ritukala or "samskaras of adulthood" (Sanskrit: "Fit or proper season.") from coming-of-age to marriage. Time of menses. A home blessing marking the coming of age for girls. — keshanta: Marking a boy's first beard-shaving, at about 16 years. Both of the above are home ceremonies in which the young ones are reminded of their brahmacharya, given new clothes and jewelry and joyously admitted into the adult community as young adults. — nishchitartha "Settlement of aim." Also called vagdana, "word-giving." A formal engagement or betrothal ceremony in which a couple pledge themselves to one another, exchanging rings and other gifts. — vivaha: Marriage." An elaborate and joyous ceremony performed in presence of God and Gods, in which the homa fire is central.

To conclude the ceremony, the couple take seven steps to the Northeast as the groom recites:

"One step for vigor, two steps for vitality, three steps for prosperity, four steps for happiness, five steps for cattle, six steps for seasons, seven steps for friendship. To me be devoted (Hiranyakeshi Grihya Sutras VE)."


1. Hinduism's Online Lexicon, Himalayan Academy

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