Monday, February 23, 2009

Maangalya dhaaraNam - part-8



Untying the Maangalya rahasyam!


The marriage ceremonies are almost identical throughout India from Kashmir to Tamilnadu. The Vedic marriage has held its sway almost on all geographic regions. The exchange of garland (var maala), kanya daan,  paNigrahaNa and sapta padi are common everywhere.  But Maangalya dharanam has found a place in the South of Vindhyas.


Some sects of Gujarath and Maharashtra follow this ritual. It is found in some sects in Karnataka and Andhra too, but more widespread in Kerala and Tamilnadu.


The Kerala customs are shocking to some extent. In some sects the father himself ties the mangal sutra to his daughter before she is taken to the marriage mantap. In many other sects, particularly in non-brahmin sects, kettu-kalyanam had been prevalent until recently. The thaali was merely symbolic of a mock marriage so that even if a severe vaidhavya yoga were to afflict the girl, she would lose her mock husband and not the one with whom she would be living!


The increasing incidence of misfortunes in marriage and premature widowhood must have given rise to this trend. The prevalence of tantric and maandrik followers in Kerala who were also well versed in astrology give credence to the opinion that Kerala could have been the forerunner in introducing the Thaali concept.


The astrologer –cum- priest possessed the authority to conduct the marriage ceremonies with some modifications. But such practices can not be included just like that. Unless there is near unanimous concurrence among the priests of those times – or debated for quite a few generations, this feature could not have been included.


To think about it, in today's marriages, some changes are happening. But they are not about addition of some compulsory feature in the ritual based or Vedic based events of the marriage. One notable addition of these days is making the couple pose as married ones in the 'Reception' in the previous day - even before they become man and wife. But this is a non-ritual and mostly for social convenience. There are instances of omission too – only in the case of inter caste marriages when customs of both families are mixed. There may be omissions of some parts of Vedic marriage due to non-application of it to one of the families (of a different varna) but there has never been any addition. In the modern set-up, in the wake of increasing incidence of inter caste marriages, the Purohits may be compelled to follow some features only. It is also possible that these modified portions of marriage may become permanent in the years to come.



But in the past, such compulsions were not there.

Almost all sections of the public respected the customs and traditions related to marriage and there was least scope for changing the rituals in those days – unless otherwise decided by the Purohits themselves. The Purohits were trained exclusively in Vedic, sastric and tradition bound practices. In an atmosphere of increased chances for threat to life due to constant wars, invasions, diseases and pathetic state of living for widows, there is scope to believe that astrologers played a vital role in averting such misfortunes.



The Mangalya –sutra Tradition


The planetary ills and mangal dosha had become centre points of debate and every kind of remedial could have been devised. But times were such that even learned ones would not invent something from out of the blue and impose it. Vedas and age old practices were respected in those days.

So any additional feature such as Maangalya dharanam must have some Vedic acceptance.


This additional feature can not be introduced unless authorized by highly respected Vediks.


The Taittriya vachan "yE tatthra BrahmaNa: sammarchina:…" (1)  is a respected injunction even today. According to this any modification in custom – of course without damaging the main import of it - can be done only with the concurrence of or at the advice of a learned vEdik who is upright, unselfish and not directed by cruel intentions.


Such highly placed Brahmin priests who also happened to be well versed in Jyothisha could have introduced Mangalya dharanam and it could have gained wider acceptance gradually over the generations. (in fact almost all the rishis of Vedas were astrologers whose theories only were re-written concisely by later day astrologers for easy learning and propagation. From the four-faced Brahma onwards there are nearly 22 maharishis revered as Jyothisha  pravarthakas by astrologers even as early as 2000 years ago. ) This could have happened any time during the 13th, 14th and 15th centuries. That was the time, lot of activities were happening in the area of marriage related issues, in formulating vibahadhi muhurthas and in averting misfortunes in marriages. There are evidences of debates among scholar- astrologers. New jyothisha books were coming up - most of which are the basis of what we follow today in marriage related issues.


The Vedic authentication for Maangalya dharanam is found in the famous Rig vedic hymn on Surya's bridal

This hymn is the basis of the Vivaha manthras.

After invoking the blessings of Soma, Gandharva and Agni to confer strength, beauty and youth to the bride, the ceremony of Mangalya dharanam begins.

