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Traditional Hindu Marriage Secrets

Secrets of Hindu marriage traditions

Hindu traditions are ancient and eternal too.  But we the Indians fail to recognize our rich traditions while the foreigners are trying to learn about our traditions. Unless somebody else tells about our rich traditional treasure, we don’t even believe in it.

Marriage is not a celebration of a ceremony.  Marriage is not all about exchange of rings or garlands.  It’s all about a process of promising each other for leading a conjugal life.  We never try to find the meaning of mantras chant by Purohits during the marriage process.  These days, we just care for photos and videos and hardly pay any attention to the mantras, chant by purohits, since we feel it as the headache of purohit.

The Sanskrit word Vivah originated from three root sounds vi + vah + ghai which means “a very special dedication”. 

Iyam Sita Mama Sutha, Sahadharmachari thapa                        Pratheechcha Chainam Bhadram Thae Pannim Grihneeshwa Pa¯nina

According to Valmiki Ramayana - Maharaja Janaka tells Sri Rama while introducing his daughter Sita to Rama; that she is Sita his daughter, dedicating her to him and requests him to accept his daughter as his wife (better half).

 A Hindu marriage joins two individuals for life, so that they can pursue dharma (duty), artha (possessions), kama (physical desires), and moksha (ultimate spiritual release) together. Hindu wedding ceremony at its core is essentially a Vedic yajna (a fire-sacrifice), It has a deep origin in the ancient ceremony of cementing the bonds of two families together.

The primary witness of a Hindu marriage is the fire-deity (or the Sacred Fire) Agni, and by law and tradition, no Hindu marriage is deemed complete unless seven encirclements have been made around Sacred Fire, by the bride and the groom together.

The love begins with the marriage for Indians, the love ends with the marriage for others as said by a poet.

The marriage procedures, their sanctity, their aim, the respectability they carry etc. can not be seen in any traditions in the world except in the holy land India as said by Madam Annie Besant.

The need of the marriage

Wife and husband are the two wheels of the life chariot.  No one is superior to each other.  Once they are married, they are not just two individuals, they are couple.  Modern age life style brought personal egos and complexes into the lives.  As long as there were no external influences, our traditions cherished. 

According to Hindu mythology everybody carries three debts right from his birth.  They are 1) Rishi Runam, 2) Deva Runam and 3) Pithrunam. 

Rishi Runam : Person has to learn Vedas (the sacred texts) means the knowledge which one has to acquire .  To clear this owe, one has to pass on the knowledge he acquired from his gurus to his next generations. 

Deva Runam : We are indebted to Panchabhutas; the Sun for giving us the light, the Agni for giving us the fire, the Vayu for wind, the Varun for giving us water through rains, the Earth for giving us food we need.  We need to clear this owe, by performing yajnas.

Pithrunam : We are indebted to our beloved parents who given us the opportunity to come to this world by giving us the birth.  We have the responsibility of continuing their vamsa (generation).  To clear this owe one has to get married and continue the generations.

The sanctity of marriage is being lost.  The culture is polluted by the adopted cultures. 

The society tries to follow the iconic figures.  For most of the common folk, cinema heroes and heroines are the iconic figures.  These iconic figures have the responsibility of remaining as the role models to the society.  Ironically, they are not able to shoulder such responsibilities. Male and female living together without any bond/marriage is one such adopted culture. One can’t totally deny the prevalence of such tendencies in our society earlier. Even if they are, they can be considered as sporadic.  But when an iconic figure resorts to such acts, it definitely has its impact on the society. 

The courts too becoming parties in polluting our cultures with the recent pronouncements legitimizing the practice of living together, marriage between homos/lesbians etc.  There are hundreds and thousands of cases piled in different courts desperately looking for their turn to get justice, the courts are becoming very passionate these days to pronounce judgements on silly issues of this kind ignoring the cases which deserve their full attention.

The process of marriage largely packed with vedic mantras (chanted by purohits on behalf of bride and groom) is more of promises and faiths reposed on each other in the holy presence of Agni (fire).

Let us see the process of Hindu marriage in brief:

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Snathakam (Convocation) : Traditionally for the generations long,  when the male child graduates, he decides to stay back in Kasi (also known as Varanasi-which considered as the abode of the almighty) to take up brahmacharya (the sainthood). During the sainthood he won’t take care of his hair and grows beard also. 

If he seeks sainthood, literally there is no chance of generation next.  As such, the elders welcome the boy to family life.   

To mark the occasion, the grown hair and beard neatly cut and shaved and performs bath with hot water.  This is what we call “Convocation”. This is the first step in the process of the marriage. 

Kasi Yatra : The father of bride symbolically weans him away from the pursuits of brahmacaryam, and requests him to enter family life (grihastasramam) by marrying his daughter. The bride's brother convinces the groom that there is life beyond education and by marrying his sister.

Sankalpam: This is nothing but thought of doing something.  While we offer prayer to god, we have to reveal our full identity in order to register our prayer. In this we reveal every minute details like the name of the land, time like name of the yuga, name of Manwantram, name of the year, name of the month, name of the day, name of Thithi, from which place the prayer being offered etc., details will be given along with the details of the performer of the pooja/prayer.  Any pooja or celebrations will commence with Ganesh pooja for successful completion of such programme without any obstacle.

Ankurarpanam : The women, specifically the bride, sprinkle 9 different kinds of grains (Nava Dhanyalu) in earthen pots filled with wet mud, such that the grains sprout into green shoots in time. This is symbolic of the germination process of the human life for which the marriage itself is conducted. The soil used in the earthen pots is obtained from ant-hills due to its exceptional fertility characteristics.

Gowri Pooja : During 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 Siva’. By invoking the Goddess’ blessings, the bride prays for similar strength and a long, happy, married life with her husband.

Kanyadanam : Groom will be considered as personification of Vishnu and pooja performed to him as is performed to the almighty.  This is performed by the father of the bride.  The following slokas are chanted.

Kanyam Kanaka Sampannam kanakabharanairyutham,              Dashtami Vishnave Thubhyam Brahmaloka Jigeeshiya.

Vishwambhara Sarvabhuta, Sakshinya Ssarvadevatha, Kanyamimam vradasyami, Pithrunam Dharanayavai.

