I love being part of weddings mainly if that wedding is of some other culture. To witness the beauty of India through its traditional marriages made me curious to be part of different cultural weddings but there was still a wedding that was missing from the list and that was a Jain wedding. This was not the case for long as I got a chance to be a part of one soon enough. How? Well. My best friend is a Jain and I was a part of her sister’s wedding.
When the invite came in I was thrilled as now I could see a Jain wedding finally. I had heard about their weddings a lot and it is said that Jain weddings are simple, but they involve a number of rituals which is governed by some strict Vivah Vidhi dictated by their religious texts. As per Jainism, marriage is considered to be a worldly affair that increases human bondage, but it is encouraged by the scriptures because it recognizes the dependence of two human beings on one another.
Jains prefer to find matches within their own community so that their traditions are carried forward. Thus, the modern Jain families prefer sites like Jain matrimonial sites while searching for an ideal match for their kids. The practice of taking dowry is highly condemned by the Jain community. They also prefer a Jain pandit for the wedding but if that is not possible it can be conducted by a senior member of the community who is aware of the rituals as well and its significance.
Here Are Some Of The Jain Wedding Rituals
Pre Wedding Rituals
It’s a small ritual which takes place at the bride’s residence. In this puja, the priest decides a date and time which is auspicious for the wedding.
Lagana Patrika Vachan:
After the Vinayakyantra Puja which the groom performs, the priest reads out a list of wedding details at his place. This is known as the Lagana Patrika Vachan.
The sagai ceremony is held at the groom’s house and the brother of the bride applies a tika on the groom’s forehead and presents him with many gifts like jewelry, money as well as cloths.
In Mehendi ceremony, the bride’s hands and feet are adorned with intricate henna designs. This ritual takes place 2-3 days before the wedding day. This is a fun ritual where all the female members of the bride’s family get together and apply henna on their hands.
Wedding Day Rituals
Barati And Arti:
In this ritual, the groom’s wedding procession is received by the bride’s family. Then, the bride’s brother and the groom exchange coconut. The bride’s brother also gifts clothes, sweets, and cash to the groom. The groom is then formally welcomed by the bride’s mother by performing arts while the other married ladies sing tradition folk song known as mangal geet.
After the Barat is welcomed the bride is brought to the mandap and the bride’s parents keeps a rupee and 25 paise along with some rice on the bride’s right hand and present her to the groom who takes her hand in his own while the bride’s father makes a public proclamation that he is marrying off his daughter to the groom. Then, the pandit chants some holy verses and pour water three over their hand.
In this ritual, a married woman from the family ties the end of the bride’s veil and the groom’s shawl in a knot and prepares them for the Mangal pheras.
The Pheras are the most important part of the Jain wedding rituals and they must be performed at a time which is considered most auspicious. The couple circles around the sacred fire seven times where the bride walks ahead of the groom for the first four pheras while the groom walks ahead of the bride for the remaining three pheras. When the Pheras are going on, the priest chants the Mahaveerashtak Strot and the guests participate in the wedding by singing the Mangal Geets. The bride then sits on the left side of the groom and she is now also designated as a Vamangi which also means that she is now the better half of her husband. They then, exchange garlands and the wedding is thus concluded with the visarjan or the formal way of putting out the sacred wedding fire.
Post Wedding Rituals
Ashirvad And Vidai:
After the wedding rituals end the newlywed couple seeks to bless from their elders and then the Vidai ceremony takes place where the bride departs from her parental home to start a new family with her husband.
This ritual is basically the arrival of the new bride at her in-laws home where she is welcomed with much warmth and grandeur.
Jina Grahe Dhan Arpna:
This particular ritual is unique to the Jain community. In this ritual, the newlywed couple visits a nearby temple where they distribute alms to the poor as a thanking gratitude to the lord for the successful completion of the wedding ritual and for blessing both the families.
The reception is then held by the groom’s family where all their friends and relatives are present to know the new bride and also give their blessings to the new couple.
The Jain wedding is in some ways similar to all the Indian weddings and there are some rituals that are unique too. But the main thing is that they are beautiful and traditional to look at.
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