.. वेदिक विवाह ..
Marriage is one among the 16 "samskaras" of the life as viewed by
the vedic scriptures. So the elaborate rituals and the procedures
that mark the occasion of the marriage if needed to be understood,
should be preceded by the understanding of the concept of the life
in the Vedic philosophy.
The whole process of the life is viewed as the continuous progress
form one form of intelligent manifestation to the other form of
intelligent manifestation. The whole of the cosmos is viewed as the
eternal flow of the consciousness of the ultimate., spiralling in
different forms, continuously trying to upgrade it self to the
higher and higher levels of the wisdom. Human life is also viewed
as the same and thought to be progressing to the intelligent forms
from that of the ignorant. ( tamasoma jyothirgamayaha). The purpose
of the marriage is viewed as that of aiding the creation of the
higher and higher intelligent species in the homo sapiens for
achieving the realization of the supreme. This thought was viewed
by many westerners and the western educated persons as the
stupidity of the Hindus barring the individual freedom of the soul
to enjoy free sex and free life.
But the recent experiments conducted by the Genetic scientists
confirmed that the whole range of the emotions leading to the love
like and to the interest of the sex are controlled by a chemical
secretion called oxycitine, and the whole objective of this
chemical is to continue the process of the progeny. The whole of
the individual freedom and other behavior exhibited by the species
is in confirmation to the control of the chemical named above for
This has once again confirmed the wisdom of the ancient Sages who
said that the marriage is for the progeny.
Now the whole of the span of the human life is divided in Hinduism
to achieve all the objectives of the soul to lead a perfect
satisfied life to achieve higher levels of the evolution.
The life is divided in to different ashrams like Brahmacharya,
Grihastya, Vanaprasthya, and Sanyasa, each having a cycle of 21
years. There are different karmas to be performed at each of the
ashram and they totalled to 16 karmas. Vivaha is one such karma to
be performed at the end of the Brahmacharya ashram.
Brahmacharya Ashram includes the Balya Koumara and Youvana avasthas
of the Human life. Once the Balya Avastha is over the individual is
send to the Gurukula for the education and he will return to the
parents after the education at the age of 21 years. Till then he
will study the concerned field, along with the moral ethical
studies related to physical, psychological, social, religious, and
spiritual levels of the upgradation of the soul.
After the completion of the studies the teacher will perform the
snataka vratha and graduates the student and asks him to join the
society for the discharge of the three debts., namely
emDEVA RUNA: The debt of the gods, or the personification of
the natural forces. The nature is the gift of the natural forces
and the stage where the evolution continues. So the preservation of
this nature for the future evolutions and generations is the
primary responsibility of the individual and this is the debt that
each carry on his head if he is benefiting from the society.
emRISHI RUNA: The great sages who understood the whole of the
process of the cosmic evolution and the involution prescribed the
guide lines and the modes of life for the collective living, by
means of the sashthras. It is the following of these principles of
living, traditions, customs, which are highly scientific in nature
man can allow the peaceful coexistence., the performance of this is
the Rishi Runa.
emPITRU RUNA: This is the debt of our forefathers. This means
that we have to perform the life of the Grihastha Ashram to create
the progeny and be supportive for the other life systems on this
planet. This also warrants us to be in conformity with the social
norms as dictated by the sages for the progress of the society.
and the performance of the purusharthas- Dharma Artha Kama and
It is at this juncture that the Vidyarthi can decide to enter or
not to enter in to the marriage life. He can just opt for the
Sanyasa ashram skipping the Grihastha and the Vanaprastha.
Exactly this is the starting point of the rituals of the marriage.
The bride's father or his brother or the relatives will go and
receive the Vidyarthi and bring him to their house. There They will
convince him that the life of the Sanyasa is the later part of the
life and will keep him satisfied with the elaborate food
arrangements and other pleasantries which will keep the mind of the
Vidyarthi off the Sanyasa. Then the parents offer their eligible
daughter for the pani grahana to pursue him to perform the three
The whole of the marriage mantras are to be recited by either groom
or by the parents of the bride. It is unfortunate that now a proxy
recites the whole of the mantras and we simply nod the head.
