Tuesday, May 5, 2009

I once became a 'Marriage Purohit'!

My nephew, Udaya Bhasker’s marriage with Hina Narayan was solemnized on 8th February, 2007, at Lucknow. The marriage was performed in an orthodox, meticulous and elaborate manner as per the Srivatsav family customs. The Purohit who performed the marriage is a Sanskrit Pandit and the Principal of a local college. As he chanted the Slokas and Mantras, he also explained the meaning and significance of them in Hindi, for all of us to understand and appreciate. The wedding ceremonies commenced at 5pm and lasted up to 11pm that is for 6 hours.

Before leaving for Lucknow, we discussed the various stages and customs of the marriage ceremony and found majority of them to be similar with that of our family. However the following four important practices of the South were communicated to the bride’s family and it was decided that we would include these rituals as the marriage ceremony progresses. These practices were of the bride and groom applying Jhilakara-bellam on one another’s head, the groom adorning the bride’s neck with a Mangala Sutram by tying it with three knots, the bride and groom pouring rice mixed with turmeric - called Thalambralu over one another’s head and lastly the bride and groom playing a best of three game to find a Gold ring immersed in a pot of water. While some of these rituals were supervised by the ladies in our family the Managal Sutra Dharana Sloka was recited by me and its significance and meaning explained. I had practiced well for this part of mine and it went off well. That is how I claim to be a marriage priest for once; by conducting the most important ceremony of Mangala Sutra Dharana.

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