The Hindu wedding comprises of many rituals and ceremonies, the most important of it being the seven pheras (circumambulation) which the couple takes around the sacred fire. As the name suggests, the ritual of pheras consists of seven pheras in all. Each phera has a distinct significance and meaning for the bride and the groom. Here is a brief of the mantras and shlokas that the bridegroom utters in the beginning of every phera and the corresponding significance and importance that it holds for him and the promise that he makes with every phera.
Bridegroom’s pledge- “Om eshaekapadibhavaitiprathaman”- while performing the first phera, the bridegroom promises to intensify his love for his spouse with each passing day, and that he would love her, respect her, treat her kindly and keep her happy and healthy throughout the journey of life.
The bridegroom, in the second phera, says “Om oorjejaradastayaha”, meaning that he promises to stand by her forever. He even requests her to initiate strength and courage in him and together they would defend their family and home from all odds and evils.
The bridegroom, in the third phera, says “Om rayasSantujoradastayaha” where he promises to be spiritually abided by her and that he would look at other women only as his sisters. He promises to together flourish under the sacred and holy sanctity of God.
The bridegroom utters “Om mayo bhavyasjaradastaya ha” in which he promises that he would provide utmost aid to both his and her elders and parents. He requests her to bring fortune and sanctity in his life and support him in having an ecstatic life and healthy children.
In the fifth phera, the bridegroom utters “Om prajabhyahaSantujaradastayaha” which means that having walked four steps together, this fifth step shall bring every happiness to them as a couple. That their near and dear ones may live a happy and healthy life as we share our duties to keep them happy and also to perform all charity acts together. The bride says “Arte arbasapadevadet” where she confirms to be with him through every thick and thin of life in the fifth phera. His love would give her strength to trust and respect him and that she would fulfill all her wishes without questioning.
In the sixth phera, the bride says, “Yajne home shashthevachovadet,” thereby assuring him to walk by his side and participate willingly in all noble acts which would initiate prosperity and enjoyment for both of them. She even promises to extend her efforts for all devotional duties.
In response in the last and the seventh phera, the bride says, “Attramshesakshinovadetpade” which means that with the completion of the seven pious steps she has now been privileged to be his wife. She promises to be truthful to him always and love each other forever. All the vows that they had taken during these seven pheras, they pledge to abide by them by remaining transparent to each other and carrying out their duties with pure intentions.
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