Friday, February 20, 2009

Saat Phere /Seven Vows...

"Waqt ki saat jaane kit nahi

Moor aate hai saat phereo mei

Waqt ki saat jaane kit nahi

Moor aate hai saat phereo mei

Raang jeetne hai zindagane ke

Saab samatee hai saat phereo mei".

Whenever I hear this song in TV serial every time it gives me new meaning..

“Waqt ki saat jaane kit nahi

Moor aate hai saat phereo mei”.

With time so many unkown turns come in these seven rounds .In marriage life time brings so many turns with it self .Some youngsters may ask… What is in those 'saat phere' which gives men and women the legal right to love and engage in relationship. Come to think of it, it is only a fire around which both of you revolve for seven times. Other than satisfying the traditions, does it hold any true value? People get married even in courts just by a mere signature.. So what makes 'saat phere' so special. These days couples just get married to each other without realizing love between them .

Who says marriage is different from love? Marriage without love has no meaning. Marriage is to bind a man and women so that they are for each other and do not run behind lust... We should'nt confuse marriage with love...Love without doubt needs no attestation ,but marriage as a means for furthering genes and procreation should have society affirmation to it... In a marriage, most important thing is if the two people are not committed. If they're not, then saat phere, or no saat phere, is meaningless. Similarily, if the two people care fully committed, then the marriage is only a symbolic ritual.. they're already united in their hearts and that's what is only needed.

I am not stressing on arranged or love marriages, but saath phere is taken as a general norm that yes perform such rites and live together always. People don't even understand the sanctity of such rituals too... hence, the real meaning of marriages is getting lost. Its true when there is no pure understanding and love between them the very concept of marriage fails be it love or arranged...

An Indian marriage is a symbol of purity, union of two different people, community and culture. All the Hindu marriages carry out similar rituals with slight difference. Each ritual that is carried out in a Hindu wedding has some meaning. The Seven Vows/ Saat Phere also hold a vast meaning in the wedding ritual. The Seven Vows/ Saat Phere are the rounds taken around the holy fire place by the bride and groom together. With every round they make one promise to their partner. This way they make seven promises.

(Pic courtesy Google Image)

When groom first time The clasping of hands( panigrahanam) takes place. This is supposed to be for the first time that they hold hands and the groom chants here, ‘ My dear lady! I hold your hands tight till we grow very old, so that we two live together without any separation and with prosperity and progeny. You are verily the gift of Gods unto me for the noble purpose of partnership in life. May Goddess Saraswathi bless you with all auspiciousness and abundance of food. May Agni (fire God) and Vayu (wind God) make you contented with unfailing love towards me.

It is Sapthapadi ( seven steps) which follows that pronounces them man and wife. The man while clasping his bride's right hand and simultaneously places her right toe in seven small steps then raises it on to the grinding stone before going around the Agni. He repeats this action three times saying, “ May the Lord Vishnu follow and guard you at every step for the sake of abundance of food, good health, strength, happy life and performance of auspicious functions in company with me. You have now become my life companion. . We will never get separated. We will never lack in love and affection for each other. We will always think, speak and act in perfect harmony. You are “ Rik” and I am ‘ Sama.” You are mother earth; I am father heaven. You are speech and I am the mind.” The stepping on the grinding stone signifies, “ climb this stone to seek firmness and fortitude against any adversity. May you stand as a rock under testing circumstances. Let not unfriendly people shake you from the determined goal of your life.” When I first heard the meaning of these mantras I was speechless. An Indian male is known for his ego. But here not once does he pray for himself. He always prays for his life partner and promises to cherish and love her.

The following requests are to be recited by the groom to the bride after she takes the seven steps:-

"You who has taken the seven steps with me should become my friend.

We who have taken the seven steps together would live as friends.

I should get your friendship, Oh maid.

Oh maid, I should never get parted from your friendship.

We who have attained each other, should get lustrous health, serenity, peaceful mind, and should enjoy together the food and all other tastes.

We would plan all things that are to be done in future together.

Let us both make our two minds in to one.

Let us enjoy together all the physical and mental pleasures together from now onwards.

Let us do all religious observations together."

Then again the groom tells the bride:-

"You are the Rig Veda and I am the Sama Veda

I am the Sama Veda and you are the Rig Veda (recited twice for emphasis)

Like these two Vedas we should never separate from each other. We also will not get separated.

I am the world Dyu and you are the earth (dyu is the world above. This indicates that she is below him and should obey his wishes).

I am the material called Shukla (semen) and you are the wearer of this in your womb.

I am the mind and you are the word

I am Sama Veda and you are the Rig Veda

I am telling this because I have lot of care for you.

Please bear me children in future,

Hey Maid come with me."


The Seven Vows:

1. Groom: You will offer me food and be helpful in every way. I will cherish you and provide for the welfare and happiness of you and our children.

Bride: I am responsible for the home, and take charge of all household responsibilities.

2. Groom: Together we will protect our house and children.

Bride: I will be by your side, and be your courage and strength. I will rejoice in your happiness. In return, you will love me alone.

