Maangalya DhaaraNam.

A series on how the custom of tying the Mangal sutra could have come into practice. Written by Jayasree Saranathan, India. *************** part -1 Mangal sutra - not a part of Vedic marriage. Human life revolves around four concepts namely, Dharma, Artha , Kama and Moksha. The very first step "Dharma" can be followed only in Grihastha ashrama. "Dharma praja sampatyartham StrIyamudvahe" is the sankalapa made at the time of marriage. Only with the wife by his side, a person gets the authority to do any act of dharma or a lead a life of dharma. Only with the wife, 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 the dakshinai to the Guru, and seeks permission from the Guru to enter married life to dispose off the third rNa, namely Pithru rNa (the other two are deva rNa and rishi rNa. A person is born with these 3 debts) - " Achaarya priyam dhana mahrutya tantum mavyavatsetsi" is the Taittriya vachan. The entry into grishatha ashrama is beset with vows and wishes so that dharma, Artha and Kaama can be attained or performed in complementary roles by the man and the woman in a life long commitment. This commitment done as marriage rite, is based on the premise that every act of life encompassing the above four, collectively known as Purusharthas, can not be done without the woman as the force of 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 united in a marriage through a series of rituals of which the tying of the Thaali or Mangal sutra is an important part. Today the Mangalya dharanam is considered to be the core or the most important ritual of Hindu marriage. The wearing of it is considered as indicative of the married status of the woman. But looking back into history – which can be deciphered from the texts that we have both in Sanskrit and Tamil, we get a picture that this important ceremony of the marriage celebration was not in vogue in olden days. One of the oldest narration on marriage is the marriage of Rama and Sita. The Valmiki Ramayana which narrates every detail of Rama's life and his marriage, 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 worn around the wrist ceremoniously with the chanting of mantras. Both the bride groom and the bride undergo that ceremony before entering the marriage 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's hand. But there was no 'Mangalyam tantunanena' sloka as we hear in to-days' marriages. King Janaka

gave Sita's hand to Rama and poured water on their hands, with a mantra in the form of a declaration that from thenceforth Sita would become his "Saha dharma chariNi" - who would follow his dharma for ever. (3) The reproduced versions of Ramayana by Kalidasa in Raghuvamsa and by Kamban in Tamil also do not make any mention of the tying of the thaali. But there were some ornaments exchanged between the families at the time 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 like ornament to be compulsorily worn around the neck as a mark of married status. Until around 1000 years ago, there has not been any mention of Mangalya dharanam in marriage ceremony. The strong evidence is Andal's "Varanamayiram' verses. In 'Varanamayiram' pasuram, Andal speaks about 'kaiththalam pattral' (pANi grahaNam)and not about Mangalya dharanam. Every important act of marriage as per Vedic customs is mentioned 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 by her, but not the tying of the mangal sutra. The Hindu marriage custom that is followed today and that was followed in Rama's marriage was called Prajapathi (one among the 8 marriage types). (4) The original customs did not contain this ritual of Mangalya-dharanam. The marriage customs and mantras can be traced to Vedas and Vedic mantras are used in these customs – barring Kanya daanam and Mangalya dharanam. The Sruti (Vedas) -dictated practices of marriage had 5 angas (parts only) , namely varakanyAnvEShaNa (seeking the bride), pANigrahaNa(taking the hand), pradhAna hOma, saptapadi(taking 7 steps) and lAjA hOma (pouring of puffed rice into the hands of the bride). The left-out parts are Kanya daanam and Mangalya dharanam. The mantras for these are as told in the Vaayu purana. (5) Based on this there is also an opinion among the Tamils that the tying of the thaali is Dravidian ritual and not an Aryan ritual – harping on the so-called Aryan- Dravidian divide. But then there is absence of mention of Thaali in ancient Tamil customs too. Ancient Tamils did not have this as part of the marriage ceremony! Among the ornaments, only bangles were considered as auspicious and indispensable – but there is no mention of thaali. (6) If Mangalya dharanam is important as it is today, why it was not found mentioned in olden texts is a question. To put it the other way, if this practice was not sruti- authorized, why and how did it come into practice? When did it come into practice? This series on Mangalya dharanam looks into all these from all angles and seeks to present the available information with me, thereby putting into perspective what this custom was about and how this could have come up in practice. I have dwelt to some extent into Sanskrit and Tamil sources and some other works on customs of marriage besides my pet subject of astrology. Needless to say my perspective on this issue got shaped only from astrology and from the life of famous astrologer-mathematician Bhaskara's daughter Leelavathy! *************** Part -2 Similarity in marriage practices!

One of the popular notions is that Mangalya dharanam or tying of the thaali was a practice prevalent in Tamil culture only. This practice spread to the north from Tamilnadu and its adjoining states. But this notion is not supported by the practices as revealed in Tamil texts. Nor can it be said that Vedic marriage of the type of Sita kalyanam was not part of Tamil culture. Vedic marriage as described in Valmiki Ramayana was also practiced in Tamilnadu. Thol kappiyam talks about the same 8 types of marriages. It also talks bout the PuL nimittham – the sakuna indications as done in Vedic marriages. From Choodamani nigandu, we come to know that though marriage types were eight, the choice of groom was done only by two methods (7) They were 'ara nilai inbham' and 'mara nilai inbham' The former is about the marriage of the two having similar characteristics in terms of age and kulam and conducted in the presence of relatives and friends in front of Agni. This is Vedic marriage and the marriage of Kovalan and Kannagi. was strictly done by this Vedic method only. The details of this can be read in Silappadhikaram The second type is the marriage in which the groom wins the hand of the bride by winning some game such as a bull-fight or a shooting game. The bull fight was popular in Mullai lands of Tamil nadu where the Aayar girl married the winner of her bull. The shooting game was popular among the soldier clan - maravar clan who had a stake in getting the most valiant person as the son-in-law. This is similar to Rama's and Arjuna's marriage. The scene was that of a Swayamvaram – the girl choosing her groom – but from among the persons of similar traits who proves himself to be supreme among others. These two types on choice of groom, as mentioned in the Nigandu were very much prevalent throughout India in those days – with no regional difference. This is because, as is told in several places in the Tamil texts, this entire country was known as "Naavalam theevu" or Jhambhoo dweepa All the people moved around this Jhambhoo dweepa and followed the same culture.(8) In not less than 3 places in Silappadhikaram, there is mention of Naavalam theevu referring to the whole land mass of which Tamilnadu was also a part. The marriage practices were the same. The religious practices were the same. For all the people of this Jhambhoo dweepa,

Ganges was the holy river. Vedas were the authority. The Cheran king, Senkutuvan who went to the Himalayas to get the rock for constructing a temple for Kannagi had made a trip to the North even before that. That was a pilgrimage trip he undertook with his mother to take a holy dip in the Ganges (9) The similarities extend to war practices and social practices too. Needless to say the marriage practices were also the same – without Mangalya dharanam!! Sita kalyanam was a 'Prajapathi' marriage whereby the duo belonged to the same kulam, gunas, status (in every sense of the term) and were united in marriage by Vedic rituals facilitated by the "Prajapathi" or 'Brahma' who guides and directs the marriage ceremonies. In any Vedic ritual there will be a senior officiating priest who is designated as Brahma to authorize the proceedings. It is because of this, such a marriage is known as Prajapathi. We find that the Kovalan – Kanangi marriage also was a Prajapathi marriage – similar in description to Rama's marriage. Writing his commentary on such a marriage as told in Thol kappiyam, Nacchinaarkkiniyar justifies the name Prajapthi in Prajapthi marriage as told above. Such a marriage is praised by all as 'Nonbu' or a tapas that has come true, because it is very pleasing and joyous to see such a marriage. The spectators, while blessing the couple with sacred rice used to think what kind of nonbu or tapas they must have done to see such a marriage. (10) Another commentator, Adiyaarkku nallar coins the Tamil term 'voppu' for this Prajapathi marriage. This means the marriage is between the persons of the same clan having similar traits. Since it is 'voppu', it also includes marriage within the already related ones. Such a marriage described in Silappadhikaram was done in Vedic way. There was PAnigrahanam but no Mangalya dharanam. There is mention of 'ashta mangala' things such as auspicious things that include water pots (kumba) carried by auspicious women. There is mention of the vedic practice of growing nava dhanya (9 types of grains – called paaligai) There is mention of comparing Kannagi to Arundhathi, the sacred bath to the bride, the sacred music and so on. Ilangovadigal used the word "mangalam" in a couple of places while describing the marriage ceremony (11) But that was about auspicious ornaments and auspicious decoration. But mangalya dharanam was conspicuously absent in the description. Not only in Silappadhikaram, we find mention of simple weddings with or without Agni-saakshi in Aga nanuru also. But whatever description is given, it tallies with Vedic marriage rituals only For instance we find in Rama's marriage, the thread ceremony done before the marriage. A sacred thread was tied to the wrist of both the bride and the groom.

