Marriage Ritual-The kasi Yatra

Introduction

KasiYatra ritual in a Hindu marriage traditionally comes after Snataka ceremonywhich is performed by the bridegroom giving due respect to his guru.

The Snataka makes up his mind to complete his education by travel, and sets out for holy Kasi or Benares.

Background and Tradition

On the way he meets a company of holy Brahmans, and after conversing with them, he says:

“I have finished my Brahmacharya, and I have duly performed the four Vratas, known as Prajapatya, Saumya, Agneya, and Vaisvadeva. I am wending my way to holy Benares. Do you give me leave, therefore, to depart.”

One of the company says, “An unmarried daughter I have who shines in her natural decorations. O Dvija, her will I give to thee; go thou hand with her together with thy Grihya Fire. Do thou, therefore, come unto my house.”

Father gives away his beloved daughter

Here the father of the bride is supposed to utter as part of the ritual: “I will give to thee my well decorated unmarried daughter. You may go hand in hand with her together with the Grihya fire. So come to my house”.

The young man, who stands in need of companion, delays his journey.

The mantras

Brahmachari: – चरितब्रहमचर्योऽहं कृतव्रत चतुष्टयः ।

काशीयात्रां गमिष्यामि अनुज्ञां देहि मे शुभां ।।

Brides father: – सालंकारां ममसुतां कन्यां दास्यामि ते द्विज ।

पाणिं गृहीत्वा साग्निस्त्वं गच्छस्वा गच्छमद्गृहम् ।।

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