This is supported by the 40th and 41th verse of this Rig vedic hymn. The 42nd verse asks for non-separation and life of 100 yaers! (2)

This is exactly what the Mangalya dharanam manthra asks for.


The astrologers who found a necessity to incorporate some elements in marriage could have made  Mangal sutra a symbol of protection against Mangal dosha, a sutra or thread that protects the man, that pulls him from the clutches of Yama's rope.

The inclusion of Rajju (rope) factor in marriage-poruttham is an indicator.

Calling that poruttaham as 'Rajju' says it all!


A typical rajju-like thaaali with 'thaalam' (leaf) acts as the amulet!

The Surya kunda and Soma kunda had been traditionally regarded as facilitators for auspicious life.

So the Surya- factor was incorporated by the brownish red thread (used in many sects).

And the moon –factor was incorporated as the white sari as wedding sari in many sects.

The mangal dosha was warded off by the now famous Mangalya verse.


While tying this sacred thread, the groom says that the thread is responsible for his life.

He is tying it around her neck so that they live for a hundred years.


There are two versions of this verse.

mAngalyam tantunAnEna mama jIvana hEtunA |
kaNThE badhnAmi subhagE tvam jIva SaradAm Satam ||


In this it is said,

"This is a sacred thread. This is essential for my long life. I tie this around your neck, O maiden having many auspicious attributes! May you live happily for a hundred years!"


But the 'tvam jiva' is replaced by 'sajjiva' in some places, particularly in Tamilnadu.

The way the sloka is used in TN is

mAngalyam tantunAnEna mama jIvana hEtunA |
kaNThE badhnAmi subhagE sajIva SaradAh Satam//


So that, we may live for a 100 years.

In this version, full life of 100 years for both is prayed.

The earlier version seems to have an implied meaning of the wife losing her life once the husband dies (sati?)


The 'tying' of 'something' is already a concept followed in marriages everywhere. In every sect of North India, the union of the couple is symbolically indicated by the tying of their garments. With this knot or 'mudicchu' they would go round the Agni and make the marriage vow.  In some sects the wrists were tied.


This symbolism was incorporated in the Mangal sutra. By tying the sacred thread, the groom signals a union of the two. Here the Mangal connection is not just that of a Graha. All the grahas or planets are connected to 3 stars each. As such 27 stars of the zodiac are linked to 9 planets. The important feature is that these stars are lorded by Vedic Gods only. Every Vedic God mentioned in the Hymn on vivaha manthras is the lord of some star of the zodiac which controls the planets.


The prayer for 100 years – the veda praayam nooru – is something granted by the Sun God. He grants this to the one who never misses the Madhyaniha vandana!  The Sun grants a life of 100 years to the one who worships Him in sandhya vandana. The same 100 years are prayed for in the Mangal sutra. That means Mars, the friend of Sun, who also happens to be the Commander-in- chief for the Sun, the King of  the zodiac (who exalts in the Martian sign of Aries from where He begins his journey with Ashwin Devas bestowing health – this is told in the Rig hymn too) also is authorized to grant a 100 year longevity!


Now the next issue is why a sutra around the neck?

Is there any precedence for this?


Yes there is a precedence.


The 'Mangal sutra' was indeed worn by women even as early as 2000 years ago as an ornament – but not with the kind of importance attached to it as is done in our period to thaali!!



 Mangal sutra was worn at the time of marriage.



It was one of the mangal AbharaNas worn by women.

Mangal sutra was indeed an auspicious piece of jewelry worn by woman at the time of marriage which she  continued to wear at all times.

But it was not tied to her neck as a sacred thread to the blessings of "mangalyam thanthunanena…" sloka.


It was because it was always a golden chain with an amulet.

It was part of the wedding jewelry traditionally worn.


In Sita's times, the 'ChoodamaNi' worn on the top of the head was an auspicious jewel that can not be parted off by the woman.

That jewel was a like a small ring having a 'gem'.

Rama describes it as the gem got from the waters (3)


That must be the reference to pearl.

The pearl was used as an amulet for long life and prosperity

according Atharvana vedas (4)


So the choodamani was considered by Sita as life itself.


But Mangalya sutra was not assigned such an importance, though it was compulsorily worn by the married woman.

The authentication for this comes from none other than Sri Adhi Shankara.