This ceremony is mentioned in Agananuru also, wherein it is stated that a white thread specially prepared from some plants (the process of preparing is mentioned ) is tied to the bride's wrist by her relatives. (12). After the 'thread' ceremony only, the bride is brought to the decorated marriage platform and given in marriage to the groom. The description after this is indicative of 'dattam' that Janaka did (13) Seeing Nimitta and muhurtha formed an important part in Vedic weddings. The same customs prevailed in Tamil lands too. The auspicious day of the moon joining Rohini as a suitable day for marriage, seeing Sakuna or Nimittha and holding of the hands as a mark of the bride being given to the groom in marriage are found in other Tamil texts such as Kali-th-thogai. But in all these descriptions, the tying of the thaali or the sacred thread around the neck is missing. There is mention of wearing jewels – auspicious jewels but no mention of this specific ornament as Mangalyam. It will be interesting to know about the love marriages in those days. The popular opinion in Tamilnadu is that love marriages were common in those days. They quote the 2 states of marriage, namely 'kaLavu' and 'karpu' – This is told in Thol kappiyam. Thiruvalluvar also divided the 3rd part of Thirukkural on Kaama into these two. But they were not like the love marriages of today. The KaLavozukkam is not about "kaLLam" It is defined by Parimelazhagar (in his commentary to Thirukkural) as the relationship between a healthy (no disease and no old age) boy and a girl who match each other in physical looks, in tendencies, in financial status, in age, in kulam, in characteristics and in love. The coming together of these two without the presence of relatives and friends is known as 'kaLavu'. (14) Inter-caste marriages are not suggested by this. The marriage is between the people of same clan but consummated without the presence of parents. By this it is known, that an Aayar boy married an Aayar girl and not someone from another clan. The mobility was not approved – a trait continuing till today but the mobility of a girl to an upper strata was approved. It is because marriage is about the 4 purusharthas, of which Moksha or emancipation is the Final goal! Every act in human life is expected to train and divert one to spiritual growth - towards Realization of the need to get released from the cycle of birth. Movement to a clan that was better evolved in such practices was acceptable But movement to a clan that is yet to incorporate such practices for Final emancipation was discouraged. These practices were the same throughout the Jambhoo dweepa and not confined to one area as to claim that it was Tamil culture or so. In fact the kaLavu and karpu of Tamil lands have their Sanskrit counter parts in

King Bhoja raja's 'Shrunghara prakasham' as 'sambhogam for kaLavu and 'vipra yogam for Karpu. We can locate a verse of kaLavu nature in Agananuru (15) which is about a girl eloping with her lover. The mother expresses in that verse her wish that the lover bedeck her in all jewellery. There is again no mention of thaali but the girl missing the joy of getting beautified with jewels is indicated. From this and from other verses on marriage, it is known that bridal jewellery was part of marriage. Such decoration is done before the marriage ceremony begins. But there is no indication of a specific ornament to be compulsorily worn or gifted at the time of marriage. If the tying of the thaali is a major event of the marriage as it is nowadays, then it would have been certainly mentioned somewhere. But that it is not so, makes us wonder whether this event was a later addition. Till Silappadhikaram times, Mangalya dharanam was not in vogue – this is something we can say with certainty. According to Silappadhikaram, Madurai was burnt on a Friday with moon in Kaarthgai star, in the Krishna paksha, in the month of Aadi. (16) If this date can be identified, we can know for sure until what times, the purely Vedic way of marriage –sans Mangalya dharanam was in practice in Tamil lands. ************ Part-3 Thaali –its meaning and origin. So far we have seen from Sanskrit and Tamil texts that the ceremony of Mangalya dharanam was absent in Vedic marriages – at least until Silappadhikaram times. However we do come across the mention of 'thaali' in olden Tamil texts. In this post, we will analyze the information related to 'thaali'. Thaali is found mentioned in many texts, but this is something worn by the babies! Thaali is the shortened form of 'Im-padai-th-thaali' meaning, 'thaali having 5 weapons'! It has been customary in olden Tamil lands to use this Im-padai-th-thaali' for kids, as a kind of amulet to ward off evil eye. 'Thaal' means palm leaf. The chain is made of palm leaf and / or in gold in the shape of a leaf.. The images of the Panchayudha or the 5 weapons of Lord Vishnu were tied to this thaal. It is possible to assume that the pendant was shaped like a palm leaf with the images of the 5 weapons engraved on it.

Lord Vishnu was always identified with the act of protection (kaappu). "kaappukku munnedukkum kadavuL MaalEyagum", says Choodamani Nigandu. (17) The very image of His weapons in whatever format, is believed to protect the wearer from any evil or attack. (18) This chain was tied around the neck of the baby on the 5th day of its birth.(19) The baby would be wearing it till the time it starts eating solid food. This is known from Purananuru (20) wherein the mother says that the thaali is not yet removed from her baby to be replaced by a garland, for he has not started eating food. He is still continuing on milk food. The thaali, dangling on the neck of the baby never misses the attention of the people, because that is the period the baby will be crawling with the thaali that sways rhythmically, as the baby moves around. The golden thaali shines with the images of the weapons in such a way that no evil can come near the baby. The mother talks about the beauty of her kid with the thaali on his neck (21) Other texts also mention about thaali, but only in the context of a baby wearing it. (22) It is because of the thaali, the term 'thaalaatttu' (lullaby) ('thaal aattu' – the sway of the thaal) seems to have entered into usage! This is understood from the fact that the stages of a baby as sung in one of the song types, namely "Pillai-th-Thamizh" or "Pillai-k-kavi" has this 'thaalattu-p-paruvam' which begins when the baby is left on the cradle few days after birth (or on the day of naming ceremony). In Periyaazhwar Thirumozhi, we find the expression of the thaali, which is adoring the chest of baby Krishna. The aazhwar describes "Thiru maarvukku yErkum ivai endru, aim-padaiyum, aaramum kondu" (23) The chain with the pendant of 5 weapons engraved on it, is seen on the chest of Baby Krishna. The 'thaalelO' rhyme of the Thaalaattu, seems to be derived from the thaal that is shining on the baby and swaying here and there when the baby moves around. It seems babies of both gender were made to wear this, though the verses found in Sangam texts are about boy babies only. The Pillai-th-thamizh is separate for boy and girl babies. The Pillai-th-thamizh is sung on the different stages of the baby's growth. Except certain stages, others are the same for both the genders. 'Thaalattu' is one such stage which is the same for both boy and girl babies. This goes to show that that thaali was worn by the babies of both sexes. The reason for wearing it as protection goes to show how the thaali came to be adopted in later days

in the marriage ceremony! ************** Part-4 The meaning of Maangalyam!. We have seen in the earlier posts that the tying of the Mangal sutra or thaali was not prevalent in Vedic marriages and also in ancient Tamil marriages which largely followed Vedic customs only. We also saw the origin of thaali which was worn by kids as a protection from evil. After having seen what thaali means, let us move on to see what 'Mangal' or Mangalya and sutra mean. The word Mangal is used both in Sanskrit and Tamil. The meaning also is the same in both the languages. Mangal in Sanskrit means auspicious, amulet, welfare, prosperity, anything fortunate, bliss, happiness, luck auspicious occasion etc. In Tamil also Mangala or Mangalam is used in the same sense. We see the mention of Mangal in Kannagi's marriage, but used in the sense of auspiciousness and / or auspicious occasion. One of the earliest mention of Mangal or Mangalya is found in the Adhithya Hrudhaya sthothra, given by sage Agasthya to Sri Rama in the war front in Lanka. "sarvamangala-mangalyam sarva papa pranashanam | chintashoka-prashamanam ayurvardhana-muttamam || " (24) This means, "This supreme prayer is the best amongst auspicious verses, it will destroy all sins, dispel all doubts, alleviate worry and sorrow, anxiety and anguish, and increase the longevity of life. It is a guarantee of complete prosperity." Here Mangalyam is used in the meaning of auspiciousness. What this Mangalyam as auspiciousness is capable of doing, is also described. We get to untie the knots of the secrets of important, yet ancient sthothra on Mangalyam. It is a sthothra called 'Mangalya sthavam'. 'Mangalya sthavam' is a prayer addressed to occurring in the forty third chapter of the It is a conversation between Sage Pulasthya this term, as we look at another

several avatharas of Lord Vishnu, Vishnu Dharmotharam Ithihasam. and his disciple sage Dhaulabhya.(25)

On being asked by Dhaulabhya, about the most suitable prayer to drive away bad dreams and for being able to complete all jobs in a proper fashion, sage Pulasthya tells him that only a prayer to Lord Vishnu would help him achieve that, and he also teaches the prayer to him. That prayer is "Mangalya sthavam". The prayer is for increasing 'mangalyam' (Mamasthu mangalya vivrudhaye) by seeking Lord Vishnu's blessings, to protect oneself from all evils and sins The result is that any work started with a prayer for Mangalya- vriddhi, (as in Mangalya sthavam) is completed without any problem. The Phala-sruthi of this sthothra says that on reciting this at the beginning of any action, the sins that hinder that action are removed. The action can be fulfilled without hindrances and one will also be blessed with all types of wealth. The similar result is echoed in Adhithya hrudhayam too and wealth includes everything from longevity to prosperity of every kind. Without long life, there is no use in having wealth. That longevity is implied in the blessing of wealth is made out from the very first verse of the prayer of removing evils and opposition of sorts. Evil is a broad term that includes,diseases, death and enemies. It can noted that the significance of Thaali as in 'aim padai-th-thaali' in Sangam period tied to kids is similar to mangalyam or asking for ever increasing Mangalyam or mangaLam, in that the purpose is to remove evils threatening oneself, removing sins, getting protected, getting longevity and all sorts of prosperity. It is significant to note that the very first chapter of Silappadhikaram is named as "Managala vaazhtthu-k-kaadhai". This chapter solely deals with KOvalan- Kanngi marriage. The author could have named it "ThirumaNa-k-kaadhai" or "Vaduvai-k-kaadhai" as it is about marriage. But he chose to call it as "Managala vaazhtthu-k-kaadhai", invoking the significance of Mangalyam! This tallies with the goal of the two sthothras explained above – that of invoking Mangalam at the beginning of any action or event so that the evils and sins can be removed and the action can be done with protection from the Lord. In the case of Silappadhikaram, this has resulted in the proper completion of the work that has withstood time and also brought immortal fame to the author! The significant factor in this is that the story of Kannagi which starts with her marriage with Kovalan,

