Miscellaneous


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SOUTH INDIAN WEDDING

The Tradition and the Rationale.

Basically the tenets of the Hindu Marriage, its conduct, procedures and styles are explicitly laid down in the Vedas. Due to Regional Cultural influences, pleasant variations have crept in without altering the fundamentals. The Hindu wedding is a balanced blending of Religious, Moral, Cultural and joy, making it a memorable event. The Vedic rituals solemnises the marriage while indoctrination specified duties of the couple through life.

The Hindu Wedding Ceremony has number of rituals and customs, most of which are often labeled as superstitious or time wasting. It is believed to be nothing but rituals and more rituals. But have asked ourselves what a Ritual is?

A ritual begins as a creative rational action to express a sentiment or an idea –like the lighting of a lamp to dispel darkness at twilight or the folding of hands into a “Namaste” to greet an elder. As more and more people in succeeding generations repeat the action, it becomes a convention then Rituals. A Ritual is thus an action on which time has set its seal of approval and Sanctity.

The Rituals of the Hindu Wedding are each Symbolic of beautiful and noble sentiments. Unfortunately today many parents and couples perform them without an awareness of the rich meanings behind them.

So, let us take you around……………….,

As you Enter you see…………….
 Full grown plantain trees tied to both the gateposts Eternal trees of evergreen bounty for endless generations!
 Gestoons overhead mango leaves, and screwpine petals that never fade!Infinite Radiance.
 Notes of the Nadaswaram, the South Indian Shehnai!- Passage to Sound.
 Kolam or Rangoli designs at the doorsteps-an artistic welcome
 At the threshold of the hall, sprinklings of rose water, offerings of flower, sandal paste, sugar candy

The Invitation Card

Muhurtham:
05th Dec 2011, Monday
Margashira Shuda Dashami
05-30 A.M to 06-00  A.M
Brahmi Muhurtha

Reception:

05th Dec 2011, Monday
7:00 P.M onwards


Venue:
TARALABALU Kalyana Mandira
RT Nagar, Bangalore

THE EVENING PREVIOUS TO THE MARRIAGE DAY

USHEING-IN OF THE BRIDEGROOM
On the evening prior to the wedding day, the bridegroom is to be brought in a procession from a temple in a flower decorated vehicle. He is escorted by the bride’s parents, and welcomed at the marriage mandap which is the bride’s abode. Nadaswaram band leads the procession along the streets, in the flower decorated Vehicle jam-packed with children


Through such a parade, public approval is sought of the groom, chsen by the family.
After reaching the marriage hall, there is a formal ceremony of betrothal/Varapooja etc.









ON THE WEDDING DAY

Mandapam
This ceremony is performed in order to spiritually purify the Mandap in which the wedding ceremony is to be performed. This is done by the Vedic mantras and sprinkling of holy water by the priest.

The Preliminary Invocations “GANAPATHI PUJA”
As in any function-Ganapathi, and the the God of initiation is invoked, first to keep away all impediments.

NAANDI DEVATH PUJA  ನಾಂದಿ ದೇವತಾ ಪೂಜಾ

There are several presiding deities-the Naandi Devatas. To propitiate them, a leaf-laden branch of the papal tree is installed, and an ablution with milk is performed by five Sumangalis. This puja is followed by a presentation of a dhothi, and a saree to the couple

NAVAGRAHA PUJA ನವಗ್ರಹ ಪೂಜಾ ವಿಧಾನ


This is performed t propitiate the nine astral planets that rule over man’s destinies.

GOWRI PUJA ಗೌರಿ ಪೂಜೆDuring this ritual the bride offers her prayers to invoke Goddess Gowri Devi seek her blessings. Goddess gowri dEvi is the icon of an ideal wife. The Goddess’ own marriage is the symbol of ever-lasting love. ardhanAreeshwaram is the concept of the perfect emotional, mental and physical union between 'gowri' and her divine husband Lord Shiva. Goddess gowri's marital commitment is belived to be so strong that it can save her husband from the kAla kooTa visham (lethal poison) he carries in his throat. By invoking the Goddess’ blessings, the bride prays for similar strength and a long, happy, married life with her husband.

