By Shruti Goenka Last Updated:
The typical Hindu wedding ritual consists of the bride and the groom taking seven vows in presence of their loved ones, with the holy fire as their witness. This is a way for the couple to confirm their commitment and sincerity to the new relationship they are about to begin.
With each phera, the bride and the groom take a vow in front of their loved ones for their happy married life. Though most couples, in their eagerness to get over with the ceremony, may tend to overlook these vows, each of these seven vows around the holy fire in the presence of their loved ones as their witness behind it. Let us take you through these seven wedding vows, and tell you what each of them means.
The first step of this journey of togetherness is a prayer to the Lord for nourishment. This phera has the bride and the groom seek divine blessings by asking the Lord to ensure that they are never short of food or money. As the groom vows to provide welfare and happiness to his better half; the bride promises to shoulder the responsibilities with him. Together they pray that they may work towards this goal together, and with respect for one another.
In the second phera, the couple seeks union on all levels– mental, emotional and spiritual. They vow to love each other forever, faithfully! They pray to the Lord to help them live as one complete being rather than two halves. Since they will be partners for life, they seek strength to be able to support and protect each other through all phases of life.
Stepping into the realm of worldly life; in the third phera, the bride and the groom beseech the Lord for wealth and prosperity. They seek wealth not only for their physical existence and desires but also to be able to fulfil their spiritual obligations. They also seek blessing for the ability and means to take care of their children, educate them and look after all their needs. They also pledge physical and spiritual loyalty towards each other throughout their life.
The family is an important entity in Indian society. Respecting elders and taking care of all the family members is a part of the social values. The couple pledges to strengthen their family together by ensuring that they uphold the family values, and maintain relationships within the family. The groom expresses gratitude towards his wife for completing his life and bringing auspiciousness and happiness. And, the bride takes the vow to love her husband in every way.
With the beginning of a new life together, the couple seeks blessings for their future progeny as well. They pray to the Lord to be blessed with strong and noble children, who will carry their family name forward. They also vow to be responsible parents to the children and provide them with education and a correct upbringing. The groom also tells his wife that he would always see her as his best friend. The bride promises to love and cherish their relationship forever.
To live a life that is honest and noble, the couple prays to the almighty to give them a healthy and disease-free life. They pray for strength so that they can fulfil their responsibilities towards their family, each other and their children. The bride and the groom wish for a balanced and joyful life for each other and with each other.
The final phera that seals this holy union is one, where the couple pledges to each other their love, trust, and companionship. They vow to be friends for life and stand by each other through everything. This phera also brings home the truth that they are now united through everything in life and must be true to each other and their relationship always. They pray for sweetness and love to fill their lives.
Every different religion and culture has its own set of vows for the newlyweds. But, behind all of them, the significance is the same- commitment, devotion and respect towards one another. All these vows mean that the couple love, respect, stand and understand each other… ‘till death do us apart’.