The Seven Vows of Hindu Marriage

Seven Steps

Good Day fellow friends it’s been a long time since i share a post for that i am sorry because i was very busy with work. Anyway today i will like to share a little about the seven vows of hindu marriage.

“Marriage is not a simple love affair, it’s an ordeal, and the ordeal is the sacrifice of ego to a relationship in which two have become one.”

Hindu wedding is all about rituals and customs, which teach us the actual essence of a blissful married life. The seven vows of marriage symbolize seven promises, which are sworn by the bride and the groom during the auspicious ceremony of wedding. These seven promises are not just taken in the presence of a few hundreds of people, but the Hindu customs ensure that even the Gods and Goddesses, the five elements of nature, the earth and the whole universe are a part of every Hindu wedding. So thoughtful have been the Vedas in devising these customs have no doubt our elders term marriages as an eternal bond transcending beyond births. The asceticism in which a couple is bound during those 7 promises is just seamless for any power in the universe to contain.

With the commencement of the ritual, a holy fired is sparked in the havankund (the holy fireplace) which comprises of wood and ghee (cow manure later). Now the sages who had devised the Vedas were so thoughtful that they had explicitly mentioned the reason for comprising the havankund with Wood and Ghee only. It is scientifically proved that the combustion of wood in presence of ghee generates such gases which protect the ozone layer. The reason for this lies in benevolence and the good-will that the ritual incorporates. The sages believed that the nature gives us almost everything for our survival, but what do we give in return? Hence we return ozone to the atmosphere which serves as a protective shield to the atmosphere. So thoughtful is the beginning of the Seven Promises!

The fire, around which the seven vows are sworn by the couple. Have you all ever thought about this? Why take seven promises around fire only? What is so special about fire? Some might argue that fire being one of the five constituents of Panch-Maha-Bhoot or Panch Tatva (5 natural elements of which the human body is believed to be made up of according to Hindu Mythology). But these 5 elements comprise of wind, earth and water also. Why not take seven promises around them? Fire is special because, fire is the factor which bonds the couple in an eternal bond of marriage and it is the only power capable to separate husband and wife i.e. once a person is dead, his/her dead body is burnt on the pyre according to Hindu rituals. Therefore, it’s the fire which bonds two people and it’s the fire only which can separate them. This not only symbolizes the importance of holy fire, but this also declares that a married couple is inseparable by any human powers and conjoined by God himself .

 

Seven Stepss

 

After fire, comes the seating arrangement before the 7 promises. Before the 7 vows are sworn the bride and the groom are seated on chairs and some chants are recited by the priests. Now Vedas are so particular about the ambrosial event of marriage that they decide the seating position of the bride and the groom in such a way that they get the maximum possible blessings from the nature in all its forms. Generally, before taking the seven vows, the bride is seated to the right hand side of the groom. After taking the 7 promises, the bride shifts to the left side of the groom this symbolizes that she is now closer to his heart. How exquisite! Every custom which is put in the wedding ceremony has a unique significance, which when enlightened just leaves us with our jaws dropped.

Now after lighting the holy fire and reciting some mantras, the bride and the groom are asked to stand up to take 7 rounds around the holy fire. Each round stands for a unique promise. The holy fire is the witness of all these promises. How solicitous have the Vedas been! They do not entitle the humans to be the witness of such a pious ceremony like wedding, but they pass the hat to the nature, the superpower to be witness of the eternal union of two souls. Now the main event begins the seven promises. Here they are.

 

{ First Phera / First Vow } – Pray to the Gods for pure and nourishing food and prosperity.

The Groom says:

“om esha ekapadi bhava iti prathaman”

My beloved, our bond strengthens by your walking one step with me. You will offer me food and be helpful at all times.I will embrace you and provide for our welfare and happiness and also that of our children.?

The Bride says:

“dhanam dhanyam pade vadet”

I humbly comply to you, my lord. kindly bestow upon me the responsibility of the household, food and finance. I promise you that I shall carry out all responsibilities towards the welfare of the family and the children.”

 

{ Second Phera / Second Vow } – the couple appeals to the gods to give them the mental, physical and spiritual strength to lead a healthy life.

