Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Saptapadi

Saptapadi 

Saptapadi or Nagavalli is considered to the one of the most important events of the marriage . This is where both the bride and groom take the seven sacred vows of marriage.

My cousin Vijay had done a wonderful write up on marriage for his sister's marriage and as I was reading through that today , I thought I should share this.


An important post marriage ritual performed on the wedding day is Nagavalli. Saptapadi, the seven steps & the vows, form part of Nagavalli. The bride and groom pledge and declare to all those present that they have accepted one another voluntarily. Holding each other's hands, the couple takes seven steps, symbolic of the seven marital vows, around the sacred fire.
As they hold hands and walk around the fire, the bride and groom pledge the following vows:
  1. Let us take this first step vowing to keep a pure household, avoiding all things injurious to our health.
  2. Let us take this second step vowing to develop mental, physical and spiritual strengths.
  3. Let us take this third step with the aim of increasing our wealth by righteous means.
  4. Let us take this fourth step to acquire knowledge, happiness, and harmony by mutual love and trust.
  5. Let us take this fifth step to pray for virtuous, intelligent and courageous children.
  6. Let us take this sixth step for longevity.
  7. Let us take this final step to vow that we will always remain true companions and life-long partners.
This is a very significant event in the whole marriage ceremony, and it is only when they walk seven steps together, that the marriage is complete legally according to the vedic hindu scriptures. 

During Nagavalli, a silk cloth cradle was made and a piece of sandalwood, a ripe mango and turmeric was placed in it to pray for an off spring as healthy as the ripe mango, as pure as the turmeric and as self fragrant as the sandalwood. This is followed by a fun filled event where the bride and groom fight over who will collect the gold and silver rings dropped in a narrow mouthed vessel.
Holding the bride’s left foot toe, the bridegroom then helps her tread on a grindstone called sannikallu kept on the side of the fire. The accompanying manthra (chant) says: "Mount up this stone. Let thy mind be rock-firm, unperturbed, by the trials and tribulations of life" and when it is finished, the groom adorns the bride's toes with mettelu (silver rings).  This is followed by appagintalu the official handover of the bride to the groom and ever since her family name is renamed.

3 comments:

Pradeep said...

Neat work Akhila. Your grand children will be proud of you ;)
A few more topics I can think of are Mangala snanamu, Jeelakarra-Bellamu, muhurtham-akhsatha, and maybe Alaka sambaram (I tried looking for this and didn't find much info, may be you should check with your mom or in-laws :D)

Karin said...

Akhila and Pradeep,

The vows you exchange are deeply meaningful as I read them. Thank you for sharing this information with your readers.

Indeed, there is another verse that says "her children will rise up and called blessed." This means that you need not wait as long as having grandchildren before your gifts and abilities are recognized and celebrated!

Karin

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