The most natural form of reality is Marriage. Without this, even the most beautiful flower stops blooming.
A marrying Bride and Groom, do not just join hands to say that they are the partner for each other. They connect with the soul and have a complete understanding, that they are ready to start the next phase of their life. Marriage Sanskar of Hindu religious tradition is the placement of these two people into a relationship that they believe to have been destined for.
Some Information about Hindu Marriage Sanskar
What is Marriage Sanskar ‘विवाह’?
A marriage is a connection between a male and a female that binds them together with love and a bond that remains for eternity. Furthermore, the belief is that they exist for seven lives. So, it is that important of a Sanskar, not just for you, also for your partner. It’s not just an event but rather a life-changing situation, from here till the seven lives.
Marriage has more than one aspect of its significance. Certainly, everyone understands it to be the start of a family. But there’s more to it than just that. The most notable married couple being Lord Shiva and Parvati shows how strong and ever-lasting a marriage connection can be. It hasn’t just been about having a family. Listen to the tales, their marriage is a roller coaster ride through heaven, hell, to the known and unknown universe all at the same time.
Hindu Perspective Meaning of Marriage
Marriage surely means the same thing all around the world and even the universe. It has that bond that creates a family and life together as a husband and a wife. It is a need and requirement of the body and the social structure that binds the marriage sanskar as a norm that has to be a procedure before it is acclaimed as being a successful marriage.
Hindu Perspective is also the same. But in it, we have found some reasons and points added for a spiritual and vast combination of the sequence and time, that aligns the Astrological movements to structure a marriage. It states the healthy marriage before it has even been fixed. Or drastic damage that can be avoided with the reasons of unmatched Kundali. The matchmaking from Kundali reading is a Hindu ritual before a wedding, that has been practiced for ages.
The Information about marriage sanskar and its importance has been a topic of discussion with its good and bad aspects of belief in our Hindu tradition. There are always more questions and their answers about the ritual that can surely be answered.
Planning and Arranging the Marriage
In Hindu Marriage, Nepali Wedding, or Bihe, the astrological reading of the Bride and the Groom is the most essential element which possesses the information about what and how it will happen. So, a Family Pandit from both the family side watches the Kundali of each. If all goes well, the suitable and auspicious lagan ‘time’ for the wedding is determined.
In the same way, the Engagement date is fixed and the Time of auspicious property is selected to put the ring on each other. A grand celebration for the two families connecting with this bond takes place in rejoice.
In the ancient times of Hindu marriage, the process and these norms that are celebrated some months apart or at a suitable time used to just take place on a single arranged day.
The pre-arranged form of the marriage sanskar now takes place with the Hindu ritual process.
Process of Marriage Ceremony
The Marriage ceremony is a huge load to take care of. A guru pandit from each side of the family takes care of the business that needs to be completed before the main day. Bihe, Vivaha, Marriage, Wedding: Everything is the same when it comes to the ritual for the grand day. So, with no delay, every aspect of the ritual is done to get ready for the most awaited day.
The pre-rituals that are done as a preparation for the Marriage ceremony are held before the main day. It includes some ritual pujas with Agnisthapana and Purwanga Karma.
The Groom goes through the Karma like Graha Puja, Nandi Mukhi, or Abhudayik Shradhha.
The Bride attends Indrayani Puja or Gauri Puja.
The Karma also includes trimming Hair, bath, and grooming them in a well appealing and attractive way for their wedding day. The Sisters of the house paint Bukuwa, Turmeric, and mud on their skin and bathe them.
A room, usually the Puja room is prepared with ‘Juiti‘ writing, which shouldn’t be erased for at least a year. Juiti Is a graphical drawing of the family gods, Bride, Groom, and the family.
After the Purwanga Karma, the Bride gets ready in her house with all the beautiful effects, makeup, and dresses to appear as an angel for her special Wedding day.
