Significance Of Tilak Ceremony – Groom Acceptance Ritual In Hindu Wedding

tilak ceremony

Weddings, especially Indians, as we know is all about colours, glitters, dance, gossips, singing, heavy traditional preparations and not to forget, rituals! In Hindu tradition, rituals differ a bit from other religions. Here we are going to address an important wedding ritual called tilak ceremony which is basically a groom acceptance ritual.

India, you know, is a gigantic nation with profuse cultures where one might find every state or the community holding their own set of approach, logic, and mindset towards any ritual. So that kind of has an influence on all the ceremonies. But since we are speaking about tilak ceremony here, the divergence isn’t not on a large scale but still you’d find them on some level.

Tilak ceremony retains a deep implication and position in Hindu community. It basically is a process of acceptance of the groom as a suitable person to marry the girl. It might not be a big surprise to you that the preparations for the wedding begin right from the moment the prospects express their desire to settle. Searching for the suitable prospects isn’t an intricate affair in this generation. For e.g., Kshatriya Matrimonial Sites have come up with their own set of prospects for this community and make the job fairly easy for the families.

In this situation, generally, what you’d notice is the male members of the groom’s family like say, his uncle, brother or cousin would put Kumkum, also called vermilion on his forehead. So, by this, you’d probably get the idea that the ceremony is sort of male centric. If you are wondering what this tilak could be made of, well think no more. Tilak is a mixture out of sandal, Kumkum, turmeric and holy ashes. Sandal and turmeric are supposed to bring in the medicinal benefits into the mixture that may deliver calming effects to the mind of the groom.

No huge task in Hindu community is normally started without seeking blessings from the God. And here, we’re talking about one of the most important wedding rituals so how can that not happen, right? So, the ceremony is held at the groom’s house. And if not, then a prayer would occur before the commencement of the tilak ceremony.

As you must have got the idea that the ceremony is mostly about the groom here, bride’s father also plays a noteworthy role here. Yes, he’s expected to get lavish gifts for the groom, as well as the entire family that could range from fruits to clothes, jewellery to watches, anything. It doesn’t just end there. The groom’s father would also send gifts such as coconut, rice, clothes, sugar, henna, jewellery etc to the bride as well as her family. After all, it’s the fusion of the two families here.

After reading the process one might wonder the significance of tilak ceremony. Yes, this ceremony has scientific benefits. Now that might sound kind of strange to you. But no!  If you’d pay proper attention to the entire process what you’d notice is that the tilak is put in between the two eyebrows. Well, that exact point is a major nerve point in a human body. When the tilak is put there, it is believed to prevent the loss of energy and retain it. Not just that, the pressure on the mid brow area with component like sandalwood would also promote the blood flow in the facial muscle. Interesting, isn’t it?

Now tilak ceremony turns up with some chief aspects that haven’t been discussed yet. As adorable as the process goes, it involves an act of washing the feet of the groom by the bride’s father. This gesture is called “Padya”. As per the Hindu belief, the groom is reckoned as one of the “Devta”. Because he is considered as an entity close to God at this point of time, he gets sort of a superior treatment by the family members. The twists that the rituals come up with are truly intriguing!

Now since the bride’s father is older in age and a senior person of course, he finds washing the feet of his future son in law beneath his standard and sort of disrespectful for his image as a father in law. Such situations might lead to ego clashes in the family. So lately, with the idea of avoiding dispute, what’s been observed in the society is that the brother of the bride takes up the responsibility for the ritual and performs the act instead.

Although, what’s a wedding with no drama, right? As awkward as it might get, the memories are worth remembering. In the end of the day, it’s all love and togetherness that keeps us together. It’s remarkable how much our sentiment and ideas are wrapped around each ceremony and everyone is so thrilled about every step of the way till the end of wedding! That’s what weddings are for, aren’t they?

You may also like: Pre-Marriage Rituals In Hindu Culture

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