The ongoing currency crisis that the demonetization triggered has become a dark shadow over the wedding season since the shortage of liquid cash is proving an insurmountable hurdle for both the families and wedding organisers. The entire event remains largely dominated by physical cash.

 

Many marriages are reportedly postponed, some have been cancelled, and in general, a sense of gloom seems to have descended into what should be some of the happiest days in a couple's life.

 

However, Indians should not be too disheartened. Karnataka has long had a solution to these woes.

 

Kuvempu, the renowned Kannada poet and the first Jnanapeeth Award winner of Karnataka, widely campaigned for pure and noble marriages. And to this end, he even created a format to achieve this goal.

 

He named the ritual 'Mantra Mangalya' and arranged the marriages of all his daughters and sons in this manner. Thousands of youths across Karnataka have adored, adopted and propagated ‘Mantra Mangalya’. Even today hundreds of couples choose this concept for their marriage every year.

 

Here are the main features of Mantra Mangalya:

  • 'Mantra Mangalya' is a name of a booklet published by Kuvempu which details the rituals for this kind of marriage. The rituals comprise the chanting of Upanishadic Mantras and good shlokas from our ancient scriptures.
  • The mantras should be chanted properly, and their meanings should be explained loudly to the gathering. The bride-bridegroom need not recite the mantra as they are expected to do so in traditional marriage rituals.
  • Priests are not involved. The elders of both families conduct the rituals.
  • Only close friends and acquaintances are involved in this marriage - though none are 'invited' in the traditional sense. They are expected to lend a hand, and not just attend for a meal.
  • Gifts in any form are not allowed. Friends and relatives can offer their gifts to the bride and the bridegroom but not at the venue in front of the gathering. After the marriage convention, they can go to the bride’s house and extend their blessings and wishes in the form of gifts.
  • A grand exhibition, lavish spending, display of wealth and status are not allowed in this marriage.
  • The total gathering should not exceed 100 members
  • Loud orchestra or music is prohibited.
  • Astrological compulsions, horoscopes, auspicious muhurtams and other superstitions are completely evicted.
  • The display of Gods photos are not allowed in the venue. Only the pictures of ancient saints or mystics like Sri Ramakrishna and Vivekananda should be worshipped. At the most pictures of Sri Ramachandra and Seeta are allowed, as Kuvempu believed they were characters of a great poem.
  • As per the law, the bride and the bridegroom should be of the proper age and exchange vows during the marriage.

 

Recently Karnataka's Social Welfare Minister H Anjaneya arranged the marriage of his daughter as per the Mantra Mangalya rituals in Holalkere, Davanagere district. Around 97 couples had a mass wedding on that day, amidst whom his daughter Anupama got married to Shashwat, a software engineer working in Bengaluru.

 

Out of 97 couples, seven were inter-caste couples and two were Muslims.

 

 

A noble wedding, with these simple concepts, will surely hold unique value in the hearts of the couple, the families and those who attend while also requiring barely any currency at all.