Sri Chandramoulisvaraya Namah:
VEDA DHARMA SASTRA PARIPALANA SABHA (Regd.)
Publication No. 35
The following letter has been sent to Srimad Acharya by a disciple. I have been instructed to bring it out as a publication of Veda Dharma Sastra Paripalana Sabha.
Devoted obeisance to Sri Acharya Swamigal. As our brahmana community is barred from jobs and professional colleges, it is deteriorating without livelihood. The devotion to God and to Guru and conduct of brahmanas are also on the downside. The marriages of brahmanas have lost their divinity and become pure commercial deals. In these trying times of very high prices, the way sons-in-law treat their fathers-in-law is very disgusting.
Before and after marriage, they demand and secure by coercion from their fathers-in-law, beyond the capacity of the latter, cash dowry of thousands of rupees, diamond and gold ornaments, silver and brass utensils and silk zari saris. Even educated and rich persons do this. They threaten that if the demanded dowry is not given, they would not take the bride to their homes and remarry. Owing to the greed and tyranny of these sons-in-law, thousands of girls are heart-broken; fathers-in-law are destroyed.
For example, I have given by way of dowry to my son-in-law a sum of Rs.5000/- and gift articles. I also spent Rs.1500/- on marriage expenses. I have spent my entire life’s savings. They are greedy and are still asking for further gift articles of Rs.1500/-. They say that they would not take the bride to their home until this is given. We are heart-broken. Because of this evil practice innumerable families are shaken and ruined. Hence this evil practice must be eradicated quickly. As this is a practice opposed to divinity and social order, I request that you should take the lead and reform this practice.
This practice must be severely condemned through highly placed, rich and influential persons who come for your darshan, through magazines and your discourses. You should also condemn through letters the evil conduct of sons-in-law, whose instances are brought to your notice in person or in writing. As all have Gurubhakti towards you, they will accept your advice and reform. Innumerable girls and fathers-in-law will ever be grateful to you and worship you as God.
If you think it fit, you may write to my son-in-law and advise him. I believe he will certainly reform himself. If you think it not proper, please do not do so. I humbly request you to let me know how far you can help me in this regard.
Your humble disciple
As per the traditional saying ‘Gouri Kalyanam Vaibogame’, every marriage must have divinity as essential part. We convey with utmost humility that to prevent a happy married life for a girl because her father has not given money is a great sin.
The important stipulation of Sastras is that on the day of marriage, the Vivaha Agni should be taken from the bride’s home to the bridegroom’s home; after reaching there, in the evening, ‘Pravesa (or Pravisya) Homam’ should be done; for one year brahmacharya vrata (celibacy vow) be practised; Oupasanam be conducted twice every day in that Agni; ‘Sesha Homam’ be done at the close of that year. The second preference is that after Pravisya homam, oupasanam should be done as per rules for 6 months at least and then Sesha homam be done. As the last alternative, authors of Sutras like Aapasthambha have prescribed that after Pravisya homam in the groom’s home, oupasanam should be performed as per rules for at least 3 days and then Sesha homam be done. In the past 20 years we are completing by noon time on the day of marriage itself, Pravesa homam, Oupasanam and Sesha homam. By doing like this marriage loses its divinity; Agni’s power is also lost. Only if oupasanam is done for three days, followed by Sesha homam, the newly married couple will get the benefit of the power of Agni of marriage (Vivahaagni). Then only will the oupasanams performed later will have the desired effect. If not, the oupasanam done on sraadha day will also lose its benefit. Agni will also become mere fire. By the Vivahaagni becoming powerless in this manner, we find that the children born now have far less Brahmatejas (Brahmic brilliance) than in previous times. Hence before we lose everything completely, attention should be paid to this matter and relatives, friends and Purohit should guide and make arrangements in the marriages conducted from this year to perform oupasanam for three days, followed by Sesha homam, at least in the place where the bridegroom’s party is accommodated. Bridegrooms should also be alert in this matter in order to get the sreyas (spiritual merit) for themselves and their offspring as envisaged in our religion.
More than half the mantras that we chant during marriage generally relate to the safe journey of the Agni without getting extinguished from the bride’s home to the groom’s home and overcoming obstacles en route by way of vehicle, river to be crossed, travel in boat etc. Hence after the marriage is completed in the bride’s place, if it is possible to travel to the groom’s place in the same afternoon with the accompanying Agni intact without getting extinguished and without loss of aacharam (purity), then Agni should be brought there and Pravisya homam be performed the same evening there. Till Pravisya homam is completed, the couple should observe fast.
After Pravisya homam is completed, darshan should be had of Dhruva star and Arundhati star and then food taken. Arundhati star shines dimly very close to Vasishtha star among the Saptarishi stars. Darshan of Arundhati should be had during fast by the bride to allow the husband to shine brightly, reducing her own shine and to be never separated from her husband. When all stars become dim, it is Dhruva star that does not lose its brilliance. Darshan of Dhruva is prescribed for the couple to be blessed to keep shining even if the whole world becomes dim. Sri Acharya Swamigal has also referred in his commentary to darshan of Arundhati star, while talking about ‘Sthula Arundhati Nyaya’. Many authors of Sutras like Aapasthambha, Aasvalayana, Bodhayana, Katyayana et al have uniformly preached the necessity of having darshan of these two stars after completing Pravisya homam. Hence at least as a last resort, Vivahaagni should be taken from the marriage hall after the marriage muhurtha is over, to the place of groom’s party and Pravisya homam and Arundhati darshan be done. For three days from that day, the couple should refrain from food containing salt and pungency, perform oupasanam, stick to brahmacharya (celibacy) and perform Sesha homam in the night of the fourth day.
Arundhati star will be visible in the early part of the night only in Uttarayana. Hence it is clear that the opinion of the Sutrakaras is that marriage should be performed only in Uttarayana.
To ensure Brahmatejas for the children to be born yet and obtaining benefit of karmas for Devas and Pitrus, the power of Agni got by performing oupasanam in those three days is essential. The touchstone for ensuring Brahmatejas for the future children is to arrange to teach the bridegroom the meaning of mantras chanted during marriage through Dharmagnas and Grihyagnas who have passed the Sabha examinations, by getting them four days in advance of the marriage and keeping them for two days there.
VEDA DHARMA SASTRA PARIPALANA SABHA
Translated by: P R Kannan, Navi Mumbai
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