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Marriage Rituals of Madhwa Brahmins

The Madhwa, sub-sect of Brahmins is one of the sub-groups of Kannada Brahmin. Most of Madhwas live in the State of Karnataka. They are followers of the great sage and founder of Madhwa philosophy – Shri Madhwacharyaru.

Madhwa Brahmins believe in the Dwaita (dualism), which lays importance on “Jeevatma” or the human soul and “Paramaatma” or the supreme god.

Some of the main communities in Madhwa Brahmins are:

  • Shivalli Madhwas
  • Shukla Yajurvedi Madhwas
  • Tuluva Hebbars Madhwas
  • Daivajna Madhwas
  • Deshastha Madhwas
  • Gaud Saraswat Madhwas

WEDDING RITUALS OF MADHWA BRAHMINS

DHEVARA SAMARAADHANE AND NAANDI CEREMONY

The first function prior to madhwa marriage is the Dhevara Samaradhane, which means offering prayers to “Family Deity”. Prayers are offered to pithrus to invoke their blessings by the parents of bride and bride groom, this is called Naandi.

JANAVASAM

The bridegroom is considered as God and he is honoured and worshipped by the father of the bride.

KASHI YATRA

This is a very interesting part of the wedding where the groom embarks on a mock pilgrimage. He is dressed in the traditional panchakatcham. He also holds an umbrella, a fan, a walking stick, and a towel containing dal (lentils) and rice tied to his shoulder and then sets off on a mock pilgrimage to renounce the world. As he steps out of the kalyana mandapam the bride’s father pleads with him not to go to Kashi, the famous pilgrimage site and marry his daughter instead. The groom makes many objections but finally accepts and returns to the mandapam to get married!

Matrimony Meet

PAANI GRAHANA

The bride groom holds the right hand of bride and chants prayers on marriage vows. The prayers are made to Agni, Saraswathi and Vaayu dhevaru to invoke their blessings for long life and happy marriage.

MAANGALYA DHAARANE

Amidst chanting of vedic hymns, the groom ties the knot to bride.

SAPTHAPADI

This is the ritual where the couple walk around the sacred fire. The groom walks with the bride to the right side of the sacred fire while holding his wife’s right hand. He stops, bends down and holds the right toe of his wife with his right hand and helps her take seven steps around the fire. At the beginning of each step, he recites a Vedic mantra.

SIGHTING OF ARUNDHATI AND DHRUVA NAKSHATRA

Once the Sapthapadi is completed, the groom gently places the bride’s foot on a grinding stone near the fire and slips silver rings on her toes. The couple is then shown the Dhruva Nakshatra or Pole Star a symbol of permanence and also the ‘Arundhati Nakshatra, a symbol of purity and virtue.

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