Typically the bride sits in a hand woven basket filled with about a couple of inches of dhAnyam the unprocessed rice grains. India being an agricultural country at its core, dhAnyam is symbolic of great harvet and the consequent properity. And according to hindu mythology properity is synonymous with Goddess Lakshmi. When the bride is eventually carried to the kalyANa manDapam, the sacred canopy, in the same basket by her maternal uncle(s), it is symbolic of offering a prosperous bride (with the blessings of Goddess Lakshmi) to the groom



“KASHIYATHRA” ಕಾಶೀ ಯಾತ್ರೆ

This is a very important part of the ceremony. Immediately after his, student life the young bachelor has two alternatives before him-Married life (Grihasta)or asceticism (Sanyas). Being by nature escapist, he prefers the ascetic life to the tribulations of married life. He therefore ‘makes his way to Kasi (Varanasi)



Complete with slippers, Umbrella, Bamboo fan etc. On his way, the bride’s father intervenes and advises him of the superiority of married life to ascetic life. He also promises to give him his daughter as companion to face the challenge of life. The Umbrella is to remind with groom, to remind him in the future, of this advice.

EXCHANGE OF GARLANDS ಸಂಬಂಧ ಮಾಲೆ

The bride and the groom are lifted to the shoulders of their respective maternal uncles and in the position to garlands each other thrice for a complete union A garland worn by a person, should not be used by another, ordain our Shastras. Here, the exchange of garlands symbolize their unification as one soul in two bodies. It is the inward acceptance of holy union.

‘VARA PUJA’ ವರ ಪೂಜಾ

The feet of the bridegroom is washed in milk and wiped off with silk.Water and lighted lamps are circulated around the swing in order to guard the couple against evil.




Coloured globules of cooked rice circumambulated and thrown over-to propitiate compassionate souls.

“KANYADHAANA” ಕನ್ಯಾ ದಾನ

The bride is made to sit on her father’s lap and is given away as gift by him, to the bridegroom.

On the girl’s head, a ring made with Kusa the sacred grass called DARBHA is placed, and over it, is placed a yoke; the Gold Mangal Sutra (Or THAALI) is placed right on the aperture. The Manthras chanted at this time say:

“Let this gold multiply your wealth! Let this water purify your married life, and may your prosperity increase. Offer yourself to your husband”

The bride then is given an auspicious benediction, and an exclusive new KOORAI saree draped around her this done by the sister of the bridegroom

To the bride in her saree, a belt made of reed grass is tied around the waist. The Manthras Chant.

“She standed here, pure before the holy fire, as one’s blessed with boons of a good mind, a healthy body , life long companionship of her husband (Sumangali Bhagyam) and children with long life. She standeth as one who is avowed to stand by here husband virtuously. Be tied with this red grass rope, to the sacreament of marriage.

Thanks giving vedic hymns follow to the celestial caretakers of her childhood: the Deities of SOM, GANDHARVA and AGNI. Having attained nobility, the girl is now free to be given over to the care of human her man.

The Vedic concept under lying this ritual figuratively this that in her infant stage, SOMA had given her coolness of the moon, and strength ; in the next stage, GANDHARVA had given her bodily beauty ; and lastly AGNI gave here the passions.

The father of the bride, while offering his daughter chants.

“I offer you my daughter; a maiden virtuous, good natured , very wise, decked with ornaments to the best of my ability-; that she shall guard the Dharma, wealth and love!.

THE BRIDEGROOMS ASSURANCE



Thus offering his daughter, her father gets a word of assurance three time that the bridegroom shall remain for ever her companion in joy and sorrow in this life, and beyond.

