Hindu wedding rituals 7 promises or Vachan meaning & importance
The “saat phera” or the Seven Vows are the most important part of the wedding rituals in Hindu religion. The Seven Vows taken around the sacred fire are said to cement the relationship between the husband and the wife for seven births. Even though everyone follows this ritual, very few actually know the history and significance of these rituals. This is why we are here to tell you what each vow means and how it affects your married life.
Why Saat Phera around Fire?
Also known as Saptapadi in Sanskrit, this custom is as old as the Hindu religion itself. According to this ritual, the bride and the groom after tying their holy knot (of matrimony) have to walk around the fire for seven times.
This fire is lit in the middle of the altar of the wedding. Here the fire is of equal importance. In the Hindu culture, the God of Fire is known as Agni Dev and he is kept a witness of the ceremony of the holy matrimony. It is also Agni Dev who is invoked during the ceremony to witness the seven vows the bride and the groom take for the rest of their lives together.
In Hinduism it is believed that Fire is the maintainer of life and with the God of Fire, all the other Gods and Goddesses is always present. This is why these rituals are always carried out in the presence of the sacred fire.
Significance of the Seven Vows
The Seven Vows are taken by circling around the Fire seven times. During each turn, the bride and the groom promise each other one thing. While they make the circle around fire, the priest chants some ancient Mantras to seal their bond.
All of the seven vows are not only for extending their own relationship but also to enable them to have a happy progeny.
During the first three rounds, the bride leads the couple, while during the rest of the rounds, the groom leads. This is a way of taking responsibility for different aspects of the lifelong relationship.
You can also read an article to know about Checklist for the things required during Hindu wedding Pooja
To know about the different vows, we have to know them in detail.
Seven Vows and what they mean
- Prayer for Nourishment and ProvisionIn the first step, the couple prays to God to give them an abundant life so that they can respect each other and enjoy a fulfilling life together.
Bride: “I will honor your respect and fulfill all my responsibilities dutifully. I will take care of your family with utmost care and dedication.”
Groom: “I pledge that our love will become intense with each passing day. I will treat you kindly and bestow my love upon you every day. I will keep you happy and healthy always.”
- Pillar of strengthA good household is characterized by harmony and strength of each pillar – represented by the husband and the wife. Only with a strong foundation can a household become good. This is why they pledge –
Bride: “I pledge to love and protect your family from evil powers. I will utter encouraging words to fill your heart with courage and strength. You shall love only me.”
Groom: “Let us pledge to stand by each other for the rest of our lives in good times and bad. You shall fill my heart with courage. Together we will defend and fight to keep evil off our home.”
- Wealth and ProsperityIn the third step the bride and groom promise each other that they will earn by honest means which will give happiness and strength to the family. They invoke the almighty to bestow them with abundant prosperity to live a good life together.
Bride: “I will love only you for the rest of my life. Every other man in my life will be secondary other than you from now on. I will bestow my devotion upon you and remain a chaste wife.”
Groom: “Let us vow to spiritually abide by each other and to grow together strongly. I vow that all other women in my life will be secondary apart from you. Let us flourish together and have strong children.”
- Happiness with elders and familyThe fourth vow is to respect and take care of elders of both the families by the husband and wife. It brings forth a commitment between the two to take care of each other’s families to have a happy family life.
Groom: “Let us promise to provide the utmost care to our elders. You will bring luck and sanctity in my life. May God give us a happy life together”
Bride: “I will decorate myself with flowers just for you. I will keep you happy to the best of my capabilities.”
- Moral responsibilities and progenyThe 5th Vow comes with a lot. Here the bride and groom promise each other many things related to personal and universal responsibilities.
Groom: “You have enriched my life, may you be blessed with every happiness. May your loved ones live a blessed life. Come with me so that we raise strong and brave children.”
Bride: “I shall be with you in every step and share all your joys and grief. Your love shall endow me with the strength to respect you and trust you. I promise to cherish you throughout my life.”
- Long life togetherIn this step, the couple pray to God to provide them a long and healthy life together. Basically this round is about praying to God for a disease free and healthy life so that the couple can live a balanced life together.
Groom: “You have given my heart immense happiness by taking these six steps with me. You have given me joy. I now pledge to give you all happiness and to take care of your health and happiness. You shall be with me forever and fill my life with peace and pleasure.”
Bride: “I assure you that I will walk beside you always and will participate in all your acts of nobility. I will walk with you to extend your prosperity and familial bliss.”
- Love, friendship and understandingThis is actually the key to a happy relationship and it comes at the end of the seven vows – but it is equally important to sustain a marital life.
Groom: “Beloved, we have taken seven rounds together and now we are a single identity. May our existence be entirely devoted to one another. I am yours completely and you are mine. May our marriage be everlasting.”
Bride: “With the seventh step I am yours forever. I promise to be truthful to you always. We will love each other and our hearts will be entwined in joy forever. We pledge to be transparent to one another. All the vows we have taken during the ritual shall be carried out by us to the best of our abilities. May we have a successful life based on pure intentions.”
By exchanging these vows, the couple becomes entwined to one another forever. This culminates the marriage ceremony and after this the couple bends down to take blessings of elders.
A tabular review
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