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THE SAPTHAPADI

  

The Sapthapadi or seven steps is the most important rite in the Hindu wedding ceremony. Seven heaps made of rice grain symbolizing the seven holy hills. The bride and the groom then take seven steps together, stepping upon first mound of rice with the right foot as the priest recites a mantra.

Following this, and they continue the same with all seven mounds.

The meaning of the seven steps is as follows:
1. May the first step lead to food that is both nourishing and pure.
2. May the second step lead to strength (at the physical, emotional, intellectual and spiritual levels).
3. May the third step lead to prosperity.
4. May the fourth step lead to all round happiness.
5. May the fifth step lead to progeny (noble and virtuous children).
6. May the sixth step lead to long life.
7. May the seventh step lead to bondage (through harmony, understanding).

After these seven steps, the marriage is considered to have become legal by Hindu law codes. Then, they both say: "Now let us make a vow together. We shall share the same food, share the strengths, the same tastes. We shall be of one mind, we shall observe the vows together."

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