was deficient in the aspects related to Mangalya! The evils and sins had been there. It is told later in the story how the previous bad karma had been responsible for the end of Kovalan and the plight of Kannagi. That evil could not be removed. Also the protection to their marriage was not there. Their marriage ran into trouble twice – first when Kovalan went after Madhavi and second, when the marriage ended early and abruptly in Kovalan's death. For such a kind of story on a couple with a dreadful fate, the author Ilango adigaL seems to have deliberately given a name that goes with one of the Mangal things that is meant for the verse-type that he employed for Silappadhikaram. (26) He started the work with a name "mangala vaazhtthu" and invoked in the opening verse, the Mangal thing – the fore most one among the celestial auspicious entities, namely the Moon by praising it as "ThingaLai-p-pOttruthum" It has been a practice to celebrate marriage on the day when moon is in exaltation! When moon is in exaltation in Rohini, that is considered as the most auspicious time. We find mention of this in Sangam texts. (27) Silappadhikaram also says that Kovalan –kannagi marriage happened on the day of Moon in Rohini! (28) But a further surprise comes to us in the Purananuru (29) This verse is categorized under the thurai "Kudai Mangalam" Yes, Mangalam had been in usage from very olden times in Tamil lexicon. It is one of the sub divisions of a poem as told in the grammar work of Tholkappiyam. The Kudai mangalam verse from Purananuru is indicative of how Full moon or Moon in its highest splendor is an object of auspiciousness. The moon resembles the Royal umbrella (30) which is a symbol of protection to the subjects as how the Full moon protects the world from heat by absorbing the light rays of the sun and spreading only cool light to the earth. The verse gives some extra details of the Moon in the sky. It is here we get into another surprise link on mangalyam. From Moon we go to Mars, the planet known as Mangal!! This Purananuru verse was sung on a day when the 'Chemmeen' also was in the sky with the Full moon. Chemmeen means the 'meen of Chevvaai' or the star of Mars, the Mangal planet! There are 3 stars lorded by Mars, namely Mriga sheersha, Chitthra and dhanishta (avittam).

Generally all the stars of Mars are considered to be inauspicious, particularly with reference to longevity of the spouse and marriage . The star Chitthra is an exception because it is in this star that the Moon becomes Full in the month of Chitthirai! It is perhaps for this reason, this star is accepted for auspicious functions. The Puranauru verse says that the Moon is Full, shining in mid sky with the star of Mars that was like a deepam. This verse is categorized under "Kudai mangalam" because this speaks about Mangalam of the King in terms of the Royal Umbrella in the image of the Full moon which is the company of the star of Mars, the Mangal. The Moon and Mars connection in ensuring auspiciousness is to be noted here, which actually was a break through factor that helped me divulge further into these, and eventually landed me in vital clues on why Mangalyam which was a prayer done at the beginning of any work, was further fine-tuned into a sutra – a thread, to be tied on the neck of the bride – which of course was not done in earlier times. For further authentication, that I am proceeding in the right path, let me quote from Thirukkural. Thiruvalluvar speaks about Mangalam in the context of 'manai maatchi' – the household affairs or with the wife!. (31) The Kural states "mangalam enba mania maatchi". The glory and prosperity attached to the wife is the 'Mangalam'. The additional ornament to it is the birth of good children! (same as the purpose of marriage quoted in part-1) So Mangalam which originally means auspiciousness is connected with married life and the prosperity that is enjoyed by the partners To put in a nutshell the analysis done in this post:Today we sing MangaLam at the end of any event. But as per tradition and texts, mangal sthothra must be sung or mangalam must prayed for at the beginning of any and every event. Marriage is considered as an event of Mangalam as it brings all auspiciousness and prosperity to the couple for a life of togetherness. The Mangalam is prayed for, from Lord Vishnu, (Lord Vishnu with his consort Lakshmi is a giver of wealth and prosperity, while He by means of His panchayudhas assure protection) seeking His protection from evils and sins and ensuring longevity and prosperity. The phala sruti of Mangalya sthavam indicates that Mangalyam also gives protection from the ill effects of planets Shamam prayanthi dushtani graham peedascha dharuna,

Karmarambaascha sidhyanthi punyam aapnothi cha uthamam. (32) Meaning:The inauspiciousness vanishes, and horrible ill effects by planets is set right, And when done before the start of an action, the learned gets divine grace.) This directs the analysis to the planetary connection to Mangalam, the moon and the Mars being Mangal ensuring entities. Based on these let me proceed further in the analysis of Mangal sutra in the next post. ***************** Part-5 Maangalya yOga. The planet Mars is known as 'Mangal'. We have seen in the previous post the association of the Mangal star with Moon giving rise to 'Kudai Mangalam'. This refers to the Full moon and in particular the Chithra pourNami. The Full moon resembles a cosmic umbrella covering the entire earth with its cool light, looking as though it is protecting the entire mankind with cool and pleasant light. It is for this reason, (according the Sangam texts), the kings maintain a Royal umbrella. (veN kottra-k-kudai) The God is the King of Kings and therefore He is always accompanied with a Royal Umbrella in his outings. This Umbrella signifies protection, coolness, pleasantness and happiness to the people. It is significant to note that the Kudai Mangalam, a division (thurai) mentioned by Tholkaappiyam referring to Chithra pourNami occurs with moon in the Martian star of Chitthra in the constellation of Venus (signifactor of spouse), the 7th house (KaLatthrasthaan) in the Natural zodiac that starts from Aries! The implied meaning is that of protection to the married couple by the Umbrella of the Zodiac! This is further reinforced by the practices in ancient Tamil lands, where the Indra Vizha and Kaaman Vizha (Festival of Love-God) were associated with Chitthra pourNami! The Kaaman vizha ended just before Chitthra pourNami and Indra vizha started on Chithra pourNami. Indra Vizha was a time for honey-moon for the newly weds – Indra denoting the Indriyas or senses. We read about these two in Silappadhikaram. The inference is that Mangal- moon connection is associated with marriage! Moon and Mangal if found together anywhere in the zodiac are said to indicate 'Chandra-mangala yOga' – also known as "Maangalya yOga". The mutual aspect from degrees 180 apart from each other also bestows this Maangalya yOga.

The best form of Maangalya yOga is when moon exalts in Taurus (a constellation of Venus – indicator of love and wife) and Mars is in its own house in Scorpio. Another best combination is when moon is in its own house in Cancer and Mars is in its exaltation in Capricorn. But if Mars goes to the house of Moon and moon moves to the house of Mars in Scorpio, that is the worst case of debility, for, moon debilitates in Martian sign (Scorpio) and Mars debilitates in Moon sign (Cancer)! This kind of peculiar relationship exists between the two. What could be the rationale of this debility when these mangal-ensuring planets occupy each other's house? It is because, Scorpio happens to be the Maaraka-sthaan (house spouse (The 7th house is for spouse. The 2nd from the 7th house is 8th which is maaraka sthaan for This is Scorpio in the Natural zodiac) When moon debilitates in the maaraka-sthaan of the spouse, the auspiciousness is in jeopardy. Likewise if Mars debilitates in Cancer, which is the 4th house comforts, the native's happiness is at stake. of death) of the the spouse. wife's Mangalam or of 'sukha' and

The above mentioned Mangalya yOga will confer mangalam only when it occurs in the 2nd house of family, 9th house of Bhaagyam, 10th house of Karma and the 11th house of Laabha (profits). This means Mangalya yOga will be conferred only in these signs that stand for wealth and prosperity of the couple in marriage. When this yOga occurs in these houses the man will be of good character having respect and adoration for his wife and will lead an auspicious and happy life with her. If this yOga occurs in other signs, particularly in unfavorable houses, the opposite trend happens. In that case, the man would even sell his wife! He will have scant regard for character. (33) (Disclaimer:- Readers are requested to view this as a general reading and are advised not to apply this to individual horoscopes. A further application of this to individuals must be co-read with other indicators in the horoscope) By this it is meant that Mars – Moon combination plays a crucial role in matrimony. That is why the 'Mangal dosha' comes under scrutiny. Since Mars signifies the house of death of the spouse, that house (8th from the girl's) comes to be regarded as 'Maagalya sthaan'. That this 8th house has an impact on any auspicious event is further confirmed by a non-compromisable stipulation on 'ashtama shuddhi' in fixing the muhurtha for any auspicious event. Ashtama shuddhi means that the 8th house from muhurtha lagna must be clean.

