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Significance of
Karimani (Dharemani) and Mangalasutra
By Mohan Shenoy
Significance of
Karimani (Dharemani) and Mangalasutra
By Mohan Shenoy
        No one knows for sure what shape or form an ID to indicate married status should be.

        The Mangal Sutra and Karimani are symbols of married status. All Hindu women in the past wished to be protected from lewd men by various means. The suttungal silver or other metal rings around the second toe on each foot make sound and announce that a married woman is approaching. An ankle chain may also do the same thing.
       
        A large red bindi used to be a signal of a Hindu married woman but now it is losing significance because converted Christian women are also wearing it. The Mangal Sutra and Karimani have changed shapes and forms over the years. Selection of these must be made depending upon who is going to look at them.
     
        In America the diamond ring is the symbol of married status, usually. I was wondering why my lady colleagues were very excited by my beautiful diamond ring. If a married woman lives in India or visits India then it is enough if there are small round black beads all along the necklace (about 60 of them) and any kind of pendant.

        The pendant shown in the pictures is what is known as 'Taali' in Kannada, which is more important for most South Indian woman than the Karimanis.
         The two gold octagonal bodies are supposed to be equivalent to any symbols of married status if they are separated by another bead like an oblong coral among the Gowd Saraswat Braahman women.

        The GSB women wear the Mangalasutra when they appear in temples, festivals, GSB meetings, or when visiting GSB homes for any ceremonial activity. Karimani or Dharemani is worn always particularly below the Vindhya range such as in Maharashtra and other southern states in India. Outside India also Karimani has more significance.
  
        These comprise the Dhare Mani a necklace tied around the bride by the bridegroom once the marriage is performed in front of well-wishers, friends and relatives. It is a symbol declaring that the bride is given to the bridegroom as his wife and to live together free of any interferences or objections by any one in the community. Dhare is stream. Stream of water or milk. Mani is bead. When the bride is given by symbolic pouring of water or milk on the hands of the couple with a coconut placed on the palms, by the parents or guardians accompanied by spoken sentences indicating that the bride is now being legally and fully and completely being transferred to the bridegroom as his wife, the marriage is complete. The Kanyadaana is done.
        'Kanya' means a virgin. 'Daana' is being given. Kanyadaana is done by Dhare (like potable water poured into the cupped palms of a person to drink by sucking it into his mouth).

        They are all symbolic items and Acts in place of written documents. Nowadays the marriage is incomplete if there is no written agreement signed by both the bride and the bridegroom.

Essential parts of Mangalasutra:
Vaina Daar This signifies that the woman has performed the Vaina Puja or Mangala Gowri Vrita or Gowri Puja.

Black beads where the two ends are tied. Gold Box in the middle which alone by itself can form the Thaali

Twelve corals are required the number is important since less or more will not be correct.

Size of the coral is not important.

Essential part of Karimani is the Thaali which makes the black bead necklace a Karimani. Without the Thaali the necklace is only a necklace.

One of the necklaces is more important than the other if it has been tied around the neck of the bride by the husband. Therefore it is more important in sanctity. In other communities the Thaali is more important and therefore the necklace with the Thaali has more sanctity.

In Mangalasutra the golden box is the Thaali.

The Kanimani or Dharemani is tied around the neck of the bride as a symbol of Kanyadaana or giving the bride to the bridegroom and the mother or any person who performs the Kanyadaana ties it around the neck of the bride.

Vaina Daar This signifies that the woman has performed the Vaina Puja or Mangala Gowri Vrita or Gowri Puja.

The Mangal Sutra and Karimani have changed shapes and forms over the years. Selection of these must be made depending upon who is going to look at them.In America the diamond ring is the symbol of married status, usually. I was wondering why my lady colleagues were very excited by my beautiful diamond ring

If a married woman lives in India or visits India then it is enough if there are small round black beads all along the necklace (about 60 of them) and any kind of pendant.
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