In Hindu traditions and culture, a woman has to wear five signs of marital status – the Mangalsutra, toe rings, Kumkum, bangles and a nose ring. Of these five, Mangalsutra is the most important. The word ‘mangal’ means sacred and ‘sutra’ means thread – therefore, Mangalsutra implies ‘a sacred thread’. But it is more than just a mere thread. It symbolises power, sanctity and divine energy.
The husband ties it around the neck of his wife as a wedding ritual and wives usually wear it throughout their lives. Each person makes a Mangalsutra for the bride as per his capacity. If it is not possible to make a Mangalsutra with a cord of gold or silver, they make it by stringing black beads in a thread.
On the wedding day, the groom ties the Mangalsutra around the neck of the bride, while the priest recites Vedic hymns and prays. It signifies the union of the bride and the groom, amidst the presence of deities, who are believed to be attending the marriage. In some regions, the groom ties first and his sisters tie the rest.
Talking about its appearance, this sacred thread is made of two strings of small black beads with a locket or pendant. Sometimes, it is also made of small beads of gold and black beads, with gold and diamond pendant.
Why Do Women Wear Mangalsutra?
There is much value and significance attached to it. It is a thread that ties a man and his wife together in an auspicious relationship for life. This ornament signifies the union of the two and vows that they had taken together. It is not just a symbol of the marital status of women but is also considered to safeguard the life of the couple. For these reasons, women wear a mangalsutra after marriage as per the Hindu wedding customs.
Mangalsutra is believed to have divine powers. Each of the black beads in the Mangalsutra, signify protection from evil power and are believed to protect the marriage of a couple.
Importance of Wearing Mangalsutra
The mangalsutra is the symbol of the bond of union between Shiva (husband) and Shakti (wife). Basically, it’s an inseparable bond between the husband and the wife.
The three knots ties represent important aspects of marriage.
- The first knot represents her obedience her husband
- The second knot signifies her commitment to the husband’s parents
- And the third knot represents the respect for the God.
Mangalsutra is believed to have divine powers!
Mangalsutra signifies the union of the husband and wife and vows that they had taken together. It is usually a black beaded chain in the thin wire of gold. The gold wire and black beads are supposed to destroy the distressing vibrations. The black beads absorb the negative energy before they can reach the bride and her family. Basically, the mangalsutra acts as a protective sheath around a woman’s body and protects the marriage from any evil.
It is also believed that Mangalsutra imposes marital restrictions. The objective in this is that, a woman should remember this bond and refrain from adultery. Men should also remember the vow of fidelity towards the wife as is stipulated in the ritual of marriage. Realisation that a woman who wears a mangalsutra is married, and she should be given due respect, is also one objective of the mangalsutra. Therefore, the mangalsutra was created to restrain and control the unbridled behaviour of the society.
Despite a change in the culture and mindset of people, the significance of mangalsutra stays very much intact
Traditionally, mangalsutra was a thread that ideally had two round cups in the centre with gold and black beads woven in the thread with gold representing goddess Parvati and black beads representing her husband, lord Shiva.
But today, the concept of wearing a mangalsutra has changed considerably. It is more of a fashion statement than a symbol of marriage. Despite this change in the culture and mindset of people, the significance of mangalsutra stays very much intact. Women value it much higher than all their other jewelries.
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