what the seven pheras mean.
marriage ceremonies involve elaborate rituals, one of
the most important being the "saat phere" or the seven
steps to marriage. This ritual involves the bride and
groom circumambulating around the sacred fire seven
times while the priest chants the holy mantras. With
every step, the couple invokes the Gods to shower their
blessings on them.
of each sacred "phera" is as follows:
The couple invokes the gods
for plenty of pure and nourishing food. "With God as
our guide, let us take the first step to live with honour
and respect. Let us walk together so we get food," the
With the second step, the
couple prays to the Gods to give them the mental, physical
and spiritual strength to lead a healthy life. "Let
us be happy and enjoy life. Let us walk together so
we grow together in strength," they pray.
third step is for preserving wealth and prosperity in
life. The chant at this stage means, "let us share joys
and pains together. Let us walk together so we get wealth."
With the fourth step, the
bride and groom invoke the gods for attainment of happiness
and harmony by mutual love and trust in all walks of
life. "Let us not forget parents and elders. Let us
walk together so we get happiness by sharing our joys
and sorrows," they say.
They pray for the welfare
of all living beings in the Universe and pray for virtuous,
noble and heroic children." Let us observe all acts
of charity. Let us walk together so we have family,"
the mantras say.
They ask the gods to give
them a long, joyous life and togetherness forever. "Let
us live a long and peaceful life. Let us walk together
so we have joy," the couple prays.
With the seventh, and last,
step, the couple prays for understanding, companionship,
loyalty and unity. "Let us be friends with love and
sacrifice. Let us walk together so we have friendship,"
the holy chants signify.
After the seventh step has been taken, the groom says
to the bride: "With seven steps we have become friends.
Let me reach your friendship. Let me not be severed
from your friendship. Let your friendship not be severed
from me." With completion of the saptapadi, the two
are pronounced husband and wife.