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.