The Arundhati Darshan and Its Importance in Hindu Marriages

No matter how small, every activity in a Hindu marriage is a rich act of imbibing values into the to-be couple. One such ritual is the mandatory ‘Arundhati Darshan’ carried out in almost all the wedding ceremonies.

Why Arundhati?

Throughout the Puranas, Arundhati is often quoted for her chastity and single mind devotion towards her husband, Sage Vashista, one of the much revered seven sages (Saptharishis)

Mythology has it that, God Agni fell in love with the wives of the sages during a yaaga. Saha, wife of Agni, being a beloved wife that she is, tries to impersonate the ‘Rishipathnis’ in order to please her lust-driven husband. She succeeds in impersonating all the six, except for one. Yes! You guessed it right; it was Arundhati who stood firm in her chastity. Her devoutness and chastity towards her husband were so remarkable that no other man could ever think of her otherwise. The splendor of her austerities has been documented through many such instances across Puranas that she is considered to be a model wife and the couple was considered to be the glaring symbol of marital fulfillment and loyalty.

Now that the six wives of the other sages are sort of maligned, our ancient astronomers represented the eight brighter stars in the sky as the seven holy sages along with the great Arundhati.

Fast forward 7000 years, the present day astronomers have verified the existence of similar belt with the exact description of the twin star system (Vashista – Arundhati).

As you can see in the above picture, the seven brighter stars are in a belt with their respective names. The second star Mizar (Vashista) is accompanied by a tiny spot Alcor (Arundhati).

In Hindu Marriages:

In Hindu scriptures, Arundhati is regarded as the epitome of piety and wifely devotion and a character that is a considered to be a model for the young wives. Contrary to the popular perception, it’s not a single star but two star systems that the newlywed couple has to seek the blessings from. It’s not all about the model wife but about the idea of the healthy relationship between the couple.  Arundhati star has its significance during the Indian wedding, especially kamma marriages.

The name ‘Arundhati’ always refer to the pair Vashista –Arundhati, a two-star constellation. Normally, the two-star constellations are such a way that the big star is in the middle and the small one revolves around the other. But that is not the case here. The specialty about Arundhati-Vashista constellation is that they travel through the cosmos by revolving around each other; that is, instead of one being the dominant force and other one serving all along the couple must support each other out and travel towards a common goal, symbolizing the ideal relationship between a husband and his wife.

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