Friday, May 31, 2019

Pani Grahanam(holding of hand) –an important ritual in Hindu marriage



Pani Grahanam(holding of hand)   –an important ritual  in Hindu marriage

By
P.R.Ramachander




Holding  the bride’s  hand   is a very important  vedic ritual  in all  Hindu marriages  With   each of us   giving   shake   hand   to hundreds of the other sex (pani  Grahanam)  it has lost  all its   ritual   significance

     In a hindu marriage  , first   the father  of the bride  , given her to  the proposed  groom   and requests him to get married to her, He then ties Mangalya(not a vedic ritual)     and then the  groom lowers his right palm and encloses it over the right hand of the bride. He covers all the five fingers of the right hand of the bride with his right palm through this act of paani grahanam. He recites mantras in praise of Bhaga, Aryama, Savita, Indra, Agni, Suryan, Vayu and Saraswati, while holding the bride's hand. He prays for long life, progeny, prosperity and harmony with the bride during their married life. The closed fingers of the right hand of the bride is said to represent her heart. The paani grahanam ritual symbolizes the bride surrendering her heart in the hands of the groom during the occasion of the marriage. It is also  a vedic ritual  , where  he promises  that  he would hold her hand   and lead  her  safely  in their  married life).This means  it is an extremely  important   step in their marriage.

 But   very strangely  in  Tamil Brahmin marriages he holds  bride’s  hand  much before  the  Vedic marriage  ceremonies  begin  , just after Oonjal(swing) as per instruction of the Brahmin priest  or even previous day  during Nischayathartham  .. The groom then takes her to the stage , does several  vedic ceremonies  concluded  by  Mangalya  Dharanam, followed  by   real Pani Grahanam (when they become  husband   and wife). We in Tamil Nadu   also used to call marriage  as Panigrahanam  once upon  a time    and even today  the Telugu  Brahmins call  their  marriage   as “Pani Grahanamu “ .

  Maha Periyava   has stressed about this several times  but in a society   every girl does “Panigrahanam” to each and every male   she is introduced,Talking about this is meaningless

   Just now   I read  from a Hindi site  that “Paani graham”   is acceptance of water  by the groom from the bride  and one of my friends told “never accept  Pani (water ) from a girl  other than your wife.”

   Hope that also is true.

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