Kanyam Sarvalankritham Sadhvim Suseelaya Sudheemathe Vrayatho ham prayachchami Dharmakamardha Siddhaye.

Dharmardha Kameshu Thwayesha, Nathi Charatavya, ---- Nathi Charami

The father of the bride offers his daughter  who is bedecked in gold to the groom considering him as embodiment of Vishnu, the almighty with a belief that he and his past seven generations is blessed to abode in Brama Loka. The father of the bride also tells groom that the decorated bride, offered to the groom so that he can get children through her and do all his prescribed religious duties.

This is the ceremony when the bride's parents place their daughter's hands into those of the eligible groom and seek his promise of taking care of her lifelong. In return the parents promise that they are offering a devoted, pure, understanding, healthy maid as the bride. This happens from under the curtain, while the curtain is still up blocking the view.

Sumuhurtham  (Jeelakarra(cumin seeds)-bellam(jaggery)  dharana)

At the sumuhurtam, precise auspicious moment, with the cloth veil still upheld, the bride and the groom place and hold a paste made of cumin seeds and Jaggery, over each other's heads (on the crown of the head where the opening of Sushumna nadi through which Kundalini enters) The cloth veil is then removed, unveiling the "new' life in holy matrimony. This is the first time the bride and groom look at each other. 

The mantra chanted at this moment is

Dhruvante Raja Varuno Dhruvam Devo Brihspathi

Dhruvantha Indraschaangischa Rashtram Dhrayatham Dhruvam.

Abhrathrughneem Varunapathighneem Brihaspathe

Indra Puthrighneem Lakshyam Thamasyai savithassuva

Why the cumin seeds and jaggery paste : Positive Electric charge emanates when cumin seeds and jaggery are combined and a paste made of it, as is happened when the glass rod rubbed with silk cloth (In the case of glass rod, electrons are loosely bounded compared to silk cloth and hence it loses electrons &get positive charge and it gets the ability to attract the nearby particles).  In the crown of the head, a subtle or esoteric aperture will be there.  When this paste is placed on the top of this esoteric aperture which remains closed, gets opened and the positive energy enters through this hole, it travels through Sahasrara Chakra reaches the Ajna Chakra and energizes it(centre of spiritual energy- placed between the two eyebrows otherwise called Bhrumadhya or Bhrukuti).    The bride and groom when looks at each others Bhrukuti (when the veil removed/put down,) their brain wave lengths meet.  When the wave lengths of two persons coincide, they think alike and there is no chance of contradictions.  This gives them the pleasurable married life.

Yoktra Dharana (Tying of rope made of a kind of grass)

Here, the groom tie a rope made of Dharbha (a kind of grass) around the waist of the bride.  Whenever we get ready to do a hard job we tie a cloth around our waist, which gives us extra strength duly protecting the spine. Here the groom prepares the bride to take up the new responsibilities in their marital life with ease.   He does this by reciting the following prayer.

Oh fire God; please give a stable and composed mind to this maid, who is going to join me and give her strength to take the extra responsibilities of the family. 

Mangalasuta Dharana (Tying of three knots)

Mangalya means that which gives good things and Dharanam means "wearing". The bride has to wear two mangalyas one given by her father and another by the groom's father. This is 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. Each knot symbolizes each aspect of the body-- Sthula Sharira – Gross or Physical body, Sukshma Sharira – Subtle or Pranic body, Karana Sharira – Causal body.  It also stands for the three aspects of commitment, manasa, vachaa, karmana, believing it, saying it and executing it. While groom ties the knots, the high priest chants the

Mangalya tantunanena mama jeevana hetunaa:

kanthe badhnami Subhage saa jeeva saradam satam


This is a fun event. Bride and Groom put Talambralu (Akshatalu) on each other. The bride and the groom shower one another with pearls & talambralu (rice mixed with saffron & turmeric). This denotes the couple’s desire for happiness, enjoyment and contentment. Initially they take turns to shower, as it progresses it gets more entertaining when they begin to compete with each other.

Homam (Holy fire)

The holy fire, a great protection against evil, is believed to be a messenger and mediator between God and human. This fire acts as an eternal witness to marriage.  The bride and groom pledge and declare to all those present that they have accepted one another voluntarily. Holding each other's hands, the couple takes seven steps, symbolic of the seven marital vows, around the sacred fire. 

1.     Together, we will acquire energy to share responsibilities of our married life.

2.     Together,we will fill our hearts  with strenght and courage to accmplish all the needs of our life.

3.     Together,we will prosper and share our worldly goods and will work for prosperity of our family.

4.     Together, we will chesrish each other in happiness and in sorrow.

5.     Together,we will raise dtromg and virtuous children.

6.     Together, we will fill our heartswith great joy, peace , happiness and spiritual values.

7.     Together, we will remain lifelong patners in the matrimony.


During Nagavalli, a silk cloth cradle was made and a piece of sandalwood, a ripe mango/banana and turmeric was placed in it to pray for an off spring as healthy as the ripe mango, as pure as the turmeric and as self fragrant as the sandalwood.

This is followed by a fun filled event where the bride and groom fight over who will collect the gold and silver rings dropped in a narrow mouthed vessel.

Sannikallu (Grindstone)

Holding the bride’s left foot toe, the bridegroom then helps her tread on a grindstone called sannikallu kept on the side of the fire. The manthras say: "Mount up this stone. Let thy mind be rock-firm, unperturbed, by the trials and tribulations of life" and when it is finished, the groom adorns the bride's toes with mettelu, silver rings.

At this time the priest shows the couple the Arundhati star. Arundhati, the wife of vasistha maharshi (the great saint), is exemplified as an ideal wife, the embodiment of chastity. By seeking her blessings, the bride expresses her devotion toward family life.

Pani Grihanam (Vedic)

Literally this means "holding of hands. Because this is the first most important Vedic ritual, scholars believe that this should be done during the auspicious time. Normally the bride folds fingers her right hand fingers into a conical form upwards and the groom holds it in his hand folded downwards by surrounding all her fingers.

