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Seven Steps (Saptapadi) around the Sacred Fire

Posted by Khush Singh-Celebrity & Indian Bridal Makeup Artist


During a Hindu wedding ceremony the bride and groom take seven important steps together around the sacred fire.
An important aspect of the Hindu ceremony is to light a fire. This fire has a special significance in the traditional Indian wedding ensuring that the human spirit is tied with the divine.

The fire invokes one of the most important of the vedic gods, Agni, the God of fire to witness the seven wedding vows between the bride and groom.

As a result the fire is called the holy Agni. Agni is Sanskrit (a classical language of India) for fire. Agni is considered sacred and vows taken in front of Agni are considered to be unbreakable.

During the Hindu wedding ceremony the bride and groom come to the altar as God and Goddess in human form. In many parts of India the bride is considered Lakshmi, Goddess of Fortune, and the groom is her consort Vishnu, the Great Preserver.

The Hindu ceremony is usually filled with the chantings and blessings in Sanskrit by a Hindu priest. These ancient sanskrit blessings and rituals are thousands of years old.

The Hindu marriage ceremony is the thirteenth among the sixteen samskaras (or rites of passage) that a Hindu observes in his or her lifetime as prescribed in the ancient scriptures, the Vedas.

The highlight of course is the Saat Pheere or 7 circles around the holy fire.

This is also referred to as the Saptapadi, also called “The Seven Steps”, which is considered as the most important aspect of the wedding ceremony and only when the bride and groom walk the seven steps together is the Hindu marriage complete legally.

The Seven Steps are outlined below:

The First Step
The bride and groom take this first step along with the first vow to earn and provide for the household and maintain a purity in the diet nourishing the body whilst avoiding anything harmful.

The Second Step
The bride and groom take this second step along with the second vow to develop physical, spiritual and mental strength to ultimately live a healthy life.

The Third Step
The bride and groom take this third step along with the third vow to increase wealth and live a prosperous life through righteous and proper means.

The Fourth Step
The bride and groom take this fourth step along with the fourth vow to live together with mutual love and trust in order to gain harmony and happiness.

The Fifth Step
The bride and groom take this fifth step along with the fifth vow to be blessed with strong, healthy and virtuous children.

The Sixth Step
The bride and groom take this sixth step along with the sixth vow to live a long and happy life together by maintaining self control.

The Seventh Step
The bride and groom take this seventh step vowing that they will remain as true companions and life-long partners adding a spiritual dimension to the union.


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