Marriage is the Most Important Samskar (Sacrament)
by Rajan Zed
In Hinduism, vivah (marriage) is the most important samskar (sacrament). The married couple is looked at as a complete module for worship and participation in cultural/social acts. With the marriage samskar, one thoroughly enters into grihasth-ashram (householder phase), where one can attend to the goals of dharm (duty).
Traditional Hindu marriage is a sacred rite and involves various religious steps, including: kanyadaan (giving of the bride), panigrahan (hand grasping), reciting from scriptures, walking around the fire saying Vedic mantars (hymns), saptapadi (seven steps) on the piles of rice, etc.
The course of a conventional Hindu wedding includes various religious/cultural/social procedures, including: gunapariksha, patrika (horoscope), matching, vagdana (betrothal), pressing a tilak (religious mark) on the bridegroom, worship of gods/ancestors/spirits, mrdaharana (bringing of earth) by mothers, applying mehndi (henna) on the bride, Ganesh worship, worship of goddess Sitala for 3-7 days, bride’s abhishek (consecration) by the priest, saptarsimandal (asking stars to be witnesses), dispersal rites, coconut smashing at the temple, etc.
Link to this article published in ‘onfaith.co ‘ – https://www.onfaith.co/onfaith/2008/05/19/marriage-is-the-most-important/2666