Marriage is sacrament of love, togetherness and understanding. It is an unbreakable bond of two hearts, two people and two souls. Marriage is about the two families becoming one and uniting with the two i.e. Man and wife. Marriage is sacred in every religion. Interestingly India has many cultures and among the most beautiful culture is the Hindu culture and tradition. The marriages of the Hindu people are meaning and lengthy. Every ritual and rite performed has a certain meaning and relevance.
In the Hindu marriage, the bride and the groom sit under the mandap or the sacred canopy. The girl sits on the left side of the groom and after the vows she sits on the right. Marriage is such a sacrament that love marriages happen in the temple with the holy priest being the witness and the holy fire along with god himself being the only witness of the sacred affair. Marriage is the long lasting relationship that cannot be broken by any cord other than violating the vows of marriage. Vows are promises made and not to be broken.
The Seven vows are known as saptadi are performed with mangalphera.
The Seven Vows:
Every vow is said along with every circle or round taken around the holy fire.
- The first vow
Groom: You will offer me food and be helpful in every way. I will cherish you and provide welfare and happiness for you and our children.
Bride: I am responsible for the home and all household responsibilities.
In this first and very important vow the bride and the groom make promises of proving happiness and cherishing this new person and the new relationship that they have entered into. The bride also promises the groom to make his house a home for him and his family and take up all the household responsibility. In the olden times it was the woman who had to do all the household chores however in the modern world today there are so many lovely husbands helping their wives and doing the house work and sharing responsibility. This act is known as doing more than what you promised.
- The second vow
Groom: Together we will protect our house and children.
Bride: I will be by your side as your courage and strength. I will rejoice in your happiness. In return, you will love me solely.
Here the groom promises that as a couple they would protect their house and children and come what may they will face it together. While the bride promises him back that yes she will be his courage and strength and his strongest support and she will rejoice in all his happiness but she will exepects him to love her dearly and only her with all his heart, mind, body and soul.
- The third vow
Groom: May we grow wealthy and prosperous and strive for the education of our children. May our children live long.
Bride: I will love you solely for the rest of my life, as you are my husband. Every other man in my life will be secondary. I vow to remain chaste.
Here in this third vow the groom promises that he will strive hard and give their children the best of education and protect them. As after marriage the next step is children and they are born out of the love that the couple share together. She in return promises to love her man and will keep other men like her brother and fathers secondary as now she has become yours and your better half till death do you both apart. Chaste means pure and abstaining from extramarital affairs is what she promises him.
- The fourth vow
Groom: You have brought sacredness into my life, and have completed me. May we be blessed with noble and obedient children.
Bride: I will shower you with joy, from head to toe. I will strive to please you in every way I can.
In this vow the accepts that she has completed his life and has brought sacredness into his life as she enters in marriage with him and he wishes to be blessed with her as a couple and desires to have beautiful children obedient and kind just like their sacred relationship. While the bride promises to give him all the love and care he desires and to please him in every way emotional physically and mentally. She promises to brighten his life with joys and happy times.
- The fifth vow
Groom: You are my best friend, and staunchest well-wisher. You have come into my life, enriching it. God bless you.
Bride: I promise to love and cherish you for as long as I live. Your happiness is my happiness, and your sorrow is my sorrow. I will trust and honour you, and will strive to fulfil all your wishes.
This is one of the most promising vows as the groom calls her (the bride) his best friend and someone who he can confide in and trust blindly, he knows for the fact that she will always be his well-wisher. While the bride promises that her happiness lies in his happiness and her sorrows in his. All her joys and sorrows are the ones that he feels and has. She promises to trust and honour him and promises to fulfil the dreams that he sees about having her as a wife.
- The 6th vow
Groom: May you be filled with joy and peace.
Bride: I will always be by your side.
The 6th vow is where the groom wishes that his wife’s life and she will be filled with new joy and peace. While the bride will always stand by him in every situation be it good or bad.
- The seventh vow:
Groom: We are now husband and wife, and are one. You are mine and I am yours for eternity.
Bride: As God is witness, I am now your wife. We will love, honour and cherish each other forever
This is the last vow along with the last circle of vows that ends all the 7 vows and the marriage is said to have been complete and officially they are now man and wife. The groom realizes that now he has rights on her and they both are each other’s even unto death. The bride now accepts being his wife and promises to cherish and love him forever.
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