Wedding is a promise made between two hearts to share anything and everything till the end of their life. Hindu weddings have specialized rituals and customs for taking vows. Generally in Hindu weddings both the bride and the groom make the seven vows and this ritual is referred to as Saptapadi/pheras. The count of the vows differs according to the place where you come from. The count of the vows starts from three and goes till seven.
Saptapadi/ Pheras – In this ritual the bride and groom hold each others hand and takes seven rounds around the agni (sacred fire) and thus they pledge seven vows for the seven rounds. In the first three pheras, the bride leads the groom while walking around the agni and in the rest pheras, the groom leads the bride. The vows are usually recited by the Priest in the Sanskrit language and later the couple repeats them as such. Understanding the vows before making them will give us a clear picture of what we are doing and also will add more value to the ritual. So lets get to know about the seven vows and their meaning now.
In the first vow, the bride and the groom pledge that they will take care of all the household responsibilities and will run a prosperous and happy family. If there is anything or anyone against the good will of their family, they will make sure to avoid it or them.
The second vow is meant for togetherness and unity. The bride and groom promises to share their happiness and love to develop a healthy relationship. They pledge to nourish the strength, power and health of each other.
The third vow is made for wealth and prosperity, where the groom prays the God to bless him with a good wealth for leading a meticulous materialistic life and for providing good lifestyle and education for their children.
In the fourth vow, the groom thanks the bride for being a part of his life in both the good and the bad times. Both the groom and bride pray god to be blessed with healthy and obedient children.
In the fifth vow, the couple invokes the blessings of Goddess Lakshmi, to bless them with a prosperous and wealthy life.
In the sixth vow, the bride and the groom prays for self-control and peace of mind. The groom promises the bride in providing a peaceful and happy life.
In the final seventh vow, the couple pledges to develop an inseparable, intimate and happy relationship till their last breath. They promise to share the love, happiness, sorrow and struggle in their life.
These are the seven sacred vows which forms the most important aspect of a traditional Hindu wedding. The vows are recited in Sanskrit, which is considered as the most traditional and sacred language. Thus the bride and groom make their wedding promises in the presence of the God Agni