It is fascinating that just as the Vedic Sapta-Padhi (सप्तपदी) or the 'Seven-Steps' is the core of the wedding ceremony for the Hindus in India, in distant America, another ancient people, the Native Americans, too have the 'Rite of Seven Steps' at the core of their wedding ritual.
The Native American 'Seven-Step Rite' vows are very similar to the Vedic SaptaPadi, where the Bride and the Groom take Seven Steps together, at a slow pace, in the north-easterly direction, making a promise at every step.
For details of Vedic Hindu 'Saptapadi', Click here. For details of Native American 'Rite of Seven Steps' click here and here. No one can argue that the two are not almost identical.
The Native Americans also have other ceremonies similar to the Vedic Hindu Wedding. The 'Sacred Fire Ceremony' is equally important to the Vedic Indians and Native Americans. The Native Americans build their fire with seven different types of wood. The Hindus too believe that there are seven types of energies and circumambulate the sacred fire seven times.
Generally brides belonging to most tribes wore red for the ceremony, their attire passed down many generations. Today quite a few, especially for example brides belonging to the Cherokee tribe wear white. In India, brides always wear red for the wedding ceremony.
|The Sapta-Padi in the Vedic tradition|
|A Native American Wedding. |
The Sacred Fire in the foreground.
Most Native Americans believe that in the universe there exists the Great Spirit – a spiritual force that is the source of all life believed to be formless and to exist throughout the universe. Similarly, in the Vedic tradition the spiritual force is called the 'Supreme Consciousness' or 'Brahman' and is regarded as omnipresent.