‘Mangalsutra’ is the loving get together of two Sanskrit words ‘Mangala’ meaning ‘holy’ and Sutra meaning ‘thread’. For centuries, Mangalsutra has been a true representative of the dignity and love bestowed on a bride by her groom.
Married Hindu women wear the auspicious thread as a sign of their marital status and rather than a simple jewellery, the thread is considered by them to be a thoughtful reflective of understanding, mutual love, commitment and spiritual development with their husbands. The age-old practice of wearing Mangalsutra to formalize and socialize a wedding and give it a divine perfection is considered to be an integral part of any Hindu marriage ceremony as mentioned by Manusmriti–the traditional laws that govern Hindu marriage.
History–Too old and still relevant
According to some experts, the tradition of wearing Mangalsutra dates back to 6th century CE. Different regions of India have varied versions of Mangalsutra–as to how to design it, decorate it, and wear it. It is said thatthe practice of Mangalsutra originated in the South India, which later followed in the North
Design–So many designs yet Sacred at its core
Mangalsutras are designed in a variety of design and the influence of regional customs is reflected in them. The designs are usually chosen by the family of groom in accordance with their traditional customs and beliefs. Now a days the designs are getting contemporary facelifts with families opting for lighter, and brighter versions with lots of fashion-oriented variants, although the core aim remains unaltered–to design a sacred thread that makes a wedding divine!
Three knots–Three unique aspects of a Hindu married woman
The auspicious thread is knotted around the neck of the bride three times–which symbolizes three unique aspects of a married woman–first, her obedience and respect for husband; second, to her parents and third, to God. The practice of wearing Mangalsutra is as much important in India as it wearing a wedding ring in the West. Significance–Beyond just a thread, it is part of a Hindu marriage Most usual Mangalsutras are a combination of two strings of black beads which are carefully tied onto a locket. The black beads are believed to protect a married woman from evil powers that may come in between her and marriage life. Even the beads are believed to improve her married life and bring in prospects of development to her husband. A Mangalsutra made from metal such as Gold is believed to improve a woman’s health The changing trends The practice of wearing Mangalsutra has altered to a great extent today, although the custom is still as fresh as it was once earlier, the heavy influence of modern-day design and demand for lighter versions, are actuallychanging how those were traditionally designed. A Mangalsutra holds a special importance in the life of a married woman. Despite it is being given modern design changes, it is always worn by a women signifying her true devotion to her husband, and loyalty to God. A marriage without Mangalsutra is a marriage never happened.