Sacred Steps of a Hindu Wedding Ceremony

According to Hindu Dharma, marriage is a sacrament to unite two souls such that they become one in soul and spirit. It is believed in Hindu philosophy that if two people walk seven steps together then they will remain lifelong friends.

Hindu marriage ceremony is conducted with Agni or the sacred fire as an eternal witness to the marriage. This holy fire acts as a great protection from negative energies and brings down the blessings of Gods from the heavens. By Hindu law and tradition, the marriage is deemed incomplete unless seven encirclements are made by the bride and bridegroom together around the sacred fire.

Sacred Steps of a Hindu Wedding Ceremony

The central ritual of a Hindu marriage is Saat Pheras or the seven steps to marriage.

It is also called Saptapadi, where seven steps are taken together by the bride and the groom at a slow pace side by side, step by step in the north eastern direction. While going around the fire the bride is always on the right side.

With each step taken, the bride and bridegroom take the sacred 7 vows together. The seven vows are known as saptadi or seven promises which the bride and groom pledge together to be bound together for a lifetime.

First step – ‘’ Let us take the first step to live with honor and respect with God `s blessings. Let us walk together to be blessed with pure, nourishing food.”

Groom: “om esha ekapadi bhava iti prathaman”

“My beloved, by taking the first step with me, our love becomes firm. You will offer me food and will be helpful to me in all ways. I will provide you and take care of you and your children. I will cherish you and keep you happy”

Bride: “ dhanam dhanyam pade vadet”

“I humbly submit before you and shall fulfill all responsibilities of home, food, children and finance.”

Second step - “Let us walk together and be blessed with physical, mental and spiritual strength to be happy and enjoy life.”

Groom: “ Om oorje jara dastayaha”

“Fill my heart with strength and courage and together we shall protect the home and children.”

Bride: “Kutumbum rakshayishyammi sa aravindharam”

“I shall in your grief fill your heart with courage and strength. In your happiness, I shall rejoice. You shall love me and me alone as your wife.

Third step – “Let us walk together to gain prosperity and wealth. Let us share our joys and sorrows together.” Groom: “ Om rayas santu jordastayaha”

“My beloved, you have walked three steps with me and our prosperity and wealth will grow. I shall look upon all other woman as my sisters.

Bride: “tava bhakti as vadedvachacha”

“I will love you single mindedly and be a chaste wife. “

Fourth step – “Let us walk together and may God bless us with happiness, mutual love and trust in all walks of life. Let us not forget our parents and elders.”

Groom: “Om maya bhavas jaradastaya ha”

“You have brought auspiciousness and sacredness into my life”

Bride: “lalayami cha pade vadet”

“I will serve you and please you in every way I can.”

Fifth step – “May we pray for the well being of all beings in the universe and be blessed with noble, virtuous and heroic children. Let us walk together and observe all acts of charity.”

Groom: “Om prajabhyaha santu jaradastayaha”

“May our loved ones live long and share our prosperity.”

Bride: “arte arba sapade vadet”

“I will share your joys and sorrows. I will carry out your wishes.”

Sixth step – “Let us walk together and have a long, joyous life with togetherness forever.”

Groom: “Rutubhyah shat padi bhava”

“May you fill my heart with joy and peace at all times.

Bride: “yajne home shasthe vacho vadet”

“In all acts of righteousness, material prosperity, enjoyment and divine acts, I will participate with you and be with you.”

Seventh step – “Let us be blessed with understanding, companionship, loyalty and unity. Let us be lifelong friends with eternal love and sacrifice. “

Groom: “om sakhi jaradastayahga”

“Now you have become completely mine and I offer my life to you.”

Bride: “attramshe sakshino vadet pade”

“We will be truthful to each other and love each other.”

The couple takes seven steps around the holy fire which symbolize eternal friendship and their journey through life together. It establishes an indissoluble bond between the couple.