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Hindu Heritage Study Program
 
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A Companion to the Study of Hinduism - Part I
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HR 255.01
Principles and Practice of Hindu Dharma
~ Level - 2
Devotional and Ritualistic Paths of Religious Practices
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Paths of Rituals, Devotion, Prayers and Surrender
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Lesson
- 13-
Sapthapathi Manthras - its meaning
Companion
Part - I
 

 

 

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Seven Vows (Saat Pratignya or Seven Promises) as Mantras of Saptapadi / Seven Steps.
There are many variations in these manthras and varies according to regions in India, according to different family traditions (Sampradhayas) and the different Smrithis and Vedas they follow. Both the Bride and the Groom make these seven vows to each other as they take the seven steps.

 

The Saptapathi rites involves taking seven steps walking around the fire. According to Hindu Law codes, which is according to Yalgnavakya Smrithi, completion of the seventh step is the moment of completion of marriage for all legal purposes.

 
In many traditions, they use a shorter version of these manthras as below.
These vows they say a manthra are in Sanskrit with meaning given for each step as follows:
 
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The following are the Manthras for the seven steps around the Holy Fire during
the Sapthapathi commonly used in South India in the Smartha Sampradhaya,
in Vedic Marriage Rituals, which is a shorter version of the Yajñyavakkya Smrithis.
 
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The bridegroom (BG) gets up from the seat holding the right hand of the bride (B). He then goes round the Holy Fire (Agni) from the right side, by lifting the right foot of B step by step. This is done for seven steps. With each step, he recites a mantra addressed to B, with the following meaning.

"Let Lord Maha Vishnu follow each one of your steps for the following specific purposes".

Step 1:- Ekamishe - Vishnuthva - Anvethu -
>Step 1: "To give you unlimited food.
Step 2:- Dhve Oorjve - Vishnuthva - Anvethu -
>Step 2: To give you excellent health and energy.
Step 3:- Threeni Vruthaya - Vishnuthva - Anvethu -
>Step 3: To make you perform your vrithas (rituals)
as ordained in Vedas, during your life time.
Step 4:- Chathvaari Maayo - Vishnuthva - Anvethu -
>Step 4: To give you happiness in life.
Step 5:- Pancha Pasubhyaha - Vishnuthva - Anvethu -
>Step 5: To make your cows and good animals to grow
in strength and in numbers.
Step 6:- Shadru Thubhyaha - Vishnuthva - Anvethu -
>Step 6: To make all the seasons be beneficial to you.
Step 7:- Sapth Sapthabhyaha - Vishnuthva - Anvethu -
>Step 7: To make the homams (sacrifices to be done in Holy Fire)
to be performed by you in your life as ordained
in Vedas, successful and free from hindrances."

The idea behind this is to pray to Lord Vishnu, the protector of life, for his blessings in marital life.

 
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Bride-Groom then recites a mantra to convey the following meaning:

"Sakaa -Sapthapadha -bhava Sakaayov -Saptha padhaa -Bhaboova"
1. By these seven steps you have taken with me,
you have become my best friend.

"Sakyam -the' -Ghame'yam Sakyaath-the' Maayosham -Sakyan me"
2. I will never move out of this relationship.
God has united us in this bondage.

"Maayosta -Samayaava -Samayaava Sangalpaavahai -Sampriyov"
3. We shall perform all activities together with love and affection.

"Rosishnu -Sumanasyamanov Ishamoorjam - abhi -Savasaanov"
4. Let us be friendly in our thoughts.
Let us observe our duties and rituals together.

"Managhumsi -Samvrathaas smu Chiththaani -Aakaram -Sathvamasi"
5. If you are the lyrics, I am the music. If you are the music, I am the lyrics.

"Amooham -Amoohamasmi saa -Thvam -dhyowraham"
6. If I am the heavenly body, you are the earthly world.

"Pruthivee thvam -Retho' aham -retho' Bhruthvam -Manohamasmi"
7. While I am the life source, you are the carrier of the same.

"vak thvam -Saamaa ham asmi -Rukthvam -Saamaam"
8. I am the thoughts and you are the speech.

"Anuvradhaa -bhava Pumse' Pumse' -Puthraaya- Veththavai"
9. When you are like the words, you work with me
who is like (I am) the meaning of it.

"Sriyai -Puthraaya -Veththavai ehi -Soonrurute"
10. With your sweet words, come with me to lead a prosperous life
begetting our progeny with [male] children.

 
   
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|Bala N. Aiyer  
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Lesson
- 14 -
Sapthapathi Manthras [as Full version]
Companion
Part - I
 
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The following version is a longer version that is used in some traditions where both the Bride and the Groom take their vows as they take their seven steps.

 
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SAPTAPADI PRATIGNYA (Vows) 1: Blessing for nourishing food and noble and respectful life.

STEP 1: Bridegroom's vow/promise: "Om esha ekapadi bhava iti prathaman".
Step 1: Groom: "My beloved, our love became firm by walking one step with me. You will offer me the food and be helpful in every way. I will cherish you and provide for the welfare and happiness of you and our children.