Meanwhile, at the Groom’s house, a set of simple rituals takes place. After wearing his Wedding dress as per the tradition, he has to worship the Juiti room with auspicious ‘Band Music’, that starts to play from the band standing outside the house. He offers his prayers to the Family gods and others who have been worshipped in the room.
He offers money and gifts to his mother to receive blessings from her. In return, she blesses him with a glass of milk and curd. It is considered as a luck blessing as he prepares to leave for the Bride’s home or the site of the wedding. He steps out with Purna Kalash and Sagun gifts, leading his way. This process is termed ‘Dulaha Anmaune‘. Which means guiding the Groom from his house to send him off to bring his new wife back home.
A group of family, friends, and relatives follow him through the procession. They are called ‘Janti‘. They rejoice and celebrate throughout the way. They are all sent off putting Tika on their forehead by the Groom family. This process is termed ‘Janti Anmaune‘
Bariyat Swagat- Welcoming the Groom with his Janti
The arrival of the Groom brings rejoice with loud booming music of drums and classical instruments. The Bride family gets out to welcome them all. A flower parade sets to motion as the family throws flowers and water in their welcoming. They are all offered Tika as a welcoming gesture by the father of the Bride.
The Groom is welcomed with respect and guided to a decorated place as the family all follow into the venue.
Traditionally in a Hindu Marriage ceremony, the father of the bride would arrange a line of selection of Groom candidates. Out of which the Daughter would choose the one whom she likes the best. In this way, the one she chooses will be her future husband. This ritual process is the Swayambar.
Now, in modern times, that practice has transformed into a ritual process between the bride and groom. They simply do some Puja and Sankalpa for their marriage and take blessings from their elders and their Pitri gods.
The Bride circles around the groom with a Kalash and make a line of water as she goes. After that, they put on tika and garland and put rings on each other. It is their Sankalpa promise about the ritual that they are going to attend now.
Bagdan and Barani for the Groom
After the Syawambar, the groom is seated on the west side of the Yagya facing east. The person who is going to give Bagdan should change into pure clothing and sprinkle themself with Kus and Water. A Sankalpa should be done taking Kus and Water.
The groom is offered tika, dakshina and gifts by the Karta, which the karta accepts, in embracing the gesture of acceptance for the marriage.
The feast is now ready to be served for those hungry ones. The tradition has it that the Bride and the Groom and the Karta should not eat before completing the ritual. Gotta Brace with it.
Kanya meaning the daughter who is going to be married into a woman is going to be given away to her husband. This is why it is called Kanyadan. This ritual process is done by the Father of the daughter. He needs to get ready with the puja elements and stay in the Yagya with the Bride and the Groom.
A Gaudan needs to be done for the process of Kanyadan.
Feet Washing Ceremony
After the Gaudan, the Feet washing ceremony is to be done. It signifies purity and also the respect towards their daughter and son-in-law.
A pot of pure water is offered into the hands of the Groom, which he takes as an acceptance. Then the water is poured on his legs and washed. Then the Bride’s legs are washed in the same manner.
For this ceremony, the main karta or the father should be the first one to wash, and then other family members can take part as they wish. Again gifting or offering money as a blessing is also done to complete this process of the ritual.
A mixture of ghee with twice the honey and four times the curd is Madhupark. The prepared mixture is given to the groom. He should stir with his thumb and ring finger together and offer it to the earth three times. And then should drink it three times.
Handing Clothes to the Bride
Gifting clothes and jewelry to the Bride from the Groom’s side is done now. It should also consist of a shawl, which the groom should place over her shoulder.
Mangalsutra, Necklace, and Pote ‘bead garland of ritual’ should be worn on the neck of the bride.
Now, the Bride family also hands some gifts of clothing to the Groom.
After the handing ritual, both Bride and Groom are placed on their seat and paid respect in representation of Goddess Laxmi and Lord Narayan. They are put with Tika and Garland of Flowers. After which a Gaudan should be done to prevent any impacts of Lagan Auspicious time.
