Ceremonial rites and rituals occupy a place of utmost importance in the life of a devout Hindu. Every little work in the Hindu home begins with the performance of appropriate rites according to the prescribed code, which is called samskara. ” means “in all possible ways” and means “to do” or “to act” whatever we do or act upon, we leave a permanent impression behind it. This is called The word samskara
Indian culture suggests sixteen samskaras in the life of a man right from the unborn child and the pregnant woman, till the end of life. A man, in his life time, should undergo all the sixteen samskaras ordained by the Dharmasastras. It is an institution through which a couple transcends the lower layers of self-interest and advances on the path of self-sublimation. It is slightly different from ‘marriage’, as in marriage it is the sense of conjugal union that plays supreme part where as, in ‘vivaha’ the fulfilment of obligatory requirements and transcendental journey is the most important.
Marriage functions just as an agent or a licence to satisfy the lust (sensual desire), where as ‘vivaham’ unites the couple for innumerable births to come.
The tie due to marriage is rather eternal. It is confined to the worldly pleasures, where as the spiritual world or to attain moksa is the main object of ‘vivaha’. In Indian culture, it is believed that the marriage is a means and vehicle to take the wedded couple to the sublime worlds through spiritual disciplining. The wedded couple no longer remains a couple, but moulded into one. It is believed that Brahma had created only one body of husband and wife together.
The sixteen samskaras, vivaha samskara or marriage ceremony is a very important event.