From every human being there arises a light that reaches straight to heaven. And when two souls that are destined to be together, find each other, their streams of light flow together and a single, brighter light goes forth from their united being. - Rig Vedas
The coming together of a Man and a Woman in `holy wedlock`, is steeped in tradition. India is no exception.
A colourful country
When one talks of India, one usually does not forget to mention the different customs and traditions that make India such a vibrant country.
Traditional wedding customs are an important part of India`s culture and heritage.
A common thread
Wedding rituals vary from state to state, but from Kanyakumari to Kashmir (as the saying goes), they are all bound by a common thread of `Indianness`, that runs through them.
In spite of common rituals like `panigrahan`, saptapadi, mangal snan, sindoor-daan etc, each regional wedding has its own flavour.
An auspicious occasion
`Vivaha` (wedding), broken down to it`s roots means `to carry something carefully `or `that weight which one takes great care in carrying`.
This is symbolic of the way Indians regard marriage - as a great responsibility, not to be taken lightly.
Marriage- a sacrament
Kanyadaan, giving away one`s daughter in marriage, is considered the greatest sacrifice a man can perform in his lifetime.
By conferring the status of sacrament, Indians have elevated marriage from a physical union to a spiritual dimension.
Marriage, in the Indian tradition, has been defined as " A physical, legal and moral union between men and women, in complete community of life, for the establishment of the family."
The Indian Hindu wedding is based on Vedic traditions and rituals originating in the Rig Vedas, one of the four ancient texts of India.
The language used to give weight to these rituals is Sanskrit, a language as ancient as the sea.
The procedures of the Hindu wedding are full of meaning and beauty as they charge the couple with the responsibilities that they inherit by virtue of their union.