Each culture celebrates marriages and weddings differently. What's common, though, is that this occasion is seen as a sacred event. One of the most exciting wedding ceremonies is that of the Hindu culture.
What happens at a Hindu wedding includes the declaration of 7 vows of marriage, or the 7 Pheras. The bride and groom exchange vows in this grand affair that's filled with tradition and rituals. Let's take a look at three exciting facts about Hindu marriages.
What's truly incredible about Hindu weddings is that all seemingly insignificant gestures have a deeply religious or cultural meaning behind them. The holy fire has to be lit first before the bride and groom state their vows for each other.
The holy fire in the sacred fireplace consists of cow manure, ghee, and wood. In the Hindu culture, setting fire to ghee and wood is believed to protect the environment. When a couple does this during their wedding, it is an expression of their love for nature.
In Hindu mythology, there are five elements, and the fire is one of them. These elements make up the human body; that's why they are essential. The Hindu culture believes that fire has the ability to bond the couple eternally. It's because fire is among the things that could separate a couple from one another since, upon death, the body of the person is burnt.
During the 7 vows' declaration, there is a particular seating arrangement for the bride and groom. First, the bride sits on the groom's right-hand side. Once the promises have been completed, the bride then sits on the left-hand side of her groom. This change signifies that the bride is now much closer to her groom's heart.
The 7 vows are an integral part of the Hindu marriage items list. They are the heart of the ritual and are something that is genuinely sacred for the couple and their families. Here are the 7 vows that the bride and groom say to each other during a Hindu marriage.
The groom begins by stating that he will be the provider of the family. He will provide happiness and welfare to his wife and children. The wife on her end will offer him food, and help him whenever it is needed. The wife will then reply promising that she will be a responsible wife and mother who will manage the household.
The second vow is about the couple's promise to protect their children. The bride responds to her husband, saying that she will stand by him at all times. She promises to be strong, courageous, and loyal to him.
In the declaration of the third vow, the groom begins by expressing his hope that he and his bride will have a prosperous future together along with their children. The bride will then respond by assuring him that she will stay loyal.
During the third vow, both the bride and groom pray for a wealthy future. They also promise to perform their spiritual responsibilities and obligations. In their prayer, the couple seeks blessings so that they can educate their children as well as fulfill their needs.
The fourth vow is where the groom makes a declaration to his bride that his life is now complete because of her. The groom also promises to be respectful of his bride. Also included in the fourth vow is the hope that their children will grow up to be obedient and have a long life.
The groom promises that he will work hard for the education of their children. The bride responds by telling her groom that she will make him happy and will also work hard to provide him with joy during their marriage.
At this point, the groom acknowledges that his bride is his best friend, and he expresses his gratitude towards her. He also asks God to shower blessings upon his bride. The bride replies by promising that she will cherish her groom all the days of her life.
The bride will say to her groom that "your happiness is my happiness, and your sorrows are my sorrows." And along with this, the bride makes a promise to honor her groom and be loyal to him only.
For the sixth vow, the bride will answer a question from the groom, "will you fill my heart with this kind of happiness forever?" The bride will then say that she promises to stand by her husband's side all her life.
The couple will then pray to ask for God's blessings so that they will have a long life together that is healthy, peaceful, and prosperous.
For the last vow, the groom will make a declaration that he and his bride are now husband and wife and that they will stay together forever. The bride replies by saying that as God as their witness, she is his bride now and that they will both honor and cherish one another all their lives.
This final vow is where the holy union of a couple in a Hindu marriage is completed. They have made their promises to be each other's companions for the rest of their lives. All these promises strengthen the bond they have for each other.
Hindu weddings signify a truly rich culture, and the only way to appreciate it fully is to experience or witness it. In India, there is a diversity of marriage rituals all over the country. The 7 vows of marriage are what's common in most of them. But each ceremony has its own unique character. It's definitely one of the things that anyone would be honored to witness!
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