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Brought to the limelight in the immortal monologue by the beautiful Deepika Padukone in Om Shanti Om, the value of the pinch of sindhur that a married woman applies on her forehead, close to her hairline is not one that can be trivialized. In traditional Hindu culture, a woman wears a pinch of Sindhur on her maang from the day she is married, until the day that her husband passes, should he die before her and hence is the quintessential symbol of a married Indian woman. Applied with thoughts of the husbands longevity and health, the recent findings of additives and preservatives in Sindhur have caused a lot of worry to women, and the safer, natural alternative is to use organically prepared Sindhur.
The origin of tradition
The tradition of wearing sindhur in the hair partition has been carried down ever since Hindu culture was conceived. It is said that Sati, the wife of Shiva, who is considered the ideal wife in mythology, caring and life-giving and yet, equally powerful is symbolized by the colors red and vermillion. The legend goes on to say that the Goddess protects any man whose wife wears the vermillion sea in her hair parting.
Other women in alegend who have been known to wear Sindhur are Radha, who transformed the Sindhur into a flame on her forehead and Draupadi, who was the wife of the Pandavas and is known to have wiped off her Sindhur in disgust. The holy texts are also filled with mention of the Sindhur and its various holy implications.
Marriage rituals in connection with Sindhur
The first time that Sindhuris put on a woman’s maang is during a special ceremony at her wedding called the Sindhur Dana. It is one of the most important traditions that are followed during a wedding. During the Sindhur Dana, the groom puts the Sindhuron the bride’s forehead for the first time to symbolize the bond that their marriage creates. In some communities, however, it is the mother of the groom that performs this ritual thereby welcoming the new bride into the family.
Implications of Sindhur
For a new bride, there are many implications of the pinch of Sindhur that she is obliged to apply on her maang every day, they are:
Concerns about additives in Sindur
Commercially available Sindhur is the powdered version of cinnabar that is a mercury compound and is naturally occurring in the earth. In spite of all the benefits that some profess, the toxicity of Mercury Sulphide or cinnabar is still under question. Mercury is a cumulative poison,and until it has been proven whether or not cinnabar is 100% safe, the better alternative would be to choose traditional sindhur. Traditionally Organic Sindur is made from turmeric with additional alum or lime and not mercury sulphide. The internet is filled with websites that profess the multiple benefits of the daily application of mercury for improving brain function but unless proven harmless, it might be healthier for your body in the long term to choose Organic Sindhur.
Whether to profess your true, everlasting love for your husband or as a style statement, the splash of red on your forehead changes the way you see things and the way people see you. What better way to do it than the natural way, get Organic Sindur products with just one click.
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