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Introduction To Marriage Ceremonies Of Brahmins

Apr 21, 2008
An introduction to marriage ceremonies of Brahmins is not always easy to come by. This is because Brahmin marriage rites are elaborate and differ from place to place or from one Brahmin group to another. One thing is certain though. Marriage for Hindus is the most important sacraments of all. Since the Brahmins were traditionally the highest class in Hindu society, they also had the distinction of having the purest marriage tradition.

There may be differences between northern and southern practices. There are however some common aspects that are practiced in similar manners. Pre marriage rituals, astrology and the binding nature of betrothals are only some of the common concepts and aspects shared by Brahmins from both the north and the south.

Among many families, pre marriage rituals are indispensable to marriage ceremonies. During a period of time, the bride and groom and their families go through a series of rituals that culminate on the wedding day. The rituals begin with the tying of the sacred thread to the Brahmin groom. Every male Brahmin is to undergo this ritual before he is married. In a lot of cases, the thread is tied when he is in the adolescent stage. In a way, the ceremony symbolizes his manhood and the wishes of his community for success.

The betrothal and engagement are then decided upon. Many who write about the introduction to marriage ceremonies of Brahmins do not forget to mention the role of the family. In old India, Brahmin families often agreed with each other regarding the betrothal of their children. Modern Hindus of course, have more freedom to choose their life partners. Then and now however, Brahmin betrothals are serious promises that cannot easily be broken.

The betrothal stage is often an elaborate and diversified rite in itself. During the betrothal ceremony, the Brahmin prays over them and blesses them in the presence of the bride's guardian and groom's parents. The Brahmin is then offered gifts. While a coupe is betrothed, the families of each may exchange small gifts and tokens.

Other pre marriage rituals are practiced. These include the meeting of the bride and the groom's female relations, the painting of the bride's hands and feet, the giving of gifts and tokens to the groom's family and other religious invocations and prayers.

On the day of the wedding, the groom rides a horse to the bride's home. Upon dismounting, he is blessed and his feet are washed. Among some Brahmins, the bride is ceremonially given away before the ceremony proper. The bride's father makes a speech about giving away the bride as a gift and the groom graciously accepts with a speech of his own.

During the ceremony the bride and groom sit inside a canopy with the officiating Brahmin. Their parents may also be present. In some practices, they face the east and an invitation is made to the gods. The priest or priests then read from the Vedas and pray for the couple.

Although practices may differ, one common denominator is the presence of fire. Depending on the ritual followed, couples may be asked to move around the fire or relatives may be asked to offer to the fire. Other common rituals include the exchange of garlands and the tying of the knot between the groom and bride. The bride and groom who each have a piece of cloth tie the ends in a symbolic knot that signifies their oneness. Their hands are also tied together.

For more information about marriage and matrimony for brahmins visit http://www.brahminsmatrimony.com/

There are so many other points that can be added to an introduction to marriage ceremonies of Brahmins. As mentioned, the differences between ancient and modern practices and the differences among various Brahmin groups can make a comprehensive introduction difficult to make.
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James writes about Brahmins Marriage and matrimony for online consumers
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