A lighted lamp, however small or large, is an auspicious sight in all Hindu weddings. All rituals are conducted in the presence of the Holy fire. It is said that the light is proof of happiness and paves the way for a bright future for the new couple.
Significance of Mangala Arathi Ritual in Tamil Mudaliyar Weddings
During the wedding ceremony, in various instances, you will notice a married woman performing an Arathi for the new couple. This is known as Mangala Arathi and is a sacred ritual carried out for enhancing prosperity and warding off any evil eye. Diyas or lighted lamps have always been considered auspicious and are present in all Mudaliyar marriage rituals that are carried out. The Arathi is performed by placing several auspicious items like turmeric, Kumkum, camphor, betel leaves on a silver plate. A lighted lamp is also placed in the centre of the plate. Sumangalis (married woman with a live husband) of the family are responsible for conducting the Arathi. Odd number of sumangalis take this plate and circle it, around the new couple, thrice in the clockwise direction and thrice in the anti-clockwise direction. This is to ensure that all negative energy is removed from the surroundings. It is believed that the new couple is then blessed with positive energy and high vibrations emitted from each blessing during this ritual.
Only sumangali pengal (married women whose husbands are alive) are allowed to perform the Arathi, as it is an age-old custom to inspire the young couple and set a good example of a happy married life.
Mangala arati, meaning the end of rituals, is a final one on the list of wedding rituals for a Tamil Mudaliyar wedding. It implies that all the rituals have been completed successfully and show that the bride and groom are ready to leave behind their journey as singles to embark upon a wonderful ride together.