“KANKANA DHARANA” ಕಂಕಣ


The bride ties a string fastened to a piece of turmeric, around the wrist of the bridegroom to bind themselves by a religious vow. It is only after tying the Kankanam that the bridegroom gets the right to touch the bride. A little later, the bridegroom ties a Kankanam on the bride’s wrist.

‘MANGALYA DHARANA’ ಮಾಂಗಲ್ಯ ಧಾರಣೆ
A Mangalsutra (mangala sutra, mangalasutra or thaali) is a symbol of Hindu marriage union in South Asia. It is a sacred thread of love and goodwill worn by women as a symbol of their marriage. Traditionally the mangalsutra is considered the most revered token of love and respect offered to the bride during the marriage ceremony.

One of the most important events of a hindu marriage. The groom ties the mangalasutram, a sacred necklace with the mAngalyam (two gold pendants) around the bride's neck. The sacred necklace symbolizes commitment, safety and security offered to the bride by the groom as he asks her to share in a long and happy married life with him. The groom secures the necklace by tying three knots There is one knot for each aspect of the body--the physical body, the astral essence and the incarnational soul. It also stands for the three aspects of commitment, manasA, vAcA, karmaNa, believing it, saying it and executing it. While groom ties the knots, the high priest chants the DEFINING mantram of a vedic marriage.
Next, timed to exact auspicious hour is the tying of the mangala Sutra (Thaali). The bride is seated over a sheaf of grains laden hay. Looking eastward, and the bridegroom facing westward, ties the gold Managala Sutra around the neck of the bride. As he does so the Nadaswaram drums are beaten loud and fast, so as to muffle any inauspicious Sound at the hour.

mAngalyam tantunAnena mama jeevana hEtuna:
kanThe badhnAmi SubhagE twam jeeva Sarada: Satam

Meaning: This is a sacred thread, this is essential for my long life. I tie this around your neck O maiden, having many auspicious attributes, may you live happily for a hundred years

At the time of marriage, the knots were tied using a bunch of cotton threads dipped in turmeric. After the first sixteen days from the day of marriage (June 3rd, 2005) the yellow threads were replaced by a gold chain, with a golden bridge separating the two pendants. The rest of the necklace is laced with nalla-poosalu, black beads.

We specially invited seven vEda panDits from the school of vEdas at tirumala tirupati dEvasthAnam the abode of Lord venkatEswara swAmy in India. Right after the mAngalya dhAraNa, the pandits chanted "ASeervacanam" the divine vedic mantras to bless the couple on behalf of the assumed 3 crore hindu gods



Mangalyam Shloka  
  mAngalyam tantunAnena mama jIvanA hethunA | 
kaNThe: badhnami subhage! sanjIva Sarada: Satam || 

This is called Getty Malam. As it sounds, the sumangali ladies sing ”GOURI KALYANAME, VAIBHOGAMAY!”


Significance


The significance to the Mangalsutra was first given by Adi Shankara in his famous book Soundarya Lahari. According to Hindu cultural ethos, mangalsutra symbolizes the inseparable bond between a husband and a wife. During the wedding ceremony, the bridegroom ties the mangalsutra to the neck of the bride uttering- “May you live long by wearing this sacred Mangalsutra, the reason of my life”. Married women are entitled to wear Mangalsutra throughout their life as it is believed that the practice enhances the well-being of her husband and family and cannot be shown in public. It is also considered that the mangalsutra protects the marriage from any evil. Three knots symbolize three different aspects of a married woman - the first knot represents her obedience to her husband, the second to his parents and the third represents her respect for God.

