It’s been 5 years since I got married, I too had that typical Indian wedding where my husband and I took the Saath Pheras or the 7 rounds around the Agni Kund (Holy Fire) holding each other’s hand and began our wonderful journey together. Indian wedding purely unites together very two different people from different community and culture. In India the rituals which are carried out in the Hindu weddings are very similar to each other, with little differences here and there.
SAPTAPADI Or Saath Phera: The Core Ritual Of Any Indian Hindu Wedding
If we try to list down the number of rituals followed in an Indian wedding, then the list can go on and on. However, when it comes to the most important ritual of all the other Hindu marriage rituals, then SAPTAPADI or the SAAT PHERES as we know are the most important ritual of all. Without taking these 7 vows no Indian Hindu Marriage can be ever complete. In fact, if the couple completes this particular ritual only then the whole marriage ceremony is considered to be completed and the couple is considered married. Yes, the importance of the Saath Pheras in the Indian marriage is considered to be supreme.
The Knot: Symbol of Eternal Togetherness
Before the couple starts taking the Saath Pheras around the fire, they are knotted forever by some older family member. A ritual takes place where a knot is tied, the dupatta/saree’s end of the bride’s clothes is knotted with the groom’s clothes on the other end. This knot plays a very important role, and is never to opened. We are supposed to retain the clothes with the knots. Usually for this ritual special Dupatta\Chunri is given to the bride and groom. I too have my knot safely kept and each time I see it; it takes me back to the moment when we got hitched forever.
Reminds me of one funny incident, in most of the cases the moment the marriage gets over and the post marriage rituals are over, the groom quickly hands over his knotted dupatta to the bride. And the poor bride carries everything alone, her heavy clothes, varmalla and the knot. Don’t know if any one of you noticed this in any marriage, but it happened with me too.
Alert The Saath Pheras Can Make You Sleepy
This is one more funny thing in this ritual of Saath Pheras, many couples have been noticed to fall asleep when the priest is explaining them the significance of the pheras. It has been seen that it becomes absolutely impossible for the bride and groom to control their sleepiness during this important ritual. While the other family members have their eyes wide open, they giggle while they keep on staring at the bride and groom sleeping off. This is a funny thing but it does happen. So did you sleep off too? In case you did, this article can be a revision for you.
Saath Pheras: The 7 Vows
Post the Knot is tied tightly, the couple stands up to take their 7 rounds around the holy Agni. They make promises to each other one by one holding their hands. The pandit or priest reads out Shloks in Sanskrit and blesses the couple with each completed rounds. Before the couple takes each round the priest explains to them the meaning of each Phera. I am not a pandit of course, but since I am married I know the meaning of the Saath Pheras. So here are the 7 Vows of the Indian Hindu Wedding.
The First Phera
As the couple begins their journey with this first phera, they together pray to the Lord of nourishment to bless them with plenty of wholesome and pure food. They together ask God to bless their journey, so that they never fall short of money or food. The groom promises to take care of his wife by taking care of all her needs and responsibilities at the same time the bride also promises to take on the responsibilities equally with him.
The Second Phera
This second step is for a healthy and prosperous life together. The couple prays to god for mental health, physical health and spiritual health. The couple promises eternal love for each other. They promise to be faithful to each other. They seek blessing of god to unite them as one sole entity than two. Together as partners they pray to god to give them the strength, so that they can protect and support their partners through the thick and thins.
The Third Phera
This third phera is to seek blessings from the God for wealth where they seek blessings for wealth and prosperity. The couple seeks this blessing not just for their physical desires and existence but also to achieve their spiritual responsibilities, ability to keep their kids well and educate them and fulfil their needs.
The Fourth Phera
This fourth phera symbolizes the couples promise to strengthen their families together in every possible way. They pray to God to help them in increasing respect and love each other and families. They together ensure each other to uphold their respective family values in every possible way in which they can.
The Fifth Phera
This phera is a pray for seeking strong and noble children from God. As the couple begins their life together they pray for their future progeny. The couple prays to god to be blessed with some beautiful children who will carry their family identity forward. They promise to be responsible parents by giving them the correct upbringing and education.
The Sixth Phera
The couple in this sixth phera prays to god to give them a life which is free from any kind of disease, so that they can together lead a peaceful and long life with each other.
The Seventh Phera
The final phera is to seek the blessing of the almighty for endless loyalty, companionship, understanding and togetherness forever. They wish to become friends for life and live together till the eternity. Being friends they promise each other to be true to each other.
Once the couple complete their 7 rounds around the holy fire they become One. They get up from the marriage mandap and further they touch the feet of their elder family members and seek their blessings as they start their journey as couple.