Graha Shanti - Significant Part of Indina/Hindu Wedding Ritual
Wedding is certainly a very important moment of life for every person. Especially in Hindu religion wedding is celebrated not only a moment of cheers but also a combination of traditions, love and prosperity. Hinduweddingis known for their way of celebration as it carries on for a week by fulfilling various traditions like sagai, lagan, bhat etc. Marriage in Hindu scripture is a medium of entering in second stage of life for both the persons by uniting them in relation of faith and love. This second stage of life, according to Hindu Shashtra, is earning and fulfilling of all duties towards his or her life partner, family and society. After the permission of parents and other households a number of ceremonies are there in a Hindu Wedding as told above. Starting with Engagement or Sagai, the final stage of wedding, holds a number of steps out of which one is Graha Shanti.
These all steps are like following:-
1.) Ganesha Puja: - Lord Ganesha is worshipped first among all whether it is a Hindu Wedding or any other occasion. So this is the first ceremony in which all pray to Lord Ganesha by inviting him on this holy occasion.
2.) Graha Shanti: - Hindu wedding is supposed to be successful with blessings of all holy gods and goddess and right influence of planets of our solar system. Graha Shanti is done by both the families separately in their houses. In this Holy ceremony, parents of bride and groom prove an example of happy life before them by getting remarried. Although this ceremony is good for every marriage but Graha Shanti is highly recommended for successful future life if there is an effect of any of planets on either Bride or Groom.
3.) Welcome or VarSatkar: - In this baratis welcomed by bride’s family at the entrance gate of their house.
4.) Entrance of bride or VadhuAagman: - After Ganesha Puja bride comes to the Mandap with her family members.
5.) Mutual Approval or Mangalashtakam& Sankalpa: - After sitting of both together in MandapPandit starts speaking Holy Mantras through which he asks to both of them to accept each other with their own approval.Also he tells them about their beginning of Grahsthaashrama according to Hindu scripture.
6.) Kannyadaan: - After the mutual approval of bride and groom, Kanyadaan is the next ceremony when Parents of girl give the hand of their daughter in Groom’s hand. Kanyadaan is done on behalf of bride’s family members.
7.) PanigrahanaSanskar – In a Hindu Wedding this is said to be the most important step whenPandit asks both of them to make certain promises to each other. By showering rice on each other both shows their consent towards fulfilling all promises. Before it witnessing of Holy fire bride requests for a happy and faithful married life from his man and he promises to do so. Similarly Groom request to Bride for staying together and co-operation in fulfilling all the duties in life and Bride agrees for this.
8.) GanthBandhan: - When PanigrahanaSanskar is completed then Groom’s stole is tied with Bride’s Saree by either the sister of Groom or Brides or by Pandit. This knot between is believed as bond between both of them by body, spirit and mind.
9.) Agni Puja: - In the holy place under Mandap, The Pandit light a fire in Agni Kund to make and that holy fire is worshipped and considered as a witness in Hindu Wedding.
10.) Shilarohana: - The bride is expected to make the future life of her new family protecting and preserving the peace. For this Shilarohana ceremony is done, where bride keeps her right foot on a stone and take oath for the same.
11.) MangalFera: - In this step of Hindu Wedding, Bride and Groom circles the holy fire four times where each circle depicts one ultimate targets of life e.g. Dharma, Artha, Kama and Moksha.
12.) LaajHoma: - During each MangalFera the couple offer parched rice in the Holy fire to make their life full of prosperity and happiness with blessings.
13.) Sindoor and Mangal Sutra: - As physical symbol of married woman she gets Sindoor&MangalSutra from him.
14.) Saptapadi :- The final most step of a Hindu Weddingis Saptapadi when Bride and Groom circle seven time to holy fire by vowing seven oaths. These seven Steps oaths, due to which this step is named as SaptaPadi (Sapta+Pada), are like
- To Share the responsibility
- To stay committed for accomplishing the life’s duties
- To follow morality for fulfilling the prosperity of life
- To maintain happiness by mutual faith, respect and love
- To take proper care of their children
- To maintain the dignity of relationship
- And to stay transparent like a best friend with each other for whole life
15.) Aashirvaad: - After this step Bride and Grooms become Wife and husband and take the blessings and best wishes of their parents and other family members along with all available guests in marriage who have witnessed this marriage.
In this way the holy ceremony of Hindu Wedding gets completed.
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