We are very much aware that the Kayastha community is mostly found in the Northern region of India. But who are Kayastha? Well, Kayastha is a caste rather it is a community of the Hindus which originated in India during the olden days. Kayasthas were considered to be the members of a scribe caste, and traditionally they have been known to be keepers of public records and accounts, writers, as well as administrators of the state.
If we go through our history, we would notice that Kayasthas have always occupied the highest government offices where they served as ministers and advisors to the middle kingdoms of India as well as during the Mughal Empire. They also held important administrative positions during the British Raj. Now that we know that who Kayastha is we can say that this is one of the reasons why the parents of Kayastha bride and groom want to search for a partner within their own community.
You might ask why when India is so modern and we always go about saying how open-minded we are about such things. Well, I think it is about pride and however modern we become family pride is something we cannot let go of. So, here are the common Kayastha marriage rituals that every one of the community follows. These might vary from region to region as well.
Normally I have seen Kayastha wedding rituals to starts with the lagan ceremony. Both the families send formal invitation to each other in the form of a lagan patrika. This lagan patrika is sent along with silver-covered coconut, betel nuts, and gold-covered barley. The bride’s family additionally sends clothes for the groom as well as his family along with sweets, dry fruits and other necessary gifts which is sent as a part of the ritual.
Deciding On The Date:
After the lagan ceremony, the male members of both families sit together with the pandit and decides upon a wedding date. They also share the guest list to start with the marriage arrangements.
Kayastha wedding rituals kick starts with the bhat nyotna ritual. The ceremony generally takes place two days before the marriage. In the ritual the mother of the bride/groom visits her maternal house to invite her parents and family members to her daughter/son’s wedding. Thus in kayastha wedding, the invitations are distributed to the relatives from the bride/groom’s maternal side.
In this ritual, the bride’s brother as well as the other male members of the family visits the groom’s place, as that is where the ritual takes place.the ritual signifies that the bride’s family has accepted the groom and they are ready to give away their daughter to him.They give various gifts to the groom and his family which also includes the groom’s wedding attire.
In this ritual, all the ladies of the bride’s family that includes the bride, apply the mehendi on their hands. Even the female members of the the groom’s family do the same. In the Kayasthas it is also customary for the groom to also apply mehendi as shagun.
This is a very unique ritual among the Kayastha. On the wedding day, the male members of the groom’s family set up a makeshift mandap in the house with hey roof,supported by four bamboo posts and ornamented by banana stumps and mango leaves. Then, five senior married male members of the family establish the harish made of wood, in the the mandap. Well, all the remaining rituals of that day is then held in the makeshift mandap till the wedding.
During this ritual, the haldi mixture brought by the mother of the bride is applied on the grooms. This ritual is done by the all married female members of the family. The same ceremony is done on the bride’s side as well.
This ritual is performed just before the depature of the baraat by the mother of the groom. She does his aarti to ward away bad omens and apply tilak on his forehead as a blessing for a new beginning of his life.
The barat procession begins aftervisiting a temple. All the male members of the family and some of the female members of the family join in this procession.
After the welcoming of the baraat by the bride’s family, the Jaimala ceremony takes place, in which the bride and the groom exchanges garlands.After this they proceed to the mandap, where the rest of the wedding ceremony takes place, while the priest recite theholy verses. Then, the Kanyadan ceremony takes place, it is one of the most important ritual as in this ritual the father of the bride gives away his beloved daughter to the groom. This ceremony is followed by the saat phera where the bride and the groom take wedding vows. The wedding ceremony ends with the sindoor daan and putting of the mangalsutra.
These are the most common kayastha wedding rituals that are followed in India.