Each culture has their own traditions and rituals that they value when they get married. Indian weddings are no different. On the all important day of tying the knot, there are various ways that each culture practice their traditions. Throughout the many rituals of a Hindu marriage, tying Thaali (a sacred thread), also known as Mangalyam, acts as the most important and essential ritual of all. In fact the bride and groom are not considered married until the groom has tied this sacred thread into a knot.
The Importance Of Tying 3 Knots In A Hindu Marriage
In the wedding program, the groom ties the thaali amidst the melam thaalam, while the guests bless the couple by showering them with rice and flowers.
In Hindu weddings, the couple will only be regarded as husband and wife once the groom ties the sacred thread around the bride’s neck, with exactly three knots. Tying the thaali is referred to as ‘mangalya dhaaram’ and the three knots are called ‘moondru mudichi’.
The actual tying of the knot varies. The groom only needs to tie the first two knots, while his sister or anyone in similar relation ties the remaining one knot. However, in some instances, the groom is the one to tie all the three knots.
Throughout the mangalya dhaaram, the priest will recite Vedic chants:
“Mangalyam tantunanena mama jeevana hetuna
kanthe bandhami subhaage twam jeeva sarada shatam”
Which bring the meaning of:
“I am trying this sacred thread around your neck, which is essential for my long life. May we have many auspicious attributes for a long and happy life for a hundred years.”
The first two knots which are tied by the groom represent the commitment of the couple and to assure the happiness and good future of the bride. Meanwhile, the third knot tied by the groom’s sister symbolizes the commitment between the two families.
The three knots can also symbolize three promises by the husband to his dearly beloved wife, which are known as manasa, vaacha and karmena. These essentially means, believing it, saying it and executing it. The sacred thread symbolizes that the couple will stay committed to each other, the bride will be cared for and the groom will be taken care of by the bride for the rest of their lives.