It is so appeasing when your loved one promises to spend a lifetime together with you. In an Indian wedding, it is beyond a promise or expression of love. It is a commitment of eternity. An Indian Wedding is considered a sacred exchanging of vows. It encompasses the Indian culture and tradition that levy the rules of a blissful, married life. There are seven vows, or Saptadi, that are performed during the mangalpheras. A sacred fire, or havankund, is lit with sandalwood, which evokes Lord Agni, the god of fire. The priest chants the mantras from the Vedas, a book of ancient scriptures. The couple walks around the havankund pledging their commitment to be together through thick and thin, which is witnessed by Lord Agni. Before the pheras, the bride sits on the right side of the groom, but soon after the pheras she moves to the left side, symbolizing her getting closer to his heart.
First Vachan: an appeal for pure food, nourishment and prosperity.
Groom: “Om Esha ekapadi bhava iti prathaman.” (I will offer prosperity and welfare to you and our children. You will embrace me with your helping hand and food.)
Bride: “Dhanam dhanyam pade vadet.” (I promise to fulfill all my duties and responsibilities of food and finance towards the well-being of our household, family and children.)
Second Vachan: a prayer for mental, physical and spiritual strength to lead a healthy life
Groom: “Om oorje jara dastayaha.” (Give me courage and strength to protect the family and household.)
Bride: “Kutumbum rakshayishyammi sa aravindharam.” (I promise to sweeten your life with my words. I will fill your heart with strength to overcome sorrows and in return, you will not love anybody but me.)
Third Vachan: seeking prosperity and wealth
Groom: “Om rayas santu joradastayah.” (You will grace your presence in my life which will mark the growth of our wealth and prosperity. All other women will be my sisters. And we will educate our children to give them a bright future.)
Bride: “Tava bhakti as vadedvachacha.” (I will devote myself to you as a pure wife. I will treat all other men as my brothers.)
Fourth Vachan: invoking the god for peace and joy through love and trust
Groom “Om mayo bhavyas jaradastaya ha.” (Your presence is sacred to my life, my beloved. We shall be blessed with obedient children with long lives.)
Bride “Lalayami cha pede vadet.” (My lord, I will please you in every way possible. I will wear fragrance and put on sandalwood paste for you.)
Fifth Vachan: The couple requests the God for the well being of all the human beings. They want to be bestowed upon with virtuous children.
Groom: “Om prajabhyaha santu jaradastayaha.” (You shall be blessed by Gods and share your prosperity with our loved ones. You will be my life.)
Bride “Arte arba sapade vadet.” (I will share your grief and joy. You will be my love, trust and honor. I will fulfill your wishes.)
Sixth Vachan: seeking a blissful life together
The bride is the only one of the couple to recite this vow. Before she does, the priest says something like this: “You have filled my heat with joy and happiness after taking 6 pheras with me. You shall rejoice me and bring peace and happiness in all walks of life.”
Bride: “Yajna hom shashthe vacho vadet.” (I will stand by you in all the righteous and acts approved by the divine.)
Seventh Vachan: invoking the gods to bless them with loyalty, companionship and compatibility
Groom: “Om sakhi jaradastyahga.” (We have completed the seventh phera and now we have united our souls. We are together till death parts us. Our love has become eternal.)
Bride: “Attramshe sakshino vadet pade.” (We have pledged to be together in front of the gods, chanting their prayers. We have taken vows with a pure mind and we shall remain truthful throughout our lives. With this I am your wife.)
In the first four pheras, the groom leads and the bride follows, while in the last three pheras, the bride leads her groom. While walking around the havankund, they take the seven vows that bind the couple together for a lifetime.