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Maangalya dhaaraNam

Maangalya dhaaraNam

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Published by raj
Article on Mangalya Dhaaranam (ornament or thread which is worn by Married woman in Hindu tradition).
Article on Mangalya Dhaaranam (ornament or thread which is worn by Married woman in Hindu tradition).

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Published by: raj on Apr 23, 2009
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05/02/2013

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 ( A revised 8-part series on how the custom of tying the Mangal sutra couldhave come into practice)Mangal sutra - not a part of Vedic marriage.
Human life revolves around four concepts namely, Dharma, Artha , Kamaand Moksha.The very first step "Dharma" can be followed only in Grihastha ashrama."Dharma praja sampatyartham StrIyamudvahe" is the sankalapa made atthe time of marriage. Only with the wife by his side, a person gets theauthority to do any act of dharma or a lead a life of dharma. Only with thewife, a person can achieve perfection in life by begetting children -"Prajayaahi manushyah poornaah" is the sruti vachan.After the completion of education in Brahmacharya, one pays thedakshinai to the Guru, and seeks permission from the Guru to entermarried life to dispose off the third rNa, namelyPithru rNa(the other twoare deva rNa and rishi rNa. A person is born with these 3 debts) - "Achaarya priyam dhana mahrutya tantum mavyavatsetsi" is the Taittriyavachan.The entry into grishatha ashrama is beset withvows and wishesso thatdharma, Artha and Kaama can be attained or performed incomplementary roles by the man and the woman in a life longcommitment. This commitment done as marriage rite, is based on thepremise that every act of life encompassing the above four, collectivelyknown asPurusharthas,can not be done without the woman as the forceof Thought. This force of Thought is shaped by the three gunas (sattwa,
 
rajasa and tamasa) impelling the man to convert that Thought into Action.(1) The woman and man thus personify Mind and Action and are unitedin a marriagethrough a series of rituals of which the tying of theThaali orMangal sutrais an important part. Today the Mangalya dharanam is considered to be the core or the mostimportant ritual of Hindu marriage. The wearing of it is considered asindicative of the married status of the woman. But looking back intohistory – which can be deciphered from the texts that we have both inSanskrit and Tamil, we get a picture that this important ceremony of themarriage celebration was not in vogue in olden days. 
One of the oldest narration on marriage is the marriage of Rama andSita.
TheValmiki Ramayanawhich narrates every detail of Rama's life and hismarriage, does not make a mention about the tying of the mangal sutra.There is however a mention of mangal sutra – but that was to be wornaround the wrist ceremoniously with the chanting of mantras. Both thebride groom and the bride undergo that ceremony before entering themarriage hall.(2) The 'daanam' (kanya daanam) is done by Janaka by giving Sita as 'dattam'to Rama by pouring the sacred water on his hand that was holding Sita'shand. But there was no 'Mangalyam tantunanena'sloka as we hear in to-days' marriages. King Janaka gave Sita's hand to Rama and poured wateron their hands, with a mantra in the form of a declaration that from
 
thenceforth Sita would become his "Saha dharma chariNi" - who wouldfollow his dharma for ever.(3)The reproduced versions of Ramayana byKalidasain Raghuvamsa and byKambanin Tamil also do not make any mention of the tying of the thaali.But there were some ornaments exchanged between the families at thetime of marriage and given to the bride for wearing. The "Choodamani"(to be worn on the head) was one which was kept as a treasure by Sita.But there is no mention of the Mangalya sutra – nor any chain likeornament to be compulsorily worn around the neck as a mark of marriedstatus. Until around 1000 years ago, there has not been any mention of Mangalyadharanam in marriage ceremony. The strong evidence is
Andal
's"Varanamayiram' verses. In 'Varanamayiram'pasuram, Andal speaksabout 'kaiththalam pattral' (pANi grahaNam)and not about Mangalyadharanam. Every important act of marriage as per Vedic customs ismentioned by her. The 'Pori iduthal' (offering the puffed rice into the agni.The puffed rice is given by the brother of the bride) too is mentioned byher, but not the tying of the mangal sutra. The Hindu marriage custom that is followed today and that was followedin Rama's marriage was called Prajapathi (one among the 8 marriagetypes).(4)The original customs did not contain this ritual of Mangalya-dharanam. The marriage customs and mantras can be traced to Vedas andVedic mantras are used in these customs – barring Kanya daanam andMangalya dharanam. The Sruti (Vedas) -dictated practices of marriagehad5 angas(parts only) , namelyvarakanyAnvEShaNa(seeking the

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