The Traditional Significance of Mangalsutra

by Francis Alukkas | 21 September 2021 | MANGALSUTRA

Wearing jewellery made in gold or other crafts is a traditional and classic part of the Indian bridal attire. The cultural significance of jewellery in Indian weddings, especially in gold, is very well known. One vital part of an Indian wedding is the symbolic ritual of ‘tying the knot’. The significance of Mangalsutra is no secret.

Coined by the combination of ‘Mangal’ meaning ‘auspicious’ and ‘sutra’ meaning ‘thread’, the Mangalsutra is a symbol of an eternal bond between the bride and her husband.

The nuptial ceremony is the occasion at which the groom ties the auspicious string of the ‘Mangalsutra’ around the bride’s neck. The importance of Mangalsutra is spiritual, emotional and scientific on some grounds. Generally, a Mangalsutra is made of two strings of black beads and adorned by a pendant.

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The Significance of Mangalsutra

The Mangalsutra is extremely symbolic in nature and rooted in religious and spiritual beliefs. It represents ‘Until death do us part’ when the groom ties the knot. It is also considered a symbol of marriage. The bride is expected to wear it lifelong. The Mangalsutra symbolizes eternal love and commitment between the bride and groom.

In South India, the Mangalsutra is donned with three knots with three points of significance. The three knots stand for loyalty, dedication, and devotion to the husband, the family, and the lord respectively. In some parts of India, the first knot by the groom is followed by two knots by his sisters. The black beads in a Mangalsutra are meant to ward off the evil eye and protect the new husband and wife. The wife wearing Mangalsutra is also believed to keep the husband off bad fortune and dangers.

Types of Mangalsutra

The significance of Mangalsutra in Hindu traditions is quite amusing. The tradition took birth in Southern India but has been added to the North Indian weddings as well. The Mangalsutra has different names in South India. The most common name by which Mangalsutra is known is the Thaali or Thirumangalyam which is made of a long yellow thread and a pendant.

The Mangalsutra in North India, however, has black beads and a golden pendant of various designs. It is called Tanmaniya. The tying of the Mangalsutra is often done at a formal ceremony separate from the wedding in North India. However, it is not uncommon to see weddings with a bride without wearing the Mangalsutra. Mangalsutra is not important in all parts. In some traditions, like the Bengali weddings, the brides are found wearing conch bangles known as Shakha Paula bangles. There are other traditions, too, in which the Mangalsutra is not an element. However, customs and traditions spread fast and the significance of Mangalsutra goes beyond the religious customs and old traditions.

How does the Mangalsutra benefit health?

The significance of Mangalsutra is not just religious and spiritual. It seems that there is some solid scientificity to it. According to Hindu culture, the Mangalsutra should be made of pure gold and it is to be worn underneath the innermost garment. Ayurvedic texts emphasize on the healing powers of pure gold, especially for the health of the heart. Wearing a Mangalsutra made of pure gold touching the skin over the heart is said to support cardiac functioning by attracting cosmic waves from around. These waves are also believed to maintain a happy and healthy relationship between the couple.

The Mangalsutra is also considered as an immunity-booster. It improves circulation and keeps the person energetic. Balanced blood pressure is also a health benefit of wearing a Mangalsutra as advised. As per Ayurveda, it is also believed to awaken the energy in a woman’s body by stimulating the Surya-nadi (Sun-channel).

The Trends in Mangalsutra

The Mangalsutra has become an important part of wedding jewellery traditions and jewellery makers are introducing several kinds of the auspicious thread. Some are colourful with gemstones embedded in them. Lately, there is a trend towards Mangalsutra with diamonds and sophisticated designs.

Simple designs that are elegant and light enough to use on a daily basis are the most preferred these days as more and more women are working. Floral designs are the most popular among modern brides. Some love to personalize their Mangalsutras with their zodiac signs in the pendant.

If you are looking to new trends in Indian wedding jewellery, then check: The best gold jewellery shop in India

However, the Mangalsutra is not just a necklace worn to suit the accessories or attire of a woman. A symbol of love, respect, and trust between a husband and wife, the Mangalsutra is a protection of the marriage spiritually and traditionally.

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