The Hindu marriage is based on the marriage of Soma with SuryA,
and is narrated by Rishi SuryA in the RigVeda. This could be based on an imagined marriage
ceremony or could be the marriage of the seer herself.
This collection of
verses is mainly form the RigVeda, and has been compiled by Sri Anirban to adapt it for
use in Hindu marriages. The verses are full of Vedic imagery. I will use a Bangla
translation by Professor Gouri DharmapAl, and re-translate them into english.
Aghorchakshur apatighniedhi shiva pashubhyah sumanAh suvarchAh.
Virasur devakAmA syenA sham na bhava dvipade sham chatuspade.
Be (edhi) soft gazed (aghor-chakshuh), not a widow (a-pati-ghni) benefactor of
animals (pashubhyah shiva), pleasant hearted (su-manAh), bright looking (su-varchAh),
mother of heroes (vira-suh), devoted to God (deva-kAmA). Be peaceable with (sham bhava)
our (nah) people (dvipade) and animals (chatuspade).
Groom takes the bride to the altar and both sit down. AchArya recounts the
marriage of Soma with SuryA.
AchArya: SatyenottabhitA bhumih suryenottabhitA dyuoh.
RitenAdityAs tishthanti divi somo adhi shritah.
Earth (bhumih) is hoisted up (uttabhitA) by satya (satyena). The sky (dyouh) is
hoisted up (uttabhitA) by surya (suryena). The Adityas (AdityAh) stand on Rita (ritena
tishthanti). Soma (somah) is supported by sky (divi adhishritah).
SomenAdityA valinah somena prithivi mahi.
Atho nakshatrAnAm eshAmupasthe soma Ahitah.
By Soma (somena) the Adityas (AdityAh) are powerful (valinah). By Soma (somena)
the earth (prithivi) is glorious (mahi). And (atha) Soma stays (somah Ahitah) close to the
stars (eshAm nakshatrAnAm upasthe).
Somam manyate papivan yat sampishanti oshadhim.
Somam yam brahmAno vidurna tasyAshnAti kaschana.
The creeper that people crush (yat oshadhim sam-pishanti), (the drinkers)
imagine (manyate) (that) they are drinking soma elixir (somam papivAn). That soma (yam
somam) which the brAhmins (brahmanah) know of (viduh), nobody ever eats it (na kaschan
* Soma desires a wife
Somo vadhuyrabhavat ashvinAstAmubhA vara.
SuryAm yat patye shamsantim manasA savitA dadAt.
Soma (somah) becomes (abhavat) desirous of a wife (vadhuyuh). Both Ashvinas
(ubha ashvinA) became (their) welcomers (vara AstAm). When (yat) suryA (suryAm) became
desirous of groom (patye shamshantim), (then) savitA (savitA) mentally (manasA) offered
* SuryA is described
ChittirA upabarhanam chakshurA abhyanjanam.
Dyuorbhumih kosha Ashidyad suryA patim.
When SuryA went towards her husband (yat suryA patim agAt), (then) the sky and
earth (dyuoh bhumih) became the carriage (koshah Asit), (her) awareness (chittih) became
(Ah) the back cushion (upabarhanam), (her) vision (chakshuh) became (Ah) eye make-up
Mano asyA an AsiddyourAsiduta chhadih.
Shukrou anadvahou Astam yadayAtsuryA griham.
When SuryA went to (husband's) home (yat suryA griham ayAt), (then) her (asyAh)
mind (manah) became (Asit) (her) chariot (anah), and (uta) sky (dyouh) became (Asit) (its)
roof (chhadih), two stars (shukrou) became (AstAm) (her) ride (Anadvahou).
Dve te chakre surye brahmAnah rituthA viduh.
Athoikam chakram yadguhA tadaddhatayah idviduh.
O suryA (surye), brAhmins know (brahmAnah viduh) (about) your two seasonal
cycles (te dve rituthA chakre). But one of these cycles (atha ekam chakram) which is
secret (yad guhA), that is known to the poet (tad addhatayah it viduh).
* Bow to all
SuryAoi devebhyo mitrAya varunAya cha.
Ye bhutasya prachetas idam tebhyokaram namah.