The inherent eternal qualities of PRAKRITI-STTVA, RAJS and TAMAS three strings wovern into one or three strata pressed together matrix of the Universe permeating all things:

Three knots are tied the first one by the bridegroom, the other two knots by his sister to made the bride a part of the family. The Vedic hymn recited by the bridegroom when he ties the knot,, is “ Praying the Almighty that I be blessed with a ling life, I tie this knot around your neck, oh Sowbhayavathi may providence bestow on you a fulfilling life of a Sumangali’ for a hundred years to come





PAANI GRAHANA ಪಾಣಿ ಗ್ರಹಣ

This means “ holdings hands”. The groom holds the had of the bride. The Manthras say: The Devas have offered you to me in order that I may live the life of householder (GRISHASTA); we shall not part from each other even after we grow infirm due to age!

SAPTHAPADHI ಸಪ್ತಪದಿ


Holding the brides hand, the bridegroom walks seven steps with her. This is the most important part of the marriage ceremony, and only when they walk 7 steps together (i.e. perform SAPTHA PADHI) is the marriage complete legally the belief is that when one walks 7 steps together, one becomes the other’s friend. The manthras recited then, mean:


ye who have walks seven steps with me, become my companion, whereby I acquire your friendship. We shall remain together , inseparable. Let us make a vow together we shall share love, share the same food, share the strength, the same tastes. We shall be of one mind, we shall observe the vows together. I shall be the SAMA. You the RIG; I shall be the Upper World, you the Earth; I shall be the SUKHILAM, you the HOLDER together we shall live, beget children and other riches come thou, O sweet minded girl.


The details of Saptapadi- Meaning and its effect

Step 1. Groom: "My beloved, our love became firm by walking one step with me. You will offer me the food and be helpful in every way. I will cherish you and provide for the welfare and happiness of you and our children. 
Step 1. Bride: "This is my humble submission to you, my lord . You kindly gave me responsibility of the home, food and taking charge of the finance. I promise you that I shall discharge all responsibilities for the welfare of the family and children.
   
2 Step 2. Groom : My beloved, you have now walked the second step with me. Fill my heart with strength and courage and together we shall protect the household and children. 
Step 2. Bride: My lord, in your grief, I shall fill your heart with strength, In your happiness, I shall rejoice. I promise you that I will please you always with sweet words and take care of the family and children and you shall love me alone as your wife. 
   
3 Step 3. Groom: My beloved, now you have walked three steps with me. By virtue of this, our wealth and prosperity are bound to grow. I shall look upon all other women as my sisters. Together, we will educate our children and may they live long. 
Step 3. Bride: My lord, I will love you with single minded devotion as my husband. I will treat all other men as my brothers. My devotion to you is of a chaste wife and you are my joy. This is my commitment and pledge to you.
   
4 Step 4. Groom: My beloved, it is a great blessing that you have walked four steps with me. You have brought auspeciousness and sacredness into my life. May we be blessed with obedient and noble children. May they be blessed with long life. 
Step 4. Bride: My lord, I will decorate you from your feet up with flowers, garlands and anoint you with sandal wood paste and fragrance. I will serve you and please you in every way.
   
5 Step 5. Groom: My beloved, now that you have walked the five steps with me, you have enriched my life. May God bless you. May our loved ones live long and share in our prosperity. 
 Step 5. Bride: My lord, I share both in your joys and sorrows. Your love will make me trust and honor you. I will carry out your wishes.
   
6 Step 6. Groom: My beloved, you have filled my heart with happiness by walking six steps with me. May you fill my heart with great joy and peace from time to time. 
Step 6. Bride: My lord, in all acts of righteousness, in material prosperity and in every form of enjoyment and divine acts, I promise you that I shall participate and shall always be with you. 
   
7 Step 7. Groom: My beloved, as you walked the seven steps with me, our Love and friendship became eternal. We experienced spiritual union in God. Now you have become completely mine and I offer my life to you. Our marriage will be for ever. 
 Step 7. Bride: My lord, as per the law of God and the Holy scriptures [Vedas] I have become your spouse. Whatever promises we gave, we have spoken with pure mind. We will be truthful to each other in all things. We will love each other for ever. 
   