A set of cloth, usually white, should be brought from both sides of the wedding. Each should be seven feet long. Placed in the middle, both families should place Janai, Supadi, money, Sarsyu, Kumkum, and Turmeric, Lord Brahma, Vishnu, and Maheshwar should be worshipped.
The cloth should be tied in a knot and after Kanyadan one end should be tied in the waist of the Bride and the other end is placed on the Groom’s shoulder. This Gatho is kept with the Bride and only opened on the 4th day of Marriage when there will be a ritual of Chaturthi.
Kanyadan Karta, the father of the bride needs to take a ritual Sankalpa vow for the Marriage Sanskar. He is giving his daughter to the man. And the promise said should be attained with a Mantra chant of Sankalpa with Kus and Water.
After the vow, the father should take the hand of his daughter with Kus, Jau, Til, Flower, Akshyata, and water with her thumb as Sankha Water is poured on their hands. The Groom should keep his hands underneath them. A Mantra chant for Kanyadan is going to be read by the Pandit Guru Ji as they vow.
After the Mantra, the Father should place his daughter’s hand on the Groom’s asking hand. He just gave Kanyadan of his daughter.
The knot of Lagan should now be tied on them as the Groom takes his bride’s hand.
The father should place some money into the hands of the Groom with Jau, Til, Kus followed by a Gaudan Sankalpa for Kanyadan.
For this part of the Marriage Sanskar, the father and the Groom have a conversation within the Mantra Sankalpa. This is where the father gives out the rules and orders to the groom for taking his daughter. He should abide by these as it means to support her and keep her happy.
It’s not just the Hindu Marriage practice that abides by this rule. Each father does the same for his daughter. The wedding or the Marriage Sanskar sure has a huge toll of anxiety on the Father.
Now, the Bride needs to change into the Clothes gifted from the Groom’s side and enter the Vivaha Mandap where the rest of the wedding ceremony progresses. The Groom takes her hand while entering the stage with love and support.
Entering Vivaha Mandap
The Groom takes the hand of the Bride as they enter the Mandap. They circle the Yagya clockwise and sit down towards the south facing north. The Bride should be on the right side. Looking at each other, they should continue on towards the west of the Yagya and sit facing the east. Now, the Mandap Yagya puja commmences.
Diyo- Kalash- Ganesh Puja
A ritual process of worshipping the basic elements of deities takes place before starting the ritual. The process in detail is explained on our page here with background information.
Now, the lord of the fire, Agni needs to be worshipped with the different processes following the deities puja. This is the ritual where we get ready for Hawan in the name of different gods and deities.
It takes some Sankalpa mantra with water and Kus for Hawan. and processes guided by the Guru. The hawan process is done by the Guru with the offering of Charu into the fire. The Hawan process takes a series of progression, with each step covering each aspect of the Hawan,
Here, a short step of Hawan is described as a list of Hawan process.
- The direction around the fire should be worshipped. It turns into a total of 10 directions.
- Water from the Patra should be sprinkled around the Yagya and upon themselves.
- Bishanti Kasthika hom, with 20 wood samhida is offered into the fire.
- Aajya Sanskar, circle the bowl of ghee around the Agni three times and place it in front of the Agni, and sprinkle water at the Agni.
- Shruwa Sanskar, Suro, the stick for offering ghee into the fire is to be washed with water and circled around the fire three times.
- Agni Paryuchan, for spraying water into the Agni.
Agni Hawan Process
The steps and different types of Hawan that need to be achieved for the marriage sanskar hawan to be complete are listed in a systematic ordered way.
- Mahabriti Hom, offering of ghee into the fire with each mantra chant.
- Abhhishek mantra should be chanted after the Ghee offering and the pure water should be sprayed at the Bride and Groom.
- All the remaining Ghee is sprayed over Prokshini Patra.
- Prayaschit Hom, to ask forgiveness for any bad karma and to offer pure devotion to the gods for puja. The Charu is offered along with the Mantra and ghee.
- Rastrabhrid Hom is a process where different elements of nature like days, nights, moon, sun, living beings, etc. are each offered with Charu hom.
