FIVE DAY HINDU MARRIAGE- PART 4 (Post no.3340)

COMPILED BY by London Swaminathan

 

Date: 10 November 2016

 

Time uploaded in London: 19-06

 

Post No.3340

 

Pictures are taken from various sources; they are representational only; thanks.

 

 

 

contact; swami_48@yahoo.com

 

 

 

Fourth and Fifth Day of the Five Day Wedding

 

The fourth day is passed in the same way, except that one of the proper things to be done is for the bridegroom to pretend to be angry and sulky. He even goes so far as to start off in his palanquin to run away. The father of the bride then goes out to find him and tries to appease his anger promising to give him presents of various kinds. He is supposed to take advantage of this to ask for various things as presents, a house for instance, or cattle or money or lands. The father-in-law then promises to give so and so, upon which the youth shakes off his pretended sulks, and returns to the festivities. This amusing and somewhat ridiculous farce seems to be a peculiar custom kept up as an opportunity for demanding additional presents, by way of dowry to bride.

Good Bye to Gods

 

In the evening, after the usual feast, the most elaborate and prolonged of the various festal parades take place, with its accompaniments of torches, lime- lights, fireworks, singing of dancing girls and other festivities. Whilst the bride’s home is partly deserted, the inmates being out with the procession, the friends of the bridegroom have some fun by going to the house and removing any useful thing they can lay their hands on;  such as the ropes for drawing water and necessary culinary vessels. The consternation at the loss on the return of the procession is a source of much amusement.

 

Very early in the morning of the fifth say three o’clock, the last homam is performed (Shesha homam). The gods who have been invoked to be present at the ceremonies are then solemnly dismissed to their several worlds. A  mantra said upon this occcasion is as follows:

 

O ye gods depart in peace.” F

Gacchantu Devaah yathaa sukham

 

 

Naakabali

In the evening of the fifth and last day a finalceremony is performed, called Naakabali or sacrifice to the inhabitants of heaven. The prepared plalce is again adorned  and smeared with the dung of cows and a number of small lights are paced in a square formed of coloured pots. Several mantras are repeated by the priests , in the presence of assembled company, invoking the presence of the wholethree hundred and thirty millions of Gods of the Hindu pantheon. These are duly honoured and worshipped by prayers and offerings of cooked rice. The bride a bridegroom are then tied together with the Brahma knot and marched three times round the burning lights by the priest, who meanwhile repeats certain man trams.

 

Sometime, after the nakabali, there is more singing and music and betel is again distributed. Various bits of romping and fun are then indulged in. The bride and bridegroom are each seized upon by any two present, and carried about at a run during this, white and coloured powders and coloured water are freely thrown about, and there is a good deal of frolic and amusement.

 

Mother and Brother weep!

The appaginta, or final delivering over, then takes place. This is always a most sorrowful proceeding, and the bride’s mother, brothers, sisters and other relatives weep much, and in various ways express their grief as they give up their dear one into other hands. The ceremony is as follows. A dish of milk is brought in and the bride places her right hand in the milk; over her hand the bridegroom’s father and mother and sister place their right hands when the priest repeats some verses, of which the following is one.

 

This damsel has attained her eighth year,

She has been fostered by me like a son,

She is now given to thy son,

Protect her in love.”

Ashtavarsha bhavetkanya

Putravatpaaalitaa mayaa

Idaanim tava putrasya

Dattaa snehena paalyataam

 

Bye Bye

 

When this has proceeded far enough, a bundle of rice is tied to the waist of the bride, and she is once more seated in the palanquin opposite her husband. They then set out to go to the village of the bridegroom thus bringing the prolonged and intricate ceremonial to a close.

The bride is supposed to stay for three days in her husband’s house. She is then taken back to her own home, there to remain until she has attained a fit age to discharge the duties of a wife. When the young wife has arrived at a suitable age, notification of the fact is sent to the husband’s parents, and the occasion is celebrated by various feastings and festivities. The parents and friends on both sides consult as to a propitious time for the taking home of the bride. At the time fixed upon, the husband and his friends proceed to the bride’s home where certain ceremonies and feastings take place. There is much distributing of cloths, fruit, betel and other presents. After a few days thus spent, the bride is taken away by her husband to his own home, which she henceforth shares with him.

Sometime in fulfilment of a vow the marriage takes place at or less celebrated place of pilgrimage. In that event, a pilgrimage is made by all concerned to that and are the favoured shrine and the marriage takes place there. In such cases, all the ceremonies are crowded into one day, and some of lesser importance.

 

In this description of the mode of procedure of procedure followed in the marriages of Hindus I have not mentioned many customary rites, and ceremonies of lesser importance, but I give an account of one.

 

Peculiar Ceremony

 

At some stage or other of the proceedings there is a peculiar ceremony, which is one of various minor ones. Some rice, which has been steeped in milk, is brought, and the bridegroom places a portion of this into the hand of the bride. over this he sprinkles some drops of ghee, with betel leaf, saying

May righteousness increase!

Peace be unto you!”

Punyam vardhata shaantirastu

 

He then takes some of the rice from her hand and puts it on her head. She then takes some of it and puts it upon his head. This is done several times, after which they both do it at the same time, putting some of the rice upon each other’s head.

 

Whilst the chief ritual are the same amongst all Hindus many minor ceremonies may differ much in different parts of this vast country. It will easily be seen what an expensive affair such marriages are, and what large sums of money are thus squandered.

The presents of cloths, jewels and the and feeding; the elaborate processions, and the necessary hiring of bearers and musicians and dancing girls together with the fireworks and lights all these things swallow up large sums of money and often the chief supply comes from the bags of the money-lenders. It is no matter if the parties concerned are poor, the laws of custom are so inexorable that their demands must be complied with, even though by so doing a millstone of debts is hung around the neck to be a drag and a burden all through life.

 

Many of the wiser people groan under these and similar bonds and occasionally a feeble voice is raised up in protest; but the Hindu is so conservative and so wanting in firmness of mind that there is not much hope of a radical change in such matters for many long years to come.

 

Written by The Rev.J.E.Padfield, B.D., Masulipatnam, Year 1908
–SUBHAM–

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