prosperity and happiness. Radhe then holds an open palm over the couple’s hands while Krishna pours water then milk over her husband’s hands. This subsequently falls on the bride and groom’s hands, purifying their union and blessing them with happiness and prosperity. The gesture symbolizes a promise from the father of the bride: “I offer you this most precious gift-my daughter-to take as your own, to cherish and protect. Take my daughter to be your life partner.
(Lighting of the Fire):
Agni (the sacred fire, considered to be the sustainer of life) is lit using ghee (butter), wood, incense and camphor. As XXX and YYY sit side-by-side facing the fire, she holds his hand while XXX makes offerings of ghee to the fire and the priest chants mantras for their longevity as a couple.
Mangal Pheras or
(Circling the Fire):
XXX and YYY walk around the fire seven times, accompanied by the chanting of mantras and assisted by AAA, who offers a fistful of puffed rice to the bride and groom as a sign that he wishes happiness upon his sister’s marriage. In the first four parikramas, the bride walks ahead of the groom, signifying that she will lead in all matters pertaining to household activities, along the path of dharma, arth, kaama and moksha. In the final three parikramas, the groom walks in front, signifying that he will lead in matters related to community activities. Together, they will live a righteous and spiritual life. They also offer rice each time they circle around the fire, symbolizing fertility and prosperity.