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Arya Samaj Wedding
Arya Samaj wedding is the in-thing today and many couples want to make their D-Day a simple and memorable affair rather than associate the day with too many rituals, customs, celebration and noise. Those who want a quiet and private wedding, without the festivities associated with the normal types of weddings, choose the Arya Samaj weddings types. These weddings are not bound by any particular community or sect.
This doesn’t mean that the Arya Samaj weddings have no rituals at all. Founded by Swami Dayanand Saraswati, the Arya Samaj Wedding takes place according to the rituals explained in the Vedas in a simple manner. The grandeur of other Hindu marriages will not be there in the Arya Samaj weddings. Most of the Hindu weddings take place based on the caste and religion of the couples. Some communities demand an elaborate wedding, whereas some communities keep it simple. In a few cases, couples who opt for Arya Samaj weddings combine a few rituals from their religion as well during the wedding. During these instances, the religious customs are very few and it is only the Vedic rituals that dominate the process. The Arya Samaj weddings are beyond all these traditions and extended rituals. Only the Hindu custom of Vedic rituals is followed while the couple unites with other for life. During the earlier days, these weddings were conducted only for Hindus. However, with the change in time, even non-Hindus opt for these weddings due to their simplicity. Non-Hindus need to undergo a purification process known as Shuddhi, in order to have an Arya Samaj wedding.
The customs and the cost of Arya Samaj weddings are very less when compared to the normal Hindu weddings that happen according to the customs of particular religions. These weddings get over in about 60 minutes, whereas some of the customary Hindu Brahmin weddings may go on for three days too.
Rituals Performed in Arya Samaj Wedding
The Madhuparka is a dish made from a combination of honey, curds and cream. The groom takes this mixture once he arrives at the place of wedding. The water that the bride gives to the groom three times is applied on his feet first, secondly on his body and is finally drunk. Now, the same process is done again where the groom offers water thrice to the bride. This is ritual that symbolizes unity between the couple.
The other important ritual is Kanyadaan. Kanya means girl and daan means giving away. Here, the parents surrender their daughter to the groom for life. Havana is the massive fire before which the wedding takes place. The next ritual is Pani Grahan Sanskar in which the groom says the Vedic mantras and promises to be by the bride’s side always through thick and thin. The Shilarohan is a ritual that is exclusive for the Arya Samaj weddings. Here, the bride’s brother keeps her foot on the grinding stone known as the Shila. Few more rituals that are conducted here are Lajahom, Parikrama and Saptabadi. Finally, the Ashirwad ceremony happens where the couple gets the blessings of the elders attending the wedding.
The Arya Samaj wedding is validated by the Validation Act XIX of Arya Marriage set up during 1937. This wedding does not believe in idol worship, therefore, there are no long ceremonies here. Only rituals as per Vedas are conducted and the couple enter into the wedded bliss in about 60 minutes or so. The noise of kids, parents and relatives of the couple running about the place, heaving gossiping among the ladies who attend the wedding, priests shouting out their requirements and other such disturbing activities that happen in normal Hindu weddings are not found in the Arya Samaj weddings.
Usually in a normal Hindu wedding, the rituals happen according to the groom’s caste or bride’s caste or both. These take a lot of time to get over and most of the times involve lots of cost too. The Arya Samaj weddings, on the other hand, are quite simple yet authentic affairs which are done in an hour resulting in huge cost savings as well. The priests who conduct these weddings are very approachable and will come to any place as per the requirement to conduct the wedding. An Arya Samaj wedding can be planned in just about 15 days compared to the months of meticulous planning required for the other Hindu weddings.
The founder of Arya Samaj Weddings, Swami Dayanand Saraswati, believed that the first and the foremost religion in the world was Hinduism and it was from here that most of the religions existing today have come. Hence, in the earlier days and until the recent past, these Arya Samaj weddings were conducted only on Hindus based on the scriptures from the Veda. If non-Hindus want to have an Arya Samaj wedding, they must first take part in a purification process, known as Shuddhi and only then wed according to the Vedas.
The Arya Samaj weddings are characterized by their simplicity. For the benefit of the couples, the Vedas are available in Tamil, English and Hindi so that they understand the meaning of their wedding vows and appreciates the importance of the same.