Hindu Readings for the Wedding Ceremony

I don’t want our wedding ceremony to be too long, particularly since it’s outdoors in the heat of summer. Readings weren’t something I was considering. But I’ve been hearing about different ceremony ideas lately and some of them talk about readings, which got me wondering about what kind of Hindu readings there might be.

And then my father told me that he had something that he had always planned to read at my wedding. He pulled out a well-folded piece of paper with this quote from a guru of his who passed away in the 90s…

 Love is all-pervading.  It penetrates everywhere and it is unitary.  It is one.  Moha is felt between two or more and that is what binds and brings them together, and yet it is felt as unifying.  It removes the difference.  The love between the so-called two is one. …

All demands nullify love.  Love never decays.  It is ever full, eternal, one, pure, undefinable, all-pervading.  Unless one understands love in its unified grandeur, how could one love?    Many think they love and keep on sorting out their affairs of likes, dislikes, priorities, hates and deceptions.  Love is immutable, one without a second.

The worldly love is not love at all.  It seeks approval of the parties.  Real love does not do that.  When it is aroused, it only offers and never demands.  All demands have two parties to the deal.  But offers do not recognize any other party and thus love never changes its color or form.  Once in being, it remains the same.

-Shantānanda Sarasvatī

I was moved by how long he has been hoping that I would have a wedding for him to read this at. It really hit me for the first time that my struggle to find a life partner has not been mine alone. My parents have worried and hoped along with me, waited and prayed, and did everything they could to support me in finding the person who I could be happy with. Even though a brief attempt at an arranged marriage didn’t work, my parents were always a part of my struggle, my hopes, and my dreams.

Here are some other Hindu-based readings I found that one could use. This first one is a poem I saw repeated many times and from what I understand, it is recited after the ceremony of the seven steps:

You have become mine forever.
Yes, we have become partners.
I have become your.
Hereafter, I cannot live without you.
Do not live without me.
Let us share the joys.
We are word and meaning, united.
You are thought and I am sound.

May the nights be honey-sweet for us.
May the mornings be honey-sweet for us.
May the plants be honey-sweet for us.
May the earth be honey-sweet for us.

There are a whole bunch of potential quotes here, including parts from the Upanishads: http://www.documentsanddesigns.com/verse/Indian_wedding_vows.htm

This one isn’t love and marriage related, but is a lovely Sanskrit proverb:

Look to this day:
For it is life, the very life of life.
In its brief course
Lie all the verities and realities of your existence.
The bliss of growth,
The glory of action,
The splendour of achievement
Are but experiences of time.

For yesterday is but a dream
And tomorrow is only a vision;
And today well-lived, makes
Yesterday a dream of happiness
And every tomorrow a vision of hope.
Look well therefore, to this day, for it and it alone is life!
Such is the salutation to the ever-new dawn

He’s not exactly Hindu, but I LOVE this one from Rumi:

The minute I heard my first love story I started looking for you,
Not knowing how blind that was.
Lovers don’t finally meet somewhere.
They’re in each other all along.

 

About Ambaa

Ambaa is an American woman of European ancestry who is also a practicing Hindu. She is fascinated with questions of philosophy, culture, and the meaning of life. Join her in the journey to explore how a non-Indian convert to Hinduism experiences her religion.

  • DsylexicHippo

    Something about what Shantānanda Sarasvatī said, who you quoted above, set me thinking. I am alluding to this in particular: “The worldly love is not love at all. It seeks approval of the parties. Real love does not do that.”

    By that definition, wouldn’t the unconditional love a mother has for her infant qualify as true love? That kind of love does not seek approval or anything in return. It is truly unconditional. At the same time, there is nothing unworldly about it.

    • Ambaa

      I would be curious to look at this quote in Sanskrit, as I wonder about that word “worldly.” I agree with you!

  • Ambaa

    Yes, I am aware of that. Which is why I said it wasn’t Hindu, but it’s just too beautiful to leave out.


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