Hindu Wedding Priest-UK

M: +44 (0)7595 502 554 --- E: hindupriest108@gmail.com

Hindu wedding priest available throughout the year in UK and also abroad. Trained in Vedic marriages after completed 8 years in the Bhaktivedanta Manor ashram. 

The Priest- 2

A man went to get his car fixed at a garage. The mechanic took a spanner and hit the engine and it started working again. He turned to the owner and said that will be £50. The owner said how was that £50? The mechanic said it’ll be £1 for hitting the engine and £49 for having the knowledge of where to hit it.

In other words when we engage a priest for a wedding, we do so for their knowledge of the ceremony and how to conduct it in an authentic way. Over time, local family traditions get entwined with genuine Vedic viddhi and people can often confuse local traditions for the real thing. Because we have seen something happen at a wedding, we also feel we want the same thing at our wedding because it seems like the norm, thus something which was introduced by a family elder, over time becomes confused for scripture.

The source of the Hindu wedding ceremony has its roots in the Vedas. Therefore a priest would have studied the scriptures and because of his knowledge, he is able to differentiate between new customs and the genuine Vedic process.  Of course, the priest must be flexible to accommodate certain family traditions – but without compromising on the actual scriptural process.

Therefore when we engage a priest for the ceremony we do so not to tell him to do the ceremony as we have seen it with other people, but to perform the ceremony in a genuine authentic way, staying faithful to the Vedas to ensure you ceremony has spiritual substance while at the same time being sensitive to any family traditions the couple may have.

 

Interfaith Hindu Weddings

As little back as 15 years ago, the thought of someone’s daughter or son marrying a non-Hindu was enough for families to bury their heads in shame and the thought of being ridiculed or being the talk of the community was just all to much to bear.

Attitudes have changed since then, as more and more Hindu’s are having interfaith marriages to people of all cultures and races, which is a reflection of the times and society we live in.

According to the Vedas, the idea of interfaith marriage was never an issue in the first place.

The very first lesson given to Arjuna by Lord Krishna in the Bhagavad Gita is that we are spiritual beings who have material bodies. The Lord only recognises the spiritual essence in all beings and never the body it is occupying.

We see from the life of Lord Ram and Lord Krishna how they would bestow their mercy and favor to the animals, trees and the low caste because the soul is present is all living beings.

So although the bodies are different and vary, the soul or the spiritual essence is the same and it is only the soul that the Lord sees.

The Hindu wedding ceremony is a union of two souls. Therefore because everyone is a soul, everyone has the right to perform the Hindu wedding ceremony, regardless of colour, nationality or belief.

Therefore is it a great pleasure to perform interfaith Hindu marriages because it is a spiritual ceremony, aiming to connect two spiritual beings and thus all superficial externals that are judged so much in our society are completely irrelevant.

Hindu Weddings – The Purpose

With all the glitz and glamour of Hindu wedding’s in this day and age, it can be all too easy to forget the point of marriage in the first place.

The married stage of life is known as the ‘Grihastha Ashram’ in Sanskrit. The word ‘Grihastha’ means ‘house’ and ‘Ashram’ means to take ‘shelter’. So the Grihastha Ashram or married life is when a couple come together and live in household life with the purpose of taking shelter of the Supreme Lord.

The Vedas explain that the whole reason for marriage is for a couple to come together, share life experiences and the joys of children and family life, and use that house hold situation as a platform to develop their relationship with the Lord and break free from the continuous cycle of birth and death.

In fact, the 4th circumambulation of the sacred fire in the wedding ceremony represents a vow for the couple to pursue moksha or spiritual perfection.

With the current hustle and bustle and often demanding pressures to maintain a family in the modern age, young couples can easily get absorbed in work and paying the bills and the taking shelter of the Lord part can be easily pushed further and further down the priority list. Even when you do get time off, it would rather be spent traveling or enjoying comforts purchased with the rewards of all the hard work.

Therefore, it is important that young couples try to make a concerted effort to incorporate that spiritual element into their lives in the form of either temple visits or satsang programs or even the reading of spiritual books like the Bhagavad Gita. This can be either on a daily, weekly or bi-weekly basis at the least.

This will help to ensure, that along with all the demands, pressures and distractions of the world, there will always be a connection with the Lord which in time will strengthen to the point where the burdens of life no longer seem that way, but rather an opportunity to take that one step closer to fulfilling the 4th pillar of married life -  Moksha or full union with God. 

