According to the informant, the equivalent to saying vows in a wedding ceremony and saying I do to each other, the pandit (Hindu priest) says prayers while the bride and groom hold hands and walk around a fire seven times to signify the seven lives that they are going to spend together.
Informant is a 22-year-old USC student from India. Her parents raised her as a Hindu, but she does not practice the religion while at school.
The seven lives come from the fact that the Hindu religion involves the reincarnation of the soul when one dies. The couple is destined to marry each other within each of their seven lives. In the view of the informant, the ritual should change with each reincarnation with the couple walking one less time around the fire to represent each life they have lived together.