Tilak ceremony, in other words, can be called as the Groom acceptance ceremony. It is essentially a process of acceptance of the groom as a competent person to marry the girl. This ritual holds a very significant position in Indian Marriages and has many reasons associated with it.
The Tilak ceremony is also known as Teep in the Eastern parts of India and Pottu or Chenkai in South India. It is quite different in different parts of the Country. In some places, the bride and her mother are not allowed to attend the ceremony. In general, Tilak is normally held at the grooms’ residence. However, it is sometimes conducted at the temples as well. On the whole, you can say that it is the start of the ice-breaking ceremony between the Bride and the Groom’s family.
Rituals Of Tilak Ceremony
The thali used in the Tilak ceremony has different components depending on the region or culture of the respective families. But, in general, these are the products used: tilak, sandalwood, saffron, kumkum, oil and a diya. This thali is used during the Tilak ceremony to perform Aarti on a head covered groom. The ceremony symbolized the bride’s father’s acceptance of the groom’s hand for his daughter. This puja ceremony is conducted for the well being of the would-be couple as well as for initiating cordial and continued relations between both families.
- The Tilak ceremony begins with a pooja or havan where the bride and the groom’s family pray for a happy and auspicious future of the would-be a couple.
- The father of the Bride puts Tilak on the forehead of the Groom and in some places washes his feet as well.
- After the pooja, the bride’s father offers gifts to the groom and his family members. The gifts include clothes, sweets, and fruits.
- The groom’s father sends gifts of sugar, coconut, rice, clothes, jewelry and henna to the bride. Friends and relatives from the groom’s family carry those gifts for the bride and her family members.
- The procedure is to consider the groom as Lord Mahavishnu.
- Rituals like shodashopacharapooja, with aavaahan, arghya, paadya, aachamaniya, snaana, madhuparka, garlanding, and offering Naivedya are performed.
- At the end to confirm the closing of the ceremony successfully a coconut from either side, along with betel leafs and areca nut is exchanged between the two families.
Science Behind Tilak Ceremony
On the forehead, between the two eyebrows, is a spot that is considered as a major nerve point in the human body. The Tilak is believed to prevent the loss of “energy”, the red ‘kumkum’ between the eyebrows is said to retain energy in the human body and control the various levels of concentration. While applying kumkum the points on the mid-brow region and Adnya-chakra are automatically pressed. This also facilitates the blood supply to the face muscles.
You must be wondering that how is it significant in an Indian marriage. Let me tell you that without these rituals, conducting an Indian marriage smoothly is almost impossible. The amount of time and labor spent in making a Hindu marriage happen is huge. These rituals were knowingly put into the procedure to ensure that the Bride and the Groom and their family members should be at the best of their health.
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