3. Groom: May we grow wealthy and prosperous, strive for the education of our children. May our children live long.

Bride: I will love only you for the rest of my life, as you are my husband. Every other man in my life will come second to you. I vow to remain chaste.

4. Groom: You have brought sacredness into my life, and have completed me. May we be blessed with noble,obedient children children. May our children live long.

Bride: I will shower you will happiness, from head to toe. I will strive to please you in every way that I can.

5. Groom: You are my best friend, and staunchest well-wisher. You have come into my life, and have enriched it. God bless you.

Bride: I promise to love and cherish you for as long as I love. Your happiness is my happiness, and your sorrow is my sorrow. I will trust and honour you, and will strive to fulfill all your wishes.

6. Groom: May you be filled with joy and peace.

Bride: I will always be by your side.

7. Groom: We are now husband and wife, and are one. You are mine and I am yours for all time.

Bride: As God is witness, I am now your wife. We will love, honour and cherish each other forever.

Divorce has become out of control in the past few years. Even in well established family, divorce in most common and it is mainly due to lack of adjustment and ego clashes.The process of saat phere acquires more significance in that the couple prays for the peace and well being of the entire universe. After each saying a mantra at each of the seven steps, the couple say these words together: ""Now let us make a vow together. We shall share love, share the same food, share our strengths, and share the same tastes. We shall be of one mind, we shall observe the vows together. I shall be the Samaveda, you the Rigveda, I shall be the Upper World, you the Earth; I shall be the Sukhilam, you the Holder - together we shall live and beget children, and other riches; come thou

The key to a successful and happy relationship is the willingness of the couple to work hard at keeping their relationship healthy. Marriage is something that puts two people together who love each other and plan to do that for the rest of their lives.

There is no 'perfect' marriage. But there are many couples who have managed to work through their differences and keep their marriages vibrant and alive. Every marriage needs help now and then, both during the good times and when things become difficult. For marriage successful. When two people get married, numerous drastic changes happen in their lives. For the most part these two individuals should become one. They eat together, sleep together, play together, talk together, walk together, and do things together. But the union goes deeper than purely physical activities. Their hopes, dreams, and ambitions should blend and become one. For a marriage to truly last, the both partners should discover to think always, from now on, in terms of“we”and not“me.”Everything they do, every plan they devise and every decision they make should now consider what is for their mutual collective interest. When there is a difference of opinion and one partner thinks about self then there are more chances of separation.

When your hearts are so pure and strong, and offcourse one! you don't require any authentication from anyone to say that you are married. Marriage is nothing but a union of hearts and souls and that comes when you feel that you're one. Maybe the physical nature of these formalities might pose some kind of substance to keep you feeling being together, but then again, it is just a kind of mental force only and that can be created when you yourself feel the responsibility of your mate and the feeling that you are not two, but infact one!!Then,

“Raang jeetne hai zindagane ke Saab samatee hai saat phereo mei” all the colours of life they are all come to-gether in this married life . "Waqt ki saat jaane kitne hi mod aate hai saat phero mein ".
With time so many unkown turns come in these seven rounds .

This article is for the newly engaged, newlyweds, young parents, and both happily and not-so-happily married couples.

Comments & views are welcome!



15 comments:

Nithya Praveen said...

Wow Jaishree,thats a long and interesting write up.I fall into the newly wed category.Very informative!

Viki Xavier. said...

OMG , what a lovely post. Cherished each and every line .
Nice job done dear. Much meaningful:)

Akal's Saappadu said...

a beautiful description and explication of love and marriage! hindu marriages have so many meanings in each process and part of the cermony, but do people think and realize what it means really? I think each and every person should be aware of what each vow means and in what they're consenting!

Jaishree said...

Thank u Nithya, viki , Akal for visiting my blog for your views and sweet comments.

Mahimaa's kitchen said...

wow.. good job J. nice post.. useful one.

Jaishree said...

Thank u Mahi for nice compliments:)

Nandita said...

Very nice you have given a good writeup of the entire Hindu marriage. It's meaningful and you have nicely worded it

Vignesh said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Vignesh said...

Wow!!! Amma that was an excellent article. Very informative and well-articulated, it provides the needed insights for newly engageds like me.

Abhishek V said...

nice article........

Anonymous said...

this is really heart touching I was shivered from the very depth of mine.I've no words to describe its too good.I 7 my hubby appreciate it 4m the bottom of my heart

mitali said...

Jaishree......it is too beautiful xpalanation of HINDU MARRIGE.....& basically 7 vows.....it is really heart touching....My Boy friend & I decided to get marry...after reading this.....Thanks a lot.....

Anonymous said...

Your blog keeps getting better and better! Your older articles are not as good as newer ones you have a lot more creativity and originality now. Keep it up!
And according to this article, I totally agree with your opinion, but only this time! :)

asit said...

A really good write up ,i must say

Anonymous said...

I like the post. Thanks for clarifying the vows. But now I am questioning if these hold good in today's context. As a women of the day I personally doubt that I can honestly agree to this contract. But this is good, if I don't agree with it I shouldn't make the promises.
The article is very thought provoking thats a lot.