The Hindu Wedding Ceremony marks the beginning of Vivaha, or marriage, which is one of the most special experiences in one's life. This promising occasion is celebrated with great joy and enthusiasm by the family and friends of the couple.
The Hindu Wedding Ceremony is one of the sixteen samskaras, which are a set of sacraments that bless and guide us through different stages of life. These samskaras enable us to pursue a happy, fulfilling life and prepare us to live and thrive in the four aspects of human pursuit: Dharma (righteousness and duty), Artha (material wealth), Kama (pleasure and desire), and Moksha (spiritual liberation).
At Maa Yoga Ashram, we take pride in organizing and planning authentic Vedic Hindu Marriage ceremonies in the holy city of Rishikesh, India. Our expert team of priests, pandits, and event planners ensure that every aspect of the ceremony is conducted with reverence and that traditional rituals are followed with precision, making the occasion truly memorable and meaningful for the couple and their families.
The Vedic Wedding Ceremony is not just a ritual but a celebration of the union of two souls. The bride and groom arrive at the mandap, a covered structure with pillars, where they embark on a journey of love and commitment.
At the mandap, the bride and groom exchange vows and promises, pledging to love and cherish each other forever. This is a significant moment in the wedding ceremony, as it marks the beginning of their journey as a married couple.
During the wedding rituals, the couple pledges to be faithful to each other. They recite their vows before the guests and a ceremonial fire (Agni), which represents the Divine. Then they walk seven steps, committing to seven vows for their communal life and prosperity. Finally, the family and friends shower the couple with blessings and good wishes, and they leave the mandap.
So, choose Maa Yoga Ashram for this beautiful ceremony of a romantic story, where the bride and groom embark on a journey of togetherness, supported by their families and loved ones.
Dharma: Moral sense to lead a good life
Artha: Financial prosperity
Kama: Blessing for strong, virtuous children and to share the responsibilities of home
Moksha: Self-restraint and eternal physical, mental, and spiritual strength
In Hinduism, as in other cultures, marriage is a commitment with deep ethical and moral roots. In fact, in Vedic scripture, it is the merging of two souls until they become a harmonious whole.
According to Vedic scriptures, it signifies the merging of two souls to form a harmonious whole. It is a significant milestone that marks the transition from the first stage of life, which is dedicated to education and learning, to the second stage, which is devoted to building a household and raising children.
Hence, marriage is considered one of the most significant samskaras. Finally, the Vedic Wedding Ceremony does not only entail the union of the bride and groom. It means the integration of both families for many generations. So, let us know about the rituals of the Hindu marriage ceremony.
In a Vedic wedding ceremony, the groom's party is welcomed by the bride's family. To start the Hindu Wedding, the bridegroom arrives at the bride's house in a palanquin carried by men, and he stands facing east outside the gate of the house. Then, a group of women carrying lamps and jars full of water then welcome him. Finally, the mother of the bride greets the groom by applying a tilak on his forehead as a blessing, made from red kumkum powder and uncooked rice, which is a symbol of good luck.
As a purificatory ritual in Hindu weddings, the bride offers the groom a small amount of water to drink, known as Achaman. This gesture is believed to bring peace of mind. After this, the Angasparsha ritual takes place, where the groom dips his middle and index finger in water and touches his limbs with them, symbolizing a prayer for physical strength and alertness.
During a Vedic wedding ceremony, the bride's parents offer the bridegroom a mixture of honey, curd, and ghee, known as madhuparka. This stage symbolizes the sweetness and joy that the bridegroom hopes to experience in his married life. Honey represents the sweetness of everlasting love, while curd and ghee signify the bridegroom's good health and nutrition. After receiving the madhuparka, the bridegroom takes a portion of it by using his fourth finger and thumb, repeating this action three times.
In a Hindu marriage, the ritual of Kanya Daan takes place, where the bride's parents give away their daughter to the groom. The term "Kanya'' means daughter, while "Daan" means giving away. During this ceremony, the priest recites eight hymns from the Vedas to invoke the blessings of various deities as the parents entrust their daughter to the bridegroom.
The stage of Kanya Daan marks the beginning of the Grihasthashram, which is the second life stage for the couple in a Hindu wedding. It involves the performance of Homa, a sacred fire ceremony. First, the couple lights the Agni, a holy fire that represents light, power, and knowledge during the Vivaah-homa ritual. Agni serves as a witness to the ceremony as the bride and groom repeat their sacred pledge of marriage to it. Agni then acts as a messenger for their prayers to various Gods. These are:
Sampatti: Wealth and Prosperity
Deergharogya: Long and Healthy Lives
The Homa ritual is performed to start auspicious undertakings in an environment of purity and spirituality during a Hindu wedding. The bride and groom participate in Achaman and Angasparsha, purifying themselves during the ceremony.
In a Veidic marriage ceremony, the bridegroom accepts the bride as his wife by raising his hand and making a promise to protect her and their future children. Furthermore, he pledges to lead an honest life, overcome any challenges that may come their way, and ensure that they live a happy life while pursuing their spiritual goals together.
The ritual of Shila Arohan takes place during a Hindu wedding, where the mother of the bride assists her in stepping on a stone and imparts advice for her new life. The word "Shila" means stone, while "Arohan" means stepping upon. The bridegroom encourages his bride to be strong as a rock and face any challenges together. Friends and family shower rice and flowers on the couple during this stage of the ceremony.
In this stage, the couple presents offerings to the sacred fire. The bride's brother puts puffed rice in her hands as an offering to Agni, and as the couple pours the puffed rice into the fire, they pray to various deities for blessings. They repeat this process three times. During this ritual, the bride also offers prayers to Yama, the God of Death, for her husband's long life, happiness, and prosperity.
In a Hindu wedding, after the Pani Grahanam, the couple walks clockwise around the sacred fire four times in a ritual known as the Saptapadi or the Seven Steps. This is done to honor Agni, who is believed to act as the bride's guardian after the first fourteen years of her life. Hindus believe that during the first seven years of her life, the moon protects the bride, while the sun protects her for the following seven years. Afterward, Agni guards her, making the ritual of walking around the fire four times a significant part of the ceremony.
For the first three rounds, the groom guides his bride, seeking God's blessings and help. The couple promises to take care of their children. Then, in the last round, the bride leads the groom around the sacred fire, promising to live her life according to Dharma and Satya (devotion and truth). Finally, they sit down, with the bride to the left-hand side of the bridegroom. The Agni-Pradakshina, along with the Saptapadi, legalizes marriage.
The husband puts a sacred necklace around his wife's neck that symbolizes their happiness and prosperity. He then applies sindoor (vermilion powder) in the parting of her hair and seeks blessings from the audience. The priest sprinkles water on the couple, who pray to the sun for strength to lead a creative, useful, and meaningful life. Husband and wife meditate on the Pole Star and the Arundhati Star. The Pole Star signifies the couple's steadfastness in keeping their vows, while the Arundhati Star represents the devotion of the sage Vashishtha's wife. The couple meditates on the Arundhati star to reinforce their devotion to each other.
During this step, the couple performs a sacred fire ceremony and offers food to the fire while chanting Vedic Havan Mantras. After the offerings, they feed each other a bite of food, symbolizing their mutual love and affection.
The last stage of a Hindu wedding is Ashirwad, where the priest offers blessings to the newlywed couple, followed by the blessings of other elders. This step is quite emotional, as the parents of the bride wish their daughter a long and harmonious married life. It symbolizes the end of the wedding ceremony, and the bride officially leaves her parents' home to start a new life with her husband.