This post largely relates to Indian Arranged Marriages conducted as per traditions of The Hindu Religion.
10 Marriage Matching Compatibility
As per The Hindu Religion, to get married a couple must have mutual compatibility in at least 10 matching aspects. They are called 10 Poruthams of Indian Marriage. These 10 Matches (poruthams) are Dinam, Ganam, Yoni, Rasi, Rasiyathipathi, Rajju, Vedha, Vasiya, Mahendhram, Stree Deergam, Vethai. The astrologer or Vedic pundit examines the astrology record of bride and groom, finds the compatibility and discusses this with parents of the couple. When a man and woman who have at least 8 matches compatibility, the parents agree to go ahead and conduct the marriage ceremony.
9 Planets and their Planetary Positions
One of the other checkpoints for fixing the wedding day is based on the planetary positions as per Hindu Astrology. There are auspicious months in a year to get married. Then there are auspicious days in such months and auspicious hours to tied the knot. This will vary for people with different astro profiles. Indian astrology system is based on blended understanding of scientific and religious principles. Many families take the Vedic astrology very much seriously and follow them to the core. They may even postpone the wedding for months or even years if the astrologer recommends to do so.
8 Directions, Relatives invited from
After a formal meet between the two families to decide upon the marriage ceremony, both the families will invite their relatives from all the 8 directions. At least anywhere between 500 to 2500 or even more number of relatives, friends, colleagues, neighbours and acquaintances are invited for the engagement ceremony and wedding ceremony to bless the couple. For at least the nearest and dearest of relatives and friends, the parents of the two families will go in person to invite for the wedding ceremony.
7 Swaras of Music
Music is an integral part of Indian weddings. Culturally, Indian Weddings will have traditional music close to their religions or geography played. In India, Music is considered to be given by the Gods themselves. Music connects religions and develops strong ties during worships and attain emotional and spiritual heights. Indian Carnatic Music has 7 Swaras as their base and foundation for the whole music. The seven Swaras are shadja, rishabha, gandhara, madhyama, panchama, dhaivata and nishada and their shortened form is Sa, Re, Ga, Ma, Pa, Dha, Ni.
6 Tastes of Food
According to Hinduism, there are 6 tastes. These are Sweet, Sour, Salt, Bitter, Pungent, Astringent. Indian foods are well-known across the world for their balance of tastes, spices and health. According to different states and regional practices, the foods served in the wedding ceremony differ entirely. However, the wedding ceremony feast will definitely have these 6 sweets covered as part of the menu. Basic principle is that the food must be complete and holistic to be served to the relatives come for the wedding.
5 Forces of Nature
Water, Soil, Air, Fire and Aakash (sky) – are the five forces of Nature according to Indian Beliefs. We believe that everything in the world is made of different combinations of these 5 forces of nature. These beliefs are scientifically proved to be true as well. Indians have understood these principles of nature thousands of years back and have constantly preached to next generation people. To respect the 5 forces of nature, Indian weddings have different practices followed during the marriage ceremony.
4 Vedas Blessings
As per The Hindu religion, there are 4 Vedas. Rig, Yajur, Sama and Atharvana. Each of these vedas were offered for different aspects of life. To live a holistic and fulfilled life, a Hindu must read, understand and lead a life as per these 4 Vedas. Mantras or verses from these vedas are chanted during the wedding ceremony by Vedic pundits. The chanting of these Vedic mantras is to get blessings from the 4 Vedas. The belief is that the couple is expected to lead a life as per the Vedas and they get needed blessings and support from the Vedas.
3 Knots on Mangal Sutra
In a Hindu Wedding, the Groom ties 3 Knots in the Mangal Sutra around the Bride’s neck. Each knot means something and has deeper meanings and secret messages to the couple. There are many ways the three knots are being interpreted. Knot 1 symbolizes the union and commitment of the couple. Knot 2 is to ensure the union and commitment of the two families. Knot 3 is to get an assurance from the groom’s family to ensure the bride’s well-being. One other variation to interpret the meaning of three knots of mangal sutra is First knot is the groom’s promise to the bride that he takes her as the soul partner for the rest of his life. (Manasa – consciously, Vaacha (expressing orally), Karmena (actions and deed). Also as per few traditions, Indian married women change their Mangal Sutra every year and get a new one tied. These habits constantly remind them of the core values of Indian Wedding.
2 Souls and their lifetime bond
Ultimately the marriage is between two souls that come from different families, different culture, different rituals, geographies that decide to become one. The marriage is an ultimate institution that unites not only just the two souls but also two families and their extended family members. So necessary arrangements are made to make sure the bride and groom understand each other and successfully become one and unite two families to have joyful life.
1 United for Life
Marriage is a life time bond created that unites the bride and groom. Indian arranged marriages generally go by these practices and many more to make sure the wedding couple lives a joyful life in the society.
Given the 1000s of years of historic beliefs and real-life examples, countless stories we hear around there are both concurrence and disbeliefs in these systems. But for sure, these beliefs have tied up the family bonding in India for so many centennials.
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