Marriage Ritual-Kankana Bandhana

Meaning

Kankanabandhana in Hindu marriage comes after Kanyadana, the Bridegroom’s promise to marry and accept the bride as his wife.

The Kankanabandhana ceremony is of great significance, for from this time forth until the samavesana (sexual union) ceremony is performed, the bride and the bridegroom can suffer from no pollution, as they have kankana or Raksha.

The ritual

In the course of the ceremonies that follow, the bridegroom says to the bride: – “After that, have thou to unite thy body with mine, thy Lord’s.”Later on he says, “Go thou to my house; be thou there its mistress; control thou the beings that are in it, issuing order for the sacrificial rites.”Later on still he says, “First, Soma had thee; the Gandharva hadthee next; Agni became thy third lord; the fourth lord is I, born of man. Soma gave thee to the Gandharva, theGandharva gave thee to Agni; then thee to me has Agni given with the capacity to bring forth wealth and progeny.”

These statements contain profound truths; let us understand them. Three Devas are mentioned – Soma, Gandhrava and Agni.

Soma – The first Lord

Who is Soma, and what are his functions? Soma is Sasyadhipati, the Lord of the Vegetable World, and he presides also over the mind. “First Soma had thee”, – this means that the physical growth of the girl, including that of the hair, was under the care of Soma. The mind of the girl also developed under his guidance.

“Soma gave thee to the Gandharva” – When? When the body had grown, and when hair had appeared on all the parts where it could appear, and when intelligence had fairly increased. / Whey did he give over? Because, to his work something more was to be added, and it was not in his province to do it.

Gandharva – The second Lord

Thus Gandharva becomes her second Lord. What is the task of the Gandharva? The Gandharva is the master of the graces. It is his function to make the woman’s body beautiful, and to add richness of tone (Svarasampattu). Under his care the pelvis develops, the busts become round and attractive, the eyes begin to speak the language of love, and the whole body acquires a rich hue. His work is advanced, and he hands her on to Agni.

Agni – The third Lord

Who is Agni? He is the lord of Fire, the Lord of the Agni Tattva. Nature isradiant with colour and joy in spring and summer; animals breed in spring. All know the meaning of an animal being in heat. It is he who brings about the menstrual flow, and woman then can bear children. Agni then gives her to man, her fourth Pati or Lord.

When is a woman ready for marriage?

When is a woman ready for marriage? The Vedas say “after menstruation”. At what age does menstruation occur? At the present time between the fourteenth and the eighteenth year from birth. Why do no the Vedas say so? Because the Vedas teach Sanatana Dharma.

The span of man’s life is not, and cannot be, the same at all periods of human history. Men of the Fourth Race (Daityas and Rakshasas) were about 27 feet high, and they lived several hundreds of years. The span of human life has been steadily decreasing, and stands now at 120 years astrologically.

The Vedas, therefore, state that women become fit for marriage when Agni has been her third lord. To put it in plain words, the Vedas say, “Marry the maiden after she menstruates”.

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