The Groom says:

“om oorje jara dastayaha”

My beloved, now you have walked the second step with me. Fill me up with strength and courage so that together we can protect the household and the children.?

The Bride says:

“kutumburn rakshayishyammi sa aravindharam”

My lord, in your sorrows, I shall fill your heart with courage and strength. In your joys , I shall rejoice. I promise you that I will please you at all times with sweet words and take care of the family and the children. and you in turn shall love none other but me as your wife.?

 

{ Third Phera / Third Vow } – Pray for preservation of wealth and prosperity in life.

The Groom says:

“om rayas santu joradastayaha”

My beloved, now you have walked three steps with me. With your presence in my life, our wealth and prosperity are going to grow.I shall look upon all other woman as my sisters. We will educate our children and may their live long.?

The Bride says:

“tava bhakti as vadedvachacha”

My lord, I will love you with single minded devotion as my husband. I will treat all other men as my brothers. My devotion to you will be that of a pure wife. this is my commitment to you.?

 

{ Fourth Phera / Fourth Vow } – The couple invokes the gods for joy and peace by mutual love and trust in all walks of life.

The Groom says:

“om mayo bhavyas jaradastaya ha”

My beloved, it is a blessing that you have walked four steps with me. You’re presence in my life has made it sacred and auspicious. May we be blessed with obedient and noble children and may they live long!?

The Bride says :

“lalayami cha pade vadet”

My lord, I will enrich myself from head to toe with sandalwood paste and fragrance for you. I will serve you and please you in every possible way that I can.?

 

{ Fifth Round / Fifth Vow } – the couple appeals to the lords for the welfare of all living beings in this world and wish for virtuous, noble and heroic children.

The Groom says:

“om prajabhyaha santu jaradastayaha”

My beloved, now that you have walked five steps with me, you have adorned my life. May god bless you and may our loved ones live long and share in our prosperity.?

The Bride says:

“arte arba sapade vadet”

My lord, I will share your happiness and grief. With your love in my life, I will trust and honor you. I will fulfill all your wishes.?

 

{ Sixth Round / Sixth Vow } – the couple asks the gods to give them a blissful life together.

The Groom says:

“Rutubhyah shat padi bhava” 

My beloved, you have filled my heart with happiness walking six steps with me. May you fill my heart with joy and peace at all times.?

The Bride says:

“yajna hom shashthe vacho vadet”

My lord, in all righteous acts, in material prosperity, and in enjoyment of acts approved by the divine, I promise I will will stand by you.?

 

{ Seventh Phera / Seventh Vow } – The couple prays for mutual understanding, loyalty and companionship.

The Groom says:

“om sakhi jaradastayahga”

My beloved, as you have walked the seven steps with me, our love and friendship is now eternal. We have attained a spiritual union blessed by god. Now you are one with me and I offer my life to you. Our marriage will be forever!?

The Bride says:

“attramshe sakshino vadet pade”

My lord, as per the laws of God and the sanctity of the holy scriptures, I am your wife now. Whatever promises we made, were made with a pure mind. We will be truthful to each other in all matters and We will love each other forever.

 

Finishing the promise ceremony, the groom promises the bride that by walking this seventh step with her, their love and companionship have become inseparable and eternal. They have experienced spiritual union in God. Now she has become completely his. He offers his total self to her.

These were the Seven Promises made by the bride and the groom to each other at the time of wedding. If you have read these attentively, then you might have just noticed that these seven promises encompass every dimension of human life beginning from the life after marriage to the death. The promises include every sphere of marital life- be it family, household, finances, children, adversities, difficulties, loyalty, companionship, strength, weakness, everything. The seven promises are nothing but a microcosm of the life the couple has to see after their marriage. The seven promises make sure to unite the couple eternally then and there amidst a divine atmosphere. Above all, they make all the Terrence agencies a part of the wedding be it God, be it nature, be it any supernatural force of this universe.

“Marriage is a bond that is everlasting and all these vows reinforce the couple’s intent to stay together through thick and thin of life, till death separate them part.”

 

Some of the information of the article is taken from : 

URL: http://ibelievethat.in/seven-the-7-promises 

URL: http://myshaadi.in/main/indian-wedding-blog/view/8/The-Seven-Vows-of-Hindu-Marriage

 

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