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Deerga sumangali bhava

Dear friends,

Thanks for your response to my query, ‘why our elders didn’t coin an expression of blessings for the husbands too, on par with ‘Deergha sumangali bhava ‘?
I assure that I am aware what ‘ deerga sumangali bhava’ means. I know the Satyavan-Savitri story too where the Lord of death blessed Savitri with the above immortal blessing. I had enacted that story on the school stage and the role allotted to me was nothing less than that of the Yamadarma raja!
Now, let me elaborate my question, the essence of which some of you missed, probably due to my poor expression.:
“When I come alone and fall at your feet, you bless me, ‘deerghayushman bhava ‘ Fine.  But, where is the blessing for my wife ? You wish deerghayus only for me and not for my wife ? On the other hand, when she falls on your feet, your blessing covers my longevity too ! Ithu nyayama ? Is this fair ?
Why don’t you bless me too  ‘ live long with your wife’  just as you wish her ‘live long with your husband’ ?”
Since you have not answered, let me tell you what it could be.
Man is physically stronger than woman but mentally woman is stronger and when they form into a pairing, the required balancing is achieved which helps the smooth going of a family life. Like a silent shock- absorber, the wife absorbs the ups and downs of the journey, counsels his partner when he faces problem and corrects him when he goes astray. She is a pillar for him to ensure his standing and a walking stick when he stumbles. This was how it was in my case and it is like that in most of the matrimony bonds.
So when one of the pairs is separated, the suffering of the other is immeasurable; the loss is irreparable.
In the old society, however, the condition of a widow was much worse than a widower. She was  treated as a sinner, the moment the husband breathed his last. Her loss was more marked than her husband’s if she had preceded him in death. She was denied remarriage as it would adversely affect her late husband’s sojourn in the heaven! She had to suffer humiliation from her own family as, even seeing her face when others get up in the morning was considered a bad omen . She had to watch the wedding of her own son or daughter hiding behind a door as her very presence was feared to destroy the new life-partner- ship. No kumkum mark, no ornaments, no good saris, no smile, no loud words,  no laughter, no flowers on hair and no hair on their head, even !!  She had to lead an extremely austere life without the respect that goes with an ascetic .The society almost eschewed her for all practical purposes.  That life was not worth living and that was why in some part of the countries the widows jumped into the pyre of their husbands.
Thunjathu Aacharyan has described that in no way a widow is better than a veena without strings or a chariot without wheels.
വിതന്ത്രിയാം വീണ, വിച ക്രമാം തേരും,
വിധവയും മൂന്നും സമം എന്ന് കേള്‍പ്പു
That being the pitiable condition of the woman who looses her husband in the olden days, could it be that our forebears wanted to arm her with an additional blessing through ‘deergha sumangali bhava’? Every time she seeks the blessings of her elders alone or along with her husband, she receives the blessings for the longevity of her husband, which she too prays for and which ensures her mangalyam, her living with due respect for a married woman.
Please don’t ask me to furnish an attested copy of the page of vedam or sastram, where it is said so. I won’t be.  What I said is purely my own thinking. I am open to hear from the learned, if there is any other reason.
Love and regards,
Oct 27, 2011

1 thought on “Deerga sumangali bhava

  1. Liked your post… But I am in a bit of dilemna though. My lovely wife falls at my feet and asks me to bless her “Dheerga Sumangali Bhava”. It’s at least okay if she gets that blessing when she falls at the feet of elders.
    But when she does that to me and I have to bless her sumangali hood and bless myself with widowhood (it’s frustrating). And she doesn’t get up unless I bless her with those words 🙂
    How’s that for you?

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