Wedding Ceremony Rituals In Hindu Arya Vysya Community – An Insight

Arya Vysas are Telugu speaking caste said to come from Andhra Pradesh. They also spread around Karnataka, Tamil Nadu, Maharashtra and Orissa. Arya Vysyas are one of the 3 subsets of the Komati grouping. The other 2 are Kalinga Vysya and Thrivarnika. , They are also known as Gavara Komatis.

The people of this caste are mainly into business and trading activities. Arya Vysyas are strict vegetarians. This community uses different surnanames Setty, Chetty and Guptha based on the place where they live.

Marriages in Arya Vysya community are predominantly arranged by the parents. As the internet started penetrating very fast, the online matrimonial sites and marriage bureaus are also used by the parents to search for the potential matches.

In Aryavysya, it is encouraged that if you are a son then it is appropriate to marry the daughter of your maternal uncle or daughter of your paternal aunt. Similarly if you are a daughter then you can marry the son of your maternal uncle or paternal aunt. The maternal uncle should give his daughter in marriage to his sisters son, even though he is illiterate or not well placed in life. For this matrimony, birth date, birth star or lagna need not be looked into. Even though traditionally it was followed, in the recent years the individual brides & grooms preferences take precedence as they have more say on the marriage and their partner selection.

Once the match is found, marriage starts with many traditional rituals. Traditionally the marriages used to be celebrated over seven day period. The marriage ceremony always used to be vibrant and colourful. Historically the seven day marriage rituals included, Ganga Pooja-on the first day, Pada Pooja to elders on the third day, Goh(cow) pooja on the fourth day, Kumba Pooja on the six day and Nadikeshwara Pooja on the seventh day.

As part of the event Pendlikoothuru, is the event performed in the bride and grooms house separately. They take bath and wear new clothes. The bride/groom are not sent outside the house after this ritual till wedding completes.

On the day of wedding, Mangala Snaanam or the auspicious bath takes place early morning during sunrise.This bath is taken by both the bride and the groom individually. Such a bath implies the purification of one’s self before proceeding for the marriage rituals.

Snathakam,a ritual that takes place a few hours before the actual Muhurtam. It involves only the bridegroom as he has to wear a silver thread on his body. Followed by Snathakam is Kashi Yatra, this ceremony is available in most of the hindu communities,where the groom says at the end of the thread ceremony that he has discarded worldly pleasures and is going to Kashi. To stop him from the symbolic departure to Kashi, the brides brother will request the groom to marry his sister.The Groom will accept it and return home.

The Arathy ceremony is common to the Indian Marriages. It is performed in almost all the marriages, with slight modifications. During the arathy , the family members apply oil on the groom and the bride and do arathy around them. It is done for several reasons, one could be to safeguard the couple from bad planetary influences, bad omens and other evil.

After having the bath,Ganesha puja performed by Groom , is considered auspicious for any important occasion as it ensures the success of the work at hand. The bride inturn worships the goddess Gowri. Gowri is the Mother Durga who symbolizes divine power, energy, woman power and fertility.

The main part of the marriage is Kanya Dhanam.It has the girl’s maternal uncle carrying the bride in a bamboo basket to the mandap (wedding place). The bride is dressed up in a bright coloured saree and precious jewellery. During the marriage, a curtain is placed between the bride and groom, so that they do not see each other till the ceremony is completed. In the Telugu community, the groom ties the Mangalsutra around the neck of the bride with three knots.There are two such mangalsutras one from the brides family, and one from the grooms family.

At the end of the Mangalsutra ceremony, the couple exchange garlands around each other’s necks. And all those assembled shower flower petals and rice. This is called Akshata, the offering of turmeric-coloured rice.

After marriage,few rituals will takes place.Griha Pravesh this is a common post-marriage ritual where the bride is made to enter the groom’s house. This ceremony is mostly to represent the importance of the bride and offering her a warm welcome in to her new life.