The ritual of saat pheras (Saptapadi) or seven vows is one of the most significant rituals of the Hindu wedding in India. The seven vows or the seven steps are of great mythological importance where the couple takes round the holy fire and every single round has its own significance. With every round, the bride and groom make one promise to each other. It is only after these pheras that the couple is declared as man and women. Each one of the phera has its own religious importance and the vows of saat pheras are as follows-
First Step – Prayer for provision and nourishment
In the first step the couple prays to the almighty to provide them with nourishment and pure food so that they can live the life together with respect and honor for one another. They pray to the almighty to make them walk to together and get the food.
Second step – Strength
With the second step, they pledge to grow as one in mental, physical and spiritual strengths so that they can enjoy life and share their happiness.
Third step – Prosperity
In the third step the couple promises each one to earn and raise wealth by honest means and give comfort to the family. They also vow to share all the joy and sorrow together. The wife promises to be devoted to her husband and the man vows to respect and love his wife as the one and only woman in his life.
Fourth step – family
With the fourth step, they promise to take care of their elders in the family and not to disregard and forget them. Together they pledge to strengthen and maintain the family relationship.
Fifth step – Progeny
In The fifth step, the couple prays to the almighty to bless them with good-looking, kind and courageous children. They make a promise to be responsible parents and provide the children with fine education and fundamental values of life.
Sixth step – Health
With their sixth step together, the bride and the groom pray to divinity for disease free and healthy life for their families and themselves so that they can lead a harmonious and balanced life together.
Seventh step – Love and friendship
In their seventh and last step together, the couple swears to be a faithful companion. They also promise to live a life of love, friendship and mutual trust. The couple ask god to give them the wisdom of maturity so that they may live as friends for lifetime.
Having exchanged the promises of duty, love and respect, the bride and groom become a couple forever. These saat pheras make marriage eternal and the bride and the groom is considered to be a married couple. The saat phera ritual is also called shaptapadi or the seven steps where the groom promises of Kama, artha and dharma. The bride vows to stand by him and support him in fulfilling his duties. After the seven vows the couple bends down to touch their elder’s feet to seek their love and blessing for a happy and prosperous married life.