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Prayers to ward off all the evils for the Hindu marriage ceremony, ensure the success of the ceremony, and bless the couple with intelligence, knowledge, wealth and strength.
Varuna, the Lord of Water, is offered prayers for the purification of exterion and interior spaces.
Prayers are offered to get the blessings of Nagaraja, the God of Snakes.
The bride's father treats the groom as equivalent to Lord Vishnu by washing his feet and requests the groom to marry his daughter.
The first visual exchange between the bride and the groom.
All the Gods who are ghe guardians of all the planets, sun, moon, all the directions, earth, and sky are worshipped for protection and benediction during the ceremony.
Resolution and vows are made to make sure the marriage ceremony is completed without obstacles, for the benediction of all, and for getting the blessings from God.
This pooja is done to wish long life for the new couple.
The actual sacrament and rituals start by evoking the sacred fire. Parents of the bride, by an avowed commitment, give their daughter to the Groom who affirms the commitment and accepts her. Consequently the status of an unmarried girl turns to that of a wife.
This is absolutely not the severance of the relationship of the Bride with her parents, but the commitment of the Bride's parents to give their daughter full freedom to make, together with her husband, a world of her own. The relationship of the Bride with her parents, in fact, takes a new, more intimate meaning that she and her husband are now the most honored human beings -- daughter-son (the son-in-law becomes like a son), in her parents' home. Also, the Bride's parents become free from obligations to their ancestors, sages and God by this sacred give-away.
The Groom ties the sacred know before the sacred fire to bind the Bride and Groom together for life.
The Groom makes the Bride wear a bangle, or a sacred chain, or a sacred ring (Mangal Sutra) as a safeguard against any hindrance or calamity. The bangle is a symbol of the Bride's welfare.
Evoking the Sacred Fire and worship of Lord Agni is performed. Sacred fire is evoked through changing hymns from Hindu scriptures. This is to bless both the Bride and Groom for good health, wealth and prosperity, for illustrious offspring, for peace, and for a hundred hears of long life.
Both the Bride and Groom proceed ti circumambulate the sacred fire clockwise. The Bride leads the Groom three times around the fire and the Groom leads the Bride four times around the same. The Sacred Fire thus is the supreme witness of the sacred marriage.
The Bride greets the Groom and acknowledges him as her betrothed n the presence of all assembled by garlanding the groom. The Groom reciprocates. All the participants congratulate the newlywed couple.
For devotion and harmony in life, the Groom asks the Bride to walk together seven steps while vowing.
The Bride requests the Groom to:
The Groom accepts these vows and asks the Bride to vow to:
- Consult and seek her participation in all religious functions
- Consult her prior to undertaking any donations
- Provide her companionship and friendship through the years to come
- Inform her about material wealth
- Help her in sickness and in health
- Consult her prior to major purchases
- Help her to maintain her self respect.
- Follow the path of his forefathers and family traditions
- Maintain peace and harmony with his family
- Speak well and softly of people she meets
- Maintain the self respect of his family, parents, and other relatives
- Help him in sickness and in health
- Help him to acheive health progeny
- Provide him companionship and friendship through the years to come and to achieve joyful and blissful family life
The Bride and Groom repeatedly pour rice mixed with turmeric powder and vermillion to signify the beginning of their association.
Priests offer prayers by chanting Veda Mantras (hymns from the sacred Scriptures) to bless the Groom and Bride for a long, healthy, prosperous, peaceful, and joyful life. All the participants come forward to wish the newlywed couple a long and happy married life.