Skip to main content

Does a brahmin priest marry the bride first..?

Agnihotram rAmAnuja tattacharyar’s book ‘Hindu matham enge pogirathu’ was discussed in U2Brutus channel. The idea it propagated was in a vedic marriage ceremony, the priest wants to have a sexual relationship with the bride..

First point is in his book Agnihotram rAmAnuja tattacharyar highlighted how priests who have no idea of the meaning of mantras blabber something and used the Rg veda Mandala 10 Hymn 85 verse 37 as an example.

Rgveda Mandala 10 hymn 85 talks about savitar sending his daughter surya as bride to soma, in the ‘car’ of asvin, with asvin as the bridesmen and this marriage of soma and surya producing all the beings of the earth, resting on the ‘dharma’.

In science we can visualize it as Sun, a Main sequence star (savitar) emitting its solar energy (surya) transported through the electromagnetic field (asvin), which reaches the moon (soma), whose reflection on the earth, produces all the beings of the earth, based on the laws of the Universe (dharma).

In some grhya sutras (which are texts that contain mantras for various household ceremonies, which are taken from vedic scriptures), this hymn is recited during marriage.

Soma (moon here as a male) is telling the approaching energy of sun, the Surya (here as a female), the following

The verse is this

tÀm pUsan chivata mÀm erayasva yasyÀm bIjam manuSyÀ vapanti yÀ na UrU uZatI vizrayÀte yasyÀm uzantaH praharÀma zepam. The meaning is this ‘ that (tAm) Pusan/nourisher (puSan) takes (civata) my (mAm) vigor /power (vayasva) whose/which (yasyAm) seed (bIjam) human (manuSya) they sow (vapanti) our that (yah na) large/thighs (uru) beautiful/attractive/pure (uzati) recourse/dependent (vizrayate) which (yasyam) they attract (uzanta)the enjoyer (praharama) penis (zepam).

The following is the translation from Ralph griffith.

37. O Pusan, send her on as most auspicious, her who shall be the sharer of my pleasures;

Her who shall twine her loving arms about me, and welcome all my love and mine embraces. (With many doubtful derivations according to my understanding)

My translation

(Let) me (soma) take that nourisher (puSan) power, (the light energy), which sows seeds of human beings, (on) our that large attractive dependence, which attracts (my power) enjoyer penis. Soma is invoking the nourisher’s power to sow the seed of human beings on its larger dependent earth, that attracts its energy/moon light (penis).(With some doubtful derivations)

Whatever is the translation, essence is the same. In many grhya sutras (which are mantras used during house-hold ceremonies from vedic scriptures), this mantra is introduced as the one to be recited by a male getting married during his marriage. The idea is like soma, a male invokes the puSan and use that power to produce his offspring (like earthlings).

Since priests started officiating and saying mantras on behalf of bride and groom, when they say these mantras, the situation becomes non-sensical. This is what rAmAnuja tattacharya points out in his book. He says brahmins have stuck to mantras without understanding their meaning and in the changed context of them reciting the mantra without the groom saying it, it looks ike a brahmin priest saying this to a female.

So prakash has omitted (or he is not aware) the point made by rAmAnuja tattacharyar here on the non-applicability of this mantra by the priest.

2. Second, prakash makes it look like (or thinks so like many others) that vedic scriptures say the officiating priest is supposed to say all these towards the bride. That’s not true. This is exactly what rAmAnuja tattacharyar warns about and tells priests to be careful of what they recite.

So there are two errors in this

No this mantra is not supposed to be said by a priest. (to be said by a groom instead). And that’s the point ramanuja tattacharya makes.

Then this hymn is in the context of a marriage between soma and surya in Rg veda, which grhya sutras use in a marriage ceremony. These nuances are not discussed and it is painted as if ‘vedas’ are talking about marriage of human beings. No vedic scriptures do not talk of marriage between human beings.

Now, I am perfectly fine with this questioning of vedic rituals and procedures by anyone, whether it is rAmAnuja tattacharyar or U2Brutus’s Prakash. The idea is not to stop this questioning. I would also oppose anyone who wishes to stop that.

Sanatana dharma is not a ‘mata’ of just some random faiths and beliefs. It is a dharma of knowledge where questioning has to be met with answers. A real service to sanatana dharma or vedic understanding is to investigate these questions, find the answers and respond.

The said video here