The Silent Wedding

A new phenomenon of weddings has evolved over the past few years. Gone are the days when weddings were conducted just for the immediate family while the guests were chatting amongst themselves and in some cases, eating their meals. 

A silent wedding is one where the guests are silent throughout the course of proceedings and are active participants during your ceremony.

 Different attitudes about weddings have ushered in this new change because couples want guests, to not just leave their special day with full bellies but also to walk away with a profound experience. 

The silent wedding allows for this. Consequently, the role of the priest has adapted to facilitate this style of wedding and change in attitudes.

 The priest is no longer merely there to recite a few mantras and bless the couple. He must do much more. Yes, he still has to recite the mantras and bless the couple – this is essential. But he must now also teach, educate, present and keep the audience engaged and attentive. The priest must bring the ceremony alive and bring forth its relevance to all attendees.

 With the silent wedding now the standard, it provides the couple and the priest with an invaluable opportunity to indulge everyone present with the rich, cultural heritage Hinduism has to offer.

The Priest

The wedding priest plays an integral part of the ceremony and therefore it is vital you get the right priest for your wedding.

The role of the priest is essential in ensuring that you are married not only by the laws of the land (the civil marriage) but also by the laws of the Lord and the universe.

The Hindu wedding ceremony has its root in the ancient Vedas, which were written over 5000 years ago. Countless couples and generations have performed their wedding according to these rites and it is the priest who is responsible not only for conducting the ceremony, but also for explaining it for the benefit of all those in attendance.

When you look at the moon through the naked eye, it can seem very far away. However, when you look at the same moon through the powerful lens of a telescope, it becomes so close, it feels like you can reach out and touch it. For common people to understand the wedding and make sure the couple get the full benefit from it is very difficult – much like trying to look at the moon with the naked eye. Therefore the priest is like the lens which brings the presence of the Lord into the ceremony thus bringing the whole thing to life for the benefit of all attendees.

I usually make sure that the weddings I conduct follow the 3 E rule:

1.     Entertaining. Wedding ceremonies usually last around 1hr 30mins and there are many Sanskrit verses that need to be chanted. In this day and age, attention spans are ever diminishing and therefore it is vital that the priest can make the wedding ceremony entertaining for both the guests and the couple. This is done through stories, humor and keeping in tone with the overall joyous and fun side of the occasion.

2.     Educational. Not only is there the fun and entertainment aspect of the wedding but it also serves an educational purpose. There are many customs of the ceremony, which hold profound and significant meanings behind them. Thus, once explained, the audience and the couple will gain a deeper understanding of the customs along with their purpose and significance. Everyone will actually have the opportunity to learn something about the Hindu culture and customs and their relevance in the modern age.

3.     Enlightenment. I aim for people to go away from the wedding not only entertained and educated but also enlightened. Enlightenment means people go away actually wanting to know more about Hinduism and what is has to offer.

However, this in and of its self is not enough. The potency of the wedding and all the mantras chanted within it, is directly proportionate to the purity of the priest who is performing it.

In other words, just by calling one self a Brahmin and chanting some mantras does not automatically ensure the blessings of the Lord are with the couple. If the priest himself does not live a brahminical and pure life outside of the wedding, there is no substance to his devotion. Much like a fitness instructor who then goes and eats junk food everyday after work when he gets home.

Therefore a true Brahmin should be strictly following the 4 regulative principles outlined in the Vedic scriptures, for there to be any purity and potency to the ceremony, for the benefit of the couple.

The 4 regulative principles are as follows:

1)    No gambling – this creates a cheating mentality where one wants the most rewards by putting in the least effort.

2)    No intoxication – including caffeine. This clouds the mind and distracts one from his true nature. Spiritual life is about clarity of thought and controlling the mind.

3)    No meat eating – including eggs and fish. One cannot call himself a brahmin if he practices violence and does not have compassion. Therefore, refraining from eating meat helps one develop these two essential qualities needed for any genuine spiritual practitioner – non-violence and compassion.

4)    No illicit union. This means where one only engages in union within marriage and for the means of pro-creation. The priest must exercise self-control and not be victimized by the temptations of this world.

Only when the priest lives by these very basic rules at the very least, can he really add potency and genuine substance to the sacred marriage ceremony.

Hare Krishna Hare Krishna Krishna Krishna Hare Hare Hare Rama Hare Rama Rama Rama Hare Hare