It must be free of evil aspects. If an event has to happen without hindrances, ashtama shuddhi must be there. If an event must give rise to happy and auspicious results, then ashtama shuddhi must be there. The widely prevalent practice of having marriage function on the day of Rohini goes well with moon in exaltation aspecting the 8th house of Mangalyam in the natural zodiac. Thus the Mangal planet occupies an important place in deciding the course and outcome of an event! In this connection we will further explore why Mars came to be regarded as 'Mangal' or for auspiciousness while his own nature is that of a malefic in jyothisha sastra. Mars became Mangal because of the connection with none other than the so-called celibate God Ganesha! Shiva Purana describes (so too other texts that sprang in the last 1000 years) (34) the marriage of Ganesha which is highly symbolic. Ganesha wins his brother Karthikeya in a competition by showing that circumambulating the parents is akin to going round the earth many times. In other words, this means that if one understands the glory of parents, one is said to have understood the ways of the world without even having to go round the world to get a first hand experience. As a result of this demonstration of wisdom and winning the competition, Ganesha was married to Siddhi and Buddhi. These two are in fact Success and Wisdom and a person endowed with these two is said to enjoy complete blessings of Maha laskhmi because Maha lakshmi signifies these two. (35) The result of these two are Kshema (prosperity) and Laabha (benefits) who are described as the children of Ganesha from these two consorts. The import of all this is that a wise person will be successful and will beget prosperity and profits due to his wisdom and success. (It must be recalled here that in his Phala sruti on Ramayana, Kavi Valmiki has said that gods like Vinayaka will stay in the house where Ramayana is recited. (36) From the above symbolism of Vinayaka, it is understood that Lakshmi Kataaksham – in the form of Siddhi and Buddhi – and kshema and laabha will be experienced by the person who recites Ramayana. ) The information for our analysis on Maangalya dharanam is that the planet Mars who witnessed this marriage of Ganesha was immersed with auspiciousness of the Mangal Vinayaka in company of Siddhi and Buddhi That is how the planet got its name as "Mangal" (37) It is described in Vinayaka Purana that Lord Ganesha who was in his auspicious form as Siddhi Vinayaka and adorning an auspicious colour of red,

bestowed the same auspiciousness to Mars who witnessed Him in that form. Mars which is basically a malefic planet thus came to get auspiciousness and also became capable of giving auspiciousness. It must also remembered that Mangal stands for red color and red is the color of auspiciousness. The Sindhoor adorning the forehead of married women is red in color! We have seen from previous parts that auspiciousness has always been associated with marriage and married couple. In days of yore when Dharma was held high and misdeeds were very less, the baggage of previous bad karma was also less. There were rare instances of marriages in mishap. Marriage which is a dharma by itself was blissful then. There were not many misfortunes in a marriage. A couple united in an auspicious hour remained united for long. The only trouble they faced was from diseases. This was indicated by the 'naadi' of the couple. Naadi is about the kind of basal element that is predominant in a person's body. The medical science of Ayur veda treats patients on the basis of 5 naadis only. But the 5 nadis were further fine-tuned to 3 naadis and the 27 stars of the zodiac were found to be indicative of the 3 naadis, namely, Vaata, pittha and Sleshma. This Naadi can be detected by the holding the wrist as how doctors of today feel the pulse. If a man and a woman belonging to the same naadi were married, it was found not to ensure longevity. Moreover the progeny from such a couple was found to be ailing. All olden astrological texts have assigned highest importance to this naadi koota and assigned the highest score of 8 to this. If naadi-p-poruttham was not there, the marriage was not done. When naadi-p-poruttham was not there, it meant that one of them will die early! It is perhaps for this reason, the earliest practice was to tie a 'kangaN' around the wrists of both the bride and the groom. This is done even before the couple are brought to the wedding Mantap. Rama and Sita had this done to them. (refer part - 1 ) The marriages described in early Tamil texts also mention this. (refer part - 2 ) It is perhaps due to this, the bangles were given importance in marriage and for the married woman. When the husband dies, it is like losing the 'naadi' and so the bangles are lost. This custom still continues in the north. The 'KankaNa bandhan' is a main ritual in many sects in North. The wrists of the couple were tied at the beginning of the marriage ceremony

as though their Naadis were united. This custom is still prevalent among Bengalis and Punjabis. The Biharis and others surrounding that state still have this kankan ritual as a main ritualsomething like that of the kankan ceremony that Rama and Sita had in their marriage. But the Naadi-p-poruttham lost its significance when times changed. Times changed in such a way that disease no longer was the cause of separation of the couple in marriage. There were misfortunes of other types that separated the couple! Such misfortunes happened with invasions and in wars! Mars, the Lord of Military prowess and warring tendencies had to be looked into to know whether the prospective groom will live long. Also since Mars is a Mangal planet, he can not be ignored for ensuring auspiciousness. It is perhaps for this reason, the recital of Ganesha Mangalashtakam is done in many communities (particularly the Gujaratis) before starting the main ritual of wedding. (38) Mangal Ganapthi is prayed with Mangalashtakam. The auspiciousness of Mangal planet is also thus prayed for. The Mangal dosha in the horoscope was meticulously analyzed for proper matching so that the couple can live longer. And astrology too came to re-structure its Koota- matching or Nakshathra poruttham. Naadi-p-poruttham was no longer given importance. Its place has now been taken over by Rajju-p-poruttham! Yes, we can not find Rajju-p-poruttham in olden texts. Rajju is a later addition. The worst part of rajju is formed by the stars lorded by Mars, namely Mrigashira, Chitthra and Avittam. They signify ShirO rajju – a danger to the head. A faulty rajju signifies death to the man. There is no compromise with this rajju. Rajju means 'rope' What is this rope? A rope that protects the life of the Or the rope that Yama throws to pull But the wisdom of Sanathan dharma is to avoid even the worst mishap. The wisdom resulted in strengthening by additional rituals done in proper

partner? the life out of the partner? that of finding ways the marriage times.

In this connection we are drawn to look into a ritual called the 'kaaradaiyaan nOnbu' This nOnbu is done with a prayer for longevity of the husband, by replacing the mangal sutra or thaali!

When Mangalya dharanam itself was not a part of the culture in the past, a question arises how this nOnbu could have come into existence. 'Kaaradaiyaan nOnbu' is the only occasion when the Mangal sutra is re-tied every year – year after year The timing of this nOnbu is impregnated with a lot astrological meanings peculiar to Mars, the Mangal planet. This nOnbu is done in the foot steps of Savitthri who went after Yama to get back her husband Satyavaan. The timing of this nOnbu holds the next key in unraveling the secrets of Mangalya dharanam in Hindu weddings. *************** Part-6 Kaaradayaan nOnbu. We have seen so far two different insights with reference to maangalya dharanam. On the one hand, we have enough indicators for the absence of Mangal sutra in olden days. On the other we have enough indicators showing how Mangal sutra can have many meaningful connections. Further probing takes us to a unique practice found in a small community in a small geographic region, involving the Mangal sutra. This is the Kaaradaiyaan nonbu, performed exactly at Meena sankramana - at the moment when the Sun enters Pisces. Prayers for long life for the husband is done with the offer of 'kaaradai' smeared with butter and a new yellow thread (thaali) is tied around the neck replacing the old one. This is done by auspicious elderly woman or by oneself. (39) An important feature is that this nOnbu is prevalent only among Iyengars of Tamilnadu. Three issues revolve around this nonbu. 1) If tying the thaali had not been a practice in the marriages in the past, how did this nonbu come into practice in the later times? 2) How did this become popular only among the Sri vaishnavites of Tamilnadu? 3) What is special about the exact moment of the sangramana? Any significance to the dishes offered? Taking up these questions one by one, "If tying the thaali had not been a practice in the past, how did this nonbu come into practice in the later times?" Since our quest is to know how the practice of the tying of the thaali came into place, we shall keep aside the first part of this question and look at the second part. The second part asks how this nOnbu could have come into practice. From sangam texts we come to know that a similar nOnbu was in vogue in the Tamil lands from time immemorial. The specific aim of the nOnbu was a prayer for longevity of the husband. We can quote a host of verses from Paripaadal, Kali-ththogai, Ainkurunooru and NattriNai that young girls and married woman, after a period of Paavai nonbu had taken sacred dip in the month of Thai, in river estuaries and worshiped Manmatha praying for a good husband and longevity for the husband. Married women have revived their prayers every year on the first day in

the month of Thai (thai neeradal) for longevity of husband and happy married life. They used to say (as part of the prayer) that they had done such prayers in their previous birth and would do in their next birth too. That shows how the belief and practice was deep-rooted and had been there for ages. The important information about this Thai- nOnbu was that this nOnbu was done by all married women including Brahmin women. Moreover, the Brahmin women had played an important role, by acting as priestess or guides for others, besides doing it for themselves! (40) Another nOnbu is described in Silappadhikaaram. This was also a prayer for longevity of the husband and a long and happy married life. This was done by Brahmin women in olden days. This nOnbu was described by a Brahmin woman by name Devandhi to Kannagi. Just prior to the home-coming of Kovalan from Madhavi, Kannagi had a dream. It was a bad dream indicating the exact events that later happened in her life after she re-united with Kovalan. Alarmed by the dream, Kannagi was discussing about it with her Brahmin friend, Devandhi. Devandhi told her that the dream indicated that Kannagi had not performed a nonbu in her previous birth, that was meant for happy life with the husband But even then it was not late. Devandhi advised Kannagi to go the Sangam of river Kaveri (where it joins the sea), take a dip in the scared waters of Surya kund and Soma kund situated there and offer prayers at the temple of Manmatha (the Lord of Love). This simple austerity would not only bless her with a happy married life but also would make her be born in 'Bhoga bhoomi' in her next birth where she can enjoy un-interrupted happiness with her husband. But Kannagi did not show interest in her advise and quipped it as something not in vogue in her families. (41) (This shows that this nOnbu was not popular with other varnas (here Vaisyas), but was popular among the Brahmins.) A continuing tradition is found in Thiruppavai. Thiruppavai and the Naacchiyaar thiorumozhi beginning with the Thai-nOnbu is related to the longevity of the husband. The unmarried girls practiced it for getting a good husband. Andal as an unmarried woman could not have expressed the events related to the nOnbu done by married woman. But we can not rule out the probability of a continuation of this nOnbu in a renewed way in Kaaradaiyaan nOnbu � this will be discussed in the later part of this mail. Similarly, the nOnbu at Sangam described by Devandhi also seems to have influenced in shaping the Kaaradayaan nOnbu. The nOnbu at Sangam was specific about holy dips at Surya kundam and Soma (Chandra) kundam. The Sun and the Moon are personified as the Charkra and the Shanku of Lord Vishnu. The olden Tamil texts do identify the chakra and shanku as the sun and the moon. Paripaadal says that Lord Vishnu holds the Sun and the Moon as his two weapons. (42)

