Every ritual during the marriage has its meaning and signifies ideal values to be followed in order to lead a happy married life. The age-old traditions and diverse rituals during an Iyengar marriage have their unique meaning attached to it. A ritual that takes place during an Iyengar marriage is the Pada Puja done by the bride's father for the bridegroom. Many would think as to why an older adult is doing Pada puja to the groom who is much younger than him, but there is a significance to this unique ritual as well.
Significance of Pada Pooja in Tamil Brahmin Iyengar Weddings
During a marriage ceremony, the mantras that are read out transform the bridegroom to the position of Lord Maha Vishnu. The bride's father does Pada Puja and gives panigraham (washing the feet with water) to the groom as he believes that the groom is Lord Maha Vishnu and trusts that he will take good care of his daughter. The belief is that the groom will behave and possess the qualities of Lord Maha Vishnu.
What is done in Pada Pooja?
The puja vidhi is that the groom’s feet are washed by the bride’s father using sandalwood powder, kumkum, and water. The feet are also wiped dry after which the bride is invited to the mandapam (stage). Many families follow different ways to do the same ritual, but the pada puja significance remains the same.