They who wishes well of creatures (ye bhutasya prachetasah) them SuryA, Mitra,
Varuna and others (tebhyah suryAoi devebhyah mitrAya varunAya cha) I bow to them (idam
* To the bride
Somah prathamah vivide gandharvo vivida uttarah.
Tritiyo agnishte patisturiaste manushyajah.
Soma recieved first (somah prathamah vivide), Gandharva recieved afterwards
(gandharvah uttarah vivide). Agni is your third husband (Agnih te tritiyah patih), son of
man is your fourth (manushyajah te turyah).
* The fire is lit and said to
Agne shardha mahate soubhagAya tava dyumnAni uttamAni santu.
Sam jAspatyam suyamam Akrinushva shatruyatAm abhi tisthA mahAmsi.
O Agni show your might (Agne shardha) your best illuminations (tava uttamAni
dyumnAni) may bring great luck (mahate soubhagAya santu). Make the spousal family
(jampatyam Akrinushva) evenly balanced (suyamam sam), resist the might of (mahamsi abhi
tistha) the unfriendly (shatruyatam).
* Groom's AjyAhuti
(she will touch his right shoulder with her right hand)
Om dyuos te pristham rakshatu vayur uru ashvinou cha.
StanandhayAmsa te putrAn savitA abhirakshatu.
AvAsasah paridhAnAt vrihaspatir
Vishve devAbhirakshantu paschat svAhA.
Tri-avasana shatpada kakummati shakkari chhanda
(May) the sky (dyuoh) protect your back (te prishtham rakshatu), Vayu and the
two Ashvinas (vAyu ashvinou cha) (protect your) legs (uru). (May) your unweaned sons (te
stanandhayAn putrAn) be protected by savitA (savitA abhirakshatu). (May) vrihaspati
(vrihaspatih) (protect you) till you are clothed (AvAsasah paridhAnAt), afterwards
(paschAt) may the vishadevas protect (vishve devAh abhirakshantu).
kta pareitu mrityur amritam me agAt.
Vaivasvato no abhayam krinotu svAhA.
ChatushpadA gAyatri chhanda
(May) death (mrityuh) be sent far (parA etu), immortality (amritam) come near
(me Agat). Son of VivasvAn (vaivasvatah) give us shelter from fear (na abhayam krinotu).
* Exchange of seats and acceptance of hand
PushA tveto nayatu hastagrihya ashvinA tvA pravahatAm rathena.
GrihAn gachha grihapatni yathAso vashini tvam vidatham A vadasi.
(May) PushA (pushA) lead you from here (itah nayatu) holding your hand
(hastagrihya tva). The two Ashvinas (ashvinA) carry you in chariot (tvA rathena pra
vahatAm). Go home (grihAn gachha), so that you become the lady of the household (yathA
tvam grihapatni asah), take control (vashini) (and) give orders (vidatham A vadAsi).
Groom: GribhnAmi te soubhagatvAya hastam
MayA patyA jaradashtir yathA sah.
Bhago aryamA savitA purandhir mahyam tvAdur gArhapatyAya devAh.
For good luck (soubhagatvAya) I accept your hand (te hastam gribhnAmi), so that
(yathA) in my husbandship (mayA patyA) you reach old age (jarat ashtih asah). The devas
Bhaga, AryamA, SavitA and Purandhi (Bhago aryamA saviA purandhir devAh) have given you to
me (mahyam tvA aduh) for (becoming your) husband (gArhapatyAya).
* Bride's lajAhom
Bride: Om dirghAyur astu me patih shatam varshAni jivatu.
EdhantAm jnAtayo mama svAhA.
(May) my husband (me patih) live long (dirghAyuh astu), live one hundred years
(shatam varshAni jivatu). My relatives (mama jnAtayah) prosper (edhantAm).
Om aryamanam nu devam kanyA agnim ayakshata.
sa mAm devo aryamA preto munchatu mAmutah svAhA.
(As a) daughter (kanyA) (I) made vows (ayakshata nu) to deva Aryama and Agni
(aryamanam devam agnim). (May the) Aryama deva (sah aryamA deva) liberate me from it (mam
itah pramanchatu), (May Agni) liberate me from that (ma amutah).
To be continued