He tells about the thread tied to the neck of AmbaL at the time of her marriage.

He says this in Verse 69 of Soundarya Lahari written 2000 years ago

"Gale rekhas thisro gathi-gamaka-gith'aika nipune
Virajanthe nana-vidha-madhura-ragakara-bhuvam
Thrayanam gramanam sthithi-niyama-seemana iva the."



"She who is an expert in Gathi, Gamaka and Geetha,
The three lucky lines on your neck,
Perhaps remind one,
Of the number of the well tied manifold thread,
Tied during your marriage,
And also remind of the place,
In your pretty neck,
Where originates the three musical notes,
Of Shadja, Madhyama and Gandhara,"


In his commentary for this verse, published in 'Deivatthin kural',

Paramacharyal of Kanchi says like this:-

"What is stated in line 2, namely, "vivAha-vyAnaddha-praguNa-guNa-sankhyA-pratibhuvaH" that is, "A reminder of the strands of the auspicious string made by twisting several threads and well tied round the neck at the wedding ceremony". This refers to the most auspicious wedding of Goddess Parvati and the Lord. The direct meanings however are:

vivAha-vyAnaddha : wedding – tied well.

guNa-sankhyA: consisting of a certain number of guNas.

praguNa : noble guNas.

pratibhuvaH: that which authenticates, guarantees.


These direct meanings do not add up to an easily understood message. The "guNa-sankhyA" refers to the number three, coming from the three guNas satva, rajas and tamas. But when it comes to "praguNa" he is talking of 'strands of string', because guNa also means 'strand'. And 'praguNa' means 'auspicious strands'. And this is what brings in the 'mangala-sutra' (auspicious marriage thread) that is tied at the time of the wedding ceremony. In other words, it means that three noble strands of string have been twisted to make the mangala sutra for the Goddess. And it is these three strands that are recalled – 'pratibhuvaH' – by the three lines on the neck of ambaa. Of course, in addition, we can also interpret that the three lines implicitly stand for the three guNas also."

(end quote)


Vivaha means 'vishesenavahati iti vivaha:'
Vivaha is that which gives special rights.

The special rights are those to discharge the duties as Grahastha.

In the very first paragraph of part -1 of this series it was written that the union of the woman and man is complementary to each other – the woman representing the Thought force (dictated by the 3 gunas sattwa, rajasa and tamasa) and the man represents the 'Pur' – the city / container that takes up those thoughts and act accordingly. (5)

The role of woman in marriage is such that she is Shakthi, the in-dweller of the Trinities. She is "Brahma-Vishnu- Shivaatmikaa"!

Even the name 'Sthree' is a combination of these 3 gunas (sakara, takara and rakara).

It is also to be remembered here that the 3 gunas are seen as 3 lines on the neck of a woman as per Samudrika lakshana sastra!


An auspicious woman will have 3 lines on her neck.

This is personified as the thread tied on her neck at the time of marriage.

Why at the time of marriage?

Because from then onwards only, here role as the Thought force or

the In-dweller of the Purusha begins!


This significance attached to the Samudrika lakshana of a woman and the 3 guna nature in her capacity to propel a man must have found an expression as an auspicious chain made of gold worn around her neck at the time of marriage.


That the woman herself is personified as an auspicious ornament is known from another hymn written by Adhi Shankara, the "Kanaka dhara stothra'

In the very first stanza, Sri Shankara asks for Mangalya – auspiciousness.

Laskhmi is Mangalya devatha

because she is an 'ornament' – a jewel that gives supreme happiness.

"Angam hare pulaka bhooshanamasrayanthi,
Bhringanga neva mukulabharanam thamalam,
Angikrithakhila vibhuthirapanga leela,
Mangalyadasthu mama mangala devathaya".


"To the Hari who wears supreme happiness as Ornament,
The Goddess Lakshmi is attracted,
Like the black bees getting attracted,
To the unopened buds of black Tamala tree,
Let her who is the Goddess of all good things,

Grant me a glance that will bring prosperity"



The jewel made of gold gives all happiness and prosperity as gold acts as an amulet for prosperity and long life, says AtharvaN Veda (6)

Such an ornament which is in the nature of female lakshana was worn by AmbaL.

This is not just a decorative description done by Sri Shankara.

