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Hindu Marriage-Seven Promises

Hindu marriage is a ceremony between two people to have sacred relationship, which, bond them to remain together throughout their life. According to Hindu epics it is believed that this bond will remain for seven rebirths of the couple. On their marriage couple pledge to uphold this bond and carry all traditional family values in accordance with Hindu religion.

Hindu marriage has many rituals and customs which followed before and after wedding, making it an elaborate, colorful & memorable ceremony. Each ceremony has   its own meaning. However, the most important preformed on the day of the marriage itself. One such custom is solemnizing seven vows. These seven vows are the seven promises which the bride and the groom take for a happy and prosperous life. These seven promises help to keep the two going through all the ups and downs of life together.

They will get   bind together by a special bond protected by these promising words.

How are 7 pheras performed?

Auspicious Time (Subh Muhurata) for this ceremony is fix by  astrologer before marriage itself by referring  couple’s horoscope and the positions of the stars and planets.

During this subh muhurata, bride and groom along with their parents and relatives sit under the mandap or the sacred canopy for this ceremony.

Hindu priest (pandit) creates fire with ghee and wooden sticks, in order to evoke ‘Agni’ the fire god, which serves as the witness to the ritual of seven vows.

Priest then instruct the bride and groom to stand and walk around the fire seven times.

Bride and the groom pledge their commitment to each other for the lifetime by completing seven rounds (pheras) around the sacred fire of the Yajna Kunda(havankund).

In most of the Hindu weddings, the newly married couple takes seven pheras, with the exception of Gujaratis, and Sindhis, who take four pheras around the sacred fire. In the majority of the seven pheras, the groom leads the first four pheras & follows the bride during the last three pheras.

Meanings of the seven vows of marriage are as follows:-

First vow

The couple appeals to the almighty to shower blessings in the form of pure and nutritious food with a gracious and virtuous life. The groom pledges to provide support and happiness to his wife whereas the bride swears to accept all responsibilities for the welfare of the groom's entire family.

Second vow

The groom requests the bride to be his strength so that he can provide security and protect the family with courage. The bride agrees to abide by his request while demanding his eternal love and undivided attention.

Groom says:
You will provide me food and be helpful in every way. I will love you and provide support and happiness for you.

Bride says:
I am responsible for the home and all household responsibilities.

Third vow

The couple pleads for wisdom, wealth and prosperity in order to live a contented life. They promise to be spiritually committed to each other. The bride assures the groom that she will remain a faithful wife by the virtue of true love and affection.

Fourth vow

The groom thanks his prospective bride for bringing auspiciousness, happiness, and sacredness in his life. In return, the bride takes an oath to serve and please her husband in every possible way. Together, they also promise to take care and respect their elders in the family.

Groom says:
Together we will protect our family.

Bride says:
I will be by your side as your courage and strength. I will rejoice in your happiness. In return, you will love me alone.

Fifth vow          

The importance of the fifth vow is to pray for the welfare of all the living beings in this Universe. The couple also prays to almighty to bless each other's friends and family with happiness and well-being.

Groom says:
May we become wealthy and prosperous and strive for the education of our children. May our children live long.

Bride says:
I will love you solely for the rest of my life as my husband. Every other man in my life will be secondary. I swear to remain chaste.

Sixth vow

In the sixth vow, couple prays to God for their everlasting relationship. The groom wishes that his wife would fill his life with joy and peace; while the bride provides assurance that she would participate with her husband in all his noble and divine acts.

Seventh vow

This is the last vow at the verge of completion of the ceremony. Couple prays to God for joyful life and good understanding between them.  They take an oath to enrich their relationship with love and honesty and be together with each other forever not only in this birth , but also in other rebirths.

Groom says:
You have brought sacredness into my life and have completed me. May we be blessed with gentle and obedient children.

Bride says:
I will shower you with joy, from head to toe. I will attempt to please you in every way I can.

Groom says: You are my best friend, and staunchest well-wisher. You have come into my life, enriching it. God bless you.

Bride says:
I promise to love and cherish you for as long as I live. Your happiness is my happiness, and your sorrow is my sorrow. I will trust and honour you, and will strive to fulfill all your wishes.

Groom says:
May you be filled with joy and peace.

Bride says:
I will always be by your side.

Groom says:
We are now husband and wife. You are mine and I am yours for eternity.

Bride says:
As God is witness, I am now your wife. We will love, honor and cherish each other forever.

The bride sits usually right hand side of the groom before starting of pheres and shifts to the left side of the groom after completing last phera. This symbolizes that the bride is now closer to groom’s heart.

Even though different religions and cultures have their own unique set of vows and different ways to accomplish them, the basic meaning of all remains the same 'commitment', a vow of to get spiritually united as one. It is a way to ensure your partner that he/she is worthy of your love and willing to stay together till your lifetime.

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