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The Science of 16 Shringar
Since time immemorial Indian brides-to-be have been taught the importance of ‘Solar Srringaara’. The sixteen pieces of jewelry are not only symbols of the bride’s marital status, but have deep-rooted implications. Even Indian mythology has some interesting examples. Remember the episode in sage Valmiki’s epic Ramayana when Anusuya gives her ornaments to Sita and tells her that a married woman must always be adorned with the Solar Shringaar! We also find references to Shringaars in the epic poem Geet Govind by Jayadeva when Radha asks Lord Krishna to adorn her body with jewellery, her hair with flowers, put Hindi on her forehead and earrings on her ears when it is time to go Home. Srringaar pieces not only serve the purpose of adorning a woman but are also important signs of her social status.
Popular culture would have us believe that our heritage, our customs and rituals have no logical basis for themselves. However, on the contrary, these rituals are the development of scientific studies and research. Indian sages and seers were scholars of astrology, Ayurveda and astronomy. Their research provides us with adequate explanations behind the decorations.
There are only sixteen items to beautify the bride and no more, no less. This is because Solah Shringaar corresponds to the sixteen changes of the moon that are associated with a woman’s menstrual cycle. This has a negative effect on a woman’s mental and physical health. Our ancient sages believed that these effects could be reversed by wearing sixteen beauty products and jewelry. There are scientific reasons behind every element of Shringaar that enhances the beauty of the bride. Reasons help her become more skilled in her duties as a wife.
Shringaars that add color
Sindoor is the most important element of Solah Shringaar. It symbolizes not only the beginning of a woman’s marriage but also the beginning of her sexual life. It is applied to the middle parting of the bride’s hair where the brahmarandra opening is located, which is the feminine point of balance. The mercury present in the sindoor helps in cooling the bride. After marriage, a free-spirited girl turns into a woman and has to take on responsibilities that can devitalize her. Sindoor is very important for the bride as it will help her to maintain serenity and peace.
bindi, worn on the forehead between the eyebrows instantly beautifies the bride and makes her beautiful features even more gorgeous. The bindi not only accentuates her features but activates the female Ajna Chakra or forehead chakra through the pressure applied by the weight of the bindi. It is believed that Ajna, translated as ‘commando’, is the eye of intuition. This chakra acts as a conduit for all spiritual energy coming from the environment. It also protects the chakra from surrounding negative energy. A bride is expected to perform her duties skillfully, for which her Ajna Chakra must be properly activated so that she can maintain mental balance in her new home and absorb new energies.
mehendi, the most basic component of Solah Shringaar, it not only gives color to the bride’s hands and feet but also has medicinal properties. Weddings are serious business in India and can be very cumbersome. Therefore, on the night before the wedding, mehendi or henna is applied to the hands and feet – the home of the nerve endings of our body, in order to relieve them of stress and relieve them. Also, mehendi heals minor cuts and bruises that the bride may have received during the preparations.
kohl, used since the time of the Greek queen Cleopatra not only makes the bride’s eyes look expressive and innocent, but is believed to cleanse the eyes of pollutants. It also protects the eyes from harmful sun rays. Weddings can be exhausting for a bride because many preparations are involved that last for months.
Hindu brides wear dresses in colors like red, maroon and pink on their wedding day because these colors signify fertility and passion. Red and orange are associated with the rising sun, which means the beginning of a new life for the bride. Also in Hindu tradition, the planet Mars which is reddish in color is associated with marriage and hence these colors are preferred by Hindu brides. These colors fill the bride with vitality and fire that are important for her married life.
Shrigaars adding the beat
Nath, it is not only a symbol of marriage, but also has an Ayurvedic meaning. Having a nose piercing on the left side is common for Indian brides for good reason. The place for nose piercing is connected to the female reproductive organs. They say it relieves menstrual and childbirth pains. Not only that, the piercing also contributes to the general reproductive health of the bride making her fertile enough to reproduce. The nose piercing is also associated with the protection of the bride’s nasal passage, preventing her from any infection when she enters a new environment. The modern version of the nath is called a nose ring which is smaller than its older version and can be worn with any outfit.
Choodicur/chuda it looks divine on the bride’s hands. Apart from being a sign of her siihaag, choodian and paval help the bride maintain her energy levels throughout the day. Her power, which is spent while doing household chores, vibrates back into the body through the sound waves produced by the choodian and papa. Also, payal prevents inflammation of the soles and helps general blood circulation in the body. Hindus also believe that the crackling sound of choodivan and papal helps ward off negative or evil energy. The modern bride prefers to wear bracelets and ankle boots, which are much more elegant and modern.
Jewelry is the most prominent element of a woman’s wedding costume. They enhance the look of the bride like nothing else. Gold and silver ornaments such as mangalsutra, Kamarbandh, Bajubandh, Harm: Karnphool, Maangteeka and Bichua etc. are worn by Indian brides. It is believed that gold has a hot effect, and silver has cooling properties on the skin, thus helping to maintain body temperature. These metals are used in abundance for the bride’s trousers because they have cancer-preventing properties. Emperor Akbar is believed to have gifted many pieces of unique navratan and kundari jewelery to his beloved Mumtaz Mahal.
Shringaars that add fragrance
Gajra is a bouquet or string of flowers, usually of jasmine, that the bride wears in her hair to make her hairstyle stand out. They not only beautify the hair, but with their aroma they give the bride a feeling of freshness and calmness on her wedding day when she is tense about leaving her parents and going to her husband’s house.
Itra (perfume) besides the bride smelling heavenly, it stimulates the bride’s senses. Itra made with fragrant ingredients like rose and sandalwood lifts the spirits and spirits of the bride on her wedding day. Fragrances trigger the bride’s emotions and improve her mood on the day she has to leave her parents.
On her wedding day, the bride is the center of attention and must look divine. So Solah Shringaars is of utmost importance for a bride. It is decorated from head to toe to capture the groom’s attention forever and prevent him from straying. Not only on the wedding day, women wear all Solah Shringaars even on festivals like Karvachauth and Teej as a sign of love for their husbands.
However, modern brides have given a modern twist to Shringaara items. For example, liquid Sindoor has replaced the traditional powder one. The gajra has been replaced by various hair accessories such as artificial flowers and metal hairpins. Today, instead of Menendi tattoos that take hours to apply, brides are opting for Mehendi tattoos that are quicker to apply. The cinnabar bindi has given way to pasted ones with kundan or zircon stones on them which can be worn with traditional and Indo-Western wear.
Bring back the charm
Indian brides, though not so conventional anymore, but have not forgotten the importance of these items and are still ingrained. Looks are a gift from God, but beauty is what you can acquire, and solar shringar will help you achieve that.
So brides-to-be and all other women, bring out all your fine jewelry and cosmetics from your cupboards and flaunt them proudly, because now you know how very beneficial Solah Shringaar is. Not only will you benefit yourself, but you will also make your husband go crazy for you by waking him up to the rhythmic sound of your chhoodian or papal and asking him to decorate your hairstyle with sindoor and your luxuriant hair with gajra. So dress up more ‘significantly!’
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