A Simple Arya Samaj Wedding

A week ago I was in Chennai partaking in the wedding celebrations of my niece. This is a wedding with a big difference or rather several differences compared to the run of the mill marriages. For one thing, there were no tedious & somewhat boring rituals. There was also an element of surprise and suspense at every stage of the religious function as many of us were not familiar with the procedures. As you might have guessed it was an inter-caste marriage and the two parties smartly decided to do away with conventions and celebrate the wedding in simple Arya Samaj style. The marriage ritual, if one may call it so, took hardly an hour. The priest who is a teacher by profession demanded and got the attention of the audience. He chanted only selected mantras and duly translated them into simple Tamil. I particularly liked the part where the priest insisted on the elders among the audience to patiently chant a certain mantra, meant for blessing the couple, before showering the Akshatai (sacred rice grains coated with turmeric & saffron) on the couple.

The simple function was followed by sumptuous breakfast. In the evening we had an elaborate reception.

I would say the function was brief, simple and more than anything else very meaningful unlike typical Hindu marriages which tire us all out endlessly.

The marriage, though, was not without its share of controversies. The fact that it was an inter-caste marriage was not taken kindly by certain elders in the family. While I accept the fact that it is very difficult to accept revolutionary actions due to age-old beliefs and conditioning, I fail to understand how the so-called near & dear could boycott the function altogether. I do believe that the occasion calls for the parents to accept (which they did quite admirably) and the elders to bless the couple. A couple of my uncles, sadly, decided to boycott the function – one of them even went travelling out of Chennai conveniently on that day! Not only did he avoid the wedding, I believe he even managed to pressurize his daughter & son to abstain. I sympathize with the lady because she is well-known in our circles to be a great enthusiast for taking part in such celebrations. It was, however, gratifying to find, among the audience, a highly respected and scholarly Vaishnavite gentleman from Triplicane, who is fondly and respectfully referred to as Babu Mama. I know him personally and I have always had great admiration for his wisdom & progressive views. His presence (in the marriage hall) itself was enough to send a strong message to those who preferred to boycott an auspicious function.

It is a sad fact that religion, as practiced today, divides and caste subdivides mankind further. On the other hand Spirituality emphasizes oneness and integrates humanity. It is unfortunate that we practice a religion according to our narrow definition and expect it to take us to our spiritual goals. This reminds me of a well-known Shiv Sutra which says – JNANAM BANDHANAM, meaning that Knowledge is bondage unless it is distilled into wisdom!

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Published in: on May 17, 2013 at 11:12 pm  Comments (14)  
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14 CommentsLeave a comment

  1. “Religion, as practised today, divides and caste subdivides mankind further” – very true observation.

  2. Dear Sir,
    My girlfriend and I are planning for an Arya Samaj wedding for the same reasons. Is it possible to share the contact details of the priest?

    thanks

    • sure, i will. give me a day or two

      • Thank you very much. If you mail it to prakash.selva@gmail.com it will be great.

  3. There is one more reason for Arya Samaj wedding. By keeping it simple it adds to the dignity of the event. I understand Arya Samaj does not recognise caste differences and rather tolerant on religious labels as well. Marriage is a social ceremony, that seeks elder’s blessings and for believers, grace of the almighty in the happy life ahead. Rituals are therefore treated as secondary and if necessary may be done away with. Rr

    • absolutely. you are right. arya samaj welcomes couples from all backgrounds.

  4. Hi

    This is Tamilarasan, the priest you mentioned in your article. Nowadays, no one has the time or patience to sit in a long wedding. Also, it is important to convey the essence of the marriage. Thus, at Arya Samaj (Chennai) we have adopted a modern and vedic style wedding and I sincerely thank you for appreciating our efforts. To know more about Arya Samaj and its principles, you can contact me anytime.

    Thank you

    • thanks for visiting my site. I must complement you for the great service you are rendering through Arya samaj.

    • Hi Mr. Tamilarasan. I’d like toknow more about Arya Samaj. Can you please give me y our contact details.
      Thank you
      Sai

  5. Dear Sir,

    We need some details and inputs for planning a Arya Samaj wedding Is it possible to share the contact details of the priest? My email id is suravees81@gmail.com. Thank you so much.

  6. Dear Sir, I have the same request. Can you please share the contact details of the priest. Thanks in advance.

  7. I am looking for a intercaste wedding on 10th July2016 in your samaj…Is there a possibllity ?? We are desperate for our son to get married to the girl he likes. Please reply me to chinnakarads@msn.com

    Thank you

    • You may contact Mr Tamil who is an aryasamaj priest at 9444007133

  8. Reblogged this on Social Stigmas and commented:
    I commend this family and this Blog post…. Bravo!!


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