Silappadhikaram also says that the Lord at Tirupapathi stands atop the hill with the sun and the moon as his Chakra (because sun is red and round) and Shanku (moon is cool and white, and shanku is got from the waters signified by the Moon) (43)

Andal also makes a mention of this in Thiruppavai (44). The verse "AnkaN maa-gyaalam" contains the information of how even the kings used to take a dip in the Sangam and wait for the darshan of the Lord with the Sun and the Moon. The 'sangam iruppaar pOl vandu thalai-p-peidhOm' describes a scenario of even kings taking dip in the two kundams in Sangam and waiting at the door step of Lord Vishnu to see the rise of the sun and the moon when the Lord gives darshan to them. Andal and her friends also were waiting to get the darshan of the Lord who has the Sun and the Moon (Chakra and Shanku) as though they too had bathed in the Sangam. All these indicate a tradition of Vishnu devotees in the practice of a nOnbu from time immemorial that was meant for the happy married life and longevity of the husband. When we have the background information of what was meant by the darshan of Sun and Moon and Sangam and a dip in the sangam, it becomes clear that it had reference to an austerity followed for long as a tradition This explains the 2nd question raised in the beginning, "How did this become popular only among the Sri vaishnavites of Tamilnadu?" The nOnbu directed at the Lord having Sun and the Moon as His weapons, must have been popular with Vishnu devotees since time immemorial. The worship related to Manmatha � a practice mentioned in Sangam texts and Silappadhikaaram � had continued in Andal's times too. But later with the formulation of tenets of Sri Vaishnavism after Acharya Ramanuja, the practice would have continued by shedding the Manmatha part and also by not making it mandatory to go to Sangam or a river bank to do the nOnbu. The reason obviously is in line with Srivaishnava tenet of complete loyalty to Sriman Narayana. However a practice that was in vogue for ages which was done in the belief that one is continuing it from previous births (it must be noted that in both the instances quoted on Thai neeradal and Sangam-dip, the prayer included a reminder to God that the person had already done the austerity the previous births too) should not be discarded. So it must have continued but with changed stipulations in the wake of re-framing the nOnbu in accordance with Srivaishnavite practices. What is of interest to our current topic is that Mangal sutra is an integral part of this nOnbu! This was not so in earlier nOnbu � not even till Andal's times. Since the nOnbu looks like a modification of previous practices with emphasis on Srivaishnavite tenets, we can say that the ceremony of Maangalya dharanam must have entered vedic marriages around the time of or later to Ramanuja's period. A further probe into kaaradayaan nOnbu on its timing every year, seems to further unravel the mystery around Maangalya DhaaraNam. The 3rd question is "What is so special about the exact moment of the sangramana? Any significance to the dishes offered?" To find an answer, let us look at the practices in those times. From Sangam texts we know that Thai nOnbu was done on the first day of Thai. This gives rise to a notion that it was done on the first day of the solar month of Capricorn. But a confusion arises about the month � whether it is solar or lunar � if we look

at the other information. If it is Surya sankramaNa or Thai sankramana, then the day must have been Makar sankaranthi. But nowhere in the texts on Thai neeradal, is there an indication of Makar sankaranthi or beginning of Uttarayana. But the texts do give us an information about the first day of Paavai nOnbu. From Paripaadal to Thiruppavai, the reference is to begin the Paavai nOnbu on the Full moon day of Maargazhi. The Full moon occurring on Thiruvadhirai was the first day of Paavi nOnbu according to Paripaadal. Andal also indicates the 'Mathi-niraindha nannaaL' on the first day. This means the reference is to pourNami in the lunar month of Maargazhi. Today the Full moon occurs in Thiruvadhirai when the sun is in Uttraadam and not when the sun enters Sagittarius. The time lapse is there due to Precession which was discussed previously in this group (45) Based on that, one probability is that solar snakramana coincided with Full moon of the lunar month of the same name. This is supported by Naacchiyaar Thirumozhi, where Andal talks about her month long penance in Thai and also mentions about the first half of Maasi. This means the solar month of Thai contained Krishna paksha pushya and sukla paksha Maagha in those times. If Andal were to do a month long austerity it was for the whole of solar Thai which included the first half of lunar Maagha. The import that we must not miss is that the austerity coincided with solar sankramana which also had the auspicious time of Full moon. But this coincidence can not be had at all times. With the precession of equinoxes happening, it is not possible to stick to Luni-solar coincidence as a pre-condition always. When left with a predicament to choose between the two, the solar calendar takes precedence. Because, sun's movement is the controller of events. (The Yearly predictions are made on the basis of sun's movement only). In the changing position of the sun in the backdrop of the zodiac, the need was there to re-do the timing or recommend a new time which will go well with strengthening the prayer for ayush or longevity of the husband. When seen with this rationale, we are able to understand why the meena sankramana was chosen for this nOnbu. Timing of Kaaradaiyaan nonbu. It is believed that the timing of it is the same time as that of Savithri getting back her husband. But there is no proof for this time. Savitthri lore is older than Valmiki Ramayana for we find a mention of it in the dialogue between Sita and Anasuya. (46) But astrologically speaking, the Meena sangramana indicates a number of pointers for astrologer- initiated remedy for warding off any danger to the life of the husband. First of all the entry of sun into Pisces stands for the power of Daivagna (astrologer). Sun's entry into Pisces indicates that the time is powerful to the astrologer. That is, the astrologers gain an upper hold in the events depending on the lord of the day when sun enters Pisces. This is also a crucial time for various reasons as analyzed from the Natural chart of the Zodiac that starts with Aries. Recalling the role of Mangal planet from the previous post, Mars stands for the longevity of the husband, Let us see some additional inputs also. Scorpio is the natural 8th in the zodiac signifying Ayur bhava for the native of Aries. But it is also the maaraka sthan for the spouse. That is why the natural 8th indicates manglaya bhava � or the life of the spouse.

The astrological rule is that Saturn is the signifactor for aayush (longevity) and Saturn with the lord of the 8th ensures longevity. (47) But it is doubtful when Saturn is in the natural 8th house (where he is in enmity) or with Mars the lord of the natural 8th. It is because Saturn is debilitated in Martian Aries and therefore becomes inimical in Martian Scorpio. Though he allows Mars to exalt in his own house in Capricorn, Mars does not reciprocate the same. Saturn is debilitated in the house of Mars in Aries! This is a dangerous game between these two planets since Saturn stands for longevity and Mars is in constant fear for life as a planet of the soldier! If Mars is not vigilant, he will be finished by Saturn, for Saturn stands for Natural justice, exalting in the house of spouse in the 7th in Libra. In the natural zodiac, Mars is lord of Aries. His 4th drishti is on Cancer, the house of Moon, his friend. But there he is weak as he debilitates there. His 7th dhrishti is on Libra, there he has no power because his master, the king Sun debilitates while Saturn only holds the balance of justice there! His 8th dhrishti is on Scorpio, and here too if his friend Moon is not helpful and will go into debility, unable to help him in mangal things. All these 3 places crucial for Mars, can not be rectified unless helped by placement and association of other planets. Every aspect of pulling him through has been devised in astrology calling for the famous 'marriage- matching' conditions. But Mars is inauspicious in 12th too, though he has no dhrishti on the 12th house of Meena. It is here the astrologers seemed to have worked out some exceptional remedies. For a moment to be auspicious, the power of Sun, Moon, Jupiter and the lagna lord must be there. And Mars must have a safe passage to ensure longevity to the husband All these can be ensured at the moment of entry of sun into Pisces. This is how it happens. Mars sails through a safe passage in the house of Saturn, in Capricorn by exalting there. Then he enters Aquarius, again the house of Saturn. There is every chance for Saturn to avenge Mars for debilitating him in Aries. But Saturn is not able to do because here Mars enters into his own stars, Avittam 3rd and 4th pada. Then he enters Rahu's stars. They also see him placed in Uccha (exaltation) and favorable signs in the Navamasa which is indicative of the Dharma done in the previous birth. As long as Mars in the 2 houses of Saturn, Saturn can not touch him. But the moment Mars enters Pisces, that is, Poorattadhi (purva bhadhrapada) 4th pada, he will be placed in debility in cancer in the navamsa!. The moon can not help him there. Because the state of a planet in the navamsa only determines the result of it as shown in the Rasi! Mars will be in difficult waters if he is entering Pisces (Pisces sangramana) So this moment of sangramana is strengthened at the instance of the astrologer whose power of word is also indicated by that moment and chosen for invoking the mystic powers of Nature so that long life is ensured to the husband. They chose the moment of sun's entry into Jupiter's rasi of Pisces for the Kaaradaiyaan nOnbu. - the moment will be in the house of Jupiter in the rasi and in the house of Moon, in cancer in the Navamsa. Even if times are such that Mars is crossing Kumbha � meena junction, thereby getting debilitated in navmasa at the time of nOnbu,

the nOnbu lagna will be such that it will be in the house of Jupiter (pieces) in rasi, and in Cancer, the house of moon in navamsa, thereby canceling the debility of Mars! Thus the junction of Maasi and Panguni stands for strength of the crucial planets that determine the auspiciousness of the time of the nOnbu. The kind of deep thought that has gone into fixing this time for the nOnbu goes to show the high importance given to Mangal dosha in those days. Unless the need was strongly felt to safe guard the marital life of a couple, this kind of adding new regulations could not have come into place. Moreover the dishes offered at the nOnbu also have a connection to Mangal or longevity related issues. The authentication for this comes from Atharvana veda Rice cake is offered along with butter. Because that is the remedy stipulated Atharvana veda (48) by