The images of goddesses made long ago, are seen wearing this jewel.



Another authentication for this is a verse found in Varaha purana.

This verse is part of a hymn on glorification of Vakshasthala Lakshmi - Lakshmi who resides in the heart of Vishnu.

The 18th name found in this verse is in praise of Lakshmi who wears the "Maangalya aabharanaa".


She wears many auspicious jewels, the mAngalya AbharaNa, says this verse.

So it can be inferred that maangalyam or thaali was one of specific auspicious jewels worn by women at the time of marriage and continued to be worn by them. They were not removed from their body.

In the present day, the toe-ring called 'metti' in Tamil is also an ornament worn at the time of marriage but never removed.



From Tamil texts.


From a description in Silappadhikaram too, it is known that thaali or Mangal sutra was a gold chain with some kind of amulet- looking thing attached to it and it was worn by goddesses.


To please the Goddess Kottravai, her devotees decorated a young girl as Kottravai to pay their salutations to her. It is described in detail how this girl was decorated like the goddess with the jewels that the deity wears. There it is mentioned that she was decorated with 'Thaali' with the white teeth of tiger attached to it. (7)


The tiger teeth is tied to the thaali of Kottravai.

Kottaravai is described in this verse as the Presiding Goddess of the hunter groups.

The amulet is connected to the threat factor.


When the threat is from tigers, tiger tooth procured from the slain tiger is used as an amulet.

The amulet will be mostly white in color as required by Atharvan mantras.


The Atharvan veda also regards the teeth and bones of evil ones (asuras) who have been conquered or slain, as suitable for use as amulets.

So there is every chance that the people / goddesses in various places had used articles as suitable for (or connected to) their places as amulets and tied them to the golden chains to be worn at the time of marriage.


From these sources, it is known that ordinary women too wore the thaali, as it had vital meanings connected to it - bearing relevance to Vivaha as the three threads of Gunas tied together (as told in Soundarya Lahari) and as an amulet kind of a chain for auspiciousness ( as mentioned in Silappadhikaram)


But this would not have been worn to the chanting of specific mantras at the time of marriage.

In Sita Kalyanam, the pearl studded ChoodamaNi was given by Sita's father to Rama's father who in turn gave it to Sita'a mother who fixed it on Sita's head, as Rama was looking on.

Similarly there may be other auspicious ornaments meant for a married woman and would have been gifted at the time of marriage by one of the families to be worn.


These ornaments would have been regarded as precious or non-removable as is done with Thaali.

A reference to this can be found in Purananuru (8)


Purananuru tells that the women have donated everything they possessesed except the "Vizhai aNi".

The women were referred to as 'vizhai aNi magaLir'.

What is that Vizhai aNi, the indispensable jewel which they can not part off?


Vizhai means some thing superior or great or fantastic.

When they were ready to give up all other jewels which also could have been valuable in money terms or in terms of beauty, why could they not part of with certain jewels?

We have no clue other than pointing at the matrimonial link to them.


Similarly there comes a description in Silappadhikaram that Kanangi discarded all that she could, except the 'mangala aNi', while she was suffering from the separation of her husband who went after Madhavi.


The objects that she gave up are described from head to feet and the Urai (commentary) lists them in the order of the vital organs of the body.


She gave up her anklets (silambu)


She gave up the waist-chain (mEgalai).


She did not paint her breasts red. (Soundarya Lahiri describes the decoration in red found on Ambal's breast)


She did not apply eyetex.


She didn't ever wear the ruby-red Thilakam! (this is indicative of widowhood in today's custom)


Yes, it is mentioned "PavaLa vANudhal thilakam izhappa" (9)


She did not tie her hairs, the hairs were un-tended and let loose! (something inauspicious in our times)


She did not beautify herself.


The verse also says that she discarded all jewels except the 'mangala aNi' (10 )


The next line gives the information about what jewels she discarded. It says that she discarded her ear-studs. No mention of any other jewels. So the ear-stud was not considered as Mangal jewel. But there were other Mangal jewels which she could not remove.


While she removed jewels from forehead (the thilakam), ears, waist and feet, she did not remove the jewels from hands, neck and nose!

The bangles called 'Thodi' are popular ones with every woman in India those days. Tamil women were no exceptions.  (11)


Even in the Harappan images found now and dated at 3rd millennium BC, the women were seen wearing bangles in the forearms and upper arms.

