A traditional Hindu wedding ceremony is elaborate and complex, incorporating fifteen specific rituals. There are no vows in the Western sense, but the Seven Steps, or Saptha Padhi, around a flame (honoring the fire god Agni) spell out the promises the couple makes to each other:
"Let us take the first step to provide for our household a nourishing and pure diet, avoiding those foods injurious to healthy living."
"Let us take the second step to develop physical, mental, and spiritual powers."
"Let us take the third step to increase our wealth by righteous means and proper use."
"Let us take the fourth step to acquire knowledge, happiness, and harmony by mutual love and trust."
"Let us take the fifth step so that we are blessed with strong, virtuous, and heroic children."
"Let us take the sixth step for self-restraint and longevity."
"Finally, let us take the seventh step and be true companions and remain lifelong partners by this wedlock."
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