A Hindu wedding comprises a lot of customs and rituals. In fact, people of the earlier generations believe that the essence of a blissful married life is those rituals and customs. Among the many customs in a Hindu marriage a popular ritual is the seven vows or popularly known as Sapta Padi in Sanskrit. The word Sapta means seven and Padi means foot. The seven vows that are taken by the bride and the groom during the time of wedding signify the seven promises that they should abide by in a married life. The bride and the groom usually take the seven vows around the sacred fire which is an embodiment of the God of Fire.
Seven Vows of Indian Marriages
- The first Promise: In the first promise the groom assures that their love has become strong by taking the first leap of faith and he also promises to provide for the welfare of his wife and his family. The bride in turn promises to take the responsibility of the household.
- The second promise: When the second promise is taken the groom promises that he will protect his wife and family with all his might in the name of God. In return the bride promises that she will go on filling the heart of his spouse with courage and love. She commits to stand by his side through thick and thin.
- The third promise: As they take the third vow together the bride promises that she accepts her husband as the only man and all other men will be secondary in her life. The groom on the other hand promises to accept the bride as her wife and also commits to take care of her prosperity and well-being.
- Fourth Promise: During the fourth vow the groom accepts the fact that his wife has brought sanctity and auspiciousness in his life. During this promise the groom also prays to the Almighty for long and happy life. The bride in turn promises to bring happiness and harmony in the life of her husband with love, respect, and mutual understanding.
- The Fifth Promise: This is a wonderful promise whereby the groom accepts the bride as his best friend while the bride commits to bestow the groom with all love and care that she can.
- Sixth Promise: In the sixth promise the groom wishes all happiness of life for the bride while the bride promises to stay by his side come what may.
- Seventh Promise: This is the last and the best among all the vows. The bride promises that she has become his wife by the law of the Almighty, the holy fire and the Holy Scriptures. She will never deceive him and never let him down. The groom on the other hand commits as they walk the seventh step their companionship becomes eternal and they will remain with each other till death do them part.
It is true that these vows are an integral part of an Indian wedding but the main objective of the seven vows is to reinforce the intent of a man and woman to stay together as a couple through all the shades of life. It testifies the sacred institution of marriage.