As is known, each culture has its own typical rituals, which are part of the essence of its customs. One of the oldest ceremonies is that of marriage. All cultures celebrate it, but not all do it in the same way. Each town includes its own traditions within that special day. One of the greatest influences in regard to these rites has to do with the religion professed by the bride and groom. Therefore, we find enormous differences between a Christian, a Jewish or a Muslim wedding. In this note on Buddhist wedding vows we are going to learn a little more about this religion and its customs when celebrating marriage.
Buddhism is one of the religions with the largest number of followers in the world. It is estimated that more than 500 million people practice this cult, making it the fourth in global importance. At the core of this faith is the overcoming of suffering and the attempt to achieve nirvana . Although there are many currents and schools that interpret these maxims, they all share the common goal of the liberation of the spirit . Most of its faithful are in Asia, although there are distributed throughout the world. Whether you plan to do a Buddhist ceremony because you practice that religion, or you are simply interested in incorporating something from this ancient culture, Buddhist wedding vows can be of great inspiration.
The Buddhist marriage ceremony
Before going over some ideas on Buddhist wedding vows, we should know a little more about the ceremony in question. The first thing we have to understand is that the Buddhist religion relies heavily on the spiritual plane . In this sense, marriage is understood as a blessing for the couple, rather than as a de facto union.
Another important point is that the monks have a central role when making decisions. In many countries, it is they who define, among other things, the exact time of the ceremony. They do this by reading the astral charts of the bride and groom. The importance of astrology is fundamental to this religion .
The person in charge of carrying out the ceremony is the monk. He is placed on the altar of the Buddha , and in front the bride and groom stand in a position of total respect called “wai” . The decoration of the space includes candles and lots of flowers. A food offering is also made to the Buddha himself and to the monks of the place. The master of ceremonies anoints the bride and groom with sacred waters and pollen to begin the ritual. Sacred prayers are recited and then the bride and groom light all the candles and incenses. Finally, the couple recites the Buddhist wedding vows and the parents or relatives say a prayer as a blessing.
Once the formalities are completed, the celebration begins. Typical dances are danced to the rhythm of music. The climate is extremely joyful, full of color, music and life . Of course, there is also a great banquet for all the guests that includes roast beef or pork, rice and typical sweets. The structure is not rigid at all, and the party can unfold in a very free and natural way.
Buddhist wedding vows
Buddhist festivals are full of color and life. This is also reflected in the bride and groom’s clothing, which usually includes multiple layers of different colors. They are also usually adorned with some jewelry and ornaments. There is no specific color for the bride and groom’s clothing, but try to avoid black. Thus they arrive at the moment of pronouncing the Buddhist wedding vows, in an atmosphere of absolute joy.
The monk’s question
While Buddhist wedding vows may be considered not entirely romantic, the spirituality of this culture can be appreciated. At the moment of consecrating the marriage, the monk asks the following question:
“Do you promise to seek mutual understanding, exterior and interior with each other and with all living beings, continually examine your thoughts and respect the mysteries of life with curiosity and joy ?”
A question that transcends the love of the couple and is formulated as a life teaching for any human being.
Example of Buddhist wedding vows
The words that the bride and groommutually pronounced are previously thought out and written by themselves. There is no precise formula for crafting Buddhist wedding vows. An example of the words that are spoken can be the following:
“I, (name), accept (name) you as my husband / wife, my life partner and my only true love. I promise to value our friendship and love you today, tomorrow and always. I will honor you and trust you, laugh and cry with you. In health and illness, whatever the difficulty, both in wealth and poverty . Whatever fate brings us, I’ll be there for you . Just as I have given you my hand to hold, I give you my life to be yours from now on. ”
Marriage ceremonies are very diverse in each culture. As we saw, there are many traditions typical of Buddhist rites when it comes to celebrating the love of the couple. Spirituality is the fundamental component, but that does not prevent joy, color and music from taking over the environment . After all, it is still a party.
Buddhist wedding vows do not differ too much from what we are used to. There is more emphasis on issues such as eternity and destiny , concepts typical of this culture. On the other hand, the monk’s participation is essential and he is in charge of formulating the transcendental question. If you are planning a Buddhist wedding, surely this information will be of great help to you. But for anyone who values spirituality and respect, the Buddhist ceremony can be very inspiring.