Procedure of Arya Samaj Marriage

Published: 20th January 2012
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Maharishi Dayanand Saraswati found the renowned Arya Samaj in 1875 at Bombay, India. It was founded with the sole purpose of taking the Hindu Dharma away from all its ambiguities and go back to the teachings of Vedas. Arya Samaj is based on the basic principle of the eternal truths propounded in the ageless Vedas. It works with the singular aim and that is of "Krinvanto Vishvam Aryam" - Make this world noble.Arya Samaj has this unique feature of having anyone from any religion getting married in its rites. The ceremonies prior and after wedding vary with the religions the boy or the girl hail from. The actual marriage ceremony is simple with a series of prayers and Havan. The wedding is carried out according to Arya Marriage Validation Act XIX of 1937. As Arya Samaj doesn't believe in idolatry, no particular deity is worshipped. Vedas feature the Nirguna Brahman as the de facto God. So, just the fire and other elements become witnesses to the ceremony. The brother of the bride puts her foot on a 'Shila' or the grinding stone. This is a rite exclusive to the Arya Samaj wedding and is called “Shilarohan.”

Procedure of Rituals before Marriage:

Shuddhi - Shuddhi is an exceptional ritual, wherein the couple if hailing from a non-Hindu background, has to get converted into Hindus. Shuddhi means purification. This is mandatory as the founder of the religion, Maharishi Dayanand Saraswati believed only in Hinduism as the original authentic religion. The other religion was thought to arise from conversions.

Mehendi - Mehendi ceremony has the girl being applied henna in designs in her hands. All other ladies also have the mehendi in their hands. Mehendi is associated with the married image of Indian girl. These days, it has become fashionable to have mehendi in different colors and as weird way as it can be. So, you can often come across mehendi with body glitters and shimmering powder.

Brahmbhoj - Brahmbhoj is a unique ritual of Arya Samaj wedding that has sixteen Brahmins being invited for a traditional lunch. The basic idea is to get their blessings. In the caste system, Brahmins are supposed to be the uppermost caste and associated with the performance of all the Vedic rituals. It is always considered good to get their blessings in such ceremonies as those marriages and the thread ceremony.

Phoolon Kaa Gehna - Phoolon Kaa Gehna is an amazing ceremony which is embellished with the fragrance, beauty and innocence of flowers. The girl has to adorn herself with jewellery of flowers. It is not an indispensable feature of the Arya Samaj marriage and not everybody follows this ritual.

Choodha and Nath Ceremony - This ceremony would have the girl putting on twenty one ivory red bangles. The number twenty one is regarded to be auspicious and red is the bridal color. Nath is a conventional nose ring, gifted to her by her maternal uncle, in preparation to her new life she is about solemnize.

Marriage Rituals:

Varmala ki kriya - Vramala ki Kriya is nothing else than the bride and the groom exchanging flower garlands as per the Indian custom and to demonstrate the public acceptance of each other.

Swagat Vidhi - Swagat Vidhi as the name suggests encompasses the welcome ritual. In this the groom is offered sacred water by his bride to wash his feet. Hindu marriage sees the groom in the image of god. There are several annotations to it. One is that a man and a woman when getting married are likened to the Shiv and Parvati. Shiv is the eternal purusha (soul) and Parvati, the reverent goddess is the prakriti (nature). Like Parvati had done penance to get Shiv and had worshipped him. Similarly, the bride (in Arya Samaj marriage) looks upon her husband and washes his feet.

Madhupark se Satkaar- Madhupark se Satkaar is a part of the aforesaid ritual. It has the bride offering a mixture of curd, gee and honey to the groom. Curd, ghee and honey, all are considered to be good for one's health. Besides, these edibles are believed to be auspicious and impart good effects to whatsoever associated with it.

Thread Ceremony - Thread ceremony is very common among Hindus. It is a rite where the groom is made to wear a sacred thread. The initiation ceremony of a boy from one of the top three varnas (classes) into the first of the traditional stages of life of the twice born Hindu.

Godan - Godan is a very common ritual where a calf is given away as alms to a Brahmin. Godan is regarded as a matter of gaining great return for your deed. It is one of the most sacred rites of the Hindus.

Vishesh Havana - Vishesh Havana is a special yagna (fire sacrifice) performed by the priest as per the Arya Samaj rites. Yagna is a must in majority of the Hindu marriages. The fire lit in yagna is in actuality the Agni god who as a god and matter is meant to purify the couple and be an witness to the sacred ceremony of marriage. Fire is the purest of all elements of nature; hence a vow taken in front of the fire is always regarded as very strong and unbreakable.

Pratigya Mantra - Pratigya Mantra is a a ritual solemnizing the marriage. The husband makes six marital vows holding his wife's hands. These vows make the marriage strong and sacred.

Parikarma - The couple take four rounds of the fire one for each four ashrams in the Vedic age. Rounds around fire are also an fundamental part of Hindu marriage. In fact, it is the most important feature after sindoor or mangalsutra.

Sindoor Daan - Arya Samaj incorporates the sindoor daan ceremony. It is a very common ritual wherein the groom applies sindoor or vermillion on the wife's hair parting by her husband.

Rituals after Marriage:

Dhruv Darshan - Dhruv Darshan is an age-old custom, wherein a newly married couple has to look at the dhruv star once their marriage is completed. They do so as a means to gain direction (symbolic) from the star as they embark upon journey of newly married life.

Suryanamaskar - Suryanamaskar is an indigenous rite, in which people pray to the Sun with folded hands. Sun is the source of all living creation on earth. Hence, he is also regarded as god. The newly married couples pray for good health and prosperity for their conjugal life.

Arya Samaj Marriage which was started by 'Dayanand Saraswati' in the year 1875 is governed by people known as 'Arya'.The marriage is based on the concept of Vedas, which is considered as the poetry of eternity in meta language.Arya Samaj Marriage is performed by Aryas,who are considered to be people, working for the betterment of society on the basis of truth. Any couple from Hindu religion (Sikh, Jain, and Buddhist) can get married according to Arya Samaj foundation.Arya Samaj Marriage is based on the concept that the amount of money spent on marriages, can be used for other better purpose for the upliftment of the society, so in this type of marriage, there is no ceremony and pooja as they don't believe in idol worship.

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