There are two different recitations in the marriage. One that is
the conversation between the Groom and the parents of the bride
offering him their daughter and reminding him of the responsibility
towards the society, and second the Mantras Proper recited by Groom
on the act of Panigrahana, Saptapadi, and Mangalasuthra Dharana.
These are the Mantras principally recited for the Gods Agni, Indra,
Soma, and Saraswathi.
The Vedic concept of the cosmos is based on the evolution of the
manifestation by cosmic will called EIGNE, with the aid of the
cosmic mind INDIA to achieve the immortal truth and the
consciousness called SOMA, with the aid of the continuous
upgradation of the consciousness called SARASWATHI.
The bride groom recites the passages which mean
I ............. to perform the Purushartha of the human life in
this form am taking or accepting ........as my wife. She is already
offered to the cosmic mind and cosmic will and to the eternal
truth. (meaning this marriage is only to the continuation of the
I will not tress pass her in the performance of Dharma - all such
acts that aid the evolution,
Artha-all acts that allows to create utilities of life,( money
earning is one such act that creates the utilities of the life, and
the artha is not merely money or paper currency) and
Kama- all such desires that come across in the life of us.( the
Kama in the purview of the Sages is not only sex but the whole
range of the desires.)
Dharma ca arthe ca kame ca nathi charami.
Here the MOKSHA is deliberately omitted by the sages. The reason is
the intention of the salvation from the bonds of the life is
dependent on the past karma of the soul. Either husband or wife
depending on the past karma can achieve the salvation at their own
pace. In case of Meera Bai it is the wife who achieved the
salvation and in case of Ramanuja or Tukaram it is the Husband who
achieved the salvation first.
Now lets consider the elaborate process of the marriage according
to the Veda, and its scientific significance.
Though there may be variations in the sequence of the performance
of the different parts and though they are called by different
names in the respective colloquials, the Vedic Marriage consists of
01.\ \ NANDI- getting started
02.\ \ NISCHITARTHA- confirming the alliance
03.\ \ ANKURARPANA-creation of the alliance by lighting the yagna fire
04.\ \ LAJA HOMA- yagna
05.\ \ SNATHAKAM-graduation ceremony
06.\ \ UPANAYANAM-thread marriage
07.\ \ KASI YATHRA- the indecisive journey of the groom to kasi for the
sanyasa and bringing him back to the house by the parents of the
bride for the marriage.
08.\ \ KANYA DANAM- offering of the daughter for the marriage.
09.\ \ PANI GRAHANAM, SAPTHA PADHI, MANGALASUTHRA DHARANA, \ \
- the seeing of each other, touching of each other, and walking
together, and tying the knot of the marriage.
10.\ \ TALAMBRALU-other performances- acquaintance of each other.
11.\ \ ARUNDHATHI DARSHANAM-showing of the arundhathi star
12.\ \ GRIHAPRAVESAM- taking the bride to the in-laws house
13.\ \ APPAGINTHALU-handing over the daughter to the groom
14.\ \ DHRUVA DARSHANA
15.\ \ SOBHANAMU-nuptials
16.\ \ GARBHADANAM-the act of creation of the foetus.
Now lets see each of these acts in detail.
One important point to be noted is that in the Vedic Age the school
going is both for the boy and the girl. And the Upanayana is to be
performed for both of them. At the time of the marriage the women
starts wearing the ornaments and the man continues to wear the
The thread marriage which is confined to only few groups of persons
now, used to be in vogue for all at ancient times as the process of
Sandhya Vandana is more to do with the Psychological and the Mental
Personalities of the Individual.
The points like why women wear ornaments and keep bindi are beyond
the purview of this discourse.
So when both complete the Education comprehensive education for
the development of the individual and the society the parents used
to find the match by comparing the Horoscopes of the probable
matches and used to confirm the alliance based on the Gana
Matching. Gana or Group signifies a particular set of mental
traits, and for any marriage at least 24 ganas should match i.e.,
should of the same count for the boy and girl.
