Mangala Dhosa--- Marry a Tree!!!!

Mangala Dosha, also known as Mangal Dosh because of schwa deletion, is a Hindu superstition prevalent in India and Nepal. A person born under the influence of Mars (Mangala) as per Hindu astrology is said to have "mangala dosha" ("mars defect"); such a person is called a Mangalik (or Manglik). According to the superstition, the marriage between a Manglik and a non-Manglik is disastrous.

People who believe in this superstition think that a Mangalik bride will cause her husband's early death. To prevent this disaster, the bride may be married to a tree (such as banana or peepal), an animal, or an inanimate object. This mock marriage custom has different names depending on the "groom" used in the ceremony; for example, if the bride is married to a clay pot (kumbha), the ceremony is called "kumbh-vivah" ("wedding with a pot"). It is believed that all the evil effects resulting from the Mangala Dosha befall on the mock "groom": the bride is thus freed from the consequences of being a Mangalik, and her subsequent marriage to a human is expected to be a happy one

There was even a lawsuit filed against Aishwarya Rai, the Indