Vivah Samskaar

The vivaha samskaras or marriage ceremony originated some five thousand years ago in the vedic era. The Samskaras, which are roughly equivalent to the sacraments of the Roman Catholic faith, are performed at five occasions during a person’s life. The Vivaha Samskara, the thirteen of the sixteen Samskara, unites husband and wife in a Hindu wedding ceremony. The ceremony brings the bride and groom into a union spiritually, mentally, physically, emotionally, and morally. It is meant to unite two persons so firmly that after marriage, although their bodies remain two separate entities, the souls in them merge and become one harmonious whole. The question therefore of equality of man and woman does not arise, as they become spiritually one. The Vivaha by which the dulahin and the dulaha are being united today comprises of the following rituals, performed in the Vedic language of Sanskrit.

The Vivaah Sanskaar ceremony consists of the following steps:

BARAAT MILAP – The ceremony begins commences with the arrival of the Dulaha, with his family and close relatives to the bride’s residence. They are given a prestigious welcome by the family of the Dulahin. The fathers of both the dulahin and the dulaha along with the pundits, relatives and friends approach each other with the accompaniment of the rhythm of Tassa drums. Both parties walk towards each other and as they meet, the Dulahin’s father offers a lota of water with five coins, flowers, mango leaves and a coconut as a symbol of welcome to the Dulaha’s father and his party. To culminate the meeting of both parties, both father’s and pundits exchange malas. They then embrace each other to the shouts of ‘Jaikar’.


PARCHAY – The dulaha is then escorted to the entrance of the dulahin’s house, where the dulahin’s mother, and other female relatives greet and welcome the dulaha. Six small flour loyas (balls) are offered in six directions, East, West, North and South, above and below. Aarti is then performed five times and rice and flowers are showered onto the groom as a symbol of welcome and honour. This is done first by the Dulahin’s mother followed by four other married women.

DWAAR PUJA & TILAK - The Dulaha, proceeds to the main entrance of the dulahin’s residence where the Dwaar Puja is performed. This is a purification rite to Lord Ganesh and Gowri Maataa, praying for auspiciousness throughout the day’s ceremony. In Hindu tradition, Lord Ganesh is invoked for blessing on the start of any new undertaking. This puja is performed by the Dulaha, and the Dulahin’s father, as directed by the pundit. Gifts of coconut, clothing and money are given to the Dulaha. Both the Dulahin’s father and brother, worships the Dulaha by washing his feet and offering Aarti to honor him. . The Dulahin’s brother, places Rice and and a Tika on the Dulaha’s forehead. It is believed that by this, the man that his daughter/sister marries is honored as an embodiment of Vishnu.

JANWAS - After the Dwaar Puja, the dulaha and his father along with his entourage is led by the Dulahin’s father to a specified place where they will await the arrival of the Dulahin to the mandap.

DULHAN PRAVESH – The Dulahin, now makes her stately entrance to the mandap with her mother, proceeded by a procession of flower girls while the honored guests stand to greet her.

EMIL GHONTAI – The Dulahin, accompanied by her mother, enters the mandap. The Dulahin’s mother sits behind her placing her orni on the Dulahin’s head. The eldest of the Dulahin’s uncles places the tip of the stem of a mango leaf in the Dulahin’s mouth and she bites it. This is done five times. The Dulahin’s mother then places a Mowree on her daughter’s head. At the end of the ceremony, the dulahin’s uncle gives a gift to the mother.

GANESH – GOWRIE PUJA – the dulahin now performs puja and a hawan to Lord Ganesh and Gowri. This is done on the marriage bedi, directed by the Pundit.

DAAL SANKALPA – The Dulaha’s elder brother, now presents the dulahin with several gifts of clothing, jewelery and methai. After the puja, the dulahin will depart the mandap leaving the Dhaan, rings, bamboo fans, lawa and sindoor on the bedi.

DULAHA ENTRY INTO THE MANDAP – Escorted by the Dulahin’s father, the Dulaha, now enters into the Mandap. His father, brothers, and other relatives accompany him. Here the following pujas are done:

PEERHA SANKALP – consecration of the Bhadraasan or the marriage seat. Here, the dulaha and dulahin’s father performs the purification puja to consecrate the marriage seat. The dulahin’s father then gives the dulaha a seat on the marriage peerha, to the left of where the dulahin will sit.

VAR PUJAN – the dulahin’s father performs a puja honoring the dulaha as Lord Vishnu,

MADHU PARKA – the dulahin’s father offers a mixture of ghee, honey and dahee to the dulaha. The meaning of this is that may the relationship between dulaha and dulahin is to be as sweet in speech as honey, as affectionate as ghee, and as flexible and clear in their minds as dahi. This is the symbol of the highest honour that can be given to the dulaha.

