Being deeply loved by someone gives us strength, while loving someone equally deeply gives us courage; love does not consist of gazing at each other with lovey dovey eyes, instead, it means looking outward and forward together in the same direction. And often a very important step in that direction is the wedding ceremony making the eternal bond of love and unity.
India is a country that truly satisfies the phrase, “unity in diversity”. There are hundreds of cultures, thousands of traditions and uncountable rules for each. One very significant traditional marriage ceremony is that of the Punjabis. The Punjabi marriage involves many ceremonies and age old rituals that have evolved a lot since traditional times. Yet one aspect remains – the Tilak ceremony of a Punjabi wedding.
The Tilak ceremony is one of the most significant pre – wedding ceremonies that are supposed to hold a very important position with regards to its auspicious nature in traditional Hindu customs. The ceremony is also a major part of Punjabi Matrimony rules and it is customary for all such weddings.
Initially this auspicious ceremony would be held strictly one month prior to the actual date of the wedding ceremony. But now the date for the Tilak ceremony is decided on according to the convenience of both the families.
In India, where the grim and his family are place in very high regard, it is such that the Tilak Ceremony marks the sealing of the marriage. The ritual is attended mainly by the male members of both the families. The groom is visited in his house by the father of the bride and other relatives. It is there that the father-in-law places a bindi of the auspicious Tilak on the forehead of the groom, marking that he is finally ready for the full fledged Punjabi marriage and that the father and the relatives accept him as their son-in-law.
A small part also is organised wherein the priests chant mantras seeking blessings from the lord, and after that the brothers of the bride, if any, also place the Tilak on the forehead of the groom as marks of respect, acceptance and affection. This is followed by almost all make relatives of the bride’s family.
This marks the beginning of the auspicious marriage ceremony and is hence a very significant part of a Punjabi wedding. Suffice it to say that, this is almost the equivalent of the phrase, “till death do us part”.