In Jainism, the peaceful co-existence and communication of two different living beings in mutual beneficence or mutual reliance is preached. When a Jain matrimonial happens, a public announcement is made of the purpose of the soon-to-be bride and groom to live together in harmony for their entire life.
Among Jains, marriage is regarded as more or less a sophisticated affair.
Matrimony in Jains
Jin Jain community, it is strictly maintained that the boy and the girl marry within the community only and it is felt that the children thus born would also become Jains only. It is mainly the responsibility of parents to choose an eligible bride and groom for their respective children.
Jain brides are supposed to wear only sarees and just like any other Hindu wedding it is preferred that they wear the color red or any other bright color during the wedding. Jain grooms adorn the traditional Kurta Pyajama or the Dhoti Kurta.
Rituals before Jain wedding
Laghana Lekhan – During Laghana Lekhan, the marriage of the prospective bride and groom is fixed. In Laghana Lekhan, pooja is held at the girl’s house and relatives are invited. On this occasion, the priest decides the lagna, also known as the mahurat. At the end of the ceremony, the lagna patrika or a letter that indicates the time of the marriage is sent to the groom’s house. It is also a tradition to send kg of sweets, especially laddoos at the time of engagement or sagai.
Lagna Patrika Vachan – This custom is performed at the grooms house. This custom means reading of Lagna Patrika Vachan. It is mainly performed either on the engagement day or any other auspicious moment.
Sagai This ceremony takes place at the house of the groom. During the Sagai, the groom has to wear the traditional Jain headgear, wash his hands and do the Vinayakyantra. After the pooja, the brother of the bride puts on tilak on the groom’s forehead and gifts him a gold chain, a ring, clothes, coconut, sweets and money. The groom is then presented the lagna patrika.
Barati This a ritual takes place at the girl’s home. It is on arrival of the barat or the groom’s procession that the brother of the bride greets the groom and applies tika on his forehead. He is offered coconut, money, sweet and clothes by the brides bride. In return, the groom applies tika on the forehead of his would-be brother-in-law and presents him a coconut.
Rituals that take place during the wedding
The wedding rituals of Jains consist of ceremonies like Phere, Kanyavaran, Havan and Granthi Bandhan. Marriage Rituals
Phere – Phere is the time when the groom and the bride are taken to the mandap and are made to sit on a decorated seat. Firstly, the girl sits to the right of the groom. Later on, the groom and the bride change place after taking the seven vows.
Kanyavaran – Also known as the kanyapradan ceremony, it involves the parents or the uncle of the bride keeping one rupee and twenty-five paise and rice on the right hand of the bride. After this, the presentation of the bride to the groom takes place. The father publicly declares this formal presentation of the bride in front all the gathered guests. Then, the groom receives the bride. During this ritual, the priest pours water on the hands of the bride and groom while chanting the mantra three times.
Havan After the phere, the havan starts. During this ritual, a series of mantras are chanted those of the Peethika, Atha Gathu, Atha Nistarak, Atha Surendra, Atha Parmarajadi and Atha Paramesthi and offerings are made. In the end, the Shanti mantra is recited nine times.
Granthi Bandhan Havan is followed by Granthi Bandhan. In this ceremony, a married woman takes the corner of the pallu of the bride’s sari and then ties it to the shawl of the groom. In the meantime, the priest recites a mantra. Then, the couple takes four rounds of the fire. The bride is supposed to lead in the first round. After that, the bride and the groom exchange positions and take another three rounds.
The wedding ceremony concludes with the exchange of garlands.