Hindu Marriage joins two individuals for life, so that they can pursue dharma (duty), artha (possessions), kama (physical desires), and moksha (ultimate spiritual release) together. It is a union of two individuals as husband and wife, and is recognized by law. A Hindu marriage is a sacred (vachan) and elaborate ceremony involving many significant rituals and rites which often extend over several days.
The most important ones are the seven vows of Hindu marriage which are performed on the day of the marriage itself. These vows are also known Sapta Padi, contains all the elements and practice of marriage. The vachans are sworn during the pheras taken around the sacred fire called the havan kund which is the witness of the vows sworn by the groom and the bride. They consist of promises which the bride and groom make to each other in the presence of a priest while circling around a sacred flame in honour of the fire god ‘Agni’.
These traditional Hindu vows form an unseen bond between the couple as they speak the promising words for a happy and prosperous life together.
The Seven Sacred Vows of Marriage are described as follows:
- “Om esha ekapadi bhava iti prathaman”.
The couple invokes the gods for provisions for their household, for pure and nourishing food and a life that is noble and respectful.
- “Om oorje jara dastayaha”
The couple prays for physical and mental strength, for spiritual powers and to lead a healthy and peaceful life.
- “Om rayas Santu joradastayaha”
To increase their wealth by righteous means and proper use, and for the fulfilment of spiritual obligations.
- “Om mayo bhavyas jaradastaya ha”
To acquire knowledge, happiness and harmony by mutual love and trust and a long joyous life together.
- “Om prajabhyaha Santu jaradastayaha”
To be blessed with strong, virtuous and obedient children.
- “Yajne home shashthe vacho vadet”
The sixth vow says, the bride and the groom should have self-control of the mind, body and soul and should have long marital relationship.
- “Om sakhi jaradastayahga.”
To be true companions and remain lifelong partners with understanding, loyalty and unity, not only for themselves but also for the peace of the universe.
Once the marriage is over, it is equally important to acquire a Marriage Certificate and get your marriage registered within 30 days of solemnization of the same. Sometime around 2005-06 the Supreme Court made it mandatory for couples to register their marriages and the benefits of registering a marriage definitely outweigh those of non-registration, which in the latter case are none.
In earlier times, only the affluent used to register their marriages because of succession to property. In the case of remarriage after the death of a spouse or in case of a divorce, the courts issued a certificate of death/divorce, and most educated families wanted this evidence.
A marriage certificate is not just ‘another license’ that one must obtain. It is in fact a very essential document that couples generally tend to overlook in the euphoria and fanfare of their marriage. It is now mandatory to all to get their marriage registered irrespective of religion, caste, sect, class etc. Registration of marriage is helpful in preventing child marriages and also ensures that the minimum age of marriage is complied with. Also such a law prevents non-consensual marriages in the country, checks illegal marriage/polygamy and among other things, enables married women to claim their right to live in the matrimonial home, claim maintenance etc. and therefore is a step in direction of empowerment of women, on a broader level.
On a personal level, the couple also benefits from Marriage Registration in the following:
- If you are applying for a passport or opening a bank account after the wedding, then Marriage Certificate is required.
- Extremely helpful in obtaining visas for both husband and wife.
- As the foreign embassies in India as well as in countries outside India, do not recognize traditional marriages, the Marriage Certificate is mandatory for the couple to travel abroad using a spouse visa.
Enables a spouse in claiming life insurance return or bank deposits in case of demise of the Insurer or depositor without any nominee.