Your wedding day is one of life’s most memorable events for the bride and groom. It is truly poetry in motion with its fascinating age-old customs and rituals. Dating back thousands of years; each one has its own special relevance with lot of depth and meaning. One such beautiful custom is the reading of the seven sacred vows during the marriage ceremony that creates an unseen but a deep bond for life. These seven vows are the promises that the bride and groom make to each other in order to lead a prosperous and happy life ahead.
The name given to these seven vows is ‘Saptapadi’, and these are performed together with the seven pheras, also known as ‘Mangalpheras’. ‘Pheras’are the custom of going the bride and groom around the sacred fire seven times, keeping in tandem with the seven vows. It is truly wonderful to understand the actual meaning of these vows that are recited along with the pheras under the holy mandap. The seven vows encompass the following:
- The first vow with the first phera is one in which the bride and groom invoke the gods for the bounty of food that is pure and nourishing, and a noble and respectful life together.
- The second vow taken with the second phera is the prayer for both mental and physical strength, and to be able to lead a peaceful, wholesome and healthy life.
- The third vow that is taken with the third phera is for fulfilling the spiritual duties and responsibilities. The couple asks for the blessing of spiritual strength from the gods.
- The fourth vow taken with the fourth phera is to attain harmony and happiness that comes through mutual trust and love for each other, and a long life of joy and togetherness.
- The fifth vow taken with the fifth phera is a prayer for all the living entities of the whole creation, that is, the universe and to be blessed with noble children.
- The sixth vow taken with the sixth phera is to pray for prosperity and bounty in all seasons, across the world. The couple asks for the blessing of traversing these seasons together, and always shares their joys and sorrows.
- With the last vow in the seventh phera, the couple prays for a life characterized by complete companionship, unity, understanding and loyalty, and prays for peach for themselves as well as for the universe.
Just like the rainbow has seven colors, music has seven notes, there are seven seas and there are seven islands, the couple is united for their next seven lives by this beautiful ceremony of the seven vows.