Tuesday, 21 May 2013

Marriage

India is a Vedic Land with Ancient Traditions. It have a great significance to the tradition of Marriage. In the flow of life we always forget what stages are passed. Among them Marriage is one. It is a stage where life is really defined. In detail Grahastha ashram  the second of four stages in life begins when a Man and woman marry, starting a Household. People never understand how two unknown persons live together for a life time with a small relation. I always say, the greatness of being together for a life goes to the people marrying with a oath and not to the event.  There is a saying that Marriages are made in Heaven, indeed its true.


Marriage is an important Hindu Samskaram, The literary expression of marriage cermonies are found in Rigvedam and Atharvavedam. Marriage is considered as sacrifice and one who did not enter the married life was called “one without sacrifice”. The Taittiriya Brahmana says,”He, indeed, is without sacrifice who has got no wife” adding “ He is himself a half man, the second half is wife”





The Manusmritis( Laws of manu) have recognized 8 methods of marriages in the Vedic period, They are
1.Brahma:- Father of the bride invites a man learned in the Vedas and a good conduct, and gives his daughter in marriage to him after decking her with jewels and costly garments.



2. Daiva:- Daughter is groomed with ornaments and given to a priest who duly officiates at a sacrifice during the course of its performance of this rite.
3. Arsha:- Father gives away his daughter after receiving a cow and a bull from the brightgroom.
4.Gandharva:- The voluntary union of a maiden and her lover, which arises from desire and sexual intercourse for its purpose.
5.Rakshasa:- Forcible abduction of a maiden from her home after her kinsmen have been slain or wounded and their houses broken open.
6.Prajapatya:- Father gives away his daugher after blessing the couple with the text "May both of you perform together your duties"
7. Asura :- when the bridegroom receives a maiden after bestowing wealth to the kinsmen and to the bride according to his own will.
8. Paisacha:- when a man by stealth seduces a girl who is sleeping or intoxicated or is mentally disbalanced or handicapped.
 We being Human refer only to two among them – Brahma and Asura. Marriages arranged by parents are also contemplated. However, the institution of svayamvara where the bridegroom has to fulfill certain conditions of expertise, strength, power, knowledge etc., is to be fulfilled as prescribed by the parents of the bride, before finally getting married.



                    In every samkalpa we say "Dharma, artha,, kama, moksha, cathur vidha phala purusharta siddharthyam.  I want to do my duty, I want to earn money, I want to fulfill my desires, and I want to be liberated.  These are the four basic desires that everyone has.  So dharma is defined as giving the spark of life which have received from your father and mother, and pass on that life to a new life.




                    The bride groom recites the passages which mean I ............. to perform the Purushartha of the human life in this form am taking or accepting ........as my wife. She is already offered to the cosmic mind and cosmic will and to the eternal truth.  (meaning this marriage is only to the continuation of the evolution.)

I will not tress pass her in the performance of Dharma - all such facts that aid the evolution,

Artha-all acts that allows to create utilities of life,( money, earning is one such act that creates the utilities of the life, and the artha is not merely money or paper currency) and Kama- all such desires that come across in the life of us.( the Kama in the purview of the Sages is not only sex but the whole
range of the desires.)

Dharma ca arthe ca kame ca nathi charami.

                    Here the MOKSHA is deliberately omitted by the sages. The reason is the intention of the salvation from the bonds of the life is dependent on the past karma of the soul. Either husband or wife depending on the past karma can achieve the salvation at their ownpace. In case of Meera Bai it is the wife who achieved the salvation and in case of Ramanuja or Tukaram it is the Husband who achieved the salvation first.

Vedic Marriage consists of different parts:
1.       Nandi:- getting Started.




2.       Nischitartha:- Confirming the Alliance.



3.       Ankurarpana:- Creation of Alliance by lightning the Yagna Fire.

4.       Homam:- Fire is believed to be the pure and spiritual in the world. Hence, the idea is to make all oaths in a purest way in a delightful environment of Homam burning with fragrant herbs and ghee.

