Godan Ceremony

The Role of Bride’s Father

The Godan ceremony is a tradition of Hindus, in which a cow or gold is gifted to the bridegroom by the bride’s parents. It is usually performed after the Madhupurka ceremony. The bride’s father utters three times, “gao, gao, gaoprattgrihyatam”. This practice originated from the Vedic period, when cows were donated to priests and bridegrooms during ceremonies. The Aryans also used to gift cows to Brahmans and revered guests.

The New Practice

This practice has slowly faded away and nowadays symbolic gifts such as token money, gold, shirting and suiting, utensils, garlands etc. are exchanged. The bridegroom was considered as a representation of Lord Narayana himself. The bride’s father says, “0 Narayan, you have yourself come to my house in the person of the bridegroom. My daughter in the form of Lakshmi is your possession. With this intention I hand over to you my daughter. Kindly accept this gift of mine”. The bridegroom in reply says, “I pay reverence to you and am eternally grateful to you for your tenderness and generosity expressed towards me, the faith placed in me and devotion shown to me. I give you my solemn promise that I will always respect your daughter”.

VarPujan Ceremony

Out of the four pieces of Kush grass held by him, the bridegroom gives two pieces to the bride. This symbolizes that whatever the bridegroom has will be equally shared with the bride. The bride’s father also places fruits, flower akshats and garlands into the hands of the bridegroom. The VarPujan ceremony is also performed along with the Godan ceremony. The bride is then called in by the priest for the performance of the marriage ceremony.

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