Panigrahanam literally means, “accepting the hands” and is also called hastmilap (joining of hands). This ritual symbolizes that the groom takes the bride as his wife and undertakes responsibility for her future well being.
In this ritual, the groom takes the bride’s right hand in his right hand, while chanting the following mantra from the Rig Veda.
I take thy hand in mine, yearning for happiness
I ask thee, to live with me, as thy husband
Till both of us, with age, grow old
Know this, as I declare, that the Gods
Bhaga, Aryama, Savita and Purandhi, have bestowed thy person, upon me
that I may fulfill, my Dharmas of the householder, with thee
This I am, That art thou
The Sāman I, the Ŗc thou
The Heavens I, the Earth thou
The Gods mentioned above are: Bhaga signifying wealth, Aryama signifying heavens/milky way, Savita signifying radiance/new beginning, and Purandhi signifying wisdom.
It may be noted that there are four main goals in the life of a Hindu – Kama (love and physical pleasure), Artha (wealth and material goods), Dharma (righteousness) and Moksha (the final release or liberation from the cycle of life, death and rebirth) – in increasing order of importance.
The first three goals are to be fulfilled through grihastashram or the householder’s life and for this a man needs the assistance of his bride and life partner.
Panigrahanam is believed to be of particular significance in Hindu weddings. This particular ritual usually takes place after kanyadaan i.e. after the parents hand over their daughter to the groom. The groom, in turn, accepts her and requests her support with above words of promise and reassurance.
Quote of the day: Don’t walk behind me; I may not lead. Don’t walk in front of me; I may not follow. Just walk beside me and be my friend.:- Albert Camus
Come on ladies and gentlemen – let the war of the
worlds words begin 😉