The following prayers are recited by the groom:

Hey maid, I am holding your hand so that you will have several good children and live happily with me till ripe old age. Hey Goddess Lakshmi, you are blessed with all the luck, riches and food and so we who have held our hands today, hope to get riches and pleasures by your blessings. I announce this loudly in front of all so that you will definitely bless me. Hey Maid, Let Vayu (god of wind) who has the capacity to travel in all directions, who keeps a gold coin in his hand to give to those who pray him and who is the friend of fire God (Agni) who has the capacity to purify everything as well as the capacity to make raw food eatable, enter your mind and make you love me for every minute of our future lives.

Laja homamlaja Homam is a secondary post-wedding ceremony in which the priest lights a fire to which the newly married couple offer oblations of puffed rice or popped grains (Laja). This shall comprise the bride’s own offering to the sacrificial fire. He gives her a handful of parched rice grains which she hands to bridegroom who on her behalf, feeds it into the fire. Through this food offering, the bride seeks a long life for her husband, and propagation of the family. Participation of the bride’s family members indicates the continuance of links between the two families, even after marriage. The couple circle around the fire, three times, and the feeding of the fire with parched rice, is repeated thrice.

Removal of the Dharbha string tied earlier around the bride’s waist


The groom recites the following prayers and then unties the dharbha string he has tied earlier:

i.                   I free from the rope tied by Lord Parameshwara who ties this rope of Varuna for all the good-minded beings, I give you the position of pleasure with me to you in the world of Brahma.

ii.                 I free you form the string of Varuna tied by the Lord Parameshwara who gives blessings to his devotees. You can live with me in Brahma loka where the blessed go and be with me without the fear of the rope of Varuna.



I try to present the Hindu marriage tradition and processes in brief.  I might have omitted certain processes because of certain constraints. In those golden (old) days of our forefathers, the marriages used to perform for 5 days giving detailed importance to each of the process.  Today, we don’t have the resources and time because we have our own confinements, in our brisk lives to perform for so long time.  But there is no reason in making mockery of the traditions.  It is our duty to uphold the sanctity of our traditions.  Let us try to know the importance of every process of marriage tradition.  Demand your priest to narrate the secrets of the tradition while performing the marriage.  It is our duty to know.  Let us not kill our rich traditions.

Dharmo Rakshati, Rakshita ha

Comments on October 04, 2016:

Nothing objects you. But, the parents of both the boy and girl may have objections. If you could able to win their hearts, you can go ahead.

Mohit on September 28, 2016:

Sir ur explanation about hindu marriage and tradition is very nice.

I fell in love with a girl of other state. She is brahmin and I am rajput. Sir, I just want to know is there anything wrong in marrying the girl I love according to Hindu Tradition.

suravajhala (author) on July 13, 2016:


Thanks for your comments.

The traditions do differ from place to place. Even in India, people dont follow the same tradition everywhere. My narration above is taken from some standard books. Keeping relevancy aside, we are still following the convocation ceremony in marriages,. It is a part of our marriage ceremonies here particularly for Brahmin community.

Scientific or technical definition of jaggery is - an amorphous form of unrefined and non-distilled sugar prepared from the sap or the juice of plants (particularly Sugar cane) that contains a considerable amount of sucrose or sugar.

Darbha (Desmostachya bipinnata) has been considered a sacred grass and has been used in religious rituals since Vedic times. Darbha is also called Kusha and it is considered perhaps the second most sacred herb in the Vedas after Soma. Darbha has very unique spiritual properties and is used in all religious rituals in Hindu tradition. A rope made of this grass will be tied to the waist during the ceremony.

As per the tradition, the bride and groom are not expected to see each other before the marriage. But, now days its not being followed by anyone. I agree with that.

I believe, you are satisfied with the above answer. You are welcome, if you want any further clarifications on the issue.

skperdon from Canada on July 02, 2016:

Great job explaining this type of Hindu marriage ceremony. However, there are others that doesn't include all the aspects that you mentioned.

I've never even heard of Convocation (this doesn't apply anymore), cumin seeds and jaggery on the head ( what is jaggery anyway), the rope made of grass, I've never heard of this either.

As for the bride and groom not seeing each other before the marriage, I've never heard of it. All of the girls in my part of the world makes the decision on who they'll spend the rest of their life with. That means meeting and speaking with the prospective groom, only if they are compatible and she says yes would the marriage become a reality.

All of my suitors fell short until I met with the last one, then we had our wedding ceremony.

I am talking about Hindus in another part of the world Mr suravajhala. Also, there is an exchange of garlands of flowers between the bride and groom in our Hindu marriages.

Well, it was interesting to read about your Hindu wedding ceremony. Thanks for sharing.

suravajhala (author) on June 13, 2016:

For any conflict between two individuals -contributing factors are 1) inflexible mind set (sticking to our own point of view) of a person, 2) not caring others view point and 3) believing that we are correct and others wrong .

Every one has a right have his/her own view point as we (you) do have, understanding them from that direction, solves the problem.

This responsibility, flexible mind set and caring for others view point, can solve any problem.

bello on June 11, 2016:

its really interesting, but how else can we tackle the global rise of marital break-ups

suravajhala (author) on November 23, 2015:

Dear Mr. Vasudev Rao, I appreciate your critical view of the article and points you raised.

My aim in presenting this articles is to familiarize the process to the younger generations about the richness of traditions. Its not a research paper, so you cant expect depth in the article. I am not scholar on the subject to touch the origin of mantras.

As far as the relevance of rituals are concerned, I tried to dwell on each ritual and the background for it. Ultimately, its the people to assess the relevance of it and following it or not.

Finally, I would like to inform that perceptions do differ from person to person. I presented my perception of the process to the extent I understood it, and I welcome, if you could able to present your perception critically examining each process, instead of just throwing a stone on someone.

suravajhala (author) on November 23, 2015:

ahahahah, write but many of the priests today just they worried about the process having no full knowledge meaning behind the process. So, they keep the people busy in the process without allowing them to ask for rationality behind the process. So the word "demand" is used

Ravindra on November 21, 2015:

You should not demand the priest to explain the process. you should request him. there is a lot of difference....

