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In vedic culture marriage is looked upon not as an end in itself, but as a means for the inner growth of the

human personality. In our tradition every person is supposed to undergo certain purificatory rites called samskaras throughout the life. The primary purpose of these sacraments is to purify the person and make him or her eventually fir for the final goal of life, namely moksha or freedom from bondage. Of these sacraments, vivaha or marriage is the most important one. It is considered capable of purifying the man and the woman concerned and bestowing upon them all the blessings required for a happy life here and hereafter. VAAK DHAANAM Marriage is an interaction between not only two different individual souls but also between two entirely different families. Both the families relatives are invited and they bless the prospective couple for their happy married life. KASI YATRA During Kasi Yatra, the bride groom is supposed to set off on a pilgrimage towards Kasi to know about the highest truth-Brahman. During this, he walks off with a pair of slippers, umbrella and a spiritual book posing himself as a wanderer. The brides father approaches and requests him to enter the second stage grahasthasrama. The bridegroom accepts the offer and is convinced by the words of the brides father that he can complete the purpose living. EXCHANGE OF GARLANDS The exchange of garlands symbolises the synthesis of two different souls into one. OONJAL This symbolically signifies that the couple jointly face progression retrogression in life ladies carry water to clear the surroundings and light lamps to invoke the Goddess Shri. Rice balls are thrown in all directions to eliminate negative vibrations. KANYAKAA DHAANAM The father in law seats the bridegroom facing the eastern direction and washes his feet considering him as Lord Vishnu himself. Visvambharah sarvabhoothaat saaksinah sarvadevathaah imam kanyaam pradaasyami pitrnam thaaranaaya cha with all the Gods who support this world as witness. I give this girl to you for the good of the forefather. Having received the bride as a gift, the bridegroom prays to various Gods seeking their grace.

MAANGALYA DHAARANAM Maangalya thanthunaanena mama jeevana hethunaa kante badhnaami subhage tvam jeeva saradah satham. This is a sacred thread. This is essential for my long life. I tie this around your neck. O maiden having many auspicious attributes. May you live happily for a hundred years (with me). PAANIGRAHANAAM Holding the brides hand The paanigrahanaam ritual symbolizes the bride surrendering her heart in the hands of the groom on the occasion of marriage. This marks the beginning of a new relationship. PRAADHAANA HOMA The couples take their seat on the western side of the sacred fire and conduct praadhaana homa. ASMAAROHANAM (Stepping on the grinding stone) May you develop tolerance to your enemies and put up a fair fight to defend your legitimate rights as the head of the household in a firm manner, equal to the steady strength of this grinding stone. LAAJA HOMAM Offering puffed rice into the fire At the end of each mantra, the parched rice is thrown into the sacred fire as havis (offering) to Agni. NALANGU This is basically performed to bring the two families together and ease the tension of all the rituals. DHURUVADARSANAM It is to infuse steadiness in her mind. He later showed her the Arundathi star to inspire her to lead a glorious and virtuous life like that of Arundathi.