      
After these seven steps, the marriage become legal by Hindu law codes. Then, they both say: "Now let us make a vow together. We shall share the same food, share the strengths, the same tastes. We shall be of one mind, we shall observe the vows together; I shall be the Sama, you the Rigveda; I shall be upper world, you the earth; I shall be the Sukhilam. you the Holder; Together we shall live and beget children, and other riches. Come thou, Oh, sweet-worded girl."
   
    
Sapthapathi Mantras - shorter version  
The following are the Manthras for the seven steps around the Holy Fire during the Sapthapathi commonly used in South India in the Smãrtha Sampradhãya, which is a shorter version of that in the Yajñyavãkkya Smrithis. 
   
  Step 1.:- Ekamishe - Vishnuthva - Anvethu - 
Step 2.:- Dhve Oorjve - Vishnuthva - Anvethu - 
Step 3.:- Threeni Vruthaya - Vishnuthva - Anvethu - 
Step 4.:- Chathvaari Maayo - Vishnuthva - Anvethu - 
Step 5.:- Pancha Pasubhyaha - Vishnuthva - Anvethu - 
Step 6.:- Shadru Thubhyaha - Vishnuthva - Anvethu - 
Step 7.:- Sapth Sapthabhyaha - Vishnuthva - Anvethu -    
      
        
By these seven steps you have taken with me, you have become my best friend. I will never move out of this relationship. God has united us in this bondage. We shall perform all activities together with love and affection and with good feelings. Let us be friendly in our thoughts. Let us observe our duties and rituals together. If you are the lyrics, I am the music. If you are the music I am the lyrics. If I am the heavenly body You are the earthly world. While I am the life source and you are the carrier of the same. I am the thoughts and you are the speech. When you are like the words, you work with me who is like the meaning of it. With your sweet words, come with me to lead a prosperous life begetting our progeny with [male] children

PRADHAANA HOMA

A crucial part of the wedding is the homage paid by the couple to Agni, the Fire-God. They circle around the fire, and feed it with ghee, and twigns of nine typs of trees, as sacrificial fuel. The fumes that arise, are supposed to posses medicinal, curative and cleansing effects on the bodies of the couple

AGNI, the mightiest power in the Cosmos, the sacred purifier, the all round beneractor, is deemed as a witness to the marriage (AGNI SAAKSHI)


Treading on the grindstone

Holding the bride left foot tow, the bridegroom helps her tread on a grindstone kept on the right side of the fire. The Manthras say:

“Mount up this stone. Let thy mind be rock firm, unperturbed, by the trails and trails tribulations of life!

SHOWING HER THE “ARUNDHATI” STAR

Next he shows the star “ARUNDHATI” (of the SAPTHA RISHI Constellation). As also (Dhruva the polestar “ARUNDHATI” the wife of VASISHTA ) Maharishi, is exemplified as an ideal wife, the embodiment of Chastity.

DHRUVA is the one who attained immortality through single minded devotion and perseverance virtues to be emulated throughout married life.


‘LAJA HOMA’
 

 


 
This shall comprise the brides own offering to the sacrificial fire. As the is forbidden to do it herself, her brother helps her He gives her a handful of parched rice grains which she hands to the bridegroom who on her be half, feeds in into the fire. Through his food, offering, the bride seeks a long life for her husband and propagation of the family. Participation of the brids family members indicates the continuance of links between the two families, after marriage. The couple circle around the fire, three times, and the feeding of the fire with parched rice, is repeated thrice.



 
‘GRUHAPRAVESAM’It begins with a ceremonious farewell to the bride at the marriage venue from her family with the final exchange of gifts, food and household items required to begin a new household life. A corresponding welcome function, grihapravEsham, is held at the bride's place. These are purely social functions emphasising that Indian marriage is a family union and not an individual formality.
Taking with the fire from the Laaja Homa, the bride takes leaves of her home, and enters the new home of ther in laws. The vedic hymns now sound like the mother’s words of advice to her daughter: “Be the queen of your husband’s home. May your husband glorify your virtues; conduct yourself in such a way that you win your mother in law’s love, and be in the good books of your sisters-in-law”.


