15 - Vivaha Samskara
Vivaha Samskara is one the most important and elaborate Samskara out of 16 Samskaras in Vaidic Tradition. Vivaha means marriage. In Vaidic tradition, it is the only way for a man and a woman to come together and start a family. It is a commitment of everlasting companionship between husband and wife.
According to Vedas, marriage can commence after one has completed Brahmacharya Ashram, the student life maintained with celibacy.
One of the main ceremonies in Vivaha Samskara is Saptapadi or seven sacred vows. These are the vows the bride and the groom exchange and promise to follow them. They are the guidelines for a couple to stay devoted to each other and lead a happy married life.
Vivaha happens between two people, who are equal partners in this relationship. Each takes responsibility for oneself as well as of the partner. And hence this Samskara is performed when the bride and groom are of age. Vaidic tradition does not condone child marriages.