Saptapadi is the most important rite of a Hindu Marriage ceremony meaning “Seven steps”. After tying the Mangalsutra, the couple takes seven steps around the holy fire, that is called Saptapadi. After the seventh step, the couple legally becomes husband and wife.
This custom is performed around Homa Gundam along with chanting of mantras by the Hindu priest. The region to region traditions varies for saptapadi. In South India the Groom holds the little finger of a bride and the couple take seven steps due south. Whereas in North India the Groom takes his bride’s hand and walk seven times around the fire.
The Bride and Groom take seven steps together, which symbolizes journey they will take together in life. Each step symbolizes a marital vow:
- For the first step, the couple takes a vow to nourish each other.
- For the Second step, the couple takes a vow to grow together in strength.
- For the third step, the couple takes a vow to be wealthy together.
- For the fourth step, the couple takes a vow to be happy together.
- For the fifth step, the couple takes a vow to take care of the children and parents together.
- For the sixth step, the couple takes a vow to be together forever.
- For the seventh step, the couple takes a vow to remain friends for the whole life and pray for universal peace.