Exploring Roots of Hindu Wedding: A Vedic View

SanjaySaxenaBy Sanjay Saxena
A progressive and holistic ashram system, which is aligned with the human psycho-spiritual growth trajectory, informs us about the framework of a Hindu life. Accordingly, the grihastha-ashram is the core that supports, sustains and nurtures the other three ashrams of the four fold system (brahmacharya, grihastha, vanprastha and sanyaas). As per Acharya Shriram Sharma, a Rishi of the Vedic tradition, “the family is a vibrant laboratory for the practical training of harmonious-cooperative life.

The makeup of men’s and women’s psyche differ to a certain extent. Some specific traits/qualities appear to be predominant in men and some others in women. Thus specific strengths and weakness of men and women can be nurtured into mutually complimentary advantage. Such an advantage in the journey of married couple, could potentially result into the well-being of all.

According to Hindu dharma, the bride and groom enter into matrimony to realize their higher aspirations gradually leading up to the highest goal of self-realization. Wedding ceremony marks and celebrates their initiation and induction as a sadhak into the grihastha-ashram. Where, two incomplete individuals unite together aspiring to become a complete/whole by sharing/complimenting their inherent/dominant qualities with that of their spouse. They join together as the best friends for life and at this stage they begin together their married life of a householder.

After the wedding, the bride takes over the reigns of household as a grhini, a grih-swamini . These are the terms in sanskrit that allude to the key role of the wife and connote that she is the one who reigns over the household. The Rishi in RigVeda, inspires/blesses the bride to unleash such virtues that would make her reign like a queen over the husband’s heart and home, which includes all family members therein. As she is the pivot of the family.

The integration of deva-pujan in the wedding ceremony, upon which the relationship is founded, makes Hindu marriages particularly strong and sacred in nature. During wedding ceremony, mantras are used to invoke the encapsulated blessings and spiritual energies of deva-shaktis, rishis, acharyas, and our progenitors (poorvaja).

The Hindu society’s distinguishing core is it’s spirituality. Upon their extended research, the rishis have concluded that, the true peace and happiness of human race is grounded in spirituality. Thus they have infused spirituality into every aspect of a Hindu life. This spirituality is the core of married life too, as amplified by the subtle and intricate rites of wedding ceremony.

The goal of matrimony in Hindu-dharma, is to attain harmonious unification of two individual atmans and also the fusion of their individual personalities. This unity compliments the human sense of incompleteness on the journey to the experience of wholeness. The mantras used in vivaah-sanskaar infuse this purpose. Thus Vedic wedding ceremony is designed to be a very sublime, and extraordinarily rich reflection of Hindu-dharma’s profound socio-psychological and spiritual wisdom. This guides and informs the couples in every phase and every need of married life. The central idea of the ceremony is to create an environment and experience that has the potential to elevate the marriage from a mere social contract and transforms it into strong emotional-spiritual bonding that is rooted in dharma. It strengthens a bond of matrimony that lasts for whole life.

To succeed as a married couple, we have to consider ourselves in the role of a nurseryman or caretaker. Just like a nurseryman grows and takes care of the plants, so should we take care of our spouse and other members of the family.

In conclusion, the wedding ceremony builds up a foundation on which the couple can create an ideal and everlasting successful married life, provided they internalize its spirit and practice in everyday living.