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Sunday, April 11, 2010

Why do married women wear sindoor

    I  A M  S I N G LE         I  A M  M A R R I E D

Sindoor is a red powder (Vermilion) used by married Hindu women. Single women wear the dot in different colors ("bindi" in Hindi) but do not apply sindoor. 

During the marriage ceremony (Sindoor-Dana), the groom applies sindoor to the parting-line of his bride's hair (also called mang) to show that she is now a married woman. Subsequent sindoor is applied by the wife as part of her dressing routine. Once widowed, a woman is not supposed to wear sindoor. 

In Hindu culture, the tradition of wearing Sindoor is said to have been prevailing through more than 5,000 years. According to the scholars, red is the color of power and vermilion represents the female energy of Sati and Parvati. Sati is considered an ideal Hindu wife because she gave her life for her husband's honor. Hindus believe that Goddess Parvati grants "Akhand Soubhagya" (lifelong good fortune) to all the females who wear sindoor in their hair parting.

S A T I 


Sindoor expresses a woman's desire for a long life for their husbands. The reason sindoor is red is because it comes from vermilion, and it is said to represent strength and love. The displaying of the sindoor is considered very important since the bride belongs to the groom. It also signifies that the wife is now under the protection of her husband and that anyone who harms her would find that their blood would be shed.

Traditional Sindoor is made with turmeric and alum or lime, or from other herbal ingredients

Adi Sankaracharya writes in Soundarya Lahari (Translated bY P. R. Ramachander) 

"Tanothu kshemam nas tava vadhana-saundarya lahari. Parivaha-sthrotah-saraniriva seemantha-saranih. Vahanti sinduram prabala-kabari-bhara-thimira-. Dvisham brindair bandi-krtham iva navin'arka kiranam"
Oh mother, let the line parting thine hairs, Which looks like a canal, Through which the rushing waves of your beauty ebbs, And which on both sides imprisons, Your Vermilion , which is like a rising sun, By using your hair which is dark like, The platoon of soldiers of the enemy, Protect us and give us peace.


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