Maharashtra’s wedding rituals follow old traditions that hold great importance for the auspicious beginning of a newlywed’s life. There are different sets of practices in both the houses participating in the Marathi Wedding, the bride and the groom. Anyone looking for a proper match for themselves and wishes to find a perfect lifelong partner before they plan their wedding can download the Marathi Matrimony app available on Google Play Store. Out of the various sets of rituals celebrated and attended by both families, one is called the Saptapadi ceremony. It holds a special place in the collection of wedding ceremonies. Here are some reasons why this ceremony makes for a significant emphasis. Let’s find out:
- Saptapadi is a Sanskrit word that translates into – Sapta (seven) and padi (steps). The ritual marks the union of the matrimony bond, with the seven promises that the bride and groom make to one another while walking around the holy fire. These seven promises then translate into the eternal binding of the married couple for the next seven lifetimes. Saptapadi or ‘Saath Pheras’ have been prevalent in the Hindu marriage system since ancient times and counted as the most significant promises in our Hindu marriage system. If you also wish to move forward in life to find your true life partner, you need not look any further and visit the Marathi Matrimony website to meet your correct match.
- The ceremony takes place after the Kanyadaan ceremony, where the bride’s father gives her away to the groom. The groom then ties the mangal sutra around his bride’s neck and applies sindoor to her maang (forehead). In return, the bride uses chandan (sandalwood paste) on the groom’s head. During the Saptapadi ceremony, the bride and groom walk around the holy fire in a clockwise direction seven times. After completing each round, the bride touches one out of seven betel nuts placed on a mold of rice and mango leaves. Once the seven rounds are complete, the groom helps her keep her balance by holding her foot or hand while she puts her right foot on the grindstone symbolizing the bride’s strength and the groom’s support.
- As the Indian legend would have it, the story behind the Satapadi ceremony is of a couple named Sathayan and Savithri. The wife, Savithri, loses her husband at an early age and follows Yama, God of the dead, as he carries her husband’s soul. When God realizes this, he asks her to turn back and return. But the wife says that she’s walked seven steps already and become God’s friend. To keep him further deviated, she keeps him engaged in conversation. Observing her sincerity and smartness, God grants back life to her husband. It marks how the seven steps are necessary at the beginning of any relationship. The Satapadi ceremony practiced in Hindu matrimony ties the husband and wife legally
- The family pandit (priest) recites the Vedic mantras during the Saptapadi ceremony. Each mantra signifies one out of the seven promises described below:
- The First Promise is to foster the relationship with growth, contentment, and prosperity. As the future husband chants, “Om esha ekapadi bhava iti prathaman,” he guarantees to his future wife that he will provide all means of comfort and oversee her well-being. The bride chants “Dhanam dhanyam pade vadet,” which means that she’ll complete her family duties and commitments and tend to their requirements.
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- The Second Promise is about praying for a meaningful existence with the soundness of body and mind. The groom says, “Om oorje jara dastayaha,” which means that he’s praying to God to give him the energy and vigor to care for his special ones. While the bride recites “Kutumburn rakshayishyammi sa aravindharam,” meaning that she will be a constant pillar of support in all walks of life. At the same time, he commits to honor, respect, and devote himself to her.
- The Third Promise is about seeking fortune and faithfulness to one another for the rest of life. During the third round, the groom chants “Om Rayas Santu Joraa Dastayaha,” which translates to that he’ll be determined to work so that he can look after his kids and wife. The bride chants “Tava Bhakti as Vadedvachacha,” meaning that she’ll be devoted and obligated and will put her partner’s needs before her own.
- The Fourth Promise is about filling each other’s lives with contentment and satisfaction. While walking, the would-be husband chants “Om Mayo Bhavyas Jaradastaya ha” as a way of thanking him for added motivation and goals in his journey. He asks for the almighty to give him a wholesome family with loving kids. The future wife says “Lalayami Cha Pade Vadet,” expressing her joy and promising to shower her husband and kids with lifelong enjoyment.
- The Fifth Promise is for the couple’s future kids, and they ask God to fill them with hope, obedience, and greatness. They also ask for the health and happiness of all living things in the world. In comparison, the groom is completing the round and chants “Om Prajabhayaha Santu Jaradastayaha,” saying that he’ll dedicate the rest of his life to his dear partner and her lifelong success. He’s grateful to spend the rest of his life with her and seeks the lord’s blessings. The bride chants along, saying, “Arte Arba Sapade Vadet,” meaning that she’ll also love him forever, as both of them belong to one another.
- The Sixth Promise is a question – from the groom asks his would-be wife if she’ll walk forever with him like she’s walked these six rounds? He says, “Rutubhyah shat padi bhava,” and she returns to him by saying yes, she will carry on to be next to him as a friend as he walks forward in life. The chant that she speaks is “Yajna Hom Shashthe Vacho Vadet.”
- The Final Promise in matrimony is to convert the bride and groom’s marriage into a bond of eternity and belonging to one another until they are alive. The groom makes his Promise where he tells his wife, “Om Sakhi Jaradastayahga,” meaning that they’ll always belong to one another and be loyal until the end. She chants “Attramshe Sakshino Vadet Pade,” saying that God is the testimony to their bond, which they’ll admire and respect forever.