They wore neck ornaments.


In Soundarya Lahiri, we find mention of just 2 chains in the neck of Ambal,

one is a pearl necklace and the other, the Mangal sutra.

So these must have been the Mangal jewels which were part of bridal jewellery that were not  removed.


There is nose ring in addition. Though the currently popular view is that the nose-ring is the legacy of the Muslims, evidence is to the contrary!

Adhi shankara describes the nose ring of Ambal in Soundarya Lahiri. (12 )


Ambal was wearing a pearl nose ring on her left nostril!

Left side nose ring is a custom everywhere except in Tamil nadu!


Probing the reason for this, we can locate a rationale in the yoga sastra of Swara, about the breath. The left nostril stands for Chandra kala and the right for soorya kala. The left stands for the moon – the feminine factor and the right, for the sun, the masculine factor. The one who has controlled the two kalas will become a tri-kaala gyaani.


The left side of the nose has particular relevance with reference to auspicious days such as Monday, Wednesday, Thursday and Friday (lorded by the benefic planets moon, mercury, Jupiter and Venus respectively).  As per horary astrology, if a question is asked when the breath is in the left nostril (Chandra kala) of the astrologer on the benefic days as mentioned above, there will be success to the querist . The astrologer must be observing his breath when the question is asked and can answer according to the day and the swara or breath.


The point of interest to our discussion is that lefts side indeed is about benefics and therefore auspiciousness. The Tamils opted for the right side perhaps to invoke the blessings of Sun.

In the ultimate analysis, we can say that the nose ring and Mangal chains were regarded as Mangal jewels from time immemorial. (13)

About the Thilakam, which is considered as a symbol of Mangal these days, it is known from Silappadhikaram, that it was not considered so.

We get to know from the Harappan figurines, that placing kumkum at the partition of the hair (vagidu) was a custom even then. The two images so far discovered show hairs let loose – corresponding to the description of AmbaL in Soundarya Lahiri who has her hair encircling her face.

She is seen wearing vermilion at the spot of the parting of her hairs!  (14) 


Such a bindi cures one from all diseases according to this verse.

One interesting feature of the Harappan figurine is that there is no bindi in the forehead though a kind of projection in round shape is seen in the forehead. The bindi at the Vagidu is painted red, the hairs in black and the jewels around the neck in yellow. But there is no such coloring of the round bulge in the forehead.

What is known is that some ornaments worn at the time of wedding have been regarded as sacred.

But they were all about some golden / some metallic / gem based ornament.



Mangalyam Sthira Rahasya,
said to be composed by the three great exemplars of Hindu
wifehood - Anasooyaa, Arundhati and Lopamudra – refers to an ornament as supreme.

It is the Mangalya sutra. This book, of an unknown period instructs the wife

not to view the Mangalyam as a mere piece of metal,

but as a representative of the husband himself.

Thus, the marriage medallion was something to be worn always with reverence. (15)



Additional significance to Mangal



The prayer for Mangal starts before the couple are actually united by their palms.

Once the sacred thread is tied the groom catches hold of the bride's palm.

Even the holding of the palm seems to have some astrological significance.


The man holds the woman's hand including the thumb.

The portion below the thumb is the place of Venus,

signifying matrimony, spouse and love.

Just the other side of it is the place of Moon, signifying Mind.

These two planets play a crucial role in determining matrimonial bliss.

But this bliss is threatened by Mars which lies just above these two mounts in the hand.

These two mounts are separated by the Plain of Mars.


Thus the very design of grahas in the hand, indicate a constant bullying by Mars.

By holding these two mounts, in Pani grahanam,

the groom is overpowering the grahanam of Mars.


(planets are known as grahas. Grah means 'to bind' or 'catch'.

The planets catch humans and the bride too.

The groom in turn catches the planets to ensure

that planetary mischief are controlled by him so that he lives a full life with the woman

by taking a pledge by circumambulating the Agni deva.)



It is to be noted that soon after Mangalya dharanam,

the couple are led to the Homa kunda in Pani grahanam

to do Saptapadhi

The Mangalya dharanam is a ritual where the grahas or planets are worshiped for longevity and auspiciousness.

After that begins the prayer to Vedic Gods.