M.Vasudev Rao on September 21, 2015:

The article lacks depth . The source of marriage mantras and their origin have not been mentioned. Your article dwells on ritualistic part of marriage only. You have not quoted the authority from which these . At the outset , you state that marriage joins two individuals , but in ancient days ,it was the extended family which was the unit of the society , so though marriage was between two individuals , it was in reality a unification of families. The individuality was buttressed. Even now , a large no. of people in India who live in joint families, the institution is cracking fast and rightly so. On the one hand , you lamented that the Indians fail to recognize our traditions , unless somebody meaning foreigners tell us , on the other you cite the authority of Annie Besant. Further, many of rituals you mentioned ,have lost their relevance in the changing circumstances. After all the rituals might have arisen to meet a need of the times. You have failed to examine the rituals and their relevance in the modern context,which gives an impression that you simply took a romantic view of the marriage process rather than taking a hard and factual and circumstantial view of the process and its relevance to the changing times, because society is an evolutionary organ which necessitates shedding some , adopting some as we go in life's journey. It would have been better , if you viewed the whole process impartially and factually. Sentimentality and yearning for returning to past will not save our culture. We can save it by robustness through critical examination of our past which needs courage and hardwork and a will to learn from the world.

suravajhala on June 17, 2015:

Dear friend

One of the objectives of marriage is to continue the generations next. If the bride is not healthy, this objective could not be achieved. Healthy is in terms of not just physical health, it includes mental health, healthy behaviour, healthy in all terms. Maid here means "an unmarried girl or young woman i.e. virgin" and not the meaning of servant here. I think you are satisfied with this answer

anonymous on June 13, 2015:

In the above article it was written that " in return the parents promise that they are offering a devoted, pure, understanding, healthy maid as the bride."

Can you please explain " healthy maid as the bride"?

suravajhala (author) on June 02, 2015:

Madam Shibaji

There is no such restriction please.

shibadutta on June 02, 2015:

Is there any restriction for the marriage of daughter in her birth month? Hindu custom.

suravajhala (author) on May 03, 2015:

Yep ofcourse. I can write what I know.

ravi on May 02, 2015:

procedure listed above is typical of vaidiki culture.

Suravajhala Srinivas on February 17, 2015:

Dear Narahari

I am very happy to hear this. Comments of this kind feel me elated. Thank you very much for a patient reading.

bhoom reddy narahari on February 17, 2015:

I was eagerly awaiting to search an authentic information on hindu marriage system and I read several articles on it,but I am not satisfied.Yours article is very clear and brief narration on it.thank you for furnishing good information on hindu marriage system.

suravajhala Srinivas on January 27, 2015:

I have not got into the details of authorship. Thanks for the suggestion, now I dwell into the background details and come up with those details in my next article

Bakulesh Thakker on January 27, 2015:

Are all mantras chanted written by single author? What is the history of its authorship? You should do a separate article on history and authorship aspects.

suravajhala on November 23, 2014:

What's the confusion is? Is she also loving you. There is no problem marrying her as far as relationship is concerned. You can marry her. It would be the relationship like Radha and Krishna. Carry on, if your parents and her parents accept it.

veer on November 22, 2014:

Hello sir..... Actually I fell in love with my mother's maternal uncle's daughter... Nd I want to marry with her but I am little confused that I will get acceptance or not....... Plz suggest me as quick as possible

suravajhala (author) on September 17, 2014:

As far as my knowledge goes right, there is no such restriction in Hindu culture. Take the example of Sitaramula Kalyanam, Sita (eldest daughter of Janaka) and Rama (eldest son of Dasaratha) they are married. So, I believe there is no such restriction.

rpriya on September 17, 2014:

in hindu culture why shuldnt the eldest boy in the family Nd the eldest girl in the family get married?????

suravajhala (author) on September 02, 2014:

1. Jeevathma and Paramathma said to rest in the heart of every human being. The two pendants ( two Mangalyas) symbolises Jeevathma and Paramatha and positioned on her heart.

2. As I already narrated in the article, two pendants( two mangalyas bride wears in her thali) are - one given by her father and the other by her in-laws. It symbolises her duties and responsibilities towards her parents and in-laws duly maintaining equilibrium between both the families.

suravajhala (author) on September 02, 2014:

1. Jeevathma and Paramathma said to rest in the heart of every human being. The two pendants ( two Mangalyas) symbolises Jeevathma and Paramatha and positioned on her heart.

2. As I already narrated in the article, two pendants( two mangalyas bride wears in her thali) are - one given by her father and the other by her in-laws. It symbolises her duties and responsibilities towards her parents and in-laws duly maintaining equilibrium between both the families.

dharshini on September 01, 2014:

It is really nice to read about meaning behind every procedures in marriage. I am happy that u passionately reply everyone. Can u kindly explain me the importance of pendant in thali?

Livelyf on August 29, 2014:

Sir it was nice to read the whole procedure..... I jus had a general doubt..... There one ritual of 'madilu thumbuva shastra for the bride in which dy give rice,copra,gram and jaggery and the same is to be received wid her Saree pallu..... What does dis signify.... Plz explain..... Thank u

SURAVAJHALA SRINIVAS on August 08, 2014:

Mr. No Offence, I have no knowledge what you say. But, use of word "Keep"is an offence.

nooffence7 on August 07, 2014:

This article does not explain the prayers and offerings made to the Dev(s) to liberate the bride from being their keep so that her husband can take her as a wife.

Srinivas Suravajhala on August 04, 2014:

First of all let me thank you for your interest in the traditions.

As far as the term Guru is concerned, the meaning of Guru is

"Gu" denotes the spiritual ignorance that most of humankind is in.

"Ru" represents the radiance of spiritual knowledge that dispels the spiritual ignorance.

In short, the Guru is the One who dispels the darkness of spiritual ignorance in humanity and bestows upon them spiritual experiences and spiritual knowledge.

A priest/preacher/ teacher are not GURUs. Guru is beyond these levels. As far as your contention of "Guru sent by lord brahma who will guide and help the couple in performing the marriage" is concerned, this all depends on our belief. Today's, priests are all commercial. We cant call them Gurus. As far the responsibilities of brahmin/priest, he has to be knowledgeable about the procedures and its inner meanings and preach the bride and the groom of the marriage procedures and its importance in the marital life.

hari on August 04, 2014:

What is the role of the priest in the whole process? I am told that he is the guru sent by lord bramha who will guide and help the couple in performing the marriage?

