Vedic Hindu Wedding Ceremony
Bharat Pankhania and Alison Rouse
Saturday 30th March 2002
The Hindu wedding started with a peace chant to our world, here we are sharing the lyrics of the peace chant with you:
Chandramangalam. Jagat mangalam.
Sarva mangalam Bhavatu, Bhavatu, Bhavatu.
Sarva mangalam Bhavatu, Bhavatu, Bhavatu
Sarva mangalam Bhavatu, Bhavatu, Bhavatu
May there be tranquillity on earth, on water,
in fire, in the wind,
in the sky, in the sun,
on the moon, on our planet,
in all living beings, in the body,
in the mind and in the spirit.
May that tranquillity be everywhere, and in everyone
A peace chant performed by Ravi Shanker, produced by the late George Harrison.
From the album: Chants of India. Angel Records 1997
Order of Service
The Vedic wedding ceremony is thousands of years old; it is a joyful celebration. Each step in the ceremony has a pertinent meaning and contributes to the overall sanctity and importance of the occasion.
Greeting the groom - Milni (Bottom of Grand staircase)
The groom is escorted to the ceremony by his brother.
The bride’s mother and the priest greet the groom by placing a red vermilion mark on his forehead and serenading him with a diva (candle light)
The groom then steps on a clay pot, which contains grains. By breaking the pot he symbolises that he will not allow any obstacles large (clay pot) or small (grains) to come between him and his bride.
The priest leads the groom (accompanied by his brother and sister) to the Mandap.
Guests are invited to the Mandap room to take part in the Hindu Vedic marriage ceremony.
The Bride greets the groom - Anterapat
A "curtain" is raised and the bride is invited to the Mandap. Alison was escorted to the ceremony by my family. The priest will perform the opening prayers. The "curtain" is thereafter lowered. The groom and bride will see each other for the first time as a couple to be.
Purification Rites - Achman
Using water from seven holy rivers in India, the priest will chant prayers for purification
Establishing Auspiciousness - Mangal Shanti
Prayers are chanted in order to establish peace and to request blessings
Sipping of sanctified water - Achmaniyam
The bride and groom sip holy water three times chanting a prayer in Sanskrit
Installation of protective deity - Kumbha Sthapana
The priest "installs" and invites Lord Vishnu to the wedding ceremony. He outlines the commitments of marriage according to the Vedic scriptures.
Announcement of resolution - Sankalpa
The time, place, and the names of the couple getting married is announced. The priest asks the bride if she will accept the groom as her husband. The priest implores the groom to treat his bride with great respect.
Uniting of families - Hastamanadap
The priest performs a ceremony to unite the two families.
Symbolically the parents exchange garlands.
Presentation of gold necklace - Mangal Sutra
The groom presents a gold necklace on a coconut to the bride. The bride wears this as a symbol of her husband's protection.
Bestowing of the Bride - Kanya dana
This is an important part of the ceremony. The father of the bride gives her away to the groom’s family. This is considered the greatest dana (gift)
Taking of the brides hand - Pani Gruhanam
The groom addresses the bride while holding her hand. He makes a number of vows to her.
Establishing the tokens of marriage – Mangalya Dharanam
The couple present garlands to each other. This symbolises that they will treat each other with respect and mutual consideration.
Red vermilion is placed by the groom in the bride’s hair parting.
A knot is tied in a shawl thus symbolically linking the couple together.
The priest blesses the knot with a prayer – that it will never be symbolically undone and that the couple will be united forever
.Establishing the sacred fire - Agni sthapanam
God is invited to manifest in the form of fire.
God is given offerings of mixed grains and clarified butter accompanied by Vedic hymns.
All prayers end in " SWAHA" – "I witness" all guests are invited to join in, offering their blessings to the couple and confirming that they too witness this marriage.
Final offering - Purna Huti
Everyone stands and the bride and groom take some fruit and flowers in their hands. The priest symbolically offers all their vows of marriage into the fire. The flowers and fruit symbolise mother nature and by offering them to the fire the bride and groom are asking the gods for blessing.
Circling the Fire – Mmangala Fera
The couple walk round the fire (havan) four times. Each circle begins with the bride and groom offering grains to the fire symbolising that god (in the form of fire) is a witness to the marriage ceremony.
The four circles around the fire represent four aspects of life:
Symbolic first meal together - Kansar
The couple serve sweet confections to each other, symbolizing that they will provide for each other. My nieces present the sweets to us.
The seven steps Sapta Padi
The couple take their first seven steps together, receiving blessings with each step. Everyone shouts "JAYA!" as a blessing at each step. The steps are:
The priest offers a final blessing and declares Bharat and Alison as husband and wife.
As a married couple the wife (deemed the stronger of the pair) takes on the duties of leading and guiding the husband in their new life together. Alison takes the lead in taking the symbolic first steps together.
Blessings – Arshiwad
Blessings from the bride and groom’s families conclude the ceremony.
Everybody announces: Akhandya Sobhagyavati
"A khand So-bhag-ya-vati"
"May you live long and stay married forever"
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