Ever wondered what the pandit recites nonchalantly in a language from another world as he weds two people in the presence of a sacred fire and countless family members? It’s a language so ancient, most of us simply shrug it off and refuse to pay heed to, until our own D-day arrives. That said, aren’t Hindu marriage rituals simply fascinating? They may fluctuate in accordance with the caste or community you belong to, but the basics of the 7 vows under the guidance of a priest, are something that remains the same, and doesn’t change. So, dear reader, distract yourself from your outfit woes and wedding prep anguishes for a moment, take a breather, and ponder. It’s time to learn about the nitty-gritties of the ritual that is truly the highlight of a wedding – the 7 pheras. To put it in simpler words, it’s the meaning of these sacred vows that truly differentiates a wedding from a marriage. Let us walk you through the “Significant Seven” one-by-one, and understand the translation and the meaning of each. We’re sure, after reading this, you’ll feel strangely content, and connect better with your significant other:
Source: Indian Logic The first phera, has the boy before the girl, where the both of them pray to the gods for basic necessities such as food, clothing, and shelter. They pray that the gods provide them strength to take the good with the bad that life has to offer, and be in the prime of their health while doing so. As the couple takes a round across the sacred fire, they pledge to nourish and take good care of each other, and cater to the other one’s needs.
During the second phera, the couple pray to the gods to provide each other strength and courage to face any turmoil that life has to throw their way. They urge the deities to give them the strength to protect not only each other, but their children too from the rigors of life. This phera also incorporates the promise of becoming one entity, and looking at life together. Whether it’s physical, mental, or spiritual, they will now grow as one single force.
One of the most significant pheras, in this one, the couple request the gods to give them enough wealth and prosperity to provide their family and children. The groom vows to earn with full honesty, deepening his love for his wife, whereas, the bride promises to utilize the wealth optimally. What’s more, they also pray to the deities to never back out from providing quality education to their children, when the time comes.
Source: Zenfs As the fourth phera commences, the groom and the bride promise to bring sacredness to their pious relation, and pray to the gods for auspiciousness in their lives. The bride also promises to devote her life to her husband as a chaste wife, whereas, the groom promises to never cheat on her, and retain the sacredness of their marriage.
In many communities, with the fifth phera, the bride takes the lead, and walks before the groom. In this round, both the bride and groom requests the gods to bless them with heroic, gallant, good-looking, courageous, kind, and generous. They also pray that their children get the finest education possible, and grow up to be noble, respecting all fundamental values of life.
The penultimate phera of the ritual incorporates the couple promising to each other that they will bring immense joy and peace to the other. They vow to lead a harmonious life together by minimizing squabbles, and support each other, should any calamities befall on either of them. They pray to the gods to provide them strength to combat the negative forces as one strong entity, and lead a peaceful, joyous life together.
Last, but not the least, the final phera has the couple vouch for a friendship that stands taller than any other relation in the world. They promise each other eternal companionship, trust, loyalty, and unity in all forms. In the presence of gods and family members, they assure that they will love, honor, and cherish each other, no matter what stage of life they are in. It is the basic pillars of a strong relationship that the couple requests from the gods, which will help them lead an eternally blessed life with each other. The meaning of pheras may vary, depending on the community you belong to, but the fact of the matter remains the same. Did you enjoy this article? Is the meaning of the 7 vows in your community any different from ours? Tell us in the comments below!
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