Arya Samaj is built on the virtues Vedas and its most unique teaching is its essence; simplicity. Shattering free from inhibitions of society, dowry, religion, and caste, Arya Samaj preaches moral values and Vedic teachings. Deemed as the true followers of knowledge and wisdom, people belonging Arya Samaj does not believe in any caste or religion. They worship only one god, the Vedas, the Nirguna, the fire. Owing to such simplicity, marriages in Arya Samaj are conducted under the presence of fire and other elements of earth and sky. Some of the simplest pre-wedding rituals held in any Arya Samaj marriage are as follows:
This ceremony is held at the bride’s home and is a fun-filled affair. The Sangeet ritual is held after the dates for the marriage have been fixed by the elders and marks the beginning of a new journey that the bride is about to embark upon. The ceremony involves the bride’s family, her relatives, and her female friends singing and dancing on such a prosperous occasion. As opposed to modern-day songs, folk songs are sung and blessings are sought from elements such as fire, earth, and sky for bride’s happiness.
Post-Sangeet, the ritual of Mehendi is held at the bride’s home. The function can only be attended by females and is held at least two days prior to the wedding. The ceremony begins with the purification of the bride. This is achieved by applying a paste of turmeric and sandalwood on the skin of the bride. The blend is believed to cleanse the bride of any impurities thereby glowing her skin. In order to uplift the beauty of the bride, henna designs are drawn across her hands and legs. Also, a tinge of Mehendi is applied to all guests present at the occasion.
Arya Samaj highly worships knowledge and wisdom. The Brahmbhoji ceremony emphasizes their belief in an ocean of wisdom. In this ceremony, a total of 16 Brahmins are invited over for lunch. They are fed with the best delicacies and food to seek their blessings. Brahmins are believed to be highly intellectual and worshippers of knowledge. Hence, Brahmbhoj is a customary pre-wedding ceremony and hold utmost importance in an Arya Samaj wedding.
Chudha and Nath
It is mostly observed by North-Indian Arya Samajis. Conducted by the bride’s maternal uncle, in this ceremony he slips a set of twenty-one ivory bangles to the bride. The number twenty one is considered to be an auspicious number. He also gifts the bride a Nath, a nose ring for her marriage.
The last pre-wedding ceremony held on the day of the wedding prior to the initiation of wedding rituals is Madhuparkha. In this ritual, the bride offers a mixture of curd, ghee, and honey to the groom. Thus, indicating the commitment of the bride to feed and nurture her family.
Arya Samaj is a unique community and their simplicity is clearly visible in their marriage rituals.
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