Mangal Phere; circling the sacred fire
The sacred fire at an Indian wedding will require the bride and groom to circle it seven times. They also must always keep in mind the four aspirations of life: Dharma, Artha, Karma and Maksha. The bride leads the first three Phere before interchanging to allow the groom to complete the remaining four.
Checkout Indian Wedding Part 1 as this now completes the series!
The mangalsutra is placed around the bride’s neck and shows the groom’s pledge towards protecting the bride.
Some Indian marriages only have four rounds were the bride lead three and the groom leads on the last round. The bride’s oldest brother places rice in her hands after the pheres have been completed. This signifies his pledge to support and protect her.
Saptapadi: Seven Sacred Steps
The couple will then move one to take seven sacred steps after the phere with each step signifying a sacred vow
1. To live with respect for each other
2. To develop mental, Physical and a spiritual balance
3. To prosper, acquire and share all accomplishments
4. To acquire and maintain happiness, harmony and knowledge through mutual love
5. To raise strong and victorious children
6. To be faithful to each other and exercise self restraint and longevity
7. To remain life long partners and achieve salvation for eternity.
After the Indian wedding Phere and Saptapadi the couple returns to the seating area. The bride will move to sit on the groom’s left side taking the closest position to his heart. The mangalsutra is placed around the bride’s neck and shows the groom’s pledge towards protecting the bride. He will go ahead to apply sindoor “red vermillion powder” on her forehead’s hairline. These two offerings will go ahead to signify a woman’s married status and the groom’s devotion to the bride. Rings are also exchanged at this time during an Indian marriage.
Aashiryaad: blessing after the Indian wedding
Women from both families whisper blessings in the bride’s ears and the couple move on to bow down to the priest, parents and elder relatives. They are also offered blessings during the bow. The guests go ahead to shower the new couple with flowers and rice, wishing them a long and happy marriage.