Faith

Marriage mantras

Yasoda did not witness any of Krishna’s marriages. To compensate for this, she was born as Vakulamala, near Thirumala, and looked after Srinivasa, and had the joy of celebrating the Lord’s marriage as Srinivasa. Srinivasa’s bride was Padmavati, the foster daughter of Akasa Raja and his queen Dharani. There is a significance to their names, said V.S. Karunakarachariar, in a discourse.

Akasa means sky and Dharani means earth. One of the marriage mantras, which is recited by the groom, says, “I am the sky, and you are the earth.” This is not to indicate the superiority of the husband over the wife. It is to show that each is indispensable to the other. An example will help us understand this better. We may choose any number of ways to water plants — we may use a hose pipe, or a watering can, or use a bucket to water the plants. But no matter which of these methods we resort to, nothing can equal the freshness of plants which have just received a good shower of rain. So, the sky has a relationship with the earth, which is unequalled by any other. That is why Sita says to Kausalya that while a father and mother may dote on their daughter, the greatest joy for her comes from having a loving husband. Another mantra says that relationship between the two is like that between lyric and tune. Rg Veda is nothing but poetry, and Sama Veda is the music for this poetry. Thus, all Vedic mantras show the equality of husband and wife.

Kings, before performing yagas, had to plough the land, and it was while doing so that Akasa Raja found Padmavati. In the same manner, Janaka had found Sita. The mantra recited by the kings talks of the furrows left on the ground by the plough. The Sanskrit word for furrow is Sita, and hence Janaka named the girl he found Sita.

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Printable version | Nov 28, 2020 3:19:43 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/society/faith/marriage-mantras/article31324484.ece

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