Indian Marriage: Customs and Rituals
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Short DescriptionsMarriage or Vivaah, particularly in India, is a sacred ceremony comprising various customs Þ religious and social Þ and Vedic rituals. These are meant to propitiate the gods for obtaining their blessings for the bride and the bridegroom, and to honour and entertain those who participate in the celebrations. This book explains in detail, all the important rituals which form part of the marriage.
Marriage is considered a very significant ritual for giving society’s sanction to a close relationship between a man and a woman as husband and wife. It is, therefore, also called a social system. The marriage ceremony is a combination of many rituals, based on information contained in Hindu scriptures. It also represents and reflects the social customs and practices that are prevalent in the society. The rituals vary depending upon the community, the religion and the state where they are performed. The marriage customs, rites and rituals among royal families are mentioned in this book — most of these rituals are followed by common people as well and are performed in the original or altered forms in the Indian society. Mr R.N. Kogata and Mrs Lalita Kogata did a lot of research and consulted several authorities and have written in detail about the various rituals involved in a human being’s life from birth to death. Different scholars have mentioned different numbers of rituals and sacraments — 25, 40 or 48. But Maharishi Veda Vyasa has described 16 rituals as important. Out of these, the Vivaah (marriage) samskaar itself encompasses various rituals — the main ones covered in this book are: the Bindaulee (wedding procession); Hathalevaa (hand-taking ceremony or paanigrahan), Phere (agni pradakshinaa, circumambulation of fire); Kanyaadaan (giving away daughter in marriage); Maangbharaaye (filling vermilion); Mangalsutra (tying the wedding thread); Saptapadee (walking seven steps together); and Vadhu kee Vidaaee (bride’s departure to her in-law’s house). This book should be in all households in order that all will know the meanings of the various rituals in a marriage — particularly in the present days when learned pandits who can explain the rituals, are few, and people have no time or inclination to go through voluminous scriptures or texts on the subject of marriage.