The changing face of Hindu Weddings

These are my personal observations and are not intended to hurt anybody but to humbly plead to our community to assist in maintaining our culture and traditions as they have been followed for millions of years. Please let me have your views and comments in this regards. 

Let us work together to preserve our culture, traditions and religion. 
Your ever well wisher
Punditji

It is always said that the Hindu marriage ceremony including all customs and traditions associated with it cannot be seen in any other tradition or culture in the world. Persons from other cultures and religions are overwhelmed by the glitter, glamour and not forgetting the sacredness and sanctity that is put together in formulating this event.

Recently we are witnessing a changing face of Hindu marriages where the emphasis is being placed on how elaborate the event is going to be and how much of money is going to be spent to make it as glamorous as possible which is wonderful, but very little is done in so far as the ceremonial and sacredness of the wedding is concerned. I am sure that our Pundits will agree with me in this regards.

With the non availability of temples and the scarcity of venues most couples are opting to make use of wedding venues and casinos. The problem is that these venues do not produce the same vibrations and energy that one would find in a temple. It does not just end there, the wedding is now taking a new shape and format. The first part of the wedding is a sacred ceremony. The Pundit is told that he should keep it short as they have planned a banquet and special entertainment for their guests. The couple leave the venue after the Vivah Sanskaar or Wedding Ceremony and return all dressed in western attire. The Hindu bride is considered complete when she is dressed with her sari and 15 other items of clothing, jewellery, ,mangalsuthra, the dot on her forehead and finally the sindhur. . After the wedding she is expected to accompany the groom to his home and be received ceremoniously as Maha Lakshmi. Normally she leaves the wedding venue and throws uncooked rice or paddy over her head into the achara or the end of the mothers sarie. Upon entering the home of the groom she is asked to topple a little urn of rice with her toe into the home of her inlaws as she is regarded as non other than Maha Lakshmi the Goddess of wealth.

It has been observed recently that bride and groom leave the venue after the wedding ceremony and return all dressed in western attire. The “solar sringhaar” or sixteen items that she adorned as a Hindu bride are removed and she takes on a new look as a western bride. The rest of the event is coordinated by a comedian or compere who entertains them with a mixture of western and eastern music, song and dance. This is mixed with jokes and sometimes tinged with bits and pieces of vulgarity that is condoned and accepted by the audience. All of this is not relevant to the event at all and brings on a completely different mood as people lose the sacredness of the actual wedding ceremony.

The guests then indulge in smoking and taking alcohol freely without any restriction. A cake containing eggs and champagne is served to the guests. This is supposed to be one of the sixteen sanskaars or holy sacraments in the life of a Hindu. Meat eating, the consumption of alcohol and smoking at these events is strictly prohibited. It has been observed that at many weddings a menu comprising of meat dishes is served. At some Hardi (a cleansing ceremony carried out a day before the actual wedding) and weddings it has been observed that they have an open bar. According to our scriptures this is totally adharmic and unacceptable.   We need to stand together and protect our dharma and our dharma will protect us in return. Our youth need to be corrected and guided in this regards before it is too late and this practise becomes part and parcel of all our weddings in the future.

Hindu traditions are ancient and eternal and are being accepted and followed by foreigners all over the world. Many people from foreign descent are choosing to have Hindu weddings ,they take and follow the vows that are contained in the ceremony as they find them to be meaningful while many Hindu people want to make changes to the Hindu wedding ceremony and bring in a western flavour. On the other hand foreigners are trying to learn about Hindu traditions and are prepared to follow them as they see how meaningful and apt they are to their daily lives.

Marriage is not only a celebration of a ceremony nor is it all about exchange of rings and garlands but a process of promising each other for leading a conjugal life. The sacred mantras are specific to the occasion and have been selected from the holy Vedas to seal two hearts, bodies and souls to walk the path of this lifetime together. With this in mind these western practises should not be allowed even if the bride and groom and the members of the household do not eat meat on the wedding day but serve it to their guests. A sacred Yajna or fire sacrifice dedicated to Lord Vishnu is performed on the day of the wedding which makes it all the reason for persons to be conscious of the sacredness of the wedding and meat eating and alcohol should not be consumed by the couple or anybody present for the event even if they choose to serve it at another venue on the same day.

These are my personal observations and are not intended to hurt anybody but to humbly plead to our community to assist in maintaining our culture and traditions as they have been followed for millions of years. Please let me have your views and comments in this regards.
Your ever well wisher
Punditji

Published by

Pundit Roshan Singh

Pundit Roshan Singh is a renowned and highly respected Priest. He is an ordained Pundit who has studied under various spiritual masters and teachers of India and has been initiated by His Holiness Krishna Das Swami Maharaj. He personally met and was inspired by His Divine Grace A C Bhaktivedanta Swami Srila Prabhupada, the founder acharya of ISKCON. He has had personal association and was inspired by His Holiness Swami Sahajanandaji Maharaj of the Divine Life Society and His Holiness Swami Shivpadananda the spiritual head of the Rama Krishna centre. He has an uncanny depth of knowledge of most of the scriptures of many religions of the world especially the Srimad Bhagavad-Gita, Srimad Bhagavatam and other Vedic Scriptures. His discourses on National TV, Radio and articles in the media have always been well received by the community. He is a qualified Jyotish Astrologer and a well experienced Health Care Practitioner. It is his upright and flawless character that has endeared him to both young and the old alike. Every persons leaves him well satisfied with the love, care and support that he has to offer them in aiding them to lead a better way of life.

4 thoughts on “The changing face of Hindu Weddings”

  1. It is imperative that all points mentioned by Punditji is given heed to if it is a wedding in the Hindu tradition that is performed. Ignoring any of the rules does bring about disharmony in an event that has eternal influence. We need to feed positively into the universe…

  2. Very true I am a practicing Hindu priest, and share I the same sentiments.Its all about money and Ego.Some parents express their so called LOVE for their children by hosting these extra ordinary glamorous weddings, little time spent with GROWING their children,it’s about growing up not growing old.How much effort they have placed in taking them to material advancement education and what time have they spent in spiritual advancement for their children. A child in satsung developes to be Ram and a child with a material degree developes to be Ravan. At the parents old age they will soon realise this. Curb your Ego and practice simple living and high thinking.

  3. For sure our hindu weddings are changing and the sad part is that some of these couples do not even make it to a year of marriage. We definitely need to focus more on the sacredness of a hindu marriage and let the fancy frills take a back seat. I chose to get married at a temple, no shoes were permitted, our guests did not chat amongst themselves during the ceremony, we had a spiritual vibe throughout.

  4. In the older days people out alot of effort in seeing if the horoscopes matched of the couple.Marriages are based on the respect and communication between to people.In my opinion people should get pre wedding counsel.And guided about the rituals and sacredness of the rituals of the wedding.
    My now ex husband and I were a perfect horoscope match but still ending in a divorce after being together many years.
    When we got married I asked what was the ritual meaning and was just told that it was done as per tradition was the explanation of my question.

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