Arya Samaj Marriage Procedure in Delhi
The Rituals for the Bride and Groom:
The wedding ceremony begins in an Arya Samaj wedding hall with the bride and groom exchanging garlands. The bride garlands the groom first. She hands him a pitcher of water. He washes his feet, then his hands, and finally, his face. ‘This is the way a good wife must welcome her husband,’ is the message that this ceremony conveys. Now the bride must put a mixture of curd, ghee and honey into the cupped palms of the groom. He scatters the mixture in all directions and consumes what remains. This ritual is called madhupark se satkaar. The combination of curd, honey and ghee is a known ayurvedic cure for indigestion and any other imbalances in the body. The rite indicates the commitment of the couple – the wife’s to feed and nurture her family, and the husband’s to provide for his family without harming Mother Nature.
Thread Ceremony and Yagnya:
The groom wears a sacred thread. The yagnya begins. It symbolizes worshiping an element of nature fire. At the end of the yagnya, alms are given away.
Kanya Daan literally means ‘giving away the girl.’ The parents of the bride must give their daughter away to her new family. The priest recites mantras from the Vedas which are repeated by the couple as they hold hands. They seek the blessings of those present so that their love for each other may grow strong. At the end of this ceremony, the couple go around the sacred fire.
The groom holds the bride’s hand and together, they take their wedding vows The couple walk around the fire at the end of this ceremony.
The brother of the bride places her foot on a stone, while the groom recites mantras. The significance of this ceremony is to convey the brother’s blessings to the couple, especially the bride. He expresses the wish that their marriage be as firm and steady as the rock on which he has placed his sister’s foot. By touching her foot, he conveys that the bride is now responsible for upholding the honour of her family. He offers his sister puffed rice to assure her that, after her wedding, she would always have plenty to take back following every visit to her parents’ home. Another significance of giving her the rice husk is to tell her that she has been brought up by her parents and like the rice husk must now be replanted in another home in order to blossom and mature.
The couple go around the sacred fire four times during this ceremony. The bride prays for the health of her husband and for a healthy, happy marital relationship with him. The groom makes a promise towards the end of the ceremony. He promises to be reverential and respectful towards all women.
The ends of bride’s saree and the groom’s shawl are tied together. The saptapadi-kriya or seven steps taken by the couple signify their seven needs: nourishment, strength, wealth obtained through honest means, good health, progeny, good luck and a loving relationship. At the end of this ceremony, the older members of the family sprinkle water on the couple. This is their way of advising them to be calm and good-tempered at all times.
The couple worship another element of nature – the sun – during this ceremony
The couple touch each other’s hearts and promise to be tender-hearted and gentle with each other.
The groom fills the parting on the bride’s head with sindoor or vermilion. He does this thrice. This ritual done, all present must bless the newlyweds.
The newly-weds view the Dhruv or the Pole Star. The Pole Star is important as it symbolizes constancy – a virtue that’s important in every marriage. They also view two stars of the Great Bear constellation – Arundhati and Vasisth. These stars, never viewed separately, symbolize togetherness.
The reception is usually held at a banquet hall or in the wedding hall itself. It is an occasion for blessing the couple and sharing a meal with them.