As you race ahead towards making the nuptial a memorable and unforgettable event, we hardly take out the time to know the importance of the ceremony programs of Indian weddings. We are busy in selecting the groom’s attire, the gifts and distributing the eye pleasing wedding invitation cards. This article lays emphasis on the significance of different ceremony programs that are performed in an Indian wedding.
• Vara Satkaarah:
As the bridegroom arrives with all her companions and other relatives, the bride’s family ushers them into the mandap by blessing him with a tilak on his forehead to promise him with good luck. While the bridegroom is symbolized as Mahavishnu, the bride is considered to be Laxmi (the Goddess of wealth and prosperity). As the bride steps ahead in the mandap, sits at right hand side of bridegroom.
• Achamana and Angasparsha:
All ceremonies begin with Achamana that is a reminiscent of taking in sips of water and Angasparsha that involves touching of the limbs with one’s middle finger of the right hand with a little amount of water. Achamana relates to purification and Angasparsha is done with an intention of praying for physical strength and a balanced mind during the ceremony.
Just as the sages and the saints used it as a method to welcome guests, the Madhuparka.That is a nutritious drink comprising of honey, ghee and curd is given to the bridegroom by the parents of the bride. This symbolizes happiness and sweetness to be part of the bridegroom in their married life.
• Kanya Daan:
Kanya Daan meaning ‘offering the daughter’ is soon done after Madhuparka. The true meaning of “Kanya Daan” is to entrust the daughter to the bridegroom with promises of love. It also means that the daughter is not getting married on her own will.
Homa (the ceremony of the holy fire) is the finally the start of the main righteous rituals. As aromatic herbs and ghee are burnt along with the recital of Mantras, Vivah-homa builds an ambience of spirituality and purity. The bride once again performs Achamana and Angasparsha.
This step involves a complete acceptance of the bride by the bridegroom. As the left hand is clasped, the bridegroom takes vows of protection and be with her always as she passes through tough times in her married life.
• Agni-Parikrama/Pradakshina/ Mangal Fera
One of the main ceremony is the Mangal Fera. As both of them walk clockwise four times round the Homa, the belief of protecting his wife with the moon and then with the sun for the next seven years rings true. While the first three rounds speak more about seeking showers of God’s boon over the wife, the final round denotes fidelity and promise of being a doting mother to children in future. The seats are then interchanged.
Here the mangalsutra (holy necklace) is worn after the sindhur is applied on the bride.
The nuptial ultimately ends with the blessings of the priest and the elders for a prosperous married life.These rituals are unique in every sense, it attracts foreigners to come to our country and tie knot in traditional Indian style.