Reviews of Arya Samaj Wedding

Published: 03rd October 2011
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An Arya Samaj Wedding is conducted by the Arya Samaj, founded by Swami Dayanand Saraswathi in any of its temple. The marriage in Arya Samaj wedding is performed as per Vedic rites and thus does not require any flamboyance. In fact, simplicity is the main essence of Arya Samaj wedding. Though the Arya Samaj wedding is meant only for Hindus, any non-Hindu can also be allowed to undergo the marriage rituals if he undergoes the process of conversion through Shuddhi i.e. Purification.The Arya Samaj Weddings follow the teachings of Swami Dayanand Saraswati who is the founder of Arya Samaj. The wedding is held keeping in mind the teachings of the ancient Vedas of Hindu culture. Thus, the Arya Samaj Weddings happen only within the Hindu community. A typical Arya Samaj wedding is quite a modest one and is not characterized by extravagant ceremonies. In this type of a marriage, no particular god is worshipped but rather there is the ‘Pooja’ of the elements like fire, water and others. An Arya Samaj wedding is in accordance with the Arya Marriage Validation Act XIX of 1937. The priests complete the ritual and interpret the meanings of the Vedic chants to the couple so that they are enlightened with the importance of wedding and also about living together for the lifetime.
A unique feature of this wedding is that the meaning of the Vedic mantras/hymns, chanted during the process, is explained to the couple so that the importance of the hymns is not wasted. Any one from any religion can opt for an Arya Samaj wedding and the pre and the post-wedding rituals are performed on the regional and cultural basis of the couples. The Arya Samajis give utmost priority to "Agni"/fire worship in their weddings and the rituals are performed with "Agni"/fire as the main witness. The weddings emphasize the change of the couple from "Brahmacharya ashram", the state of celibacy to Grihastrashram", the life of married people. Pre-wedding rituals include a music session held at the bride’s house a few days prior to the wedding.Some unique rituals are performed in the India Arya Samaj Weddings. Rituals like Madhuparka, Shilarohan, Parikrama, Pani Grahan, and others are to be observed in the Arya Samaj Weddings in India. In the Madhuparka ritual, the bride offers the groom water three times and then the groom takes the Madhuparka, which is made of curds, cream, and honey. After offering the mixture to the almighty, the groom eats the concoction. In the Panigrahan ritual, the groom holds the hands of his bride and recites mantras and promises to stay by her side in all circumstances.
The highlights of the Indian Arya Samaj Weddings are many but the most important of all is the simplicity followed in this wedding. Unlike other types of weddings, this wedding is not lavish with regards to the decoration and other ceremonies. The viewing of the Polestar or the Dhruvnakshatra by the couple instills in them the ability to always stay together like the star, which remains constant in the sky. The other important rituals are "Suryadarshan’-worship of sun by the couple, "Hriday Sparsh"-touching each other’s heart, an indication to be tender and kind with one another, "Sindoor Daan"-applying "kumkum"/vermilion along the parting of the bride’s hair by her husband three times and "Dhruv Darshan"-viewing the star "Dhruv"/The Pole Star, known for its constancy, by the couple and the Great Bear Constellation, made up of two stars-"Arundhati" and "Vasisht", never separated from each other.

The Arya Samaj wedding ceremony is performed with the fire and other elements as the witnesses since they don’t believe in idol worshipping. In an Arya Samaj wedding, the mantras, which are chanted, are translated into a language that the couple can understand so that the couple can relate themselves to the meaning and significance of the wedding mantras.

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