Of course this science of Astrology too was highly misused and it
is now commanding the lowest esteem among the moderners.
Among the 16 process discussed above,
1 to 7 are to be performed at
different ages and only Kasi Yatra is performed as a prologue to
the marriage. But all these are performed just before the marriage
due to the changing values in our societies.
8. The actual Kanyadana is the offering of the bride to the groom to
perform his Duties towards the society by following the path of the
9. From then the Veekshana is the right time for the bride and the
groom to see each other. Then the Pani Grahana is the taking the
hand of the bride or the process of the first physical contact
between the bride and the groom starts. The Sapthapadi or the
walking of seven steps around the Agni signifies that we go
together in all the seven planes of consciousness in performing the
dharma. The seven planes of the Consciousness are signified by the
7 Vyahrithis of the Gayathri Mantra. The Mangala suthra Dharana is
the tying of the thread containing the marks of the Vishnu or Shiva
in the neck of the bride by the groom.
There is a dispute over the point that which is the proof of the
performance of the marriage- veekshana, panigrahana,sapthapadi,or
mangala suthra dharana or the time of keeping the bindi in the fore
head. Various Pundits explain in different ways.But all these
practices depending on the regional variations may be performed or
may not performed. All form part of the Vedic Marriage Rites so
the argument is unnecessary.
10. In many South Indian marriages this act is a must. The rice
mixed with the turmeric is poured over the heads of groom and bride
by bride and groom. After this there will be certain ceremonies of
name calling singing and certain other things and all these are
basically aimed at the bringing the bride and the groom nearer in
psychological and mental paths.
11. Arundhathi Darshanam is the showing of the Saptha Rishi Mandala
and the small star Arundhathi underneath the star of Vashistha.The
significance is to remind the pair about their cosmic
responsibilities they have to perform in the coming walk of
life.These seven sages and their families are the originators of
the Vedic Lore of the Hindus. In memoriam of these great sages we
named the seven stars in the Great Bear constellation after their
names. It is the Darshan of these Great Sages will remind the
couple the heritage they have to carry and the Debt of the sages to
12. Grihapravesam is the taking of the bride and the groom to the
house of the groom.
13. Appaginthalu or the handing over of the bride to the parents of
the groom by stating that "I have nurtured this child till this age
and am handing over to you for the progeny and prosperity of your
family. Consider her as your daughter and be the guide and
philosopher for her till she lives with you.
The Mangala Vaidyalu or the instruments that are blown are to
create the serene atmosphere among the people who gathered there.
As these are the ragas of the great composers they produce the
sonorous and serene effect on the listeners. The Mangala Vaidyalu
will be over at this juncture.
15. Sobhanamu is the Nuptials arranged by the parents of the bride
in their residence first and in the residence of the groom next.
This is the starting of the enjoyment of the joy of the sex as
learned in the Gurukula by reading the Kamashasthra and
implementing it in a socially acceptable way for the joy and for
the bliss and for the progeny of the race.
16. Gharbhadanamu is the act of sex for the progeny. This is set on
the day that is neutral from the cosmic influences like the moons
gravity and the suns gravity or other disturbances to create the
foetus for the Jiva to enter in to the Womb of the mother to take
the birth to perform his cycle of karma and to make the parents to
fulfil the cycle of the karma.
...The dress pattern on all the Vedic Marriages is in conformity
with the modern day scientific non infection dressing.
...The decoration with mango leaves or the performance of the homa
is in a way more advanced systems of the pollution control at a
...The wearing of the ornaments at the ceremony of the marriage is
in conformity with the Advanced Magnetic Resonance Preventive
Medicine of the Present day Medical world.
...The details of the food is the medicine prepared to lead the
happy sexual life and is based on the Ayur Veda and is practiced in
the west too.
This is the wisdom as thought by our great teacher Sri Sathya Sai
Bhagavathpada and is dedicated to the lotus feet of all Sages who
found the Dharma and this science of the marriage.
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