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Speaking of Indian weddings, the image we get in our heads is a pompous, fat and a big ceremony. Well, the words clearly define them. But one process that is of the most significant is, ‘Saptapadi’ or Saat Pheras or Seven Steps.
Origin of Saptapadi:
In Hindu marriages, we get the essence of the rich Indian culture. Hence, it is very important to keep this tradition going. In this ritual, the bride and groom’s sari, and scarf are tied together and they go around the sacred fire.
Of the total seven rounds, four are lead by the groom while the remaining is lead by the bride. The marriage is successfully completed only once these seven rounds have been taken. ‘Agni’ or sacred fire in the middle symbolizes the catalyst that helps in solidifying the newly made union.
The seven rounds with seven vows mean the following –
The first round is lead by the bride. This vow is taken for seeking divine blessings from the Lord in the form of nourishing, pure, healthy food, a noble and respectful life.
The groom makes a promise that he will provide happiness and welfare to his family while the bride promises that she will nurture and support her husband while shouldering all the responsibilities happily and equally.
The second round is a plea made to the Lord asking Him to bless them and help them have good physical, mental, and spiritual well-being.
The groom promises to provide security and protect his wife and children through thick and thin while the bride promises to be her husband’s strength and asks for his undivided eternal love and attention.
The third round containing the third vow is to seek prosperity and wealth so that the couple can lead a contented and happy life.
They promise together to raise their children properly and educate them. This phera or round also contains the assurance by both the couples to each other to stay loyal for the rest of their lives.
During the fourth step, the groom has to thank the bride who brought a lot of happiness and sacredness in his life. The bride takes an oath that she will support her husband and serve him as much as she can. The two people involved later promise that they will take good care of all the elder people in their family in order to keep their marriage intact.
In this round, both the bride and the groom take blessings in order to attain a lot of progress in their married life. The two also pray to the gods so that they can have healthy children. Along with all this, the two even pray for the betterment of all living things. They again take an oath to take care of their children and be good parents. During this round, the two switch positions and the groom who leads.
In the sixth round, both the partners pray to the gods for a healthy life free of any diseases. The boy in this round wishes for his wife to bring a lot of happiness and peace in his life. On the other hand, the girl has to promise her husband to support him in all his noble and right acts.
This particular vow mainly revolves around love and friendship. This is the very last vow, during which both the partners wish for a long relationship with one another. They wish for their relationship to be full of love, loyalty, and a lot of understanding. They promise to stay friends forever and support one another in all the ups and downs of life.
These are some of the common vows which are taken by both, the bride and the groom at the time of there wedding. These vows might differ according to religion but hold the same meaning.
The vows make the marriage between two people a spiritual affair which is very pure. They tie two people in a sacred and ever-lasting bond full of love and friendship. The vows make the Indian marriages so special not only for the bride and groom but also for their families.