The religious norms have changed so much that the conditional norms have taken a form of a ritual bound by conditional mindset and religious rituals.
The word Pānigrāha today is only related with marriage ritual of Hindu’s wherein the groom lowers his right palm and encloses it over the right hand of the bride. He covers all the five fingers of the right hand of the bride with his right palm through this act of paani grahanam. He recites mantras in praise of Bhaga, Aryama, Savita, Indra, Agni, Surya, Vayu and Saraswati, while holding the bride’s hand. He prays for long life, progeny, prosperity and harmony with the bride during their married life. The closed fingers of the right hand of the bride is said to represent her heart. The paani grahanam ritual symbolizes the bride surrendering her heart in the hands of the groom during the occasion of the marriage.
Pānigrāha in reality has very deep meaning not just at body or ritualistic levels but at pure spiritual levels. “Pā” means Knowledge, “ni” means one drinks, “grā” means Awareness and “ha” means at the moment. Thus the beautiful inner process of taking a disciple in the fold of learning higher state of awareness by one can lead another, became a ritual of bringing in a life of a relationship that became part of ” grāha” or house at grossest levels of understanding.
In truth grāha also means planets, situations, appearances’ and house. Grāhasta means a householder, villager or one living in anyone’s house at the body level but in the subtle levels “Grā” means awareness and “ha” means pain, grief, dejection while “asta” letting off or dropping off. So one who in complete awareness drops and lets go of all the suffering, pain and dejections. So one who is able to allow the suffering, pain and dejections to go is always in peace from within, thus it is the initial stage of allowing one get into the state of acceptance. An acceptance that one can surrender and is able to let off the conditional norms to become connected to the inner child who is only interested to learn to evolve. This learning is not just of physical efforts, but one that is related to subtle concepts of mind and inner intellect to such a level that one is able to relate it with the consciousness in the most natural manner. For the whole process is based on Shāranagāti(surrender) wherein one is allowing the self to be handed over to the one who can guide and show the way of knowing the truth in the most appropriate manner, for it is a transformation of a normal person into the state of Shishya for the Mula-Bhava within to gain transformation to realize levels of knowledge through A Sat Guru /A Guru/ Acharya.