Every time the topic of the wedding comes up, you hear people talking about the “shaadi ke phere”. You can be late for any other ceremony, but these “shaadi ke phere” or the seven pheras can never be delayed because these seven steps around the fire have to be taken at a particularly auspicious time determined by the pandit, commonly known as ‘muhrat’. Ever wondered what are the seven promises or the 7 vachan of Hindu marriage when they take those seven steps around the fire?
The saat pheras, the seven vows of a Hindu marriage are still as sacred and as auspicious as they were thousands on years ago. No matter what, if it’s any type of Hindu Marriage, the seven pheras or saat phere around the sacred and pious Agni is what is common across all of them. This is the marriage oath that the couple takes to bond their marriage physically, mentally, and spiritually.
Indian weddings are growing larger in scale over the years. In old times, there used to be a simple ceremony followed by a simple meal provided to the villagers. Now, we organise huge destination weddings with over 8 different events like haldi, Mehendi, sangeet, engagement, wedding, reception and what not. No matter the number of events, the root of a holy matrimony always stays in the Seven Pheras, where the bride and the groom make seven vows of marriage to each other in every phera for every aspect of life such as finances, health, well-being and progeny. These seven pheras are called Saptapadi, taken around the holy fire called ‘agni‘.
In this traditional ceremony, a priest chants the old Hindu scriptures in Sanksrit. The vows are taken in front of the fire, where Lord Agni is said to reside. The blessings of God Agni is considered to strengthen the bond between the couple. Certain cultures like the Punjabi culture has only four pheras, but every culture holds a lot of significance to these vows and the couple can officially commence their beautiful journey after the Pheras.
All the family members are especially invited to this ceremony to bless the couple for the beautiful journey they are about to embark upon.
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If you are wondering the meanings of shaadi ke 7 vachan, here they are:
The Meaning Of Seven Pheras Of Hindu Marriage
It is evident that the Seven Pheras are very important in a Hindu marriage and the marriage remains incomplete without the pheras. What are pheras? The seven rounds that the couple takes around the fire are called pheras and has immense signification in a marriage because of each vow taken during each round, you can call them the seven promises of marriage. Let us move on to the meanings of each phera in the saat phere.
1. The First Vow: A prayer for nourishment
In the first vow of the seven promises of marriage, the couple takes the steps around the holy fire with the bride staying in the lead. The groom promises to always take care of his wife and future children by providing them with happiness, respectable life and good food to eat. The bride, in turn, promises the groom that she will share the burden of the groom’s responsibilities and will forever look after the health and welfare of the groom and the family she is going to be a part of.
2. The Second Vow: A prayer for strength during bad times and sickness
The meaning of second vachan is one of the most beautiful amonsgt the 7 vachans of marriage, as it sends out a prayer to the Lord Agni for the well-being and nourishment of the couple in all aspects including physical, mental, and spiritual. Here, the groom requests the bride to stand with him through thick and thin, in all his ups and downs, and always share his duty to protect the family. The bride, in turn, asks for everlasting love and all the attention of the groom as she promises to always be his strength.
3. The Third Vow: A prayer for prosperity
The third vow of the Seven Pheras of Hindu marriage sends a prayer out to the Almighty for a life full of prosperity and wealth to live a happy, satisfying life. In this phera, the bride and the groom reassure each other to forever be loyal to each other and always maintain the sanctity of the marriage.
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4. The Fourth Vow: A prayer for unity in families
An Indian marriage is not only the marriage of two people, but it is also a marriage of two families. This Shaadi ka phera primarily goes to the family of the couple. The groom is thankful to the bride to bring him the happiness he has been longing for. She also brings sacredness in his life which he thanks her for. The bride promises to always keep the groom happy the best way she can. They also promise to take care of the elders in the family and treat them with a lot of love and respect.
5. The Fifth Vow: A prayer for noble offspring
From the fifth phera, the groom takes the lead while taking the steps around the holy fire as the bride follows. Since marriage is considered incomplete without a child, in this vow, the couple prays to Almighty for blessings to complete their family and conceive a noble offspring. It is a request to the Lord to bless them with a healthy and strong child with good values. They also pledge to be good parents and bring up their child by themselves, without relying on others.
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6. The Sixth Vow: A prayer for good health
How can one have a happy married life without good health? The 6th of the 7 vachan of Hindu marriage, the couple prays to the Lord Almighty and seek His blessings for a disease-free, healthy life. In this vachan, the groom wishes for the bride to fill his life with happiness and peacefulness. The bride promises to do, while also making the vachan of always being beside him in health and in sickness, in all his acts.
7. The Seventh Vow: A prayer for everlasting love and friendship
In the final phera of the seven pheras, the couple prays for a long relationship thriving on love, loyalty and understanding. They promise to always be with each other and be there for each other for not just this birth, but several other births to come. The last vow in the सात वचन, the couple promises companionship and stronger bond as their marriage grows.
The final vow unites the couple with togetherness and their soul is considered to become one. “Do jism, ek jaan”, as we have heard. They promise to abide by all the vows made with complete honesty and begin their journey as husband and wife till eternity.
Just like every other ritual in the Hindu wedding, these Pheras, the seven promises of marriage also hold significant importance in the spiritual bonding of the bride and the groom. A permanent loyalty is promised to each other and it gives the couple an assurance that they would always have each other to fall back on. The seven vows act as a confirmation of the love and care that the husband and wife are going to receive from each other through the births.
Interesting, isn’t it? Do let us know in the comments!