Another important ritual in a Brahmin marriage is the Pradana Homam. This is a ritual to offer respect to Agni, the God of Fire.
Importance of Pradhana Homam Ritual in Kerala Brahmin Iyer or Bhattar Weddings
After the Saptapadi ceremony, the couple is again asked to be seated on the plank on the western side and asked to perform the Pradhana (important) Homam. The bride puts her right hand on her husband's shoulder as a symbolic gesture of participation in the ritual. As many as 16 mantras are chanted as the groom pours ghee into the fire at the end of each mantra. The mantras chanted by the priests are to thank the Soma, Agni, Indra, Vayu, Gandharva, Viswa Devas, Varuna, Ashwini Devas, etc for blessing the successful conduction of marriage and also to bless them for a long and happy marriage. The newlywed couple circle around the fire by giving nine types of twigs and ghee as sacrificial fuel.
Agni who is considered as a sacred purifier and a great power will cleanse the bodies of the couple through the fumes generated by the Homam. The God of Fire is also considered as the witness to this marriage and hence the term 'Agni Sakshi' or witness by fire. It is also established that the fumes from the 'Homam' have many benefits, some of which are medicinal. They have cleansing and curative effects which can help the couple. Agni is also considered as a sacred purifier and hence is a part of most important events like housewarming, wedding ceremony, naming ceremony and much more.