Ashmarohanam (Treading the Stone): BG then holds B's toe of the right leg and places it on a stone placed to the right side of Agni(fire). While doing so, he says through mantra:
"May you be steadfast as the stone; may you overcome those who intend to harm you and may you tolerate your enemies."
In this ritual, with a view to ensure long life to her husband, B offers puffed rice to Agni. The rice is poured into her hand by B's brother and with the recitation of mantras BG adds ghee to the rice and together they offer the rice to the Agni. BG goes round the Agni and once again keeps her right feet on the stone. This is done three times. The meaning of the mantras recited during the Lajahomam is summarised below:
"May my husband live long for a hundred years and may all my relatives prosper."
"Oh, Agni, bless me, my wife and children, as you blessed Savitri and Soma.
Oh, Agni, bless the couple with perfect mental accord.
Oh, Agni, leaving her parents, my bride who is going to set up home with me, has performed all the ordained rites. Please bless us with safe travel through a path of life free from misfortunes.
(Addressing B), May Heaven, wind, the Ashwins and all the divine forces protect you on all sides and the children you bring forth until they are old enough to take care of themselves."
BG then unties the Darbai rope from B's waist and promises a happy married life for her.
Grahapravesam (Establishing of the new household or entering BG's house): Certain mantras are recited for the safe passage of BG & B up to BG's house to establish a new household. These have no significance in marriages conducted in marriage halls in cities. In most marriages, logistics do not permit BG to take bride to his house. The function is symbolically done in the room allotted to BG's family members. BG enters his house with B, carrying the Agni in a mud pot from the Homa Kunda(m) in the marriage hall. B places her right foot first while entering the allotted place.
BG then creates a homa kunda(m) on the north-east side and invokes Lord Agni in it. With B touching his shoulders through a Darbai, he then offer ghee in the Agni and recites certain mantras to convey the following:
"May the Lord creator grant us progeny.
May the Lord anoint us together for longevity.
The auspicious Lord has given you to me. Let us enter our home.
May you bring facility to all living beings.
May we both be together in our home and never be parted.
May we both attain long life."
B there after says:
"With full willingness, I enter this holy house having plenty of food and flowing ghee and resided by good minded and brave people with lot of good will and pure mind and thoughts."
So far, B has been sitting to the right of BG. Now she shifts and sits to his left side. A male child from a family in which no death of a child has taken place, is made to sit on the lap of B. ( The idea is B should get such healthy male children.) The child is given fruits with a mantras which convey the following meaning:
Placing a Child on B's Lap:
"Oh fruits, as you cause growth in those who eat you, bless this girl with good progeny."
"Let the children so born bring love and affection."
Addressing B, the mantra says:
"Be aware of your duties to your husband and guests; propagate good deeds to all those you have contacts."
"Let this pure girl be blessed with happiness and prosperity."
Other Rituals B looks at the Pole Star and says:
"Oh, Pole Star (Dhruva Nakshatram), as you are fixed for ever, let me be similarly fixed in this home; Protect me from my enemies."
BG and B looks at the Arundathi* Star in the constellation of Great Bears and BG says:
"Keeping Arundathi* star in view, let my wife be like Arundathi and grow to be the eighth of the (model) pathnis."
(* Arundathi was the most sacred amongst the wives of the Saptha rishis and a model to be followed by all the married women.) Wedding Vows BG and B look at each other and feed each other with curd and fruits. BG says:
"My wife, with bonds of the food that we eat together, with the many hued threads of life, may we bind our minds and heart with the knot of truth."
BG and B touch each other's heart and both pray as follows: B says:
"May our hearts be in harmony with our mutual aims and resolutions. May our minds be in accord. United in mind, may we be pleased with each other's words. May the Lord of wisdom wholly unite us both."
"This, which is your heart, may it my heart and this, which is my heart, may it be your heart."
"From that which makes the ocean holy, the air vital, all actions complete in cosmic order, may we derive harmonious thoughts and the power to realise them."
BG places kumkum in the middle portion of the hair at the top centre of the forehead and says:
"We are freed from all the bonds in our lives up to now, bonds which ordained by the Supreme Lord for our protection in our unmarried state. In this Universe of righteous order and righteous action, we have become each other's life partner."
Concluding the Agni worship, BG says:
"Oh Creator, cleanse us from all sins and confer on us what is auspicious."
Water is sprinkled around the Agni.
"Oh Lord Adithi, Anumathi, and Saraswathi, you gave us leave to do this worship. Oh Lord Creator, you bless us. Our Salutations to you Oh Supreme Lord."
BG and B fold hands in prayer and say:
"Oh Glorious Lord, lead us in the righteous path to enjoy the riches we earn. You know all our thoughts. Destroy the hidden tendencies that could lead us astray. We worship you with all our heart. with all the worshipful words, that we have at our command."
BG and B walk around the Agni three times and each time bow in reverence. Aseervath(am)-Blessings The priest and elders bless the couple with several mantras to convey the following:
"Let the mantras, the holy chants, uttered during this ceremony be true and bear fruit."
"Let this period of time when these two were married prove to be very auspicious period in their life. Let all the benefits that the celestial powers can confer be conferred on this couple."
"Let all the inauspicious planets confer benefits as if they are in auspicious position; let all the auspices planets yield manifold benefits."
"Let this couple who is setting up a household be blessed with long life, health, fame, vitality, material wealth, steadiness of purpose, fulfilment, blessedness, compassion, spiritual lustre, impeccable virtue and happiness and let this couple be ever engaged in celebration of happiness, ever filled with happiness and ever immersed in happiness."
"Let the people all over the world be free from illness and other distress, be followers of righteous conduct, be strong, be without jealousy and be compassionate."
Auspicious indeed is the bride. "Oh all of you assembled here come and see her. Bless her with all felicity before you all go to your respective homes." When these mantras are uttered by the priests, every one present says "Thathaastu," meaning "So it be."
After these, Mangala Aarthi is performed by ladies; this concludes the vedic rituals concerning Hindu marriages.
Marriage Registration: It is a practice now a days to get the wedding registered as per the provisions of the Hindu Law. Though the marriages conducted in the manner described above are conclusive evidence and are acceptable in a court of law, in most marriages registration is done as a matter of abundant precaution and to meet the requirements of law requiring proof of marriage.
This is intended to be circulated in the Internet for the benefit of Young people residing outside India and who may not have much knowledge of the wedding rituals and their significance in marital life. It might be worthwhile for young unmarried people to recall the meaning of the respective mantras so as to be fully involved with the rituals and derive the benefits of reciting these. Before attempting to present the above, I have consulted authoritative books on the subject and people who are well versed in Sanskrit literature and Vedas. I shall appreciate suggestions to improve its contents