Showing posts with label Marriage or Wedding Ceremonies. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Marriage or Wedding Ceremonies. Show all posts

Hinduism - What Are The Marriage or Wedding Ceremonies In India?

 

Marriage or Wedding Ceremonies - Almost everyone in India gets married.

For twice-born males, marriage is a religious obligation that pays off one of their Three Debts, in this instance the debt owed to their ancestors.

Householders born into one of India's three "twice-born" classes, brahmin, kshatriya, or vaishya, are known as twice-born men.

Such guys are eligible for the "second birth," a kind of adolescent religious initiation.

The identity of most Hindu women is defined by their roles as spouses and mothers.

Marriage is also the catalyst for the formation and growth of families.

Marriage is the single most important event in most people's life since the family is considered the backbone of Hindu society.

Since of the importance of marriage in Hindu culture, this life-changing event is fraught with danger because there is no guarantee of success.

Other possible threats stem from the unlucky quality of specific periods and individuals, as well as the notion that this unluckiness will bring bad luck in the future.

Finally, since the bride and groom are the focus of attention in the days leading up to the wedding, there is a risk that ill will and jealousy from others would release malicious and hidden forces.

Hindu weddings, like many other life changes, are attended with careful consideration for recognizing invisible influences that may have a detrimental impact on the couple's future existence and protecting the bride and groom from them.

To begin the marriage on the greatest possible footing, the wedding is always held at an astrologically fortunate period.

The bride is often sequestered in the days leading up to the wedding to avoid coming into touch with individuals or things considered unlucky.

Both the bride and groom are anointed and decked like deities in a temple on their wedding day—according to popular belief, the pair becomes Lakshmi and Vishnu, god and goddess, on their wedding day.

When they are outdoors in the world, they are in ritual danger, both from the multitude of sources for ritual impurity (ashaucha) and from the belief that they are more sensitive to the evil eye (nazar) and other types of witchcraft.

When the bride or groom must be in the public sight, such as when the groom and his group of friends go in triumphal procession to the wedding hall, as is common in northern India, these hazards are fought with amulets and different ceremonies of protection.

Because they are in a tight and ritually controlled environment, surrounded by family and friends, the threat is less immediate once they are inside.

According to the eight classical forms of marriage accepted in the dharma canon, there is no singular Hindu marriage ritual.

The Asura form, in which the groom's family pays a brideprice to obtain the bride, and the Brahma form, in which the bride's family gives their daughter to the groom without any conditions (although the groom's family can usually expect a dowry with the bride in modern times), are the two forms most commonly practiced today.

The Brahma marriage is the most common and has a significantly greater social rank.

Although there is regional and denominational variety in wedding ceremonies in such a marriage, several shared customs indicate key cultural assumptions.

The transfer of the bride from her family to her husband's family, and the irreversible merger of the bride and groom into a new entity, the married couple, are the two key themes of a Hindu marriage.

The bride is transferred at the kanyadan rite, which is also known as the "gift of the virgin" and is conducted by the bride's father.

Several typical traditions represent the bride and groom's marital union, including pani grahana, in which the groom takes the bride's hand as a sign of their connection.

The saptapadi, or "seven steps" that the bride and groom take jointly, is another such ceremonial that is regarded the defining moment of the marriage.

The bride's transfer to the groom's family is completed at the seventh phase, at which time the marriage becomes irreversible.

The sapta padi is often done in combination with another ritual, the agnipradak shinam ("circumambulating the fire"), in current times.

Instead of walking seven steps, the bride and groom spin around a tiny fire seven times.

On the one hand, the presence of fire indicates that marriage is a Vedic yajna (sacrifice).

On the other hand, since fire is associated with the Vedic deity Agni, he serves as the divine witness to the wedding.

The bride and groom are often physically connected during the circumambulations by attaching a portion of his turban to the fringe of her sari.

This apparent tie between them is simply another proof of the newly developed inner togetherness.

As previously said, rather than a reciprocal metamorphosis, the wife's identity is "assimilated" to her husband's.

In northern India, following marriage, the bride lives with her husband's family; her new identity is completely based on her connection with her spouse, whilst his identity is largely untouched, although enhanced by marriage.

See Pandurang Vaman Kane (trans. ), A History of Dharmasastra, 1968, and Raj Bali Pandey, Hindu Samskaras, 1969, for further details.

Lawrence Babb's The Divine Hierarchy, published in 1975, contains information on present practice.

See also the eight classical kinds of marriage.


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