Rice and barley are considered to be the two foods that protect one from weakness of the body and injuries. They are offered in the prayer in Atharvana veda. The prayer is also aimed at requesting Agni not to touch the person, because Agni destroys body. Ghee which is generally offered in prayers, is not used, as it is made by heating. The unheated butter is offered in symbolism of asking Agni deva not to trouble the one for whom the prayer is made. Not only on food offered, we get to see authentication from Atharvana veda on the sacred thread too - on how a thin yellow thread tied to objects of certain designs, with specific manthras invoked on it, can protect the life of one and one's partner. The Atharvana veda itself is a source for Predictive astrology. The ceremonies and symbols connected with Mangalam are traceable to Atharvana veda which the astrologers of those days would have picked up and propagated in the changing times of Kali becoming harsh on human life. The increasing incidence of wars and misery in the last 800 years created a justification for re-formulating certain customs � one such re-formulation occurring in the form of Maangalya dharanam. *************** Part-7 The sacred yellow thread! The practices connected with the kaaradayaan nOnbu give us vital clues connected with Maangalya dharanam. The performance of the nOnbu resembles a make-over of ancient Tamil practices of Thai neeradal and Sangam worship aimed at prayer for long life for the husband. The dish, namely kaaradai also has a AtharvaN backing. The AtharvaN remedy for escape from threat of death is a rice cake mixed with barley. But in the nOnbu, kArAmaNi (cow-gram or lObia) is used instead of barley. The probable reason again reveals a connection to a prayer for longevity. kArAmaNi is actually a type of 'Payaru' similar to 'pacchai-p-payaru' (green gram). Pacchai-p-payaru is the gram used for propitiating Vishnu. But the black color of kArAmaNi is the color for the planet Saturn whose ati-devatha is Yama! Vishnu is Yama himself among subduers. (49)

It is perhaps due to this reason, black variety of the payaru was chosen to make the rice cake. It is worthy to mention here that kArAmaNi is called as 'black payaru' in Kerala! The prayer to Yama by Savitthri fits very well with the nOnbu - the choice of the nonbu lagna (when sun transits from saturn's sign) and in offering the rice cake that is recommended by AtharvaNa veda. There is one more thing left out in this list � that is the rope with which Yama pulled out the life of Satavaan! The thaali in the form of a yellow thread has the power to counter Yama's deadly rope and authentication for this comes from AtharvaNa vEda! The yellow thread (it used to be red thread, indicating auspiciousness of the mangal and the power of Sun for whom Mars is yoga karaka and a bosom friend) is tied with an amulet as told in Atharvana ritual. (50) The AtharvaN verse speaks about the power of a reddish thread tied with an amulet in fighting the hostile demons that threaten the life of one. The amulet is made according regional customs and beliefs. Most probably it must have been in some form of weapon � one or many of the panchayudhas of Lord Vishnu or a white colored one like that of a pearl or moon, or a rare gem got from the waters or oceans or heavens. (51) The mention of a gem got from oceans or waters, for the amulet reminds us of the jewel, guarded by Sita as her own life while she was in Ashoka vana. It was the ChoodamaNi, that was worn on the head! Sita did no mind losing her jewels most of which were gifted to her by Anasuya whom she met during vana-vaas. She threw some of them down when she saw the vanaras at the time of abduction. She left the others hanging in the simshubha tree. She was not seen wearing any jewel while she was in the Ashoka vana. But she secretly guarded this choodamaNi. This choodamaNi was a special jewel which she "deliberately guarded". (52) Such a jewel was a gem got from the waters. 'Vaari sambhavaH', saya Sita. (53) Such a gem was got from the heavens, says Rama (54) Such a gem which is got from the waters, from the heavens and embedded in gold is the exact way an amulet for protection from threat to life is to be made according to AtharvaNa vEda. The way Sita kept it safe and near her body all the time (secretly tied to her saree) has all the indications of a Mangal aabharaN or an auspicious jewel that is held dear by the wife as though her husband' life is present in that. It was while talking to Anasuya on the glory of wifehood, that Sita did make a mention about Savithri. No wonder the Vaishnavite community at the time of its reanointment as a distinct community added all those aspects connected with Vishnu and his avathars. The The The But KAradai was chosen to suit Vishnu tattwa. episode of Savitthri has the concurrence given by Sita. (55) timing was chosen taking into account all aspects of protection. an amulet must be there ward off evil.

The amulet of a reddish thread has an authentication from AtharvaNa veda. But it can not be said for sure that Srivaishnavites introduced the yellow thread for the nOnbu that it later became a part of marriage ceremony! So far there is no authentication to say who introduced the yellow thread. However we can not rule out a probability that it was first introduced by Srivasihnavite acharyas who formulated this nOnbu. Since everything connected with

protection the nOnbu, around the could have

to husband's life in form of Savitthri's penance was taken care of in the only missing item of Yama's rope to be repelled by a yellow thread neck of the wife might have been symbolically introduced. Later this been introduced in marriage ceremonies too.

The reasons why I am led to think in this way were that no other nOnbu or practice that is in vogue today or even said to have existed in olden days, has this feature of tying the yellow thread. All the other communities who wear the yellow thread change it (when they find it worn out) on some auspicious day. They don't follow a specific day like the Iyengars. The only other popular nOnbu, namely Varalakshmi nOnbu also features the use of yellow thread. But it is tied in the wrist as KankaN! This seems to have a similarity to the naadi-koota connection of the kankaN ceremony in the weddings of almost all the other communities of India. Even Tamils of olden days wore kankaN. In contrast, the thaali seems to have come with savithri lore as a counter to Yama's rajju, the rope! ******************** This is one way of looking at the origin of Mangalya dharanam. But there is another probability also for the introduction of yellow thread. This has Kerala connection historically and astrologically. We can not ignore the Kerala influence in 'kaaradai' and yellow thread of the Kaaradayaan nOnbu! The kaaraamani that gives its name to the dish is originally known as 'karuppu payaru' in the present day Kerala. The astrological implications also have Kerala origin only. The Nambhoothri Brhmins who are now confined to Kerala have played a vital role in the society that stretched from Bay of Bengal to Arabian sea and upto the Sahya parvada in the Northwestern regions in the period between 13thcentury AD to 16th century AD. To understand their role we have to see the conditions that prevailed in those times. Two instances left an indelible mark in the society in those times. The Kannagi episode became a lore in the entire Tamil lands for centuries. Kannagi's story was woven around all the 3 Tamil lands of Chera, Chozha and Pandyas � particularly in the Chera land in today's kerala, to which the writer of this work, IlangovadigaL belonged. The temple for her was built in that land and she came to be called as "Mangala Devi"!! The one who could not live a happy and an auspicious life � in spite of all the carefully drafted Vedic austerities meant for a happy and auspicious married life � became a legend whose life could have become a debating issue in all spheres � including among the Vediks who conducted the marriage rituals. What went wrong with her marriage? Didn't we fix the muhurtha properly? Didn't we do the propitiations properly? And so on. A few centuries later such debates were heard not too far from Kannagi's land. A similar mishap � of the type of the mishap that Kanangi suffered happened in the other end of the sahya � malay ranges of the western ghats. It happened in the family of a highly revered astrologer who was defeated by Destiny in his attempts to protect his daughter

from marriage-misfortunes. He was the famous astrologer, Bhaskara II whose time and history is authentically known from the inscriptions in the Bhavani temple, in Patan in the sahya parvatha in Maharashtra and from the writings of Fyzi, the Persian translator his work, 'Lilavathi'. In his book of Lilavathi in Persian written in 1587, the writer Fyzi has narrated the incident that made Bhaskara II coin the name of his daughter, Lilavathi, to his wonderful book on Arithmetic. Lilavati was the name of Bhaskaracharya's daughter. From casting her horoscope, he discovered that the auspicious time for her wedding would be a particular hour on a certain day. From Fyzi's account, Bhaskara placed a cup with a small hole at the bottom of the vessel filled with water, arranged in a way that the cup would sink at the beginning of the propitious hour. When everything was ready and the cup was placed in the vessel, Lilavati suddenly out of curiosity bent over the vessel and a pearl from her dress fell into the cup and blocked the hole in it. The lucky hour passed without the cup sinking. By another account it is known that the vivaha was delayed due to this and Lilavathy became a young widow soon after. Bhaskaracharya believed that the way to console his dejected daughter, who now would never get married, was to write a manual of mathematics in her name! (The timing or Muhurtha was an important deciding factor in the success or failure of any venture. The Vedanga Jyothisha developed for each veda was originally about fixing the right time for a given task. Failures and mis-fortunes are anyway there like the darkness following the day light. People in those days were not worried about whether a task or act would fail. Instead they thought about those timings which can make any task a success. That is why, a lot of emphasis on Muhurtha and fixing the right time. But in this age of Kali, if a misfortune is to happen, it will happen deceiving whatever intelligence we have in tackling it. Such intelligence is almost nil in today's condition.) Bhaskara's defeat in the hands of destiny resulted in a spurt in Jyothisha �related activities. We get to know from the inscription that his grandson Chungadeva set up a Research centre dedicated to solve astrological problems and devise ways to protect human beings from calamities. His centre received patronage from the kings and attracted knowledge from all directions. We come to know from Bhaskara's work Siddhantha shiromani which he wrote when he was 36, (Lilavathi is the first part of this 4-part book. We can guess how young she must have been when she was widowed) that he was born in the year 1114 AD. So any new spurt to astrological remedies for matrimonial mishaps as initiated by Chungadeva would have begun after the 12th century! In the south of this region, already the life of Kannagi had become legend among the masses. The north of Vindhyas was still facing the heat of invasions during this period between 13th to 15th century. But the south particularly in this stretch of the western ghats, there was relative peace. People had shuttled in this region and it is not a surprise that a majority of famous astrological writers in the post 12th century AD had appeared in this stretch from Kerala to North Karnataka. Almost all the astrological texts that we have today originated in this area, written mostly by Brahmins and Nambhothiris who were engaged in vaideekam. The only exception is Mantareshwara whose book "Phala deepika" is a standard text today for most astrologers. He lived in Thirunelveli of today. But he too was a Nambhoothiri! A notable feature in their writings is the elaborate rules for vivaha poruttham.

