After the Kanyadaan takes place, the sacred fire is lit. The couple praises the Agni Devta, the Lord of Fire, in hopes of bringing the presence of Vishnu onto the ceremony. The Vivaah Homa is performed in order to indicate the purity of the upcoming rituals, all conducted with the help of the fire.
The Ritual of Vivaah Homa
The Priest lights up a small fire in a kund, or a copper bowl. The remainder of the wedding ceremony is conducted around this fire. It is created from ‘ghee’ (clarified butter) and woolen wicks. Mantras are recited by the Priest and repeated by the couple while obligations (crushed herbs, sandalwood, sugar, rice, and oil) are offered to the fire, symbolizing peace offerings to Lord Vishnu.
The Significance of Vivaah Homa
The phrase, “id na mama” is repeated over and over, translating to “it is not for me”, emphasizing the virtue of selflessness required in marriage. Agni (fire) is the mouth of Vishnu and symbolizes the light, power, knowledge and happiness. The Bride and Groom repeat the sacred pledge to request Lord Agni to be the messenger for their prayers to various gods: Santati (for healthy children), Sampatti (for wealth and prosperity), and Deergharogya (for long and healthy lives).
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