5.       Snathakam:- This ritual is performed at the bridegroom's house before the muhurtam. It is a sort of thread ceremony that involves making him wear a silver thread on his body.

6.       Upanayanam:- According to the Vedic Age, school going is for both the boy and girl. Hence Upanayanam is to be performed for both of them.

7.       Kasi yathra:- ashi Yatra is a unique custom performed where the groom will wear old slippers,old umbrella,2 big rings[ which is made up of rice flour] to the ear and hold stick in the hand. Kashi Yatra is symbolic.It gives the option to groom to leave the worldly treasures and lead the life of an ascetic or get married and become a householder. Usually bride's brother intercepts groom from leaving the Grahasth Ashram and brings him back.


8.       Kanya danam:- It is an important part of the marriage ceremony in which the bride’s (Virgin Girl) parents give her away to the groom by entrusting her to the bridegroom.


9.       Pani grahanam:- The parents of the bride offer her hand in marriage to the groom and officially request him to accept her as his bride. At one time, this might have been the first time the couple may have physically "touched" each other.



10.   Sapthapadi:- Seven vows are given by both Bride and Groom.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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 honor you, and will strive to fulfill all your wishes.

Groom:
May you be filled with joy and peace.
Bride:
I will always be by your side.

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, honor and cherish each other forever.

 
11.   Mangala Sutra dharana:- Mangalasutra Symbolizes the inseparable bond between a husband and a wife. Groom ties three knots to the neck of the bride uttering-“ May you live long by wearing this sacred mangalasutra, the reason of my life.” The first knot represents her obedience to her husband, the second to his parents and the third represents her respect for god.



12.   Talambralu:- Bride and Groom put Talambralu (Akshatalu) on each other. The bride and the groom shower one another with pearls & talambralu (rice mixed with saffron & turmeric). This denotes the couple’s desire for happiness, enjoyment and contentment.



13.   Arundathi darshanam:- Arundhathi Darshana is the showing of the Saptha Rishi Mandala and the small star Arundhathi underneath the star of Vashistha. These seven sages and their families are the originators of the Vedic Lore of the Hindus. In memoriam of these great sages the seven stars in the Great Bear constellation are named after them. The significance of this ritual is to remind the couple of the cosmic responsibilities they have to fulfill.

14.   Grihapravesam:- Every event in the celebrations of Hindu Bharat Matrimony has its own importance. Now with the completion of matrimony formalities, the next one is Griha Pravesh, meaning entering in new home. A big welcome is accorded to the couple when they enter the home. Mother-in-Law is the first one to embrace daughter-in-law and son and perform other religious formalities before they step in the home. On the occasion of Griha Pravesh, Groom is at her side to give her confidence. He consoles her and says that she is the queen of the house and has the same rights here as other members of the family. In Hinduism a woman occupies a high place in society and is given love and high respect. Her happiness at Griha Pravesh brings prosperity and good luck to the family.

15.   AppaGinthalu:- It refers to handing over the daughter to the groom after the marriage ceremony is over. Bride moves away with the Groom as per the custom.



16.   Sobhanamu:- It is the Nuptials arranged by the parents of the bride in their residence first and in the residence of the groom next. This is the starting of the enjoyment of the joy of the sex as learned in the Gurukula  by reading the Kama sastra and implementing it in a socially acceptable way for the joy and the bliss and for the progeny of the race.

17.   Garbhadanam:- Gharbhadanamu is the act of sex for the progeny. This is set on the day that is neutral from the cosmic influences like the moons gravity and the suns gravity or other disturbances to create the foetus for the Jiva to enter in to the Womb of the mother to take the birth to perform his cycle of karma and to make the parents to fulfil the cycle of the karma.

Marriage is considered as one of the best occasion in life as any one enters a new life celebrating with the blessings of elders, smiles of family members, teasers of friends. Countries across the world respect our tradition and ancient customs.

 In olden days it was about seven days to complete the marriage. But, In the modern days – (our computer age) it became so fancy that no one finds time to celebrate their precious moments. Yet, its significance has never been low in our minds and that’s the power of our Veda Bhoomi.

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