The Saptapadi (7 steps) ritual is conducted after the Mangalya Dharanam and holds a significant place in a Tamil Iyengar wedding. ‘Sapta’ means seven and 'Padi' means steps. After the Thali is tied, the newlyweds take seven steps around the holy fire or Agni Kundam. After the completion of these seven steps, the couple becomes husband and wife. Read on to understand the significance of Saptapadi Ritual:
Significance of Saptapadi Ritual in Tamil Brahmin Iyengar Weddings
While going around the seven steps, the groom chants mantras at each step, which have the following meaning
- With the first step you have taken may the Lord Narayana provide you with enough food
- May Lord Narayana provide physical strength in your second step
- In your third step may the Lord help you fulfil good actions
- In your fourth step, may the Lord bless you with happiness
- In your fifth step may He bless you with wealth
- May lord give happiness in all seasons
- In your seventh step may He bless you to do the soma-sacrifice by the worship of seven ‘Ritviks’ namely Agnidhara(fire), Acchavahan(well-being), Neshta(destroyer), Botha(perception), Bhrahma-naathasamsi(creator), Prasttha(love) and Hotha(warrior).
After taking the seven steps, the groom recites a few more mantras which means
- We are committed to love, fidelity, duty, and mutual respect
- We shall be one and do all the duties faithfully and sincerely
- We shall remain faithful and not abandon each other
- Let us remain united in actions and thought
- I am the vast sky, and you are the tolerant earth
- I am 'mind and thoughts', and you are 'words and expression'
- Please lead a life with me in peace and realise all your dreams and gain health & wealth
- I welcome you as the Goddess of wisdom and beauty with deep love and devotion
- Let us live a life filled with harmony that’s decorated with pure bliss and peace
With this the wedding is sanctified and complete. After this ritual is complete the groom and bride are declared husband and wife both socially and religiously.