Hindu Wedding – Part 3

(continuation of wedding Events…)

17. Akshatarohanam (Talambralu): The rice grains (unbroken) are mixed with Turmeric powder, clarified butter and milk and will be poured by bride and groom on each other’s head. Prior pouring of these talambralu, the palms of bride and groom are purified with milk. Both the palms of bride joined together and filled with talambralu. Similarly done for groom. The joined palms are kept one above the other of bride and groom, and a kalash is kept on top, then the following blessings are recited by Purohits.

पुण्यं वर्धतां, शान्तिरस्तु, पुष्टिरस्तु, तुष्टिरस्तु, वृद्धिरस्तु, अविघ्नमस्तु, आयुष्यमस्तु,  

आरोग्यमस्तु, स्वस्ति शिवं कर्मास्तु, कर्मसमृद्धिरस्तु, तिथिकरण मोहूर्त नक्षत्र संपदस्तु’ ||

Then the groom will recite following slokas and will pour talambralu (‘talanundi vraalu’ in Telugu – means showering from head) on the head of bride.

मनसश्चित्तमाकूतिम्, वाचस्सत्यमशीमही | पशूनाग्म् रूपमन्नस्य यशश्श्रीयतां मयि ||

Through our hearts we acquire knowledge, through our speech we acquire truth, and through our good deeds we acquire dairy, beauty, food, fame and wealth.

‘ददामीत्यग्निर्वदतिः, तथेति वायुराह तत् | हंतेति सत्यं चन्द्रमाः आदित्यस्सत्यमोमिति’ || ‘प्रजा मे कामस्समृध्यताम्’ ||

Am offering this girl’ says Lord of Fire, ‘May that hold good’ says Lord of Wind, ‘This is a perfect couple’ says Moon, ‘Yes, true’ Sun-God nods his head. May my wish to grow my family come true.

Talambralu is a joyful moment for relatives, as they enjoy the event as a competition between bride and groom.

Brahmamudi: After this event, one corner of bride’s saree and grooms dhoti are tied with a knot. This knot is called ‘Brahma Mudi’, meaning ‘a knot tied by Lord Brahma’.

Exchange of Garlands: The bride and groom exchange garlands made of flowers, and also garlands made of camphor. This event symbolizes their unification – as one soul in two bodies. It is the inward acceptance of holy union.

Pressing Stone (Sannikallu) – Holding the bride toe, groom helps her tread on a stone pestle of a mortar, called ‘sannikallu’, which is kept on one side of Fire. The groom recites a mantra

अतिममश्मानवमश्मेन त्वग्ग स्थिरा भव| अभितिष्ठ पृतन्यतस्स हस्व पृतनायतः’

‘Mount up this stone. Let thy mind be rock-firm, unperturbed, and courageous’. He assures his support in all aspects, and confirms she has full rights at her in-laws home.

Panigrahanam : The groom will hold bride’s right hand with his right hand. The bride’s hand will be on top of the groom’s hand. This is called Pani (hand) grahana (taking) signifying union. This will generate electricity between the couple. There are auspicious mantras recited by Purohits at this time.

‘गृह्णामि ते सुप्रजास्त्वाय हस्तं मया पत्या जरदष्टिर्यथा सः भगो अर्यमा सविता पुरंधिर्मह्यं त्वादुर्गार्हपत्याय देवाः’

I am taking your hand for growth of my family. The Gods and the elders have given you to me in order that I may live the life of a householder. From today we will be loyal to each other, we shall not part from each other even after we grow infirm due to age.

By reciting this mantra the groom holds bride’s hand and promises that he will always take care of her.

Saptapadi: The couple will hold right hand thumb fingers, and walk together taking seven steps around Fire (Homam). Each step will go with a vow between the couple saying they will stick together for life time.

Sthaali Pakam: The groom will worship God of Fire by pouring clarified butter into the Fire. The couple is made to cook rice in a small vessel to resemble the start of their marital life.

Lajahomam: Laja means parched rice flakes. The bride’s brother will give handful flakes to the bride, she hands to the groom, who on her behalf offers the flakes to the God of Fire by pouring them into Homam, this is done three times. Through this offering, bride seeks a long life for her husband and propagation of the family.

