Saptapadi is personally the most beautiful part of an Indian wedding full of depth and meaning. The couple will take seven steps together, taking a sacred vow with each step:
1. Together we will live with respect for one another.
2. Together we will develop mental, physical and spiritual balance.
3. Together we will prosper, acquire wealth and share our accomplishments.
4. Together we will acquire happiness, harmony and knowledge through mutual love.
5. Together we will raise strong, virtuous children.
6. Together we will be faithful to one another and exercise self-restraint and longevity.
7. Together we will remain lifelong partners and achieve salvation.
And then when the couple return to their seats, the bride will move to sit on the groom’s left side, this is to sit close to groom’s heart. The groom will then place a mangalsutra (sacred necklace made of black and gold beads) and apply sindoor (red vermillion powder) on the crown of the bride’s forehead. This is the grooms promise and devotion to protect his new wife. The couple will also exchange rings at this time and feed each other lots and lots of sweets.
Then its time for the blessings (Ashirvaadh). The women from both families whisper blessings into the bride’s ear and then the married couple bow down to the priest, their parents and elder relatives to receive their final blessings.
Bidaai is the most emotional part of the wedding, the bride says her final goodbye to her family and the father gives his prized possession to the Groom’s father.
There are of course numerous variations to the ceremony with different cultures adapting the ceremony according to their interpretations. Stay tuned for the next issue that explains everything you need to know about a Sikh Wedding.
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Photography: Sanjay D Gohil Photography
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