and Practice of Hindu Religion
Comprehensive Study of the Ancient Tradition and the Perennial
Hindu Wedding or Sanskara of Vivaha
to begin the life of a Grahasthasrama
Meenakshi Kalyanam symbolises
the Celestial Marriage of Sri Siva as Sri Sundareswarã and Sri
Sakthi as Sri Meenakshi. Sri Vishnu as the brother of Sakthi comes
to "give away the bride" and Sri Brahmã performs the Smãrtha
form of Vedic Marriage rituals. This is a representation of the unity of the
four popular forms of Hindu faith, Saivam, Vaishnavam, Sãktham and
the Vedic Smãrtha Sampradhãya. The same principle is seen
in all stories in Hindu Purãnas to show that the several forms of practice
of Hindu faith, though externally look different from each other in their philosophy,
are united together and related to each other.
differences in the beliefs and practice
Vaishnavam, Sãktham and Smãrtha Sampradhãya.
wedding celebrations have a combination of traditional religious rituals and social
customs and celebrations. There are lots of variations in social customs of various
communities and regions. The morning of wedding starts with a ceremonial bath,
'Vrutham rituals' and naming ceremonies of bride and the groom separately. The
groom who has been a student goes on a 'Kasya Yathra' [also called Kasi yathra]
wearing decorations, foot wears, a hand fan, umbrella and sandalwood paste 'for
the first time'. The bride's father stops him and offers the hand of his daughter
in marriage for the groom to settle in a family life [grahastha ashramam].
The bride is brought to the front of the wedding hall where they both exchange
garlands. This symbolizes the ancient Gandharva form [love marriage] of
Hindu wedding. Then they sit on a swing or 'Oonjal'. This is followed by all the
key religious events.
the father of the bride washes the feet of the groom with milk, water and sandalwood
paste. Here the groom represents God Sri Vishnu and the bride is Sri Lakshmi who
will be united to perform the work of creation and preservation for the Creator.
Then the bride sits on the lap of her father and her hand is held by the groom.
The father of the bride offers the hand of the bride as his gift to the groom
and his family in the main ceremony called Kanyaka Dhanam. At the exact
specified auspicious time, the groom ties the 'Mangalya suthra' around
the neck of the bride. This is the most auspicious moment in the celebrations
with loud music and every one singing traditional songs. After this the bride
and the groom together perform various important rituals which include Panigrahanam
or holding of hands. Sapthapadhi or walking around the fire, taking the
seven steps with wedding vows is the most important Vedic ritual of a marriage.
Then the bride steps on a stone when the groom holds her toes. Then they will
be asked to see the 'Arundhathi and Dhruva stars' each with recitation
of manthras. The wedding concludes with the couple getting the blessing of the
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