‘NALUNGU’-


The evening of the marriage day is the time to relax and play. The newly wed wife calls her husband for play, inviting him through a song. Much to the merriment of one and all gathered, there follows list of playful items: the bride anointing the groom’s feet with colour paste ; fanning him, showing him a mirror; breaking papads over each other’s head; wrenching the betel pack from each other’s hand; rolling the coconut from one to another as in ball-play; and so on. During these items, the ladies sing songs poking fun at the bride, groom and the in-laws.


These events brings out many qualities of the bride and the groom – sporting spirit, kindness, strength, co-operative nature etc.
VARAPOOJA FOTOS-COLLAGE

Still to Come...........
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SARVE JANO SUKHINO BHAVANTHU”
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Important Words/Notes on Wedding



Nadaswaram : Traditional South Indian music ensemble including the tavil (drum), nadaswaram (a sort of wind instrument) and small cymbals.

Rangoli : Designs made on the floor with rice flour paste

Sowbhaya : Literally meaning good fortune. It is intended to be the good fortune of never being widowed.


Mandapa : A structure or building where the marriage is conducted.

Puja : Prayer or worship

Navagraha : The nine planets (Nava : nine, Graha : planets)

Vratha : Rituals

Kappu : Holy thread

Indra : The King of the Gods. He is the one who rules swarga or heaven.

Soma : The Moon God

Chandra : The Moon

Agni : The Fire God

Grihasta : Householder

Brahmacharya : Bachelorhood

Kasi Yatra : Travel or pilgrimage to Kasi

Sanyasa : Asceticism

Satwik : Holy and pure state of body and mind.

Kasi : The most holy place of pilgrimage for a devout Hindu

Mala Dharane  : Exchange of Garlands

Shastras : The holy scriptures

Karmic : Pertaining to karma or deeds

Sumangalis : Women who are not widowed.

Vara : Groom
Kanya : Girl or literally virgin girl

Mangala Sutra : The ornament worn by the bride on a long chain around the neck. Mangal Sutra literally means Auspicious Bond. The Mangal Sutra in South India is akin to the wedding ring of the west. It is also called Thali.

Danam : Gift

Darbha : Dried grass

Kusa grass : A variety of grass that is considered to be sacred

Mantras : A holy incantation or chant

Sari : The dress worn by women which is a long piece of cloth that is draped around. The sari is of various lengths and is worn in various ways through out the country. The most common one is 6 yards long with most of it going around like a skirt and a long part of it hanging over the shoulder.

Sumangali Bhagyam : the good fortune of never being widowed.

Gandharva : Celestial angels who are famed for their good looks.

Kankana : or kankanam - Literally means wrist ornament : a bangle or a bracelet

Dhaaranam : Literally means wearing

Mangalya : Another name for Mangal Sutra

Devas : Gods

Saptha : Literally means seven

Padhi : Steps

Sama and Rig : Sama and Rig are two of the four Vedas.

Phala Dhanam : Gift giving

Homa : Sacrifice

Ghee : Clarified Butter

Saptha Rishi : Literally Seven Sages

Maharishi : Maharishi literally means great sage. Vashishta was one of the great sages from Vedic times.

Dhruva : renowned for his single-minded devotion to God and hence was given the boon of becoming the never moving pole star.

Akshadai : Blessing given by elders when grains of rice are showered on whomever is seeking blessings.

Gruha Pravesham : Literally means entering the house. A ritual whereby the bride goes to her new home i.e. her husband’s home for the first time.

Papad : A wafer like fried snack made of rice and other lentils.

1 comment:

  1. Awesome Details,Very useful for youth.
    Didnt knew all these,good to know :)
    Regards,
    Bhuvanesh

    ReplyDelete