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Sanskrit Times – Episode 2

Today I am going to write the verses being chanted during the Hindu wedding ceremonies in India. This part is called as “Saptapadi” literally means “Seven Steps”. The couple is asked to walk around the “Holy Fire” seven times – which is the necessary part in any Hindu ritual.

Each of this verse is chanted one-by-one and only when the couple has finished taking this vow, they are declared as married. So, let’s see the Sanskrit verses and their translated meaning in English.

iṣā ekapadī bhava iti prathamam
ūrje dvipadī bhava iti dvitīyam
vratāya tripadī bhava iti tṛtīyam
māyo bhavāya catuśpadī bhava iti caturtham
paśubhyā paṃcapadī bhava iti paṃcamam
rāyaspoṣāya ṣaṭpadī bhava iti ṣaṣṭam
hotrebhyaḥ saptapadī bhava iti saptamam

With this first step, we provide for and support each other
With this second step, we will be resilient and strong in body, mind and spirit
With this third step, we will share all worldly possessions
With this fourth step, we will live in harmony offering constant love to one another
With this fifth step, we will have a family and nurture them together
With the sixth step, we will enjoy the fruits of all seasons
With this seventh step, we will always remain friends and cherish each other

My favorite “steps” are the fourth, the sixth and the seventh – of course, I love this ritual very much overall and it excites me every time I read or listen.

What about yours?

Thank you for reading!


6 responses to “Sanskrit Times – Episode 2”

  1. All 7…why only seven bro ? Why don’t they add one more or less..I seen 7 in other religions as well. So I am bit curious to know why 7


    • Thanks for your comment brother, I appreciate your observation. Indeed, I wanted to put a side note in the article but I did not.

      Honestly, I do not have an answer. There are some mysteries about this life, the universe or the human brain remain mysteries. I put them in the category “It is what it is.”

      However, I’d like to add this passage that I read from the novel “The Forty Rules of Love” by Elif Shafak about the number 40.

      “The number 40 has great importance as it is the most beautiful age for both men and women. In mystic thought, 40 symbolises the ascent from one level to a higher one and spiritual awakening. When we mourn, we mourn for 40 days. When a baby is born, it takes 40 days for him to get ready to start his life on Earth. And when we are in love, we need to wait 40 days to be sure of our feelings.”

      In the Bible, it is been said that Jesus was tempted by the devil for 40 days and nights. And Siddharta Gautama had to meditate under the Bodhi tree (facing the devils – Mara) to become the “Buddha”.

      Again, the answer is “it is what it is”. 😉

      Liked by 1 person

  2. This is a beautiful ritual! I don’t know that I can choose. 4 and 7 jump out to me for the beauty of the way they are written, but I have seen the need for everyone of these in my marriage and think they are all vital.

    Liked by 1 person

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