In any traditional Indian marriage especially Hindu Marriage, Kanyadaan is the most important part. After the ritual of the Saat Pheras, i.e. the seven rounds around the holy fire, the Kanyadaan ritual is carried out.
‘Kanyadaan’ is equal to 100 yagnas.
The word ‘Kanyadaan’ means the gift of a girl. The girl is gifted to the groom in this custom. It is an ancient ritual that is carried out since many years altogether. With ‘Kanyadaan’ a girl would become eligible for attending all kinds of auspicious events in the society. For any kind of activity to be conducted by the male it is necessary that he is accompanied by a woman. Along with ‘Kanyadaan’ a male would receive several responsibilities to be executed. All the changes that occur in a man’s life i.e. being promoted to husband, father, and grandfather comes after ‘Kanyadaan’.
A marriage in which bride is not received through ‘Kanyadaan’ may not have the same privileges. Such males would not be eligible to attend certain events or execute relevant responsibilities. For the same reason world has recognized the marriage institution in India as great and unique. As and when the bride is offered to the groom through ‘Kanyadaan’, groom would get the responsibility to protect the bride from any eventuality. Receiving Bride in the form of alms is “Kanyadaan”. ‘Kanyadaan’ is the focal point for the ‘Chaturvidha Purusharthas’ or aims of human life i.e. Artha, Kama, Dharma, and, Moksha. Only a woman who is offered through is eligible for such propitious acts. In the ‘Kanyadaan’ process along with the bride coconut, pumpkin, and a piece of sandal wood.
Pumpkin represents children, where coconut for wealth and prosperity, and sandal wood for sweet smell. Washing the feet of groom is a major part in the marriage process. In a male’s life for the first time his feet would be washed and turmeric would be applied. While mother in law pours water, father in law washes the feet. Such turmeric would be kept for 16 days after which 16 day festival is celebrated. Turmeric is treated as a medicinal product and for keeping it for 16 days so many health problems will be cured..
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