and to lead a healthy life.
Step 7> A vow to be true and loyal to each other and remain life long companion supporting and nurturing each other in good as well as bad times together.
While these vows or solemn promises have remained the same since time immemorial, the relevance and importance of the same have been felt by all the generations. Needless to say, in today’s hectic life where fragile relationships have become a fad, it is time to go back to our roots and take a fresh hard look over some of these sage words which have acted as a beacon of light and guidance for many a generations.
Indian Wedding Customs - Traditional Hindu Wedding
Indian Marriage Customs - The Bridal Shower
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