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.