Marriage in Arya Samaj
Marriage is the most important pillar of Vedic Dharma.
" पत्नी त्वमसि धर्मणा अहं गृहपतिस्तवः"
The word dharma is in the centre of this mantra in order to bind both the nouns that refer
husband and wife. The groom states here
“If I am the husband and you are the wife, it is for the sake of dharma and not for beauty
of for wealth.”
Therefore in the Vedic Dharma the words pati (husband) and patni (wife) always have the
qualifying word dharma, such as dharmapati and dharmapatni. The roots of the sanskrit words
pati and patni has the same meaning "to protect". Pati means protector and Patni also means
protector. The question arises, to protect what?
Well, it is simple. Both the words are preceded by dharma, which naturally refers to the
protection of dharma. There both, husband and wife, pledge to protect dharma. When man found
that being alone he was weak for this task, of Protection of Dharma, he sought the help of a
woman and made her a Partner. In this way it becomes the duty of the wife to realise that it
is her responsibility to help her husband, in carrying out the vows of his dharma. When the
King Janaka offered the hand of his daughter Sita to Shri Ram he said
"इयम् सीता मम सुता सहधर्मचरी तव "
Meaning: This my daughter Sita will carry out the duties according to your dharma."
Thus the relationships depending only on looks and wealth do not become permanent, only
those based on Dharma alone are permanent.
How is Arya Samaj marriage solemnised
- The ceremony of Arya Samaj marriage is conducted as per the Vedic ritual, and its validity
is derived from Arya Samaj Marriage Validation Act, 1937 with provisions of Hindu Marriage
Act, 1955. Hindu Marriage applies equally to Arya Samajis.
- Since the people belonging to Arya Samaj do not believe in Idol worship, therefore, their
marriages are performed by different rituals than Hindus.
Marriage rituals in Arya Samaj
Arya Samaj marriage rituals are very simple and straight. Based on Vedic principles, all the hymns spelled during marriages are explained to the bride and groom. The marriage is just like Hindu marriage, marriage is centered around fire and is observed as the transition of wedding couple from Brahmacharya to Grihastha Ashram.
Who are eligible for an Arya Samaj marriage
- Any person who is Hindus, Buddhists, Jains, Sikhs can perform Arya Samaj Marriage.
- Any person who is not Muslims, Christians, Parsis or Jews can also perform Arya Samaj Marriage.
- Inter-Caste Marriages and Inter-Religious Marriages can also be performed in an Arya Samaj Marriage provided none of the marrying persons are Muslims, Christians, Parsis or Jews.
- If a non-Hindu couple would like to perform the marriage, the Samaj allows them to get converted through a process called Shuddhi. Muslims, Christians, Parsis or Jews, if, out of their free will and consent are ready to convert and embrace Hindu Religion, the Arya Samaj Mandir perform a ritual called shuddhi meaning purification for such conversion, and thereafter, such a convert can perform Arya Samaj Marriage.
Wedding rituals and procedure in Arya Samaj marriages
An Arya Samaj marriage takes around 1-2 hours for the completion of entire marriage. All one needs are basic paper requirements, two garlands, and sweets! The wedding rituals involved in marriage are:++
- Booking of Arya Samaj Mandir in advance and submission of required papers.
- After successful registration Mandir will give you a date for marriage.
- Wedding rituals start with, enchanting of the holy Vedic hymn and its explanation by Pandit Ji. Then comes the garland exchange ritual, where, the bride garlands the groom first. Then washes his feet, hand, and face. Then comes the ritual of madhupark se satkar (consuming of honey, curd and ghee by the groom).
- Yagna begins with groom wearing a sacred thread.
- Kanya daan is observed followed by holy rounds around the fire.
- Kanya daan is followed by ‘Pratigya Mantra’, The groom holds the bride’s hand and together, they take their wedding vows.
- Shilarohan, where the brother of the bride places her foot on a stone, while the groom recites mantras.
- Bride and the groom do parikrama around the fire four times.
- Kesh Mochan, ritual involves the groom undoing his bride’s hair gently and letting it cascade down freely.
- Just as Hindus, saptapadi or seven holy circle around the fire is observed.
- Hridaya Sparsh, where, the couple touch each other’s hearts and promise to be tender-hearted and gentle with each other ending with the newly-weds viewing the Dhruv or the Pole Star.
Documents required for solemnisation of Arya Samaj Marriage
- 4 copies of coloured photograph of both bride and the groom
- Date of birth proof and address proof of both marrying parties.
- Bride and groom should be of competent age. 18 for bride and 21 for groom.
- Standing of two witnesses to witness the holy ceremony.
- In case where a marrying party is divorced, then, certified copy of divorce certificate issued by the court.
- Where a marrying party is a foreign citizen or holding a foreign passport or is having foreign residential address- Certificate of present marital status of the party/No Impediment Certificate/ NOC from concerned Embassy and Valid VISA
Registration of Arya Samaj Marriage
If you got married under the Arya Samaj Mandir then get this marriage registered under section 8 of the Act by the Marriage officer/Registrar of the district/state, where this marriage took place.
- After 2006, orders of Supreme Court are strict on the issue of registration of marriages in personal laws. An Arya Samaj marriage can be registered either under the Hindu Marriage Act, 1955 or under the Special Marriage Act, 1954. The Hindu Marriage Act is applicable in cases where both husband and wife are Hindus, Buddhists, Jains or Sikhs or where they have converted into any of these religions. Where either of the husband or wife or both are not Hindus, Buddhists, Jains or Sikhs, the marriage is registered under the Special Marriage Act, 1954.
- Hindu Marriage Act places a responsibility upon the states to make laws regarding registration of the marriage but also places an emphasis that where a marriage is not registered, its non registration will not invalidate the marriage. It is often advised to get the marriage registered as per the Supreme court orders and, it is the correct way to avoid disputes in future regarding breakdown of marriage.
Registering Arya Samaj Marriage as per Hindu Marriage Act
- Registration is done with any Sub-divisional Magistrate, offline. Another option available at few jurisdictions like Delhi is of online registration. An appointment comes after 15 days
- Fulfilling the formalities of registration form.
- Any document that provides the date of birth of the individuals.
- 2 passport size photographs of both the parties are required, also one marriage photograph and Marriage invitation card (optional).
- Attestation of gazetted officer is mandatory
- After fulfilling all the formalities, it is the duty of the district court to provide the couple a marriage certificate.
Advantages of Marrying under Arya Samaj customs and rituals
- It takes place within few hours only.
- Only two witnesses are required, who may be anybody including parents, siblings, friends or anybody.
- In practicality, one can plan for an Arya Samaj marriage within 30 minutes, go to Arya Samaj Mandir and complete the rest ritual within an hour.