Commencement of Marriage
Kanya Danam
Vivaaha (Wedding)
Laya Homa
Agni Parinaya
Mangal Sutra Dharana
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Satapadi (Seven Steps)

This is the most important rite of the entire ceremony.  Here the bride and the bridegroom take seven steps together around teh nuptial fire (Agni) and make the following seven promises to each other :

As per the Vedic rituals, the bridegroom sings the following :

With God as our guide, let us take :

the first step to nourish each other

the second step to grow together in strength

the third step to preserve our wealth

the fourth step to share our joys and sorrows

the fifth step to care for our children

the sixth step to be together forever

the seventh step to remain lifelong friends,

the perfect halves to make a perfect whole.

After the seventh step he makes her remain where she is and says:

"With seven steps we become friends. Let me reach your friendship. Let me not be severed from your friendship. Let your friendship not be severed from me."

The Spatapadi ceremony ceremony concludes with a prayer that the union is indissoluble.  At the end of this ceremony, the bridegroom and bride become husband and wife.

In some communities such as Gujarati, instead of seven, only four steps, signifying Artha, Dharma, Kama and Moksha are taken.

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