At the end he Also blesses the couple for long and happy married life.

Could you please throw some light on the responsibilities of Guru/brahmin.

Srinivas Suravajhala on August 02, 2014:

All the three (Jilakarra-bellam, Saptapadi or Mangalasutra) are important, but muhurtam is for "Jilakarra-bellam"and not for Mangalsutra as most of the people believe. But, Mangalastra dharana (tying knot) is considered marriage. Saptapadi is one of the processes of marriage.

Ga on August 02, 2014:

Hi I just saw an Indian wedding.. Which is the most important part of wedding is it jilkara-bellam or saptapadi or mangalsutra ?

sheetal on July 25, 2014:

hi, i wanted to ask if a boy and girl are elder in family than what months are good for them to get married. as i hav heard that they cannot marry in jet months as it is bad luck. please advice as im about to get married



Let me congratulate you the marriage (forthcoming).

We need not dwell for the scientific reason for not allowing a bride to enter her in-laws house before her marriage. The reason could be like this :

Bride groom will always be a guest to his in-laws house, but the case is different for bride. She leaves her parents house permanently after her marriage to settle with her in-laws.

Bridge groom as a guest can visit his in-laws house at any time, there are no customary restrictions.

We believe in auspicious timing (Muhurtam) to commence any work. Bride starts a new life after marriage with her husband, so she requires auspicious timing to enter into her new life. So, she cant just casually enter her in-laws house as and when she desires. We follow it as a custom. Thats it. I believe you convinced with this reasoning.

Maya1988 on July 24, 2014:


I am engaged presently and I was told that I am not allowed to enter my husbands home before wedding and I haven't been to his place even once and i am curious as to why is that rule just implemented for bride and not bride groom and also the origin of this custom which I feel isn't mandatory as my fiancé doesn't live in this country and I wouldn't be seeing him either..I want to the scientific or any kind of reason behind this. And that's a beautiful write up and it's good to know the rituals before wedding itself.


Srinivas Suravajhala on July 21, 2014:

Thank you Mr. Dsouza for the nice words

Suravajhala Sriunivas on June 13, 2014:

Yeah, I expect this kind of argument. You are trying to generalise a behaviour of less than 10% of creatures. Ofcourse, it is evident across the animal world, but because of some hormonal differences. Its not natural. Its not 6000 species, only 1500 species were recognised to have this kind of behaviour. A hormone that causes a behaviour different from the natural one. It has nothing to do with domination of any sex here. Rest is left with you, decide yourself.

Shilpi on June 13, 2014:

Living with same sex is u believe science?? Homosexuality is found in over 6000 species...homophobia in only one-human.. now you tell me which one is unnatural??

I am fine with you being a believer in each his own!! I respect you being believer in your own philosophy...But traditionally also ..have a look at khajuraho and kamasutra..they are our culture and tradition ...and they freely talk about sex and homosexuality ... they believe in our "natural" feelings and not necessarily social order ...coz for me social order deprive women from their rights.. naturally we all were born human.. and i would dream of an egalitarian society -which applies on one applies on all... the patriarcal tradations of society do not apply on men..and hence should be discarded . btw patrairchy is as harmful for men also... they do not let men b natural!!



Tradition is tradition, whether you approve it or not. Path breakers will tend to be there. Traditions for those believers and not for the path breakers. You may find your own way. Nobody is going to stop you. You also float a cult. Those who are interested will join you. Your cult can become a religion aftersome time, if it has that potentiality, who knows. I wish you all the best. But, I am follower of an established tradition, let me be like this. There is nothing against any sex in my write up. Living with same sex, its quite unnatural. I believe you being a well informed, don't you know this?

shilpi on June 11, 2014:

so agree to u smriti mukherjee...all the rituals the women r considered possesion to be given away from father to the vishnu tulya whr there is any praise of the women in verses ....only bundles of instructions for the patrilineage society ..i do agree that this must have been relevant bk then centuries ago....whn gendered roles wr prevalant..but now this sud break..all these rituals reinforces the inferior status of women... its a persons choice to adopt it sud b left to the individuals if they want to live in or live in wid the same sex person....u cnt show some1 down to glorify ur culture or tradations...btw fyi..i knw sanskit n hindi both...n hv a clear understanding of the rituals both logically n socially ..of all religions ..n i find all of them biased towards women .... i m sorry ..if this sounds rude...but whuever think they don't... r ignorant n sud hv a look at the opression due to marriage on women ...and in this era of so much information..ignoRancE is a CHOICE11

Monali Naidu on May 13, 2014:

Thnku so much :)

beautifully xplained evry minute detail of hindu marriage.

i got married last year n reli dint knw any of this thnks fr enlightin me :)

Jayesh Samal on May 12, 2014:

Sir I have one question .

what is the problem If a girl marry in even ages... is this creat any problem in married life

gade mohan on April 18, 2014:

Thank u sir, actually we don't know meaning of marriage sir i have a doubt

why purohits doing the (Uthara kalasham dakshana kalasham) give me meaning

suravajhala (author) on April 10, 2014:

Beliefs, Values, Cultures, and traditions are different from each other. You both are from different cultural back ground. It is difficult to mingle in different culture for any one. If you have the courage to come over those problems, traditions have no objections for your marriage. Further, nowhere in the above article, I discussed about caste. Castes may be different, all Hindus follow the same traditions. There may be slight differences in the process. So, nothing stops you from following the Hindu wedding tradition . Our believes with regard to caste system is so strong. Better, you both convince your parents first to overcome the future arising problems. All the best any way

suravajhala (author) on April 10, 2014:

Love has no barriers, you proved it once again. Congratulations. Similarly, Hinduism don't believe in any kind of barrier. You can marry him without any hesitation. For Hindu Marriage, Agni (the Fire God) is the witness. Law has no place here. Hindu Law applies only after the marriage. As far as parents of both bride and bridegroom - they may have their own perceptions, likes and dislikes. You need to win over their souls. As far as law is concerned, parents likes and dislikes have no place. So, you are free to marry the boy, you loved. All the very best.

