Dictionary Of Hindu Religion | Dictionary
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see also Vivaah (Marriage)
Sapt means seven, and Padee means steps. According to Hindoo religion a girl takes up seven strides along with her groom taking seven vows around the sacred Fire god, that is called Sapt Padee. After this Sapt Padee the bride becomes the wife of the groom. This is the main ceremony of a Hindoo marriage. Without Sapt Padee the Hindu marriage is not complete.
The vows taken with each Pheraa (round) are as below:
(1) With the first Pheraa, the couple invokes the Gods for the
plentitude of pure and nourishing food and a life that is noble and respectful.
Having exchanged these vows of love, duty, respect, fidelity and a fruitful union the couple agree to be companions forever. The process of this Saat Phere acquires more significance in that the couple prays for the peace and well being of the entire Universe.
After this Sapt Padee, the bride and the groom say the following
As per the Vaidik rituals, the bridegroom sings the following :
After the seventh step he makes her remain where she is and says: "With seven steps we become friends. Let me reach your friendship. Let me not be severed from your friendship. Let your friendship not be severed from me."
The Spat Padee ceremony concludes with a prayer that the union is indissoluble. At the end of this ceremony, the bridegroom and the bride become husband and wife.
There are seven Pheraa or steps in an Indian Hindu
Marriage. Each step has its own importance and its own meaning. These
Pheraa are to be taken around the holy fire called "Agni Devtaa". In each
step there is a significant vow to be taken both by the bride and the
groom. They vow to each other for the rest of their lives.
Vows to be taken by the groom
Vows to be taken by the groom
(1) In the first step the bride commits to her Lord same as the groom that she will share the responsibility of the house, food and finance. She will discharge her share of responsibilities for the welfare of house and children.
(2) With the second step she vows to fill the heart of her husband with courage and strength and to rejoice in his happiness.
(3) While taking the third step the bride promises that I will love you with single-minded devotion as my husband. I will treat all other men as my brothers.
(4) O my lord, in all acts of righteousness (Dharm), in material prosperity (Arth), in every form of enjoyment, and in those divine acts such as fire sacrifice, worship and charity, I promise you that I shall participate and I will always be with you.
(5) From this day of life I will share both your joy and sorrow. Your love will make me very happy.
(6). May the blessings of God always be with you. I will be with you in any stage of life.
(7). In the seventh and the final step she says that now that I have been your wife in front of the holy fire. Whatever vows and pledges I have taken, are all taken with pure heart. I shall never deceive you nor shall I let you down. I shall love you forever and ever.
After performing Punyaah, Laaja Hom and Kanyaadaan, the groom with his right hand holds the right leg of the bride and puts seven steps forward. These seven steps are indicative of. (1) Shubhechchhaa (2) Suvichaaran (3) Satwaapathee (4) Asam Shakti (5) Tanu Maanas (6) Padaarth A-Bhaavanee (7) Turyaga (Padaarthaa Bhaavanee).
(1) Shubhechchhaa : (Shubh + Ichchhaa). Groom promises the bride that with my knowledge, I will always wish good for you.
(2) Suvichaaran : (Su + Vichaar) groom promises the bride that with my knowledge, I will always think good about you. (If the wishes are pure, then the thoughts becomes pure)
(3) Satwaapathi - (Satwa + aapathi) I will see that you are always protected well. (means, Sattwa Apachaya). The groom promises that with my knowledge, I will take you to that stage where you will experience that you are not there. Means, you will feel that you do not have an identity of your own. Only when I realize that, only when I reach that state where I am not there, I loss myself. (This is a state of emptiness of mind). It is a state of unison described at so many places.
(4) Anaasakti - I will try to inculcate in you, to enable you, reach position of "without any desire" (towards the visible) a state without Aasakti or any kind of instinct (Trishnaa).
(5) Tanumaanas : (Tanu + maanas) I will try that you get your mind so polite, mind will be so Sookshm and not Sthool. (You will visualize the Sookshm in everything, or everything you will see in Sookshm state or form)
(6) Padaarthaabhaavanee (Padaarth + Abhaavanee) - with my knowledge I will make all efforts to enable you achieve that there is no materialistic state in your life/mind. and finally
(7) Turyaga - Moksha, liberation. I will see that you are liberated from the birth and death cycle.
The Sapt Padee mentioned here is to highlight the chastity of marriage in Bhaarat and the position it is assigned or accorded as a sacrament. Thus conceiving is a sacrament, giving birth is a sacrament, and so on.
First Step: Let God Mahaa Vishnu who is spread through out the world, Give you food in plenty
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.
Then again the groom tells the bride:-
"You are the Rig Ved and I am the Saam Ved
Once the prayer and the groom's request is recited the bride becomes groom's wife and joins his family (Gotra)
Created by Sushma Gupta on 3/15/06
Updated on 06/09/11