The Bala vivahaadhi yogas and vaidhavya yogas (widowhood) were discussed in their books. The dangers from Mangal dosha and Mandhi were widely written by these writers, particularly the Keralite ones. They were no longer ready to pin their hopes only on Muhurthas as was done in Vedic period. They wanted to analyze the horoscope thoroughly and formulate remedies. They even gave region specific rules and remedies. For example we come across the mention of noon (abhijit muhurtha) as the right time for marriage in a work called Muhurtha DarpaN. But it is also said that this is applicable to regions in the West and in Kalinga. Similarly the muhurtha for wedding is recommended at the time of sun set and after sunset in Go-dhooLika muhurtha. Again this is not applicable to all regions. A number of do's and dont's were given by these astrologers. These astrologers were generally experts in Vedas. Atharvana veda gives them all clues on how to go about defeating destiny. The result was the birth of the concept of amulet to ensure auspiciousness. Auspiciousness at all times is needed to be ensured. So they looked at the probable areas of problems and devised their methods accordingly. These rituals that were once used in general, for protection from diseases and death, gained a specific relevance in protecting the spouse. So there is as strong possibility to think that astrologers of this part of the country formulated and initiated the custom of Mangalya sutra in the wake of increasing incidence of premature death of the husband. In those days Vediks themselves were astrologers as they had to learn it as part of shad-angas ( 6 vedangas). No ritual other than those followed from time immemorial could have entered marriage ceremony without being initiated by the Vediks who also happened to be astrologers. Smooth transition to newer methods in marriage could not have happened without their concurrence. That is why we do not have a specific time that can be identified as a time when reformist kind of rituals were incorporated into marriage ceremony. All that we can say is this was a later addition. Some Vediks in some parts of this land in South, most probably in Kerala could have started this. Slowly it could have spread among others. Origin in Kerala? We have indicators to Kerala only, as this was a land of astrologers who also happened to be Maandriks or adepts in Atharvan practices. The Nambhoothris and Bhattadris were expert astrologers and Vediks as well. There is practice (reported until recently) among a sect of Kerala Nambhoothris, whereby the father ties the Mangal sutra to his daughter before she is taken to marriage mantap. It is like the Vedic ritual of tying the sacred thread in the wrist before the bride and groom are taken to the marriage mantap. This was done in Ram-Sita marriage. Similarly, the tying of the Mangal sutra is done by the father who also happened to be a priest in those days, as a ritual of caution to protect his daughter from misfortunes in marriage. This seems to have become 'Kettu kalyanam' (56) whereby the girls in younger age, before they reached puberty were made to undergo the Mangalya dharanam- mostly done by Nambhoothiris (as they were the officiating priests). But there was no marriage connection. It was like a marriage on paper. Later the girl can marry

anyone ( called Sambhandam which is the actual marriage) and start a family. But her so called Mangalya dosham is left with the Mangalya dharanam with the nambhoothiri. If the Nambhoothiri dies sometime later, she follows a ritualistic mourning for a stipulated number of days but will continue life a s an auspicious woman with her husband whom she actually married later through Sambhandam. When seen from this perspective, this Kettu kalyanam looks like a drastic measure taken up by astrologer �cum- priest who wanted to save a girl from the misfortune of widow hood. This practice is said to continue in some parts of Kearla even today � but without knowing this rationale. However in today's life style, this rationale no longer exists and Kettu kalyanam can be forgotten for ever. But this is one issue that lends credence to the rationale of when and how Mangalya dharanam ritual could have entered into marriage ceremony. *************** 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:…" (57) 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 scholarastrologers. 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! (58) 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 (59) That must be the reference to pearl. The pearl was used as an amulet for long life and prosperity according Atharvana vedas (60) 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 Vivaha-vyanaddha-praguna-guna-samkhya-prahibhuvah;

Virajanthe nana-vidha-madhura-ragakara-bhuvam Thrayanam gramanam sthithi-niyama-seemana iva the." Meaning:"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-sankhyApratibhuvaH" 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 "guNasankhyA" 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. (61) 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". Meaning:"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 (62) 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. (63) 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 (64) 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 When they were ready to give up all valuable in money terms or in terms certain jewels? We have no clue other than pointing great or fantastic. other jewels which also could have been of beauty, why could they not part of with 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" (65) 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' (66 ) The she not not next line gives the information about what jewels she discarded. It says that discarded her ear-studs. No mention of any other jewels. So the ear-stud was considered as Mangal jewel. But there were other Mangal jewels which she could 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. (67) 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. (68 ) 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. (69) 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! (70) 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. (71) 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. Conclusion. 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). (72) 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) Tail-piece: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) http://jayasreesaranathan.blogspot.com/2008/05/pati-patni-aur-vivaha.html (2) From Valmiki Ramayana, Bala khanda 73 :"Rama arrived at his father together with all of his brothers, keeping sage Vashishta and other eminent-saint ahead of them, on an opportune and appropriate hour called 'Victory...' and all the bridegrooms are adorned with all kinds of

jewellery appropriate for the wedding time, and all have performed the auspicious ceremony for marriage-thread, conducted prior to the marriage and, all have thread-bands tied around their wrists, as they all have performed an auspicious ceremony antecedent to marriage ceremony. [1-73-9, 10a] "Oh, eminent-saint Vashishta, on absolutely performing the auspicious ceremony for the marriage-thread, and thereby tying thread-band at wrists my daughters have already arrived, and they are at the base of the Altar of Fire, like the irradiant jets of flames of radiant fire... [1-73-15]" (3) iyam siitaa mama sutaa saha dharma carii tava || 1-73-26 pratiicCha ca enaam bhadram te paaNim gR^ihNiiSva paaNinaa | Meaning :- iyam= this; siitaa= Seetha; mama= my; sutaa= daughter; saha= along with / in unison with; dharma= duty; carii= acquits herself of; tava= your; prati icCha enaam= in turn, you wish for [back, take, wishfully take her back] her; ca= also bhadram te= safe betides you; paaNim= palm; gR^ihNiiSva= take into; paaNinaa= [your] palm. "This is Seetha, my daughter, she acquits herself in whatever duty you undertake. Take her wishfully, let safeness betide you, take her palm into your palm..." [173-26b, 27a] http://www.valmikiramayan.net/bala/sarga73/bala_73_frame.htm (4) http://hinduism.about.com/od/matrimonial1/a/typesofmarriage.htm (5) "VivAha mantra sUtras" by Sri. M.Keshaviah in 1936 (6) PuranaanUru -253 by poet KuLambaadaayanaar. PuranaanUru -254 by poet Kayamanaar. PuranaanUru -255 by poet VaN baraNar. http://jayasreesaranathan.blogspot.com/2008/03/tamil-women-and-death-relatedissues.html (7) "koorumOr paruvam nlla kulam otthadaaga thee-vEttaar iyalil irutthal ara nilai inbhamaagum yEru thaan thazhuval villai ilakkam aithiduthal ellam maarudau neriyil kootta mara nilai inbhamaamE" Choodamani nigandu 12- 63 (8) Silappadhikaram -25-174, 29-9, &17 Manimegalai – 2-1 Paripaadal – 5-8 (9) Silappadhikaram – 25 -160-62 (10) Chapter 1 of Silappadhikaram (11) "mangala aNi" – silappadhikram – 1-47 "mangala nal aMaLi" 1-59 (amaLi- cot) (12) "VeN nool katti" Aga nanuruy -136 (13) "thamar namakku 'eendha' thalai naaL" Aga nanuru - 136 (14) "kaLavaavathu piNi, mooppu, irappugaL indri, engyaandrum voru thanmaiyaraai, vuruvum, thiruvum, paruvamum, kulanum, gunanum, anbhum mudaliyavattraal thammuL

voppumai vudaiyaraai, thalai maganum, thalai magaLum, pirar koduppavum, aduppavum indri, paal vagaiyaal thaamE yethir pattu, puNarNthu varuvadhu" – ParimElazhagar in Thirukkural vurai for KaLaviyal of Inbhatthu-p-paal (15) Aga nanuru – 35 (16) Silappadhikaram 25 – 133-35 (17) Choodamani nigandu 12-139) (18) The 5 weapons are mentioned in the last verse of Vishnu Sahasra nama and in Sangam texts too besides ChoodamaNi nigandu. vanamAlI gadI SAr'ngI Sa'nkhI cakrI ca nandakI | SrImAn nArAyaNo vishNuh vAsudevo'bhirakshatu || (19) Dr U.Ve. Sa in "Purananuru, moolamum, vuraiyum", Edition 1950, (p 182) (20) "thaar poondu thaali kaLaindhandrum ilanE, paal vittu ayiniyumindra yindranan" Purananuru -77 (21) "ponnudai-th-thaali en magan" Agananuru 54 (22) Manimegalai – 3-137 Kamba ramayanam (Nadu- 58), Kalingatthu parani (Avatharam -9) and Thiruvalaiyaadal puranam (39-25) (23) Periyaazhwar Thirumozhi – (1-3 -5) (24) Adhithya Hrudhayam - verse 5 (25) The complete sthothra of Mangalya sthavam with meaning can be read at http://www.sundarasimham.org/ebooks/MangalyaSthavam.pdf and http://www.celextel.org/stotrasvishnu/mangalyasthavam.html (26) Moon is the mangal word for 'thodar nilai-ch-cheiyuL' according to Thol kappiyam – poruL – Su - 61 (27) Agananuru – verse 136 – (lines 4 -8) (28) Silappadhikaram – chapter 1 – (lines 50-53) (29) Purananuru verse 60. (30) Royal umbrella is one among the 21 Mangal objects of the King Choodamani nigandu – 12-121 (31) Kural 60 (32) Mangalya sthavam verse 49 (33) 'Three hundred important combinations' by Dr BV Raman (p 25)