- Jayahom is the next step of mantra chant for hawan with abhishek over the bride and the groom.
- Abhyatan Hawan, a process of offering charu to different gods and goddesses.
- Guptahuti is done by the PAndit guru Ji, hidden behind a curtain in the Bride and Groom’s eyes. Some mantra chant follows the process.
- Lavahom, is an offering of Lava into the Hawan by the Bride. It signifies peace and progress for their wedding. Lawa is prepared by the bride’s family with some ghee over it. Bride gives four offerings into the fire, as her groom stands behind her touching her ankles.
- Panigrahan, with both bride and groom holding their thumbs should follow the process as a mantra chant is done.
Bar Badhu Pratigya- Vows of Hindu Marriage Sanskar
The bride and the Groom should say their vows according to their tradition. Having a strong relationship with each other with love and support. There are other series of statements that they can make to each other, the Pandit Guru Ji explains the importance of the stated vows and what it means.
They mean to be together forever, never leaving each other’s side. Whether in sadness, happiness, or any hardship. The relation of their marriage sanskar is everlasting.
From Me to You and You to Me
I will be loving you till the end of time
From youth till the Old age
From broken to the stronger lines
Happiness it seems
Is to hold Your hand in Mine
Shilarohan and Shilapuja
A stone is placed facing East on the Northside of the Yagya. The groom leads the bride circling clockwise around the fire. On the stone, the bride should place her feet as her groom holds the thumb of her toe.
The second time, they circle the fire again and follow the same process as the Mantra is chanted by the Guru.
A third time, the same process repeats again.
And lastly, they circle the same way around the fire and get to the stone. Here, they now cross three lines on it and worship with puja on it three times.
The Hindu Marriage ritual takes a process of worshipping as much of the gods as possible. So, the next step is the eight Parvats, the mountains, and their gods. Asthaparvat puja is done eight times in a rice Mandal placed within the Yagya. There are mantras for each one of the pujas that the Pandit Guru Ji chants as it progresses.
Seven steps of promise for support and a life-long of togetherness is basically the ritual of Saptapadi. The bride takes seven steps with each step signifying their life together after their Marriage Sanskar.
On the Northside of the Vedi Yagya, a long cloth is laid from South to North. Seven places within the cloth are doused with Abhir ‘Saffron’, Sindhur colors. Now holding the hands the Groom guides the Bride through these seven steps. The seven steps are worshipped with the blessing Mantra of Lord Vishnu.
Sapta Rishi Puja
The ancient Vedic Rishis are worshipped in this process. Again the Mandal of seven is prepared. Each Mandal represents each Rishi, and each one is worshipped with Flowers and Akshyata.
The seven Rishis that needs to be worshipped are:
Hindu Marriage Sanskar traditional belief is that the rishis were the most notable and powerful sage who had the power as strong as the gods and their blessing had the strength. So, in respect of these Rishis the Bride and Groom ask for Blessing on their wedding from this puja.
Sindhur Dan / Badhu Abhimantran
A long cloth is taken and placed with one side on Ishan Kalash and the other reaching over the forehead of the Bride. The Sindhur should be offered to Diyo, Kalash, Ganesh, and Agni before putting it on her head. A little bit of it should be thrown upwards before getting it on.
Now, from Kalash till her forehead, the Groom should take a pinch and keep it continuous without missing the trail of Sindhur. The same should be done three times. And the remaining box of Sindhur should be handed to the Bride.
Changing the Places
After the Sindhur Ritual, the Bride is already married to the Groom. It’s official now. The Marriage Sanskar is nearly complete. The changing place signifies that the Groom gives his life control to his bride and opens up to her. Simply put, he invites her into his life.
He carries her and seats her down on his left side. And it’s a tradition that the Bride pulls him down to sit with him. When he sits down, she pays her respects and bows.
