The seven vows, known as Saptapadi, are performed along with Mangal pheras, which is walking around the sacred fire. Any Hindu marriage is incomplete without these vows and is deemed complete once they are conducted. The sacred fire is lighted along with the customary Home puja done by the priests. They are then asked to stand up and take the seven ‘Pheras’ or circumambulations around the sacred fire, all the while uttering a different promise with each Phera.
“Om esha ekapadi bhava iti prathaman,” the groom says.
“Dhanam dhanyam pade vadet,” the bride complies.
The first round of pheras is about promising each other nourishment, prosperity, and happiness. The groom promises, “Om esha ekapadi bhava iti prathaman” which means that he would provide her happiness and food, and take care of her nourishment. The bride complies by enchanting “Dhanam dhanyam pade vadet.” She promises to look after him and his family and pledges to share responsibilities by helping him look after the home, food, and finances.
“Om oorje jara dastayaha,” the groom says.
“Kutumbum rakshayishyammi sa aravindharam,” the bride replies.
The second phera is about the couple praying to God for physical and mental strength to lead a blissful life. The groom recites “Om oorje jara dastayaha” to seek strength from the god so that they can protect their house and children’. The bride reciprocates by saying “Kutumburn rakshayishyammi sa aravindharam” which means that she will be by his side as his courage and strength at every step in life, and encourage him in all his ventures. In return, she asks the groom to love her solely.
“Om rayas santu joradastayaha,” the groom says.
“Rava bhakti as vadedvachacha,” the bride assures.
The third phera is about the couple praying to God for wealth and the bride promises that she would be loyal in this matrimonial union. The groom vows, “Om Rayas Santu Joraa Dastayaha,” which means, “I will work hard to become wealthy, provide good education to our children and prays that may our children live long.” On the other hand, the bride promises to her husband that she will love him devotedly and all other men will be secondary to her. She enchants, “Tava Bhakti as Vadedvachacha.”
“Om mayo bhavyas jaradastaya ha,” the groom says.
“Lalayami cha pade vadet,” the bride responses.
The fourth phera is about the couple taking vows to shower each other with immense happiness and respect. The groom thanks his wife by saying, “Om Mayo Bhavyas Jaradastaya ha” which means that he is thankful to his bride for making his life sacred and beautiful. He further prays that may they be blessed with obedient children. In return, the bride promises the groom that she will shower him with joy and happiness from head to toe. She recites, “Lalayami Cha Pade Vadet.”
“Om prajabhyaha santu jaradastayaha,” the groom declares.
“Arte arba sapade vadet,” the bride replies.
The fifth phera is taken to beget obedient & noble children, and to pray for the couple together prays for the welfare of all living entities in the universe. They also make individual promises to each other to lead a life full of love. The groom recites, “Om Prajabhayaha Santu Jaradastayaha” and declares his wife as his best friend and his dearest well-wisher. He expresses gratitude for her enriching presence in his life and hence seeks blessings for her from the god. On the other hand, the bride promises to trust and love him until her last breath. She also pronounces that his happiness will be her happiness. The fifth phera the bride takes is, “Arte Arba Sapade Vadet.”
“Rutubhyah shat padi bhava,” the groom says.
“Yajna hom shashthe vacho vadet,” the bride promises.
In the sixth phera, the groom asks, “Rutubhyah shat padi bhava,” that translates to “You have filled my heart with immense happiness by taking these six steps with me. Will you fill my heart with happiness by walking with me like this forever?” To this, the bride replies, “Yajna Hom Shashthe Vacho Vadet,” which means “I will stand by you forever and always keep you happy.”
“Om sakhi jaradastayahga,” the groom says.
“Attramshe sakshino vadet pade,” the bride replies.
In the seventh phera, the couple seals the bond and promise to be faithful companions. The groom declares each other as man and wife by reciting, “Om Sakhi Jaradastayahga.” He also promises to his wife “I am yours and you are mine for eternity.” The bride accepts this proclamation and says, “Attramshe Sakshino Vadet Pade”. This means, “As God is the witness, I am your wife now. We will love, honor and cherish each other forever.”