Hindu marriages are all about rituals. If you happen to observe it closely then you will understand the significance of these rituals. They teach us the actual essence of a blissful marriage. The Hindu scriptures of Vedas and Upanishads have been so thoughtful in whatever written is beyond our imagination. The 7 promises taken while marriage mentioned in the Vedas are short and resourceful phrases which bind within themselves all the responsibilities of a married couple.
The Hindu rituals ensure that the promises taken by the bride and groom witness the most powerful evidence. Apart from hundreds of people attending the marriage, the rituals demand the presence of all the Gods and Goddesses, Five elements, and the entire universe to be present while the vows are being taken.
Why are these vows so important in a Hindu marriage? What is it all about? And what are their significance? The answers to these questions are described below.
तीर्थव्रतोद्यापन यज्ञकर्म मया सहैव प्रियवयं कुर्या:
वामांगमायामि तदा त्वदीयं ब्रवीति वाक्यं प्रथमं कुमारी!।
The first vow is received by the bride from the groom. It mentions that Whenever you go for a pilgrimage trip then do take me along with you. Whenever you indulge in any task related to a donation, social service, fasting or sacred rituals then make me your equal partner in that. If you accept these vows then I am ready to be your wife’
पुज्यो यथा स्वौ पितरौ ममापि तथेशभक्तो निजकर्म कुर्या:
वामांगमायामि तदा त्वदीयं ब्रवीति कन्या वचनं द्वितीयम!!
In the second vow the bride demands
The way you respect and love your parents is praise worthy. If you accept that you will show the similar respect and love to my parents and follow all the family responsibilities then I accept to be your wife.
जीवनम अवस्थात्रये पालनां कुर्यात
वामांगंयामितदा त्वदीयं ब्रवीति कन्या वचनं तृतीयं!!
The bride puts forward this beautiful condition
In the upcoming stages of life after marriage, you will have to take care of me, our children, our family members and even the animals living in our house. If you agree to do so then I accept to be your wife.
कुटुम्बसंपालनसर्वकार्य कर्तु प्रतिज्ञां यदि कातं कुर्या:
वामांगमायामि तदा त्वदीयं ब्रवीति कन्या वचनं चतुर्थ:।।
The bride demands for a secured future. She says
Till now you were free of all the responsibilities of the family. After marriage, the fulfillment of every requirement of the house will be on you. If you accept that then I will be your wife.
स्वसद्यकार्ये व्यहारकर्मण्ये व्यये मामापि मन्त्रयेथा
वामांगमायामि तदा त्वदीयं ब्रूते वच: पंचमत्र कन्या!!
The fifth promise ensures that the bride gets the most important right of being a wife. She says
Every expenditure, investment or cash inflow related to the family needs to be consulted by me as well before you implement them. If you agree to do so then I accept being your wife.
न मेपमानमं सविधे सखीना द्यूतं न वा दुर्व्यसनं भंजश्वेत
वामाम्गमायामि तदा त्वदीयं ब्रवीति कन्या वचनं च षष्ठम!!
The sixth promise is the most important of all to retain the respect in the relationship. She says
Whenever I sit with my friends, family or any other known lady then you should not insult me. Apart from that your involvement in any kind of betting games or consumption of alcohol is not acceptable. If you agree to do so then I accept to be your wife.
परस्त्रियं मातूसमां समीक्ष्य स्नेहं सदा चेन्मयि कान्त कूर्या।
वामांगमायामि तदा त्वदीयं ब्रूते वच: सप्तमंत्र कन्या!!
In the last promise, the bride demands that
Except for me, you should consider all the women in the existence as either your mother or sister. You should never keep any physical relationship with a lady other than me. Your love and respect for me should never diminish. If you accept to do so then I will be your wife.
After all these seven beautiful promises demanded by the bride, the groom gets a chance to put forward his demand as well.
At every phase of life after marriage, you should consider my advice or opinion. You should value my trust and never use harsh words or slangs while talking to me. Every responsibility of the house should be taken care by both of us equally and efficiently. Along with all these, it is your responsibility to take care of your mother and father in law. You will carry all the duties of an ideal wife and make sure that the blessings of God are always upon our family. If you accept all these then I promise that I will give you every happiness of being a wife.