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Hindu Marriage Customs And Beliefs
by Kitty Ariza, Ariza Accents/The Nuptial Knot, Moreno Valley, CA
The worlds third largest religion is Hinduism according to Carolyn Mordecai, author of "Weddings Dating and Love Customs of Cultures World Wide Including Royalty".
The Hindu ceremony consists of the priest or brahmin officiating. The bride and groom stand on a decorated wood plank and the priests holds a curtain between them. The bridal party stands behind the bride. The priest chants songs and guest shower rice and other grains over the couple.
The wedding begins when the curtain is removed and garllands of sandlewood chips are placed around the neck of the bride and groom.
The brides father gives her to the groom and then they perform an upliftment of Dharma... there are three Purusharthas: Dharma meaning right conduct, Artha for prosperity and Karma for the enjoyment of legitiment gratification.
The Marriage Symbols: The bride applies sandlewood paste to the grooms forehead, the groom then applies a red mark on the brides forehead to display for as long as they are married. Then puffed rice and purified butter from the hands of the bride and groom are thrown into the fire. This represents the radiant one. Then the darkness is removed by the priest chanting matras, which are blessings.
Vows: The vows are made before the fire that represent the diety. The groom vows to always include his wife and consult her. The groom takes his brides hand and leads her around the fire he steps closer to her they walk along where rice is heaped to one side. Holding hands they take the sapta padi... a seven step symbolic journey through life. Around the sacred fire pot they agree to:
* Earn a living for their family and respect their abundance
* Live a healthy life style for each other
* Be concerned for partners welfare
* Live together as friends... enjoy happiness and friendship throughout their lives
* To eat and drink with each other and be with each other on special occasions
* Desire children for whom they will be responsible and love
* Adapt to the other persons at any given time and place
The groom recites traditional mantras to the bride. Cotton is tied around the bride and groom while a blessing of a long happy life are given. The bride washes her hands and the bride and groom pray that their prosperity will be fulfilled.
The groom places a floral necklace around his brides neck... this represents love. The bride then accompanies the groom to the Hindu activities. Another wedding necklace of silver or gold with semi-circles and black beads from both families... symbolic of the union of the two families... is also worn.
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