The Legend of the SOLAH SRINGAAR: The sixteen Love charms of Suhagaan
Amongst the 9 Rasas of human life, Shringaar Rasa has been considered to be an important element in the beauty and fabric of our life. especially for a woman, her attractiveness and adornments make her more complete and desirable, thus establishing her self in a place of subtle power. In the eastern traditions, from time immemorial, the beautification of a woman as a Goddess, As a queen and as a married woman, all have been overemphasised and retain the roots of our deeply anchored SHAKTI traditions.
As per an ancient legend, Rati who was the daughter of Lord Brahma was a plain looking girl and no man found her attractive. She invokes the Goddess and begs for a boon of beauty. at her behest, she is rewarded with the 16 love charms ( SOLAH SRINGAAR) which entitles her and all other such women to become enchanting and beautiful to her beloved. this makes Rati the qualified wife of KAMA: the Lord of lust, love & desire.
The solah sringaar celebrates the feminine in all her splendour and are thus listed :
- Bindi: Bindi is the red dot applied at the forehead and is a sacred mark of Shakti. The dot is dimensionless and hence the fundamental unit of all life.
2. Mangalsutra: This is the sacred thread of marriage and is worn around the neck of a married woman, almost boasting of her bounty and fullness of being in a married state.
3. Itr: Itr is the fragrance adorned by her around her neck, armpits and generally makes her seductive to her beloved. jasmine, mogra and rose flowers are natural aphrodisiacs and used as Itrs.
4.Tamboola Patra: The mouth is made fragrant by chewing the Tamboola/ beetel leaves and hence enhance proximity with her beloved.
5. Kajal: Large and enticing eyes are arranged through the application of Kohl/Kajal.
6. Mehndi/Henna: Applying the juice of crushed henna leaves and making designs of them on feet and hands is a symbol of a married woman.
7. Alta: A red dye often anointed at the feet symbolize the entry of an auspicious principle in her beloved’s household life.
8. Saree: A saree is an Indian dress and can be draped in many different ways and is worn by all women from various castes and backgrounds. Different Indian states have separate traditions and styles of this attire.
9. Keshapasarachna: These are hair accessories worn by bridal women and include jewels like the tiara or hairpins and flowers threaded as Gajraas.
10. Aarsi & Hathphool: The Indian brides wear rings on all 8 fingers excepting the two thumbs. they are attached to a bangle worn at the wrist.
11. Kamarband: A beautiful piece of jewellery that circles around the waist of a woman make her lust her beloved towards her.
12. Chuddiyan: The tinkling and clanking bangles pre-announce her arrival and thus foreplay with her beloved.
13. Baajubandh: Armlets, bracelets worn around her forearm are often disguised in her clothes and unveiled at the invitation of intimacy by her beloved.
14. Haar: Heavy necklaces made of gold and silver around her slender neck are inviting and add to her glory.
15. Sindoor: For a married woman, all her life, every single day, she anoints this red coloured vermillion to invite auspiciousness and to pray for her beloved’s long and healthy life.
16. Bichhua, Anklets & Nath: Bichuas are toe rings and mark a married status. nose pins are called Naths and worn in nose pricks.
These 16 solah sringaars are the mark of a married woman and symbolic of her being a womb of deep blessings, auspiciousness and samridhi(abundance) for herself and her husband.