When it comes to Indian marriages, words like big, fat, extravagant, pomp and show come to our mind at once. However, irrespective of the style and size of the wedding, one thing that remains common in all Hindu marriages is the ‘seven vows’ signified by the sacred ‘saat pheras’ around fire or ‘agni’, which is one of the most imperative rituals of Indian weddings. With each ‘phera’ the couple makes a vow, a commitment with strong mythological roots, which is to be lived forever and more, its only then that a couple is accepted as husband and wife for the next many lives to come.
These seven vows are supposed to serve as an anchor to keep the couple going through all the ups and downs of life together, as husband and wife tied to each other in a sacred relationship.
Simultaneously, the 7 vows made by the groom and bride to each other during the wedding ceremony are as follows:
You will offer me food and be helpful in every way. I will cherish you and provide welfare and happiness for you and our children.
I am responsible for the home and all household responsibilities.
Together we will protect our house and children.
I will be by your side as your courage and strength. I will rejoice in your happiness. In return, you will love me solely.
May we grow wealthy and prosperous and strive for the education of our children. May our children live long.
I will love you solely for the rest of my life, as you are my husband. Every other man in my life will be secondary. I vow to remain chaste.
You have brought sacredness into my life, and have completed me. May we be blessed with noble and obedient children.
I will shower you with joy, from head to toe. I will strive to please you in every way I can.
You are my best friend, and staunchest well-wisher. You have come into my life, enriching it. God bless you.
I promise to love and cherish you for as long as I live. Your happiness is my happiness, and your sorrow is my sorrow. I will trust and honor you, and will strive to fulfill all your wishes.
May you be filled with joy and peace.
I will always be by your side.
We are now husband and wife, and are one. You are mine and I am yours for eternity.
As God is witness, I am now your wife. We will love, honor and cherish each other forever.
Even though different religions and cultures have their own unique set of vows and different ways to perform them, the basic meaning of all remains the same ‘commitment’, a vow of being spiritually united as one. It is a way to assure your partner that he/she is worthy of your love and you are willing to submit, ’till death do you part’.
True love is all that you need to fulfill all the vows mentioned above; what according to you are the importance of these ‘pheras’? Do let us know through comments.