Kanyadaan: Greatest Charity by a Hindu Family
Hindus consider marriage as biggest event in one’s life and
is the greatest charity that a family can give.
denotes to a young virgin girl and
means gifting or charity. Gifting a virgin girl to an able man in marriage is called Kanyadaan.
Hindu Marriage Based on Vedas
Hindus celebrate wedding in very elaborate way. Vedas describe marriage as an institution where man and woman are bonded for lifelong for each other’s spiritual advancement. On the day of marriage the bride is considered as Lakshmi and the bridegroom is considered as Vishnu. The Vedic sacrifice is done to satisfy Lord Vishnu so that this marriage brings harmony in the lives of both the families. Thus Hindu marriage is based on Vedas and it is meant for satisfaction of Lord Vishnu.
Hindu Marriage Rituals
Generally a Hindu marriage is very ritualistic. There are several rituals that have deep-rooted meaning and significance. Kanyadaan is one such very important ritual in the Hindu marriage. This ritual is done on the day of marriage. Sagaai, sagan, haldi, sangeet and mehandi are other rituals that take place before the marriage. Kanyadaan is the main ritual of Hindu marriage.
Kanyadaan: The Ritual
Kanyadaan is giving bride in charity to the bridegroom. It is performed by the parents of bride when she is grown up to a marriageable age. In absence of the father or mother it is performed by the elderly couple of the family or the nearest relative of the family.
The ritual involves the parents of bride and bridegroom. The bride’s right hand is given in the hands of the groom. Betel nut, flowers, fruits and conch with gold are placed in the palms of the bride. Then bride’s mother pours water on the palms that flows into the palms of the bridegroom. This is done while reciting the Vedic hymns.
This ritual signifies that the responsibility of parents towards the daughter is washed away and the bride finally belongs to her husband. The groom touches the right shoulder of the bride marking as his acceptance of responsibility. Then he promises to protect her lifelong. This ritual is also called as Panigraham which means accepting the bride.