Hindu marriage rituals

Hindu marriage- How is Hindu marriage done?

According to Hindu beliefs, human life has been divided into four parts. Each parts is called ‘Aashram’.

There are four Aashrams-

  • Brahmcharya Aashram,
  • Grihastha Aashram,
  • Sanyas Aashram and
  • Vanprasth Aashram.

For Grihastha aashram marriage is absolutely necessary.

What is true meaning of marriage?

A formal union and social and legal contract between two individuals that unites their lives legally, economically, emotionally & sexually.
In all religions, it also gives legitimacy to sexual relations within the marriage.
Hindu marriage harmonizes two individuals for ultimate eternity so that they can pursue

  • Dharma (Truth)
  • Arth (meaning)
  • Kama (worldly desires)

It is a union of two individuals as spouses, and is recognized by livable continuity.
In Hinduism, marriage is not followed by traditional rituals for consummation.  
In fact, marriage is considered complete and valid even without consummation because the marriage is between two souls and it is beyond the body. It also joins two families together.

What are the 3 most important things in a marriage?

Hinduism is over 5,000 years old & the vedic rituals were set then. They still remain the same, with some differences between states of India.
Traditionally, marriages were arranged, and the horoscopes were usually matched to ensure compatibility.

The 3 most important things in a marriage are-

  1. The girl & boy are allowed to meet & talk. If they agree, an auspicious date is set.
  2. Hindu teachings forbid people marrying anyone less than seven genetic steps removed; this means they cannot marry even distant cousins.
    • Hindus tend to marry within their own caste i.e. clans with similar education, language & skills. Majority of the marriages in India are still arranged, although there’s a growing number of love marriages taking place, meaning the girl & boy meet, fall in love & them tell their parents, who will then continue with the wedding arrangements.
  3. Men are allowed to have only one wife. Although this was the accepted custom for centuries, the Kings & emperors had many wives. This too was outlawed through legislation in Hindu marriage act 1955.

Wedding Ceremony

The wedding ceremony can be expensive, and costs are typically borne by the parents. It is not uncommon for middle or upper-class weddings to have a guest list of over 500 people. Often, a live instrumental band plays.
Vedic rituals are performed and the family and friends then bless the couple. Many delicacies are served to the invitees.
The wedding celebrations can take up to one week depending on the practice in different parts of India.
The essence of marriage is the blissful union of two souls in an unbreakable bond of love the Hindu wedding ceremony is essentially

What important rituals are in a wedding?

Vedic yajna ritual and three key rituals are almost universal:

  • Kanyadan : giving away of his daughter
  • Panigrahana: voluntarily holding hands near the fire to signify the union
  • Saptapadi: taking seven steps of promise. This is saat phere around the fire.

Why are there 7 steps in marriage?

The 7 steps are: 

  1. Nourish each other
  2. Be each other’s strength
  3. Prosper and Stay Faithful 
  4. Love and Respect for families
  5. Care for Children
  6. To live a healthy and peaceful life
  7. Bond of Friendship and Loyalty

A marriage ceremony is believed to be complete only after the couple have taken seven rounds around a holy fire.
A couple that enters into wedlock are companions for a lifetime who stay together through the thick and thin. With these 7 beautiful steps and their respective vows, every couple gracefully agrees to a lifelong commitment of mutual love, care, and respect. 

What are the 8 types of marriage?

Eight types of marriage are-

  • Brahma Marriage
  • Deiva Marriage
  • Aarsha Marriage
  • Prajapatya Marriage
  • Gandharva Marriage
  • Rakshas Marriage
  • Paishachya Marriage
  1. Brahama marriage has the most Supreme position in all types of Hindu Matrimony. In this type of marriage the father marries his daughter to man of good conduct.
  2. In this type of marriage the girl is married off to the man whome the family choose by matchmaking through priest. This used to be the practice followed by many Royals in ancient times to forge diplomatic ties with allies and enemies alike.The type of marriage that is considered inferior because it is degrading to womanhood.
  3. Aarsha Marriage is where the girl is married off to a Sage in exchange of some cows.
  4. Prajapatya marriage- Without consent of the girl marrying her with a elite groom is called Prajapati marriage.
  5. The marriage without consent of family members and any customs is called Gandharva Marriage.
  6. Getting married by purchasing a girl is known as Asura marriage.
  7. Kidnapping a girl forcibly, marriage her is called Rakshas marriage
  8. Taking advantage of girl’s intoxication, making physical relationship with her is called Paishachya Marriage.

The marriage festivities are colorful & can take several days, with a lot of music & dance.
Mangal sutra, a necklace, & sindoor is put in her hair, to show she is now married.
This symbolizes that marriage is an important stage of life and will mark the beginning of a life-long union.
The girl’s father formally sends her off with her husband after the customary rituals.

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