May Thazin Oo on April 09, 2014:

Dear suravajhala,

Nice to meet you.I am Myanmar race.My religion is buddhist.I loved telugu boy.I aim to marry with him.But I have doubt in

his marriage laws.His religion is hindu.Hindu religion prohibit marriage other race and religion.That is real?I want to marry him.Then,I want to legal our marriage.I have one question.If i marry him,can be legal our marriage in hindu religion laws?Then,if our parents not agree our marriage,we can be legal in our marriage?I resquest u.Please answer my questions.My English is very poor.please understand me.



suravajhala (author) on April 03, 2014:

Thank you anchana for your interest in the traditions. Welcome please.

anchana on April 03, 2014:

Sir really its nice and useful to all the Hindus. Thank you for your kind information..

Suravajhala on March 12, 2014:

Yeah, you are correct Kanta

kanta on March 12, 2014:

Can couple not wait till after baby has been born and then perform hindu wedding ceremony? After all ceremonies are performed between couples where one or even both are not hindus, divorced and under taken pre marital intimate relations


Though there is no authentic information against offering something during pregnancy, people don't offer coconut or any fruit to the god/goddess even though they visit temples during such period. According to that inference, it may not be correct encircling around homam (agni) during the marriage ceremony with bride being pregnant.

soorikar on March 08, 2014:

Hi..i would just like to a situation where the man and woman ( hindus) are legally married by law, and the woman is currently pregnant with his child. The hindu wedding ceremony has been fixed for mid this year. My question is;

1) there is a quarter of people who say if you are pregnant,its a sin getting married in temple and that too you cannot walk around agni.

Is this true or false?please justify. Thank you.

SURAVAJHALA SRINIVAS on February 27, 2014:

Its all depends how we enthusiastic about a particular thing. I appreciate your interest. Thank you

Rita on February 26, 2014:

I have lots of admiration for hindu tradition. Many people are unaware that most modern day customs and even sayings come from hindu tradition esp marriage. Such as 'giving the brides hand away' kanyadhan and 'tieing the knot'. The hindu ceremony is so symbolic and we can all relate to it. The symbolism in it makes couples realise the promises they are making to each other. When i go to a hindu wedding. I enjoy hearing the Pandit go through theexplainations of the ceremony it makes one go away reflecting more about the meaning of life.

SURAVAJHALA SRINIVAS on February 26, 2014:

Rita ... thanks for the interest shown in Hindu traditions.

Rita on February 26, 2014:

Sorry. I read your comment and was confused with your message regarding doing things against tradition and society. Which i totally can understand. I just feel wanting to make promises to your husband and wife and the relationship should be considered honourable. Thank you for your insight. It helps to understand from someone with better understanding of such matters.

SURAVAJHALA SRINIVAS on February 26, 2014:

Rita please read my words again "no one stops you from celebrating your marriage according to Hindu marriage traditions, irrespective of your status".

Rita on February 26, 2014:

I am just making sense of the traditions behind hindu marriage as as far i can understand and from reading your literature above and comments. Hindu marriage is about the commitments and promises towards each. There are many couples both interracial and hindu and non practising hindu who live together and have intimate relations and then marry according tp hindu tradition. Some women even fall pregnant out of wedlock and abort to suit society. I totally agree and accept thst children should be born within marriage and this is the best way. However if we all judged couples this way then majority of couples in that respect should not be marrying according to religious tradition. By wanting to make promises according to religious tradition to move forward in amore respectful way despite making a mistake of falling pregnant out of wedlock has got to be better than not wanting those promises.

Rita on February 26, 2014:

Thank you. So are you saying we can not have hindu marriage ceremony now? Though we were legally married before our child was born?

SURAVAJHALA SRINIVAS on February 25, 2014:

Madam Rita ..... no one stops you from celebrating your marriage according to Hindu marriage traditions, irrespective of your status. However, lived together, had a child with the male partner is against the established norms of civilized society. When you don't care the society around, you don't need the marriage celebration itself. Celebrating marriage in the midst of near and dear, family members, friends etc. is to get legitimacy to the relationship of the couple.... the society approves your relationship. This is what we call the tradition. Doing against the norms of society and trying for approval of the society is not correct I believe.

rita on February 24, 2014:

Hello, My husband and I are married but only legally. As I fell pregnant before marriage. I wholey do not feel married without hindu marriage ceremony. Are we now not allowed to have religious wedding because we have a child already. We were told this from someone who is a divorcee (first marriage both civil and sikh wedding) with child and married second time with civil wedding and then hindu wedding.

roopa on February 22, 2014:

i fist liked our sanskrati after like good friend fatfulee.after your like work but not shear other ok .i hop u understand i like hear hindu sanskrati

suravajhala (author) on January 23, 2014:

Why not? but, the legitimacy of the child would pose problems. Its more or less promising each other in the presence of Fire God. We cant fake the god.

val on January 23, 2014:

if a female had a child before marriage to someone other than the intended groom, is she allowed to still walk around the sacred fire?

suravajhala (author) on December 17, 2013:

Branding someone as you like is not correct. Don't be judgemental. It seems you are trying to generalise the issue from your position. I cant comment on it. It also seems that you are conveniently forgetting the fate of the children of these living together couple. If this illegitimacy goes on for generations, ramifications on the Indian society also to be spelled. We are living in civilised society, as long as the society disproves a particular act, we call it as illegal. If these illegitimate people over power the society, it become dominant culture of that society. I am talking the issue from that angle. Can you say no to my perception?

smriti mukherjee on December 17, 2013:

it's good that you are such a devout Hindu, but you are a Hindu fanatic also. there is no harm in living together until and unless one breaks other's heart. and the reason of gay and homo live-together ban is not at all religious, but very much scientific. if all the girls and boys end up loving someone from the same sex, it will eventually kill the future ggenerations. but, inspite of all these odds, if a human being prefers to stay with someone of her/his likes, he/she should not be forced too do otherwise until it hurts others.

suravajhala (author) on December 15, 2013:

Mr. Prabhu thank you very much for a patient reading and your comments.

