mangala sootra

Today I saw Princess publicly displaying her mangala sootra in the court.

Being a frequent visitor to courts, I am familiar with wives using symbols of marriage, especially the mangala sootra, to “tease” their estranged husbands. As always, I was a bit amused, but soon, memories from the fateful night of 28 December 2005 flashed before my eyes.

Right before getting us arrested, I remember Princess forcefully pulling out her mangala sootra from underneath her pallu, à la filmy style, holding it out with both her hands and demanding my brother, “What do you want me to do with THIS?”. My brother and I sat there speechless, wondering “what stunt is she trying to pull this time?”

The one thing we had clearly understood by then was that to Princess and party, the mangala sootra meant that the man who tied the (three) knot(s) and his family were to be their bonded slaves for the rest of their lives.

Princess knew exactly what to do with a mangala sootra. As a matter of fact, all 498A girls see the mangala sootra as primarily a valuable gold ornament, which also serves as a multipurpose tool – an instrument to hold a man and his family hostage, a license to make false allegations of abuse, a means to gain sympathy from the society, and a powerful weapon to blackmail and extort money.

During my numerous visits to courts, I have seen many warring wives going out of their way to display all the symbols which signify the bond of marriage – mangala sootra, toe rings, vermillion along the parting-line of the hair, etc. I often joke with my brother that they must also be rigorously observing “varalakshmi vratam” , “mangala gauri pooja“, “karva chauth”, and other rituals aimed at protecting the mangala sootra, while they simultaneously work towards the systematic destruction – emotional, financial and physical – of the man who tied it around their neck.

They all remind me of the following song from the Telugu movie “SubhalagnaM” written by Sirivennela. I will not translate it because the video is self-explanatory – most beautifully written, composed and picturized!

What is the big deal about the mangala sootra anyway?

mangala (auspicious) sootra (thread) is a symbol of the bond of marriage.

During a Telugu wedding ceremony, a pooja is performed to sanctify the mangala sootra, blessings are obtained from elders and married women, after which the groom ties it around the neck of the bride uttering the following mantra:

maaMgalyaM taMtunaanEna mama jeevana hEtunaa

kaMThE badhnaami SubhakE tvaM jeeva SaradaaM SataM

(I am tying around your neck, this scared thread which signifies the reason for my life.  Wear this thread which represents the basis of my life and live a hundred years!)

The mangala sootra consists of two round pendants which rest on the woman’s chest – one pendant represents jeevaatma and the other represents paramaatma. They are first tied separately via two separate strings, but joined together onto one string on the 16th day after the wedding, signifying the union of jeevaatma with paramaatma through marriage. The three knots represent the three (sthoola – physical, sookshma – astral/subtle, karaNa – causal) bodies of the husband, meaning that even when the physical body is gone, he is still with the wife through the other two.

Big deal?

Don’t answer! You have the rest of your life to think about it.


8 Responses to mangala sootra

  1. indimanthan says:

    the lady at my end did the same drama ( seems they all get the same training from the same roguish school of drama) and i was quick to snatch it back and answered that she never deserved that mangaal sootra now she dont need it anyway and she replied thanks for relieving her. This managal sootra never appeared in her stridhaan list.

    But last karva chauth she called my mobile (which i never picked up ) and later she she smsed me saying that thru sms she seeks my blessings to open her karva chauth fast.

    • Vasu says:

      Blessings 🙂 Lol..
      Thaz very entertaining

      • Gokul.P.R says:

        hmm we are in for a lot of such entertainment, that too free public entertainment.

        The culmination of this entertainment programs would be marked with such unscrupulous vixens lining up at the highway dividers, and begging the passersby, for being their husbands and fathers for their children!!!.(Pravachan by Gair-Sarkari Swaroopananda Swamiji)

      • indimanthan says:

        u bet !!!

  2. unfortunately it only the sthoola content of mangalsutra to which the lady is attached i.e the content of gold. forget the holy description behind that talks of the husband as a symbol. beyond that who cares?

    hubby!!!??? no way he is the mere ATM. if one cared so much for the symbolism behind mangalsutra 498a, 406 etc would not have taken place at all.

    its just the gold content that is of the interest to the wives. more so used as a confusing teaser to the non-siffians.

  3. Gokul.P.R says:

    Uma you just brought about revelation in minds of most of the readers, including your Princess, wow so much thought and processes entwined in one ritual, just WOW.

    No wonder India is hailed to be the most learned and greatest civilisation, which did not just have knowledge, the knowledge manifested as wisdom, and such rituals and customs are the proof of this resplendent wisdom.

  4. Vasu says:

    Well, the two pendants in the Mangala Sootra.
    1: DV
    2: 498a 🙂

    I think thaz what they tend to wear on them… I agree most do this drama..

    btw, it gives a funny meaning if u look at the Mangalya dharana stotram

    Starts With saying “Mangalyam Tantuna”
    in sanskrit Tantuna means , with the thread..
    in telugu , it ends up meaning , Can I Kick..???
    SO Mangalyam Tantuna.. Great Start.. Can I Kick you , my dear Husband 😀

  5. RAJESH says:

    I am not a frequent visitor to courts but during my only visit to a family court
    I could come across a number of Sati savitries there. Many of them were in
    bridal attires attracting men all around them, including the court staff. Even
    the judge was unable to concentrate in his job seeing such beauties in marriage

    Seated in a chair in the hall, I was studying their behaviour for close to 3
    hours. They all looked deceptive to me and as sole culprits for failure of their
    marriages. Interestingly some were with there moms, getting misguided at every
    available opportunity from them.

    There were some others who had come with their boyfriends. These boyfriends were
    seen taking more interest in these women than real husbands, for obvious

    Next time you wish to see a sati savitri, please visit a nearby family court.

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