Arundhathi Nakshatra [Star]:
Hindu marriage ceremony has a event where bridegroom shows Arundhati to his wife. Arundhathi is the wife of Rishi Vasishtha. Arundhati was a model wife. She loved and served her husband Vasishtha with all her heart. Astronomically Arundhati (Alcor) is one of the double stars. It is attached to the star Vasishtha (Mizar). Star Vasishtha is more than 10 times brighter than the star Arundhati and it is harder to differentiate Arundhati from Vasishtha. However, like this double Star, the married couple are expected to be together for ever. In fact both the visible stars are the members of saptha rishi mandala (Big Dipper constellation), lying in second position from the tail end.
Arundhati was the wife of sage Vashishtha, one of the seven sages (saptharshis). Agni, the god of fire, lusts for union with the wives of the saptharshis. But it is undoable for him to fulfil this desire. His wife Svaha, therefore impersonates the wives of the rishis and makes love with Agni in their rupas. But it is impossible for her to impersonate Arundhati, the wife of Vashishtha. Her loyalty towards her husband is so strong that no other man can even think otherwise of her. Later when Agni and Svaha bears a son, the six rishis separate themselves from their wives doubting their chastity. But Arundhthi’s chastity was unquestionable.
Arundhati along with the sapthrshi according to the Hindu belief are the seven bright stars (saptharshis) and the slightly dimmer star Alocor (Arundhathi) towards the star Mizar (Vashistha) seen in the Ursa major constellation.
It is this unremarkable loyalty and love towards her husband that makes her an ideal to be followed for the newly-weds. So for a story first told in atime when wives are prescribed the practice of ‘pativrathya’, there is no moment better than in the marriage itself; to impact the idea of unwavered faith and intimacy between them, in their minds.