The Guru gives the Ghee Offering into the Agni. The remaining ghee from the Suro is given to the Bar and Badhu, they are to taste it. That’s the way in Hindu Marriage. It tastes good but is not much to eat.
In a Brass Glass, Honey- Ghee- Curd is mixed and brought into the Mandap. The content is taken by Badhu, the Bride, and sprayed out into the Yagya with her ring finger as an offering to gods. Then she needs to cut the content in half with her little finger. And then all hell breaks loose as they both fight a battle to make each other drink the mix. It’s a ritual of Hindu Marriage. After which they might need to wash and clean themselves a bit.
Towards the Closing of the Ceremony
Now, just simple steps of Ritual left until the marriage ceremony is over. It means that the ceremony needs to close in a grand way. Not just for you, but also for all the gods present. For that, the necessity is the closing ritual. Make it justifiable as the grand celebration of Wedding Sanskar.
Purna Patra Dan
A leaf plate vessel filled with rice for the prosperity of the occasion to make it complete in the name of the gods is what Purna Patra means. The complete vessel of rice indicates the completeness of the ritual. The Janai, Supadi, Flowers, and fruits are kept on top. With puja, it is held in the hands of Karta.
The bride needs to stand and with Coconut and Supadi she needs to offer the Ghee to the fire through the Suro.
Now, the Guru does the Hawan to complete the Agni Sanskar. The offering that he offers along with the Mantras defines the complete Agni process that was done for the Marriage Sanskar puja. for this wedding. The Groom touches the Brahman as he completes this ritual. The remaining Charu is also offered through this process, This concludes the Hawan Ritual.
Tilak Dharan and Graha Tilak
The Hawan Charu Ash is taken to be a symbol of power, that wards off evil and gives strength to the person. The Tilak as it is called is now prepared by the guru. The same Tilak is put on the both Bride and the Groom. On the forehead, Neck, Right Shoulder and Chest, for all the vital parts to be overlooked by the Ceremonial deities.
After this ritual, there is a tradition of playing a game-like ritual of tug of war, with a colorful cloth filled with Lava, pulled from both sides of the family.
Then the Guru offers Graha Planets Tilak to the Married couple with blessing Mantras.
Dakshina is the money that needs to be given as a blessing to the required people associated with the Wedding Ceremony. In a wedding, the First Dakshina is given to the Brahmin Pandit on behalf of both sides of the Family. And then the Kanya Kumari of the family and others, as wished. All the money that is going to be offered needs to be worshipped in the Yagya with a Sankalpa puja before offering it. So, here we do just that.
The Bride and the Groom need to circle the Yagya taking flowers, akshyata, and water before ending it with a Bisharjan.
Now, Bisharjan is a series of Matra chant that asks the god and goddess that were called during puja, to leave now and get back to the heavens where they live. Seems rude to order something like that, but this process is a polite tone of mantra that offers thanks to the gods for arriving at the puja ceremony and offering blessings.
The Bisharjan is important because gods need to go back, as we humans cannot hold them back and take care of them or, even worship them with the needed justice. After all the mere humans cannot evaluate the value of the gods forever. We have very little patience to take care of ourselves. So it’s impossible for us. So, freeing them with good terms of respect is the best option. Well, that’s what Bisharjan is. Paying respect to all the gods and bidding farewell until the next ceremony ritual.
Before You End the Ceremony
The Bride and the Groom just completed their Marriage Sanskar. Their life begins now. Just running away into their own world where there’s nobody else other than them. Where the world shines just for them two and every other thing just disappears.
Well, gotta wait for that.
First, the Bride and Groom need to complete the Ceremony of the day first. They need to celebrate their rejoice with everybody that is present. Needless to ask, the hungry people have already eaten. But now the Banquet is served for the family too. They have been hungry the whole day.
The Brahman Pandit Guru also needs to be bid farewell, It’s the family’s field of art to manage that duty. Now, then the Party as per the tradition follows as big and grand as it can be. But on the level that your back can take it. Other fun and wilderness to the land of love is as you wish it.
The Wedding has now been served.