Tuesday, March 9, 2021

Vivaaha Samskaara – 4(Hidden Principles of Maangalya and its Design)

Kannada Article by: 
Tarodi Suresha

English Rendering by: Padmini Shrinivasan


The expectation in a Vivaaha (marriage) is not just about raising a child, when a girl and boy possess a mature body. Akin to a surging current through a copper wire, the body of the groom should be such that it is capable of propagating a divine expression, anchoring his mind at the root of our existence viz. Naaraayana (Shiva). After attaining necessary qualifications and getting his Guru's consent, he steps into a householder's life. In a like manner the girl receives good (spiritual) education in her own home.  Hence this is just not a union of the external bodies, but a union of the inner hidden principles and the power behind them. This element of Maharshi perspective can be observed in each and every activity of the Vivaaha ritual.

An auspicious ornament Maangalya (also called Taali in Kannada) is another example. It is an external map of the inner vision of Maharshis. Generally a 'Maangalya' carries a symbolism of Bindu (dot representing the un-manifest seed), Visarga (dot splitting into two representing Shiva-Shakti) and vestige representing Agni-Surya-Chandra mandala (the three components of the world as per vedic tradition). It is tied around the neck of the bride; the metal used for this is invariably gold.

The following details are presented based on the explanation of Sriranga Mahaguru. The groom ties the Maangalya around the neck of the bride. Jnaanis proclaim that the inner recess of the spinal cord in the human body houses seven chakras viz. Moolaadhaara, Svaadhishtaana, Manipura, Anaahata, Vishuddhi, Aajnaa and Sahasraara. Ancient sacred literature too upholds this view. The region commencing at Mooladhara and culminating at the neck is known as Shakti (Prakruti) Sthaana. The region above neck is identified as Shiva's (Purusha) domain. The base of the neck region signifies the union of Shiva and Shakti. The groom ties the Maangalya at this junction. The groom, who has experienced communion with Shiva, reminisces over his inner feelings of expanding his divinity in Prakruti (womb), while he ties the Maangalya at the confluence of Shiva and Shakti.

When a Jnaani's inner vision raises above the mid-point of the two eyebrows (Ajnaa chakra), he experiences a dot-like bright light (Jyoti). This is Shiva or Naraayana-Jyoti. On its own volition (Sankalpa), this Jyoti divides itself in the form of Prakruti. This form, which is a dot split into two, is known as Visarga. When the divine (un-manifest) seed enters Prakruti, it imbibes the power to expand itself. In short, evolution begins when the prime dot-like Shiva's power, unites with Prakruti in its split Visarga form. This is represented by a Bindu and Visarga in Mangalya. In a like manner, the energy forms of Surya(Sun), Chandra(Moon) and Agni(Fire), which are visible as the yogic vision progresses, are represented too.

It is but natural for a male and female to unite according to age and external body-mind characteristics. However leading a fruitful life (materialistic as well as spiritual) encompasses the four-fold cardinal principles - Dharma (righteous conduct), Artha (material comforts/purpose), Kaama (desire to execute the purpose) and Moksha (attaining the highest goal of life), collectively known as Purushaarthas. Only thus would a human birth acquired by virtue of past merits be justified.

When the picture of a Lotus flower is drawn, the mind automatically aligns itself to the vision of a real flower.  Similarly the design of the ornament 'Maangalya' pulls us towards an inward introspection. Contact with gold is particularly helpful.

Note: The Kannada version of this article can be viewed at AYVM blogs.