ANGA SPARSHA – the groom or dulaha then holds rice, money, flowers and sopaari in the palms of his hands. The dulahin’s father holds the dulaha’s hands and assists him in touching his various limbs and sense organs. This signifies that may speech dwell in the mouth, breath in the nostrils, sight in the eyes, hearing in the ears, strength in the arms, vigor in the thighs and limbs and may these organs be protected for a hundred years and be strong and unhurt.

DULAHIN’S PRAVESH (Bride’s Entrance) – As honoured guests stand, the Dulahin, fully bedecked in glamorous clothing and jewelry re-enters into the mandap and takes a seat opposite of the Dulaha.

KANYA DAAN – The Dulahin’s father gives his daughter to the Dulaha. A loya of flour with coins, a piece of gold and silk are placed in the dulahin’s hand. Her father and mother then place their hands beneath her hands and the dulaha is asked to place his hands beneath theirs. The bride’s brother, pours water over the loya of flour through their hands and her parents declared to the groom: “on this day, in this island of Trinidad, we, the parents of the dulahin are giving the hand of our dearly beloved daughter, to you,. May you accept and keep her with increasing love and affection. May you both be blessed and attain the four fruits of life – Dharma or religious merit, Artha or wealth and prosperity, Kaama or love and well-being, Moksha or heavenly happiness and abode.” The parents remove their hands allowing the dulahin’s hand to fall into the dulaha’s. The Dulaha responds: “I accept with the blessings of Bhagwan”

PAANI GRAHAN – Here the groom takes hold of the dulahin’s hand and pledges to protect her throughout her life. It is a new bond, a new relationship, a pledge taken before the sacred fire, Bhagwan, parents and honored guests.

GANTH BANDHAN – At this stage the dulahin’s parents have ceremoniously given their daughter’s hand in marriage to the dulaha. He has already signified his acceptance by the public pledge made before through the Paani Grahan rite. The pundit will now request the dulahin’s father to tie the traditional knot. Their clothes are now symbolically tied, signifying the joining of their lives. The dulaha takes hold of the dulahin’s hands and leads her to the marriage seat, where she takes her seat on his right side. This knot and joined hands symbolize the union of two souls joined together in holy matrimony.

PAAWA PUJAN – The dulahin’s parents worship the couple as Lord Vishnu and Bhagwandess Lakshmi. The couple is honored through paadyam (Washing of the feet). They offer chandan, artee and blessing by the sprinkling of rice and flowers and presented with the traditional thaali and lota, containing a token of monetary gift. Other relatives and well wishers follow.

HAWAN – Hawan is a small sacred fire that signifies the presence of the creator, as the ultimate witness for the marriage of the couple. The hawan is a sacrifice symbolizing the giving away of one’s outer self to the Universal power. The Laawa from both sides are now mixed together.

LAAWAA BHAAWAR or AGNI PRADAKSHINA – The laawa from both sides is mixed and with the help of the dulahin’s brother. The couple now make offerings of specially prepared grains symbolizing fertility and prosperity to the fire. This is done while circling the fire seven times, with the dulahin leading the first four, signifying her promise to always be the first person by the dulaha’s side.

DHRUV DARSHAN – The Dulahin looks at the North Star (Dhruv) and say “Just as you are constant in the Universe, may I remain constant like you in my husband’s family.”

SAPTA PADI – Sapta Padi is the taking of the seven steps in a northerly direction, while the Pundit recites the appropriate mantras. Until the bride performs the sapta padi she is considered unmarried. Only when the Sapta Padi is done, that is when the seventh step is taken, the marriage is considered complete and binding. The seven steps are considered to be the following:
1. Let us take the first step to provide for our household, keeping a pure diet and avoiding those things that might harm us.
2. Let us take the second step to develop our physical, metal and spiritual powers.
3. Let us take our third step to increase our wealth by righteous and proper means.
4. Let us take our fourth step to acquire knowledge, happiness and harmony by mutual love, respect and trust.
5. Let us take the fifth step so that we may be blessed with strong, virtuous and heroic children.
6. Let us take the sixth step for self-restraint and longevity.
7. Let us take the seventh step to be true companions and remain life-long partners by this wedlock.

ASHMAROHAN: Mounting the stone – The bridegroom ignites the holy fire and recites “mantras”. Then each puts a foot on a stone which is symbolic of steadfastness, righteousness and fidelity in married life.

HRIDAYA SPARSHA – the dulaha places his right hand over the dulahin’s right shoulder, onto her heart. By touching her heart, he arouses feelings of love in her, as the heart is the seat of emotions and the touch creates vibrations, which flow from her heart into his own, thus uniting them in a common bond of love.

