Pani Grahanam, Important ritual in Hindu Marriage

Pani Grahanam image

Pani Grahanam image

Holding  the bride’s  hand is a very important  vedic ritual  in all  Hindu marriages. With each of us giving shake hand to hundreds of the other sex (pani  Grahanam) it has lost  all its ritual significance.

In a hindu marriage, first the father of the bride, given her to the proposed groom and requests him to get married to her, He then ties Mangalya(not a vedic ritual) and then the  groom lowers his right palm and encloses it over the right hand of the bride. He covers all the five fingers of the right hand of the bride with his right palm through this act of paani grahanam. He recites mantras in praise of Bhaga, Aryama, Savita, Indra, Agni, Suryan, Vayu and Saraswati, while holding the bride’s hand. He prays for long life, progeny, prosperity and harmony with the bride during their married life. The closed fingers of the right hand of the bride is said to represent her heart. The paani grahanam ritual symbolizes the bride surrendering her heart in the hands of the groom during the occasion of the marriage. It is also  a vedic ritual, where he promises that  he would hold her hand and lead her safely  in their  married life).This means it is an extremely important step in their marriage.

But very strangely in Tamil Brahmin marriages he holds  bride’s hand much before  the  Vedic marriage  ceremonies  begin , just after Oonjal(swing) as per instruction of the Brahmin priest  or even previous day  during Nischayathartham. The groom then takes her to the stage , does several vedic ceremonies concluded by Mangalya Dharanam, followed  by real Pani Grahanam (when they become  husband  and wife). We in Tamil Nadu  also used to call marriage  as Panigrahanam once upon  a time and even today the Telugu Brahmins call their marriage as “Pani Grahanamu “.

 Maha Periyava has stressed about this several times  but in a society every girl does “Panigrahanam” to each and every male  she is introduced,Talking about this is meaningless

Just now I read from a Hindi site  that “Paani grahanam” is acceptance of water  by the groom from the bride and one of my friends told “never accept  Pani (water ) from a girl  other than your wife.”

 Hope that also is true.

Thanking Shri P.R.Ramachander for this post.

Write Your Comment


  1. Sreenivasa Rao NG says:

    The present system of having a Grand Reception (pre-wedding) is not welcome. As a guest how to Bless them. Religiously they are not husband and wife. No panigrahanam has taken place. Let me have your views

  2. Bhavadeep Pancholi says:

    पाणि (Pani) means “Hand” in Sanskrit.
    पाणिग्रहण means holding hand of Bride by the Groom..
    It has nothing to do with “Accepting Water”

  3. Manoj says:

    Kerala Brahmins still follow this