In Mangalya dharanam, the couple are united by the planets and

the unity must reach its logical conclusion in Saptapadi.

From Mangalya dharanam to Saptapadi,

the transition of control come from planets to Vedic gods.


The clasped hands must not be separated till they finish the Vedic vow done with agni-sakshi. It is because of this they are not supposed to come into contact with anyone else during this time.

But nowadays everyone clamours around the couple to congratulate them - even before they had become man-and wife. The process to become married had just begun with mangalya dharanam and planetary blessings have just been evoked in mangalya dharanam followed by a firm 'grahanam' of the bride's palm - as if to indicate that the planets are subdued or under control - that they can no longer play mischief with the life of the girl.


But this bonded vow is broken immediately after the vow is made! The couple go on hand-shaking spree with everyone around them. We can see some purohits sternly warning against this practice. But no one realizes the purpose of the marriage customs.


The wedding dress.


The Sun as Athma karaka or the All pervading God guides the couple.
The Moon leads the Thought in the proper way.

In the wedding of Brahmins, particularly Srivaisihnavites,

their kula-guru is Guru, Jupiter.


So they get the sacred thread soaked in Yellow, the color signified by Jupiter.

The Sun guides them as Surya Narayan.

So the bride wears the wedding sari in 'arakku' (ruby) color, the color of the Sun,

while the groom wears yellow – in tandem with the tradition of Brahmanism

as indicated by Jupiter.


This is akin to taking a sacred dip in Surya kunda and Soma kunda

as told by the Brahmin girl Devandhi in Silappadhikaram.




The mangal jewels were given to Sita by the Rishi-patni Anasuya so that she may ever be the source of happiness, valour and youthfulness of her consort, SriRama


She said, "O, Seetha! Your body, anointed with these heavenly cosmetics (and jewels), will cause your husband to look beautiful, as Lakshmi (the goddess of fortune and beauty) does the imperishable Vishnu (the Lord of Preservation). (16)

This means only on seeing Lakshmi with her mangal aabharanas, the Lord Himself will be able to discharge His functions.

It is not enough His consort is alongside Him. She must be bedecked in all auspiciousness.

The cosmic tattwa of Her role as His Thought-force and keeper of His life, his well-being  is replicated in the mundane life of ordinary people.

We, the ordinary beings have to emulate them!

That is the way Santana dharma can live on.

May all the Sanatanic principles with which they are ruling Mankind be remembered for ever!

May all that is Mangal envelop all beings!

May the Sun and the Moon protect all beings as Chakra and shanku!

May Lakshmi samedha Narayana

shower their auspiciousness on the entire human race!



(concluded for the time being –

but will be renewed if  newer insights are gained)






The devadasis also wear the Mangal sutra as they are wedded to God.

They are called as Nithya sumangalis.

They suffer no widowhood.

This clearly shows that Mangalya sutra is connected to the life of the spouse.

The woman become jewel in the heart of their spouse,

as was told in the first stanza of Kanaka dhara stothra of Lakshmi for Hari






Reference :-

(1)     Taittriya Upanishad (1-11-4)


(2)     Rig veda X- 85 – 42.

"40 Soma obtained her first of all; next the Gandharva was her lord.
Agai was thy third husband: now one bornof woman is thy fourth.
41 Soma to the Gandharva, and to Agni the Gandharva gave:

And Agni hath bestowed on me riches and sons and this my spouse.
42 Be ye not parted; dwell ye here reach the full time of human life."


(3) Sundara Khandam – 66-5


(4) Atharvan veda – IV- 10



(6) Atharvana veda XIX, 26. Gold as an amulet for long life.

1. The gold which is born from fire, the immortal, they bestowed upon the mortals. He who knows this deserves it; of old age dies he who wears it.
2. The gold, (endowed by) the sun with beautiful colour, which the men of yore, rich in descendants, did desire, may it gleaming envelop thee in lustre! Long-lived becomes he who wears it!
3. (May it envelop) thee unto (long) life, unto lustre, unto force, and unto strength, that thou shalt by the brilliancy of the gold shine forth among people!
4. (The gold) which king Varuna knows, which god Brihaspati knows, which Indra, the slayer of Vritra, knows, may that become for thee a source of life, may that become for thee a source of lustre!


(7) Silappadhikaaram 12- lines 27 & 28.

