From Hindupedia, the Hindu Encyclopedia

Vivāhaḥ/ Marriage

Introduction to Marriage

This is the most important of all saṃskāraḥ. Throughout the ages for which literary tradition is available in India marriage has been highly thought of. The several words that are employed to denote the idea of marriage indicate one or more of the elements of the samskärs of marriage, Such words are udvūlai ( taking the girl out of her parental home ), vivāha ( taking the girl away in a special way or for a special purpose i, e. for making her one's wife ), pariņaya or puriņayana ( going round i, o, making & pradaksiņā to fire), upayama (to bring near and make one's own), and panigrahaņa (taking the hand of the girl). Though these words express only one component element of the rite of marriage they are all used in the śāstras to indicate the totality of the several acts that go to make up the ceremony of marriage.