By Sh Karmakar

Saptapadi in Hindu marriages consists of seven different promises / vows while taking pheras around the sacred fire.
1. With God as our guide, let us take the first step to live with honour and respect. They (Bride / Bride-groom) pray- Let us vow to share our food together. 2. The couple prays to the Gods to give them the mental, physical and spiritual strength to lead a healthy life. They pray- Let us vow to be strong together. 3. Let us share joys and pains & walk together. They pray- Let us vow to be wealthy together. 4. The couple invoke the gods for attainment of happiness and harmony by mutual love and trust in all walks of life and pray- Let us discharge our prescribed Vedic duties to our elders, ancestors, rishis, creatures, and gods. 5. With the fifth step, they pray for the welfare of all living beings in the Universe and pray for virtuous, noble and heroic children 6. With the sixth step, they ask the gods to give them a long, joyous life and togetherness forever. Let us stay together for the rest of our lives. Let us not separate from each other ever. 7. With the seventh, and last, step, the couple prays for understanding, companionship, loyalty and unity. "Let us be friends with love and sacrifice. Let us walk together so we have friendship".

After having exchanged these sacred vows of love, duty, respect, fidelity and a fruitful union, the couple concurs to be companions forever, thus, uniting in the holy matrimony and utters-

According to Hindu Law codes (Yalgnavakya Smrithi), completion of the seventh step is the moment of completion of marriage for all legal purposes.
Compilation : Shri Karmakar