STEP 1: Bride's vow/promise: "Dhanam dhanyam pade vadet"
Step 1: Bride: "This is my humble submission to you, my lord . You kindly gave me responsibility of the home, food and taking charge of the finance. I promise you that I shall discharge all responsibilities for the welfare of the family and children.

 
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SAPTAPADI PRATIGNYA (Vows) 2: Pray for strength (physical and mental). Also pray for a peaceful and healthy life

STEP 2: Bridegroom's vow/promise: "Om oorje jara dastayaha"
Step 2: Groom: My beloved, you have now walked the second step with me. Fill my heart with strength and courage and together we shall protect the household and children.

STEP 2: Bride's vow/promise: "Kutumburn rakshayishyammi sa aravindharam"
Step 2: Bride: My lord, in your grief, I shall fill your heart with strength, In your happiness, I shall rejoice. I promise you that I will please you always with sweet words and take care of the family and children and you shall love me alone as your wife.

 
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SAPTAPADI PRATIGNYA (Vows) 3: Pray for prosperity and wisdom. Also pray for religious and
spiritual strength and reaffirm their commitment to each other.

STEP 3: Bridegroom's vow/promise: "Om rayas Santu joradastayaha"
Step 3: Groom: My beloved, now you have walked three steps with me. By virtue of this, our wealth and prosperity are bound to grow. I shall look upon all other women as my sisters. Together, we will educate our children and may they live long.

STEP 3: Bride's vow/promise: "Tava bhakti as vadedvachacha"
Step 3: Bride: 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 is of a chaste wife and you are my joy. This is my commitment and pledge to you.

 
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SAPTAPADI PRATIGNYA (Vows) 4: Pray for the happiness of the couple

STEP 4: Bridegroom's vow/promise: "Om mayo bhavyas jaradastaya ha"
Step 4: Groom: My beloved, it is a great blessing that you have walked four steps with me. You have brought auspiciousness and sacredness into my life. May we be blessed with obedient and noble children. May they be blessed with long life.

STEP 4: Bride's vow/promise: "Lalayami cha pade vadet."
Step 4: Bride: My lord, I will decorate you from your feet up with flowers, garlands and anoint you with sandal wood paste and fragrance. I will serve you and please you in every way.

 
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SAPTAPADI PRATIGNYA (Vows) 5: Pray for happy children and happiness for all beings

STEP 5: Bridegroom's vow/promise: "Om prajabhyaha Santu jaradastayaha"
Step 5: Groom: My beloved, now that you have walked the five steps with me, you have enriched my life. May God bless you. May our loved ones live long and share in our prosperity.

STEP 5: Bride's vow/promise: "Arte arba sapade vadet"
Step 5: Bride: My lord, I share both in your joys and sorrows. Your love will make me trust and honor you. I will carry out your wishes.

 
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SAPTAPADI PRATIGNYA (Vows) 6: Pray that we live in perfect harmony. May we have a long and happy life

STEP 6: Bridegroom's vow/promise:
Step 6: Groom: My beloved, you have filled my heart with happiness by walking six steps with me. May you fill my heart with great joy and peace from time to time.

STEP 6: Bride's vow/promise: "Yajne home shashthe vacho vadet"
Step 6: Bride: My lord, in all acts of righteousness, in material prosperity and in every form of enjoyment and divine acts, I promise you that I shall participate and shall always be with you.

 
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SAPTAPADI PRATIGNYA (Vows) 7: May we always be good friends.

STEP 7: Bridegroom's vow/promise: "Om sakhi jaradastayahga."
Step 7: Groom: My beloved, as you walked the seven steps with me, our Love and friendship became eternal. We experienced spiritual union in God. Now you have become completely mine and I offer my life to you. Our marriage will be forever.

STEP 7: Bride's vow/promise: "Attramshe sakshino vadet pade."
Step 7: Bride: My lord, as per the law of God and the Holy scriptures [Vedas] I have become your spouse. Whatever promises we gave, we have spoken with pure mind. We will be truthful to each other in all things. We will love each other forever.

 
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After these seven steps, the marriage become legal by Hindu law codes. Then, they both say: "Now let us make a vow together. We shall share the same food, share the strengths, the same tastes. We shall be of one mind, we shall observe the vows together; I shall be the Sama, you the Rigveda; I shall be upper world, you the earth; I shall be the Sukhilam. you the Holder; Together we shall live and beget children, and other riches. Come thou, Oh, sweet-worded girl."
 
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Maangalyam Shloka
mAngalyam tantunAnena mama jIvanA hethunA |
kaNThe: badhnami subhage! sanjIva Sarada: Satam ||


Meaning: This is a sacred thread, this is essential for my long life. I tie this around your neck.
O maiden, having many auspicious attributes, may you live happily for a hundred years
 
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Lessons: - 01 , 02 , - , 03 , 04 , - , 05 , 06 , - , 07 , 08 , - , 09 , 10 , - , 11 , 12 , - , 13 , 14 --
 
 
This concludes - Part-I -Devotional Paths. - - Go to Part-2 - Slokas
 

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