Buddhist wedding is very simple and does not involve any multifaceted ritual. The most enjoyable thing about the Buddhist weddings is that they are based more on faith and less on religion.
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Buddhist wedding is very simple and does not involve any multifaceted ritual. The most enjoyable thing about the Buddhist weddings is that they are based more on faith and less on religion. An archetypal wedding takes place in two parts, one is Buddhist component and the other is non-Buddhist component. The Buddhist component involves offering prayers along with gifts to the monks and Buddha image. The non-Buddhist component is rooted in traditional practices followed by the family of the couple.
Previously it was a rare sight to see Buddhist monks to be present at the actual marriage ceremony. Since they were required to be present at funerals, their presence at a wedding was not considered good. Buddhist weddings are customarily conducted in a temple. These days Buddhist monks are present at the ceremony but leave for lunch instantly after the ceremony.
Pre Wedding Rituals in Buddhist Wedding:
The very first practice amongst Buddhists is horoscope matching. It is deemed quite important and is practiced with devotion. After matching the horoscopes of the prospective bride and groom, the boy’s family in consultation with the lama decides an auspicious date for putting the proposal of the marriage. The next ceremony is the Chessian Betrothal ceremony, wherein the maternal uncle of the bride is seated on a raised platform. The priest recites prayers and gives ‘madyan’, a holy drink to everyone. This is followed by fixing of the wedding date in consultation with the astrologer.
Wedding Rituals and Traditions in Buddhist Wedding:
The Buddhist wedding ceremony customarily takes place in a temple. Initially, both the bride and the groom bow in front of Buddha image. After this, they recite certain prayers and chants and light incense sticks and candles in front of the image. Then the parents of the couple put a loop of strings on their heads to connect them. After this, the couple makes offering to the monks such as flowers, food, sweets and medicines. At times, token money is also given to the temple.
The priest then places a thread on the heads of the monks. Recitations in Pali language are made to evoke blessings for the newlywed couple. The string is connected to a container that is sanctified after the ceremony. Also, a red paste is applied on the foreheads of the bride and the groom. Though Buddhist weddings are not very ceremonial but their form has changed significantly. Firstly monks did not attend the weddings as they are present during the funeral rites. Currently, the role of the monks in weddings has become quite reflective.
A red paste is created and a small portion is applied to the forehead of the bride and the bridegroom. This is alike to what is done at Hindu weddings. The bride’s mark is done with the butt of a candle keeping in with the tradition of not touching women. Buddhist weddings in recent times have cut down on the elaborate ceremonies involved. Monks also have a greater role as compared to earlier times when they were prohibited. The fusion of modernism and scientific knowledge have made their influence on Buddhist weddings too.
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