Miss Clara, I appreciate your interest in understanding the traditions of Hindu marriage. India is a very vast country with huge diversity of cultures from region to region. However, the tradition as I described above for Hindu marriage is more or less the same but with small changes suiting to their own culture of the region. Every other ceremony will have its own procedure.

suravajhala (author) on December 15, 2013:

Mr. Prabhu thank you very much for a patient reading and your comments.

Miss Clara, I appreciate your interest in understanding the traditions of Hindu marriage. India is a very vast country with huge diversity of cultures from region to region. However, the tradition as I described above for Hindu marriage is more or less the same but with small changes suiting to their own culture of the region. Every other ceremony will have its own procedure.

NoName on December 15, 2013:

Nice website

Clara on December 15, 2013:

I would like to thank you for this account of Hindu marriages. I found it very interesting and informative. I would also like to ask are the rituals in the Hindu ceremony you described essential for every ceremony or specific only to some regions of India?

prabhu on December 14, 2013:

very nicely summed up...Thanks for the article

SURAVAJHALA SRINIVAS on November 07, 2013:

Oh. Great things happening here. I used to answer the queries asked. Sometimes I am unable to respond to queries due to preoccupation. I am sorry for it. However, the responsibility is now being shared by other friends here. I am happy with this trend. I thank Mr. Anantharaman for his authenticated answer and I also thank Mr. Sidharth for his response. Thank you all.

ANANTRAMAN S on November 06, 2013:

I have here a note culled out from the writings of HH Swami Dayananda Saraswathi of Arsha Vidya Gurukulam, Anaikatti, Coimbatore:

Meaning of Saptapadi:

Marriage is an institution that we need, an institution where an individual completely bares himself or herself. It is a fusion of two egos. In fact, at the end of the Vedic marriage rituals, there are a few lines that read like a modern love story. Hridayam té dadami. I give you my heart. Tava Chittam Anuchittam Bhavatu, may our thoughts be in harmony. Both the partners have to enunciate these lines; otherwise one remains a noun while the other is reduced to an adjective. To make the other a non-entity is not a marriage.

Marriage between two individuals is a pilgrimage towards a common goal. Every human being is a pilgrim, really speaking. If you have a sacred goal you are a pilgrim. At the end of the pilgrimage is the goal, Moksha - a very profound word. It is really our own self growth, self discovery. Therefore in marriage Moksha is the goal, with two pilgrims meaningfully coming together. This is symbolized by the seven steps, Saptapadi:

¨ First step for prosperity

¨ Second step for progeny

¨ Third one for health

¨ Fourth and fifth, one step each for the health of both sets of parents

¨ Sixth step for friendship and

¨ Seventh step for Dharma.

The marriage is solemnized with this Saptapadi.

The Saptapadi (Sanskrit for seven steps/feet) or the saat phéras is perhaps the most important component of Vedic Hindu weddings. The couple circumambulates the Agni (Holy Fire) seven times, which is considered a witness to the vows they make each other. In some regions, sashes worn by the bride and groom are tied together for this ceremony. Elsewhere, the groom holds the bride’s right hand in his own right hand.

Each circumambulation of the consecrated fire is led by either the bride or the groom, varying by community and region. Usually, the bride leads the groom in the first circumambulation. In North India, the first six circumambulations are led by the bride, and the final one by the groom. In Central India, the bride leads the first three or four circumambulations. With each circumambulation, the couple makes a specific vow to establish some aspect of a happy relationship and household for each other.

1. To provide for food always.

2. To give you excellent health and energy.

3. To live in accordance with Vedas, during your life time.

4. To give you happiness in life.

5. To make your cows and good animals grow in strength and in numbers.

6. To make all the seasons beneficial to you.

7. To make the homas (sacrifices to be done in Holy Fire) to be performed by you in your life as ordained in Vedas, successful and free from hindrances.

A joint vow is usually made at the end of the seven steps, which varies by region. A typical vow is:

After crossing seven steps with me thus, you should become my friend. I too have become your friend now. I will never discard this friendship and you should also not do that. Let us be together always. Let us resolve to do things in life in the same manner and tread the same path. Let us lead a life by liking and loving each other, having good hearts and thoughts, and enjoying the food and our strong points together. Let us have undivided opinions. We will perform the vrathas united. Let us have same and joint desires. I will be Sama (one of the vedas); you will be Rig (another Veda). Let me be the Heaven; you be the Earth. Let me be the Shukla (Moon) and you be its wearer. Let me be the mind and you its spokesman (Vak). With these qualities, you be my follower. You the sweet tongued, come to me to get good children and wealth.

In North Indian weddings, the bride and the groom say the following words after completing the seven steps:

“We have taken the Seven Steps. You have become mine forever. Yes, we have become partners. I have become yours. Hereafter, I cannot live without you. Do not live without me. Let us share the joys. We are word and meaning, united. You are thought and I am sound. May the night be honey-sweet for us. May the morning be honey-sweet for us. May the earth be honey-sweet for us. May the heavens be honey-sweet for us. May the plants be honey-sweet for us. May the sun be all honey for us. May the cows yield us honey-sweet milk. As the heavens are stable, as the earth is stable, as the mountains are stable, as the whole universe is stable, so may our unions be permanently settled.”

(Portions culled from Dicovering Love To Successful Living by Param Pujya Swami Dayananda Saraswati)

siddharth on November 03, 2013:

dear raghav,its important to bring spirituality in life,sanatana dharma(hinduism) has all answers,learn and practice meditation,study and explore further,this is kalyug when we are living but those who are intelligent and smart can live happily

raghav on October 26, 2013:

Dear Sir, Plz don't consider as a "FALSE", now even though "COUPLE" know/don't know thing about the "MEANING" of "MARRIAGE" , then why the "DIVORCE" are increasing in "COURT'S", it's just bcz the "ULTIMATE GOAL OF MARRIAGE IS SEX", it may be from"both" sides,another reason is "MONEY,PROPERTY" .now days we read daily that "WOMEN HAS EQUAL SHARE IN HUSBAND as WELL AS FROM FATHER PROPERTY" this has lead to "MASSIVE " breakup of "couples", then what's meaning if they get "MARRIED " r NOT, why there is lot of "SPENDING SO MUCH OF MONEY, FOOD" ?is this just a "SHOW", better to b "ALONE" . Instead to give a show .

vikram on September 19, 2013:

i want to tell one thing. Today hindu couple are not very happy though they follow every rituals. as a brahman i think there is misunderstanding in rituals.

can you find how saptapadis are taken, boy is ahead or girl ahead in saptpadis. i don't believe 1900 and after books, they are worse translations of our true treasuers.

k on September 19, 2013:


Saurav Shivpuje from Nanded on August 31, 2013:

Thanks for the information.

