In fact, not only in Kamma marriages, for all communities in Hinduism, usage of mango leaves is very important during any auspicious occasion. Not only in marriages, will every festival, small or big, not be celebrated without tying a string of mango leaves to the primary entrance. Now the question raises ‘why only mango leaves’?
Prima facie, mango leaves are believed to be auspicious. Thus every family in Hinduism make it a ritual to tie mango leaves to the main door. In marriages, strings of mango leaves are tied amidst the auspicious and harmonious band and music. This ritual exists for ages. In addition, while tying the strings of mango leaves, relatives and other guests are specially invited. Guests and friends are requested to tie those strings with their hands as the parents of the bride (mostly marriages happen in brides’ houses) believe that elders from the region tying strings of mango leaves is nothing but blessing their children wholeheartedly, which can be considered as a primary and robust foundation for better married lives. This process would be followed by a small treat in a lively ambience cracking jokes, sharing experiences, passing on suggestions and involving every positive form of communication. In a way, this kind of treats are very much required in human lives, as they throw up opportunities to restore relationships and make new kinships. Indeed it is a very small occasion but this process conveys that the organization of every occasion, regardless of the size of the event, is connected with some social good.
Mango leaves are highly auspicious for Hindus. Many believe that the nuptial of Lord Shiva and goddess Parvathi Devi occurred in the shade of a mango tree and thus, extreme importance is given to mango leaves in every Hindu marriage. Some others believe mango leaves are a manifestation of Lord Brahma. In addition, in almost all devotional rituals that are regularly conducted at home, mango leaves are used in multiple ways. For instance, they are kept in water, akin to betel leaves, and the water is splintered on the images and other components as per the process.
Puranas assert that mango leaves are highly favoured by deities. Thus in marriages there is custom of tying mango leaves to a bamboo stick and put in in front of mandap. This ritual even followed today as people believe that those mango leaves would attract deities to marriage and they would bestow their sacred blessings to the couple. Several other beliefs exist. One among them is mango leaves are a demonstration of healthy kids and by keeping those leaves in the premises of marriage would have a positive bearing on kids and the respective couple would have accomplished descendants.
‘Thoranam’ or ‘Deekshakankanam’
In the process of marriage the priest would take a mango leaf, fold it and tie it after which the same would strapped to the forehands of bride and bride groom. This is very sacred and called ‘Thoranam’ or ‘Deekshakankanam’. The essence behind tying this is as long as the program continues the partakers would participate with utmost commitment. This ‘thoranam’ is also used in all kinds of devotional rituals.
What does Ayurveda say?
As puranas, the science of Ayurveda has its own health logics behind the concept of using mango leaves. Ayurveda says when mango leaves are used in functions, the air that flows out would be useful to a human body in multiple ways. In this kind of functions 100s of guests and participants gather at one place. It can be either in a closed auditorium or a open place. When many people gather at one place Carbon dioxide would be released in huge quantities. The mango leaves would absorb that carbon dioxide and release oxygen. Secondly, the color green will give a pleasant feeling to the tired eyes. Though all leaves have this benefit, the length of green leaves and their flexibility for preparing strings or thoranams would make them obvious choice. When the couple makes rounds around the fire, mango shoots and twigs are used as fire stock as the gases released have some healthy benefits. For these many reasons mango leaves have become a mandatory appliance in Hindu marriages and functions. According to Ayurveda, usage of banana tree trunks and coconut twigs also has lot of scientific relevance, which would be explained in next articles.
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