Friday, 17 March 2017

Jain wedding rituals - Jain Matrimony App -

Simple, traditional and ritualistic describes a Jain wedding aptly. Though the Jains do not believe in a pompous display, a grand proclamation by the bride and the groom during the occasion of the wedding ceremony is looked forward to. Let us look at what makes a Jain wedding so special, so beautiful.


Laghana lekhan: Laghana lekhan refers to a small puja that is held at the bride's house which is attended by close relatives and friends. It is during this puja that the wedding date and time is disclosed by the priest. At the end of the puja, a letter known as lagan patrika is sent to the groom's home. The letter contains all the details regarding the wedding date and time. 

Lagna patrika vachan: This refers to the ritual wherein the letter sent from the bride's home is read out at the groom's place. Usually, it is announced on an auspicious day or on the day of the engagement.  

Sagai: Sagai or engagement usually takes place at the groom's house. Wearing the traditional Jain headgear, the groom performs the vinayakyantra puja. Once it is completed, the bride's brother puts a tilak on the groom's forehead and presents him with a gold chain, ring, clothes, coconut, sweets and money. Thereafter, the lagna patrika is read out by the priest in front of all present. The groom then seeks the blessings of the elders. 

Maha mandap: Held at both the bride and groom's places individually a day or two prior to the wedding, it is conducted by the priest where he performs all the religious rituals.


Baraati and aarti: The groom's marriage procession is received by the bride's family as part of the baraati ritual. The bride's brother and the groom apply tilak to each other and exchange coconuts as a symbolic gesture of goodwill. The groom is also presented with money, sweets and clothes by the bride's brother. Following this, married ladies from the bride's side welcome the groom with a traditional aarti while also singing traditional folk songs known as mangal geet. 

Kanyavaran: This is the official beginning of a Jain wedding ceremony. In this ritual, the bride's parents places a one rupee and twenty five paise and rice on the bride's right hand. The bride is then handed over to the bridegroom. The bride's father now makes a public proclamation of the marriage in front of all the guests present. The priest chants the mantras while pouring water on the hands of the couple thrice. 

Granthi bandhan: In this ritual, a married woman ties the end of the groom's scarf to the bride's pallu and makes a knot. It is a highly sacred moment and prepares the couple for their pheras. 

Pheras: The most important ritual of the wedding ceremony, it is carried out at the auspicious hour which is fixed previously by the priest. The couple circles around the havan kund (sacred fire) four times, with the bride leading the first round while the other three being led by the groom. The recitation of the Mahaveerakshak stoot takes place in the background. 

Mangal geet: During the pheras, the ladies sing mangal geet and entertain. After this, the couple takes seven vows, after which the bride is seated on the left side of the groom. The bride is now called a vamangi, which symbolizes that she has now become the better half of her husband. This is followed by the exchanging of garlands. The ceremony is solemnized with the end of havan by shanipath and visarjan. 


Ashirvada: In this ceremony, the elders of both the families bless the newlywed couple. It is to mark the beginning of their new life on an auspicious note. 

Sva graha aagamana: This refers to the first custom after the newlyweds reach the groom's place. As the bride is considered auspicious for the family, she is welcomed with an open heart by her new family. 

Jina grahe dhan arpana: It is an important post-wedding ritual of the Jain community. Alms are given to the Jain temple to express gratitude for the successful completion of the wedding ceremony. It is performed by both the bride and groom's families respectively. 

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