Hindu Wedding Ceremony
The tradition Vedic wedding ceremony is about four thousand years old. The ceremony is a religious occasion solemnized in accordance with the Vedas, the sacred scriptures of the Hindus. It is a collection of rituals performed by the bride’s parents. Each steps in the ceremony has symbolic philosophical and spiritual meaning. The Maharaj (priest) conducts the ceremony by chanting Mantras (bridal altar). The ceremony is performed in Sanskrit, the most ancient surviving language.
Lagna, the marriage, is performed to unite two souls so firmly that after marriage although their bodied remain separate, their souls merge and become harmonious. They become spiritually one.
(Welcoming the Groom)
Jay arrives amid much celebration with his family and friends at the doorsteps. Hiral’s mother welcomes Jay and asks him if is prepared to make the life long commitment and is ready to deal with the bittersweet experience that marriage will present in the future. He is then asked to brake a clay pot filled with curd, honey, ghee (clarified butter) and cottonseeds. The clay pot represent the world and the materials symbolize the different experience he will encounter in the journey of life ahead. Hiral’s mother then leads him to the Mandap (bridal altar) where the wedding ceremony will take place.
Ganesh Puja, Kalash and Navagraha
(Invocation to Lord Ganesh)
The wedding ceremony begins with the worship of lord ganesh, the remover of all obstacles. Hiral’s parents attend the ceremony with jay, and the Maharaj (Priest) guides the rituals. The kalash (pot) contains sacred waters with coconut and flowers symbolizing the universe. Prayers are rendered to the kalash. This portion of the ceremony represents the worship of five basic elements; earth, air, fire, water and sky. The Navagraha (the nine planets of the solar system) are involved for their blessing.
Kanyagaman And Manglashtak
Hiral is brought to the Mandap by her maternal uncle(kanyagaman).A white curtain, antarpata ( a symbol of traditional barriers) is held between the couple. The bride’s relative (Mangalashtak) chant blessings. The curtain is then removed and Hiral and Jay exchange garlands.
Madhuparka, Kanyadaan, and Hastamelap
(Giving Away of the bride and joining of the Hands)
Hiral’s father offers jay ghee and curds, symbolizing purity and sweerness (Mudhuparkat). In this portion of the ceremony knows as kanyadaan, Hiral’s father gives away his daughter to jay, who gracefully accepts her. Hiral’s parent s bestow acceptance of each other.
Hiral and jay unite by the rituals called Hatamelap ( th emeaning of the hands) The ends of their scarves are tied together( granthbandhan) with beetal nuts, copper coins, and rice signifying unity, prosperity, and happiness. The couple is advised to: remember the divine; look upon others with sympathy, love and compassion; be strong and righteous; and show good...