A Jain marriage is full of elaborate wedding rituals. A majestic public declaration is made with the purpose of bride and groom to live together for their entire life. The rituals are characterised by simplicity and purity.
As all marriages are performed with great enthusiasm same way the Jain weddings also have so much of importance, colorfulness and worth to be part of moment feelings.
The number of rituals performed in a Jain wedding is more compared to other communities. The most crowded and highly populated marriages happen in the Jain community because they feel the presence of more people will make the relationship strong between husband and wife after marriage.
Jains are the most traditional and systematic people based on their strong cultural values and the way they lead their life. So, the wedding ceremony also performed in most sensible and auspicious way.
The families of the Jain community consider all marriages in their community, as their family marriages and involve themselves to make the event successful and joyful.
The gathering from pre-wedding rituals till the reception it will be so colorful, filled with many people participating themselves and enjoying every aspect of marriage. The rituals also are very lovely to be part of with especially for women who will thoroughly enjoy presence.
The community marriages, unlike others, do not have fixed places to perform marriage and in today’s world, they are even opting for marriage halls also. As Jain community is always known as well off so the celebrations will always be grand in style.
As like other communities, the marriage is divided into three categories:
It is a small ritual where a ‘Pooja’ is performed in bride’s house where the date and time of marriage will be decided by the priest in the presence of both family members.
There will be one auspicious document prepared and read out for everyone to acknowledge the event date and time. This activity is called as ‘Lagna Patrika Vachan’.
Firstly, the groom must perform Vinayakayantra pooja and after that, the above ritual will be performed. This pooja happens at groom’s place. After that, it is called as ‘Sagai’ where the bride brother will put ‘tilak’ to groom and present him gifts that he has brought for him which include gold, cash, and clothes etc.
Mada Mandap ritual:
This ritual is performed in both bride and groom’s house. After this is Bharathi and arati ritual is held. This is generally performed two days before the wedding.
When the Barat reaches mandap the bride’s brother is the one who must welcome groom put tilak to him gift him and take him inside.
The gifts generally contain items like gold, silver, clothes, and others etc. After this first married woman from bride family will take traditional arati to groom and sing mangal geet while welcoming him.
This is the most important ritual of Jain marriages, both bride and groom are placed to sit in the mandap. The bride’s father will take girls hand and place it in boy’s hand along with rice, one rupee, and twenty-five paisa coins.
The priest will pour holy water for three times on their hands along with chanting holy mantras.
The ritual is very auspicious part of the whole marriage because it is believed that God will be present now and be blessing both bride and groom on this event.
This is followed Kanyadaan ritual is completed where the married woman ties a knot between the bride’s sari and groom’s shawl. This means that they are united now and will be called as husband and wife for the whole world now.
Next followed by mangal Pheras that means the couple will take steps around sacred fire and while doing this mahaveershatak is sang behind with the ladies joining this with auspicious songs. The couple must take seven vows after the Pheras.
Only after this, the bride is the best of half of the groom i.e. called as Vamanangi. It is believed that God will be present at the time of Mangal Pheras to bless the new couple. The brother of the bride or father will be standing in the place as guardian for both bride and groom.
The power of God Fire will give the strength and power for the relation to be strong. The next procedure is the exchange of garlands which will be followed by Shanthi path and Visarjan and this is complete of the marriage ritual.
Post Wedding Rituals
In post-marriage rituals in Jain wedding, the first thing is taking blessings from the elder couple from both families which will follow by blessings for all the near and dear relative couples of the family. This whole episode is called as Ashirwada ceremony.
This is to welcome them into the new bondage and wishing them to take life further with all brightness. Followed by ‘Sva Graha agamana’ which means the bride first time coming to groom house and performing first pooja at their home.
The Groom family will do a warm welcome to her and take arati and welcome her inside the home. And as a token of gratitude alms are presented to the Jain temple in their location. This is also called as Jina Grae Dhan Arpana tradition.
In other words, as a reception for benefit of people who were not able to attend the wedding. The reception generally is for everyone from the same and outside community to so it will be organized in a general platform.
Most of the times reception are organized by bride’s family but in a few cases, even groom family also do that.
Any families would always want their children to have happy settled married life and in the Jain community wherever they are living they are very co-operative and be as a family helping each other in any aspect. The marriages mostly will be strictly for people within the community and they will be very restrictive.
Most of the marriages in Jain community serve vegetarian food as they are very strict followers of nonviolence and even they don’t consume non-vegetarian food at home also.
All communities take god as a witness for marriages and follow aspersions steps as part of rituals. The ultimate bondage between the couple should be always strong and make them lead a happy life ahead.
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