The Story of Pinky & Mauricio
How They Met
Pinky and Mauricio met by chance on New Year’s Eve, while working alongside of each other at a therapeutic facility.
The First Date
Mauricio invited Pinky to dinner at her favorite Jersey City restaurant to say “Thank You” for a job well done. That was their first “date”. The couple return to the same restaurant every year to reminisce their chance meeting.
Unbeknownst to Pinky, Mauricio had already asked her family’s blessing. With champagne at the table, Mauricio said to Pinky “Do you want me to show you how much I love you?”
What I Love Most About Him is…
Pinky could tell that Mauricio was a gentle soul, with a common interest in caring for others. Pinky admired his kindness and compassion for all people. Pinky said, “He has a tender heart.”
Planning The Wedding
In India the couple purchased beautiful invitations, the wedding programs and authentic Hindu wedding garb. Maricio’s family embraced Pinky’s Hindu traditions, and Pinky’s family embraced the convention of an American wedding. “There was so much love, unity and acceptance,” said Pinky.
Hindu weddings are steeped in many meaningful traditions. One tradition being seven married women offer special blessings to the bride. This had special meaning to Pinky as so many family members in India could not travel to the United States for the wedding.
Pinky and Mauricio combined their spiritual traditions adding one of their own. Love letters to each other. Then placing them in a special box, to be opened sometime in the future.
More on Traditions
In the morning, surrounded by cheering family and friends, Mauricio, “King of the Day”, was carried to his wedding on a horse festooned in traditional costume, in keeping with the Hindu tradition of his Bride’s family. His arrival at the mandap was greeted by the Bride’s family and friends, extending happy greetings. The fathers and male relatives of the couple embraced and declared their friendship, and then the mothers of the bride and groom embraced.
Priestess Pundita Sarlaben Rajyangor was there to officiate at this greeting ceremony, to anoint the foreheads of Pinky’s parents with kumkum tilak, a red dot, and to bless them with grains of rice. She poured holy water in their cupped hands to perform the Sankalpa, a commitment rutual, asking for blessings upon the marriage.
Pinky’s parents honored and blessed Mauricio by washing his feet and anointing his forehead with a talak, a mark of respect to the divine spirit within the Groom.
The Priestess chanted eight sacred blessings to commence Pinky’s arrival.
Pinky was escorted to her thrown under the mandap by her father and bridesmaids. A white veil, called the Antarpat, was held in front of Mauricio, he not permitted to see his bride until she was seated, the veil symbolizing separation between them, and it removal, their union.
The Priestess explained that the four pillars of the mandap represented the four parents of the couple, their support and protection forming the canopy above.
A loop of white cotton wound 24 times, symbolizing different characteristics and virtues of human life was place around the shoulders of the Bride and Groom. The threads symbolized binding the two together to fulfill their roles fully and sincerely.
Pinky’s parents honored her as an embodiment of the Goddess Lakshmi, and anointed her forehead with the talak.
In the Brahama Vivaah, the highest form of Hindu marriage, Pinky’s parents “gave her away”. Pinky and Mauricio then committed to remain faithful to each other while pursuing Dharma (righteousness), Artha (wealth), and Kama (righteous desire).
Granthi Bandhan & Pani Grahan
The Priestess tied the two together using Mauricio’s scarf and Pinky’s sari to bind them in wedlock. Pinky’s father then entrusted her wellbeing to Mauricio by placing her right hand in Mauricio’s. For prosperity, Pinky’s parents placed green leaf sopari, flowers, rice, water and auspicious coins into the hands of the Bride and Groom. Pinky’s father declared to family and friends that the Bride and Groom consented to the marriage. Mauricio then took Pinky’s hand and they both began the solemn pledges of marriage. The Priestess then blessed Pinky, Mauricio and their parents by sprinkling grains of rice. Mauricio and Pinky exchanged floral garlands as a sign of love and respect.
The wedding was performed in the presence of the sacred fire called Agni, the Bride and Groom performing Laja Homa, placing offerings of barley and sesame seeds in the fire, while the Priestess recited mantras praying for their prosperity. The Bride and Groom then circled the fire four times, Mauricio leading the first three times promising that they will live their life in pursuit of Kharma, Artha and Kama, and Pinky leading the fourth time in pursuit of the most important goal, Moksha (Enlightenment).
After saying the Saptapadi (seven vows) Mauricio place the Mangal Sutra, a black beaded necklace, around Pinkey’s neck This is the first auspicious ornament worn by a married woman signifying her marital status.
Priestess Pundita Sarlaben Rajyagor blessed the couple by chanting mantras followed by blessings from elders. Seven married couples of the Bride’s family wished them saubhagyavati, never ending peace, bliss and prosperity.
The Priestess explained that ceremony was performed in Sanscrit, one of the oldest surviving languages in the world. She was born in Kampala, Uganda, and moved to Lester, England. She has lived in Los Angeles for 32 years. She learned Sanskrit from a scholar, her father, 50 years ago, and has studied it ever since.