(My english is not good, so please understand).

Does it (hindu tradition) allowes intercast marriages?means do not restrict over the religion of either boy or girl.? Does in this traditions, ther is a step of asking permissions to marrying individuals that do they agree or not over this marriage?

Saurav Shivpuje from Nanded on August 31, 2013:

Thanks for the information.

(My english is not good, so please understand).

Does it (hindu tradition) allowes intercast marriages?means do not restrict over the religion of either boy or girl.? Does in this traditions, ther is a step of asking permissions to marrying individuals that do they agree or not over this marriage?

Suravajhala Sriunivas on June 14, 2013:

Oh. Thank you very much for the nice comments. I feel elated when the younger generation is patiently reading about the traditions and their background. I request you to take pains to refer this hub among your friend circle and disseminate this information in the interest of the promotion of our traditions.

Muni on June 12, 2013:

thank you for the post sir.... I got married 3 yrs back..I asked the priest during ceremony regarding some of the mantras... the priest was impatient after explaining a couple of them... I wish I had come across this post before marriage but it still feels good looking back at those moments.... Sadly, marriage now-a-days practically is about prestige,costumes and photographers hungama

neeraj on April 13, 2013:

good and elaborative insight about the customs. i would like to know about the role of mama (maternal uncle) in the marriage and why some rituals are only performed by him.

MarupakaGanapathi Rao on April 11, 2013:

Excellent explanation about the traditional customs in marital status.

suravajhala (author) on March 08, 2013:

Yes Mr. Sarvesh.

`sarvesh somani on February 01, 2013:

Really, the reason for each n every action has a meaning to it. but , these day hardly any body listen to the,/...sad

suravajhala (author) on January 16, 2013:

Thank you Mr. Shravan for a patient reading. With regard to your query on coincidence of wave lengths, the esoteric aperture which remain closed , gets opened when the paste is placed on the top of this esoteric aperture and positive energy enters through the hole (because of the chemical reaction), it travels through Sahasrara Chakra reaches the Ajna Chakra and energizes it(centre of spiritual energy- placed between the two eyebrows otherwise called Bhrumadhya or Bhrukuti). Its not just belief its a chemical reaction.

One thing is for sure, if your not mentally prepared to receive the positive energy you are not likely to get the result as expected as is happens in hypnotherapy. This is one side of argument.

The otherside of the coin is that you should appreciate the fact that the marriage is full of compromises. The person who could able to understand the reality can enjoy the married life. Both of the partners are equally responsible for any disaster in their relationship.

The first two years after marriage is a big testing period, if you could successfully cross over, the possibility of parting away is remote.

shravan on January 16, 2013:


very good information...i was looking for jeelakara bellam and its importance .It was very good to learn new things

I have one Question

in the section of Why the cumin seeds and jaggery past:

The bride and groom when looks at each others Bhrukuti (when the veil removed/put down,) their brain wave lengths meet. When the wave lengths of two persons coincide, they think alike and there is no chance of contradictions.

how can some one say the wave lengths of two persons coincide and what do you mean wave lengths coincide.if it is not coincide then what to do ,if that is the case he has to search for partner where wavelength coincides or what.???

suravajhala (author) on January 15, 2013:

Thank you very much for the kind words Mr. Joshi.

zubinjoshi on January 12, 2013:

I was searching for a good informative article on marriage. Always there was a question in me.. "Why Marriage" . I am appreciating u a lot for giving so nice information.. this is really amazing.. Very sad part is that all we don't know the Chants.. and highly getting diluted by these materialistic demands.. the whole process here is to grow onself physically, mentally and spiritually.. Great.. Thank you so much !!

Zubin on January 12, 2013:

I was searching for a good informative article on marriage. Always there was a question in me.. "Why Marriage" . I am appreciating u a lot for giving so nice information.. this is really amazing.. Very sad part is that all we don't know the Chants.. and highly getting diluted by these materialistic demands.. the whole process here is to grow onself physically, mentally and spiritually.. Great.. Thank you so much !!

SURAVAJHALA SRINIVAS on December 26, 2012:

Thank you very much for your kind words Mr. Subramanyam sir. Thank you for a patient reading and taking pains to leave your comments.

yssubramanyam from india, nellore. andhrapradesh on December 26, 2012:

i love your articulation. it is an eye opener to youth, the technicality is well knitted with science. good hub.


Mr. Venkatesh thank you very much for your interest in upholding the Hindu traditions. Thanks for your kind words/comments. There said to be the tradition of tying each other thali by both bride and the groom. In the male dominated world today, this tradition might have vanished. In my description, I have already discussed about "thali" under the caption "Mangala Sutradhrana"

VENKATESH on June 15, 2012:

SIR ,I am in search of the concept behind "THALI/MAGALLIUM".DO YOU HAVE ANY explanation for this and in some web site it said that METI is actually for men and THALI is for girls .Is it true .

VENKATESH on June 15, 2012:


SubbuNiru on May 29, 2012:


Last month only I got married and I know meaning for few mantras and just to know more about the meaning of mantras ,responsibilities I was browsing and came across this wonderful site...Nice and clear explanation...Thank You So Much

Niranjan Subbalakshmi


Thank you Dr. Sir for the patient reading of the article and for your kind comments.

Dr.M.Vishwaksen on May 14, 2012:

Thank you for your brief but informative article about hindu marriage.I really appreciate your interest in Indian culture and most for your effort to spread the awareness in common public about of Marriage -a sacred custom keeping the society in a right path,a basic foundation of Indian culture.May you enjoy great fruit of happiness for this.

Dharmo Rakshati Rakshitah

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