Hindu wedding is all about rituals and customs, which teach us the actual essence of a blissful married life. The seven vows of marriage symbolize seven promises, which are sworn by the bride and the groom during the auspicious ceremony of wedding. During the marriage, a sacred fire is created with ghee and wooden sticks, in order to evoke Agni (fire god), which serves as the witness to the ritual of seven vows. The priest, who conducts the wedding, chants Vedic mantras. Amidst the blazing fire of the havankund and the chanting of mantras, the bride and the groom pledge their commitment to each other, for the lifetime. Known as Saptapadi/pheras, seven vows is a beautiful ritual observed in Hindu marriages, although the act of taking the seven vows varies from region to region, in India.
People following Hinduism believe that if a married couple walks seven steps around the fire of the havankund, they will remain together for the lifetime. Generally, before taking the seven vows, the bride is seated to the right hand side of the groom. After taking the pheras, the bride shifts to the left side of the groom – this symbolizes that she is now closer to his heart. In most of the Hindu weddings, the newly married couple takes seven pheras, with the exception of Gujaratis and Sindhis, who take four pheras around the sacred fire. In the majority of the seven pheras, the groom leads the first four pheras, while he is preceded by the bride during the last three pheras. Given below are the meanings of the seven vows of marriage.
Seven Vows In Hindu Wedding
* The bride and the groom take the first step of the seven vows to pledge that they would provide a prospered living for the household or the family that they would look after and avoid those that might hinder their healthy living.
* During the second step of the seven pheras, the bride and the groom promise that they would develop their physical, mental and spiritual powers in order to lead a lifestyle that would be healthy.
* During the third vow, the couple promises to earn a living and increase by righteous and proper means, so that their materialistic wealth increases manifold.
* While taking the fourth vow, the married couple pledges to acquire knowledge, happiness and harmony by mutual love, respect, understanding and faith.
* The fifth vow is taken to have expand their heredity by having children, for whom, they will be responsible. They also pray to be blessed with healthy, honest and brave children.
* While taking the sixth step around the sacred fire, the bride and the groom pray for self-control of the mind, body and soul and longevity of their marital relationship.
* When the bride and the groom take the seventh and the last vow, they promise that they would be true and loyal to each other and would remain companions and best of friends for the lifetime.