Nagavalli: Worshipping Gods is called ‘Nakabali’ or Nagavalli. The earthen pots with grains will be worshipped and offered to Gods. The groom will tie silver rings to the second toes of bride’s feet. A necklace of black beads is tied by the groom with three knots in the neck of bride.

Sadasyam: Sadasyam means ‘worshipping the assembly’. The purohits will be honoured with money and clothes. The groom’s parents will give new clothes and jewelry to the bride. Bride’s parents will give new clothes to the groom.

Arundhati Nakshatram: The groom will show ‘Arundhati’ Star in the sky to the bride. Arundhati is wife of Sage Vasishta, and is known for her piousness and always being next to her husband. The couple are told by Purohit to be always together like Arundhati-Vasishta.

Anguleeyakam, Poobanthi etc Game Events: The bride and groom are made play few games. They both are to pick gold ring and silver toe ring from a pot filled with water. Whoever picks the gold ring will win. The relatives also participate in this event and encourage the boy and girl to pick gold ring. A ‘Banthi’ (ball) made of flowers is given to throw at each other and the couple will enjoy this game teasing each other. Many other games such as putting ‘paan’ (betel leaves) in each other’s mouth, Throwing thermacoal balls on each other etc are being played. The purpose of these games is to create intimacy between the couple.

Swing-Doll: A small wooden doll is put in a swing made of cloth. The groom’s sister makes the doll swing, and pours colour on the doll which splashes on to the couple. Then she asks the bride if she will give the doll or a cow. Then the bride gives the doll to the groom’s sister. In olden days daughter of a brother was given in marriage to his sister’s son. This event is significance of  continuing the relationship between a brother and sister.

Bhojanaalu: A grand gala wedding meals arranged by bride’s parents will be held after all wedding events are completed. The Bride and Groom will eat in silver plates and will drink water in silver glasses. All relatives of both the sides will sit along with the bride and groom, all will have food together. The couple are asked to put sweets in each other’s mouth, people enjoy this event teasing the couple and making them give food to each other.

Appagintalu: The last event of the wedding is a bit emotional for the bride side as this is send-off to the bride. The bride’s hands will be put in the milk and given to the groom and his parents. The bride will leave her parents and will go to her new home – the groom’s house. A cloth with rice and dry coconuts, a yam vegetable is being tied across the waist of the bride by her mother.

Post-Wedding Events

Gruhapravesham: When the bride with her husband goes to her in-laws’ home, she is welcomed with Aarti by married women. The bride will enter the home putting her right foot first into the house. The couple is given snacks and beverages. The sweets (4 types of sweets) and snacks given by bride’s parents will be distributed to the groom’s relatives and neighbors. The rice, yam vegetable and coconuts are being taken by groom’s mother for usage to offer Naivedyam to God.

Satyanarayana Vratam: After Gruhapravesham, the very next day of wedding, Vratam of Lord Satyanarayana is being performed by the newlywed couple at groom’s home. All relatives, friends, neighbors of groom are invited, including the family members of the bride. After the Vratam, lunch will be provided to all guests.

First Night: This event is usually done the very next day of Vratam or any chosen date as per the stars of bride and groom, usually performed at bride’s home. The couple is given new clothes (usually white in colour), after dinner, at the auspicious time, the couple is sent into bedroom, decorated with flowers. Different varieties of fruits, sweets, milk etc are kept in the room. The couple will start their marital life from this night and become together forever.

Padaharu Rojula Pandaga: On 16th day after the wedding, the newlywed couple is invited to bride’s home. The 5 earthen pots filled with Navadhanya (on the day of Ankurarpana) by this time will have fully grown with plants (all these days water to be poured to make them grow). In the evening, four married women will be invited and will be given these pots along with betel leaves, areca nut, flowers, banana fruit. One plant will be kept with the mother The mangala sutra thread in bride’s neck will be moved to a gold chain. All will be offered dinner. This event is celebrated as a festival hence is called ‘Pandaga’.

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