SINDOOR DHAAN – The Dulaha applies sindoor seven times after parting the hair of the Dulahin under a cloth covering. The sindoor dhaan represents a gift of auspiciousness, which is bestowed onto the bride by groom at the change of her status in life from a Dulahin to a Patni (wife). The sindoor is said to give a special and bashful glow to the Dulahin. By anointing the bride with the vermillion, the groom is promising to cherish her as if she were his own life. He also promises to protect her with his own life.

MUDRIKA PRATIDAAN – The wedding rings are blessed and placed on each other’s fingers.

MARRIAGE VOWS – the couple now exchange their marriage vows. The couple ends this ritual with the dulaha seated to the dulahin’s right. Since the heart is on the left side of the body, this signifies that the groom will have the bride in his heart always.

EXCHANGE OF MAALAAS – the dulaha exchanges flower garlands with the dulahin, signifying the union of two bodies and souls into one, proclaiming their love and mutual acceptance of one another.

TAAG PAAT –the elder brother of the dulaha pledges guidance and protection to the dulahin by placing the protected cord around her neck as he offers her gifts of jewelry, clothing and sweets.

MANGALSUTRA DAANA – the blessed Mangalsutra (necklace) is placed around the dulahin’s neck by the dulaha. Which is symbolic of their marriage and bond. The black beads on the necklace offer protection against negative energy.

AASHIRWARD (Final Blessings) – The pundits pray for blessings from Bhagwaan for the well being of the newlyweds and of those assembled. Relatives and friends then sprinkle rice and flowers on the couple. Afterwards, the couple seeks blessings from Bhagwan, their parents and elderly relatives by bowing to their feet.

KHITCHREE – Gifts are given to the now married couple by relatives and friends.

VIDAI (FAREWELL TO THE BRIDE):
The ceremony is completed with the departure of Bride and Groom, which is known as Vidai, Farewell to the bride by her parents, siblings, relatives and friends, indeed a very emotional part of the whole event. The Bride is leaving her parental home to build an entirely new life with her husband and members of his immediate family in a different environment altogether. She leaves with tears of joy and sorrow but carries the very best wishes of all who witnessed her matrimonial ceremony and throws a handful of rice so that house of her childhood remains prosperous and happy.

 

 

 

PRE-MARRIAGE REGISTERATION FORM

Pundit Lutchmidath Persad Maharaj – 1-868-493-3000

(Please Complete Form In BLOCK LETTERS)

Dulaha’s (Husband) Name:

As on National ID

 

Dulaha’s Age:

 

Date Of Birth:

 

Full Address:

 

 

Dulaha’s Father Name:

 

Dulaha’s Father Full Address:

 

 

Dulaha’s Occupation:

 

 

 

Dulahin’s (Wife) Name:

As on National ID

 

Dulahin’s Age:

 

Date Of Birth:

 

Full Address:

 

Dulahin’s Father Name:

 

Dulahin’s Father Full Address:

 

 

 

 

Dulaha’s Witness Name:

 

Dulaha’s Witness Address:

 

Dulaha’s Witness Phone Contact:

 

Dulaha’s Witness National ID #:

 

                              & Exp. Date :

 

 

 

Dulahin’s Witness Name:

 

Dulahin’s Witness Address:

 

Dulahin’s Witness Phone Contact:

 

Dulahin’s Witness National ID #:

 

                                & Exp. Date :

 

 

 

 

 

 

PRE-MARRIAGE REGISTERATION FORM

Pundit Lutchmidath Persad Maharaj – 1-868-493-3000

(Please Complete Form In BLOCK LETTERS)

Dulaha’s (Husband) Name:

As on National ID

 

Dulaha’s Age:

 

Date Of Birth:

 

Full Address:

 

 

Dulaha’s Father Name:

 

Dulaha’s Father Full Address:

 

 

Dulaha’s Occupation:

 

 

 

Dulahin’s (Wife) Name:

As on National ID

 

Dulahin’s Age:

 

Date Of Birth:

 

Full Address:

 

Dulahin’s Father Name:

 

Dulahin’s Father Full Address:

 

 

 

 

Dulaha’s Witness Name:

 

Dulaha’s Witness Address:

 

Dulaha’s Witness Phone Contact:

 

Dulaha’s Witness National ID #:

 

                              & Exp. Date :

 

 

 

Dulahin’s Witness Name:

 

Dulahin’s Witness Address:

 

Dulahin’s Witness Phone Contact:

 

Dulahin’s Witness National ID #:

 

                                & Exp. Date :