"Puli vaai piLandhu pettra maalai, veN pal thaali nirai pootti.."


(8) Purananuru verse 127


(9 ) Silapapdhikaaram 4- 54

(10) Silapapdhikaaram 4- 50


(12 ) Soundarya Lahiri 61

(Victory over mind, Getting of wealth)
Asau naasa-vamsas tuhina-girivamsa-dhvajapati
Thvadhiyo nedhiyah phalatu phalam asmakam uchitam;
Vahathy anthar muktah sisira-kara-nisvasa galitham
Samruddhya yat tasam bahir api cha mukta-mani-dharah

Oh Goddess , who is the flag of the clan of Himalayas,
Let your nose which is like a thin bamboo,
Give us the blessings which are apt and near.
I feel mother,
That you are wearing a rare pearl,
Brought out by your breath,
Through your left nostril,
For your nose is a storehouse,
Of rarest pearls divine.


(13) The earing and removal of the nose-ring  ( Mookutthi)  is a daily festival at

Madhurai MeenAkshi Temple at " ardha Jaamam"  time . It is a type of Sayanotsavam for Mathurai MeenAkshi and SrI SundarEswarar . He travels in a small palanquin to His Devi's sannidhi to the accompaniment of Vaadhyams and tEvAram recitation (OdhuvAr)  and  His wife waits for Him and then the removal of Mukkutthi by Her in preparation for the night's rest  takes place . This observance seems to have relevance to the gist of Soundarya Lahiri.

There are a lot of tourists and devotees, who flock to attend this daily observance.


 (14) Soundarya Lahiri 44

"Oh mother, let the line parting thine hairs,
Which looks like a canal,
Through which the rushing waves of your beauty ebbs,
And which on both sides imprisons,
Your Vermillion , which is like a rising sun
By using your hair which is dark like,
The platoon of soldiers of the enemy,
Protect us and give us peace."


(15) The massive work, Mangalyam Sthira rahasya, composed by the three great exemplars of Hindu wifehood - Anasooyaa, Arundhati and Lopamudra
outlines five attitudes and duties expected of a good wife: 1) Shaanta Bhaavana advises the wife to seek contentedness, appreciate that her own karma has subtly helped attract her husband and shy from scorning him. 2) Daasya Bhaavana bids the wife to maturely adopt the pure and selfless spirit of the help-mate. 3) Sakhya Bhaavana is unreserved mutual confidence, based on deep mutual respect 4) Vaatsalya Bhaavana is the sacredness and importance of the mother-child relationship. 5) Madhuro Bhaavana insures that the amorous and intimate affections shared between the married couple are natural, and helpfully bond their psychic union.

(16)  Valmiki Ramayana 2-118

anga raageNa divyena lipta angii janaka aatmaje |
shobhayiShyaami bhartaaram yathaa shriir viShNum avyayam || 2-118-20

20. janakaatmaje= O, Seetha! liptaaN^gii= your body, anointed; divyena= with this celestial; aN^garaageNa= cosmetic; shobhayiSyasi bhartaaram= will cause yourhusabdn to look beautiful; yathaa= as; shriiH= Lakshmi (the goddess of fortune and beauty); (does); avyayam= the imperishable; viSNum= Vishnu (the lord of preservation).

"O, Seetha! Your body, anointed with these heavenly cosmetics, will cause your husband to look beautiful, as Lakshmi (the goddess of fortune and beauty) does the imperishable Vishnu (the Lord of Preservation)"





Ss-iyengar said...

Mangalyam is an auspicious symbol - a simple tradition of tying a yellow thread around the wrist. It was a protection. Both groom and bride had it. Similarly, both groom and bride wore toe rings. Marriage was complete with exchange of garlands and knayadhanam. There was no concept of manuals ultra of today in the Vedic marriage. This Mangala sutra for women came from foreigners who invaded the land and influenced us.
The concept of a rope or sindoor is a civilized version of barbaric culture. In those times, women were captured and marked in someway to denote she is taken. Instead of is door it was a bloody scar, instead of a Mangalsutra, it was a rope. There was no sanctity or other meanings to this. This evolved over time to become the mangal sutra and sindoor.
Vedic mantras or Vedic marriages don't have these as part of ritual.

jayasree said...

The entire 8 part series of this article can be read here: