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SIGNIFICANCE OF THE VOWS TAKEN BY THE GROOM AND THE BRIDE
Marriage is beautiful. Marriage is sacred. Marriage is holy and divinely established convenant. There is no more important commitment in time or eternity than marriage. Marriage is the thread that ties the fate and the lives of two individuals together in order to form a meaningful existence for both of them. All the Indian weddings have a plethora of rituals and traditions. Every ritual has its own significance and cannot be done away with.
All the ceremonial rituals revolves around the main one which is termed as ‘Saptapadi’ (Sapta-seven, Padi- steps). There are seven mantras in Sanskrit that the bride and the groom utter in order to take the seven vows of the wedding, while walking around the sacred fire, seven times.
In the First Vow, the groom promises to provide food and happiness to the bride and their children. However, the bride in return promises to take all the responsibilities for the home, food and finance. They concisely promise each other ‘prosperity’.
For the Second Vow, the groom says that together they will protect their house and their children. And the bride promises to stand by him as his strength.
During the Third Vow, the groom is basically wishing that they grow wealthy and in return the bride states that she will love him solely and every other man in her life would be secondary.
In the Fourth Vow, the groom says that the bride has brought sacredness and completeness into his life. May they be blessed with noble and obedient children. In return, the bride promises to shower him with all the joy, from head to toe.
During the Fifth Vow, the groom says that the bride is his best friend and staunchest well-wisher. On the other hand, the bride promises to be with him in the times of happiness and the sorrows. Also, that she would trust and honour him.
For the Sixth Vow, the groom questions the bride whether she will be there filling his heart with happiness. And in return, the bride promises to be there forever.
For the last and the Seventh Vow, the groom says that they are now husband and wife for eternity. And the bride accepts the proclamation and says that God is witness and they will love, cherish and honour each other forever.
These vows hold the significance of devotion, lifelong commitment, mutual love and respect. That is how they are tied together, until death separates them apart.
Written by: Aayushi Goyal