(34)

http://ganapati.club.fr/anglais/afem.html

(35) Sidhi budhi pradhe devi, Bhakthi mukthi pradayinee, Manthra moorthe, sada devi, Maha Lakshmi Namosthuthe. Salutations and salutations to Goddess Mahalakshmi, Who grants intelligence and occult powers, Who grants devotion to God and salvation, Who can be personified by holy chants, And who is Goddess for ever. From Mahalakshmi ashtakam verse 4 (36) Valmiki Ramayana, Yuddha Khandam -131 -114 "Vinaayakaas cha saamyanthi gruhE thishtanthi" (37) "Mangalam thigazh kaatchi naam vandharuL vanappaal, thanguvaiyagam Mangalan yena unnai-ch-chaattrum" – "Since you have seen my auspicious form (in this marriage) the world would henceforth call you as Mangal" Lord Ganesha to Mars in Vinayaka Purana. From 'Deva-p-peyar thoguthi' on Mars in Choodamani nigandu (38) http://www.celextel.org/stotrasganesha/ganeshamangalashtakam.html (39) http://meerablogs.blogspot.com/2006/03/karadaiyan-nonbu-special.html (40) http://jayasreesaranathan.blogspot.com/2008/12/paavai-nonbu-how-it-wasdone.html (41) Silappadhikaaram, Chapter 9 � (55 to 64) (42) "iru vEru mandilath-thilakkam pOla nEmiyum vaLaiyum yEndhiya kaiyaal" says Paripadal 13- lines 8 to 12 (43) This comes in the first part of chapter 11 in Silappadhikaram which is full of important information of interest to researchers and Vishnu devotees. It is given as a narration by a Vedik who is on a pilgrimage. He praises his king, the Pandyan, by recalling his ancestors who once ruled Then-Madurai that was later sub-merged. This Vedik then praises his God Vishnu and says that he is going to Srirangam and then to Tiruppathy. The information contained here is that people went on pilgrimage to Srirangam first and then to Tiruppathy. The description of the gods in these 2 kshetras is indeed valuable as it tells us how these deities looked about 1800 years ago. Of interest is the Lord in Tiruppathy, who was described as having shanku and charka in his two hands. The Vishnu roopam in 'kidantha vaNNam' and 'nindra vaNNam' as described in Silappadhikaaram (also in all songs on Thirumaal in Paripaadal) make no room for doubt about Bhagawan's Thiru vuruvam. This is to be compared with the description by Peyazhwaar, (3 rd Thiruvandhathi 63) of The Lord at Thiruppathy as a mixture of Shiva �Vishnu roopam

And there is also the legend of Ramanujacharya to have restored the Vishnu roopam with shanku and charka. The description in Silappadhikaram is older than Peyazhwar's. Peyazhwar is connected with the other Mudal azhwars and had lived in the period after Maamallan. There is reference to Maamallai in Bhoothathaazhwar pasuram. Maamallan came after Silappadhikaram period. So the Silappadhikaram description reveals that it was purely a Vishnu roopam in Tiruppathy in the earlier period. Differences had cropped up only later to Silappadhikaram period. (44) Thiruppavai - verse 22 (45) http://jayasreesaranathan.blogspot.com/2008/12/dating-of-thirruppavai-frompaasurams-3.html (46) Valmiki Ramayana (2-118-10) (47) "AyushkaarEna saninahi adhyashtamaadhipathiryadi SambhandO vidyatE yasya dheergaayur yogamuchyate" Bhaavaartha ratnakaaram (48) Atharvana Veda- VIII, 2. Prayer for exemption from the dangers of death. "18. Rice and barley shall be auspicious to thee, causing no bal�a, inflicting no injury! They two drive away disease, they two release from calamity. 19. Whatever thou eatest or drinkest, the grain of the plough-land or milk, whatever is or is not to be eaten, all that food do I render for thee free from poison." (49) Bhagawad Gita (10-29) (50) Atharvan veda III, 9. Against vishkandha and k�ava (hostile demons). 1. Of karsapha and visapha heaven is the father and earth the mother. As, ye gods, ye have brought on (the trouble), thus do ye again remove it! 2. Without fastening the), (the protecting plants?) held fast, thus it has been arranged by Manu. The vishkandha do I render impotent, like one who gelds cattle. 3. A talisman tied to a reddish thread the active (seers) then do fasten on: may the fastenings render impotent the eager, fiery k�ava! 4. And since, O ye eager (demons), ye walk like gods by the wile of the Asuras, the fastening (of the amulet) is destructive to the k�ava, as the ape to the dog. 5. I revile thee, the k�ava, unto misfortune, (and) shall work harm for thee. Accompanied with curses ye shall go out like swift chariots! 6. A hundred and one vishkandha are spread out along the earth; for these at the beginning they brought out thee, the amulet, that destroys vishkandha. (51) IV, 10. The pearl and its shell as an amulet bestowing long life and prosperity. 1. Born of the wind, the atmosphere, the lightning, and the light, may this pearl shell, born of gold, protect us from straits! 2. With the shell which was born in the sea, at the head of bright substances, we slay the Rakshas and conquer the Atrins (devouring demons). 3. With the shell (we conquer) disease and poverty; with the shell, too, the Sa�v�. The shell is our universal remedy; the pearl shall protect us from straits! 4. Born in the heavens, born in the sea, brought on from the river (Sindhu), this shell, born of gold, is our life-prolonging amulet. 5. The amulet, born from the sea, a sun, born from Vritra (the cloud), shall on all sides protect us from the missiles of the gods and the Asuras! 6. Thou art one of the golden substances, thou art born from Soma (the moon). Thou art sightly on the chariot, thou art brilliant on the quiver. [May it prolong our lives!] 7. The bone of the gods turned into pearl; that, animated, dwells in the waters.

That do I fasten upon thee unto life, lustre, strength, longevity, unto a life lasting a hundred autumns, May the (amulet) of pearl protect thee. (52) Valmiki Ramayana � 5-65- 21 ayam ca asmai pradaatavyam yatnaat suparirakShitam | bruvataa vacanaani evam sugriivasya upashR^iNvataH || 5-65-21 21. sugriivasya= (while) Sugreeva; upashR^iNvataH= is hearing; bruvataa= and while you are telling; vachanaani= the words; evam= in this way; ayam cha= (let) this jewel; suparikShitaH yatnaat= well-guarded deliberately; pradaatavyaH ayam cha= be given; asmai= to this Rama. "While Sugreeva is hearing nearby and while you are telling the words in this way, let this jewel, which is deliberately well-guarded, be given to Rama." (53) Valmiki Ramayana � 5-65- 23 eSha niryaatitaH shriimaan mayaa te vaari sambhavaH || 5-65-23 etam dR^iShTvaa pramodiShye vyasane tvaam iva anagha | 23. eSaH shriimaan= this beautiful jewel; vaari sambhavaH= which has its origin in sea-water; niryaatitaH= has been sent; te= to you; dR^iSTvaa= seeing; etam= this vyasahe= in my grief; pramodiShye= I am feeling happy; tvaaniiva= as though I am seeing you. "This beautiful jewel, which has its origin in sea-water, has been sent to you. Seeing this in my grief, I am feeling always happy as though I am seeing you." (54) Valmiki Ramayana � 5-66- 5 ayam hi jala sambhuuto maNiH pravara puujitaH | yaj~ne parama tuShTena dattaH shakreNa dhiimataa || 5-66-5 5. ayam maNiH= this jewel; jala sambhuutaH= which was born in water; sajjana puujitaH= and recommended by the good; dattaH= had been presented (to him); dhiimataa shakreNa= by the intelligent Indra the lord of celestials; parama tuShTena= who was highly pleased; yaJNe= in Yajna sacrificial rite. "The jewel, which was found in the waters and recommended by the good, had been presented to him earlier by the intelligent Indra the lord of celestials, who was highly pleased in Yajna, a sacrificial rite (intended to propitiate him)." (55) Valmiki Ramayana (2-118-10)

(56) http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kettu_Kalyanam (57) Taittriya Upanishad (1-11-4)

(58) 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." (59) Sundara Khandam – 66-5 (60) Atharvan veda – IV- 10 (61) http://jayasreesaranathan.blogspot.com/2008/05/pati-patni-aur-vivaha.html (62) 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! Longlived 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! (63) Silappadhikaaram 12- lines 27 & 28. "Puli vaai piLandhu pettra maalai, veN pal thaali nirai pootti.." (64) Purananuru verse 127 (65) Silapapdhikaaram 4- 54 (66) Silapapdhikaaram 4- 50 (67) http://jayasreesaranathan.blogspot.com/2008/03/tamil-women-and-death-relatedissues.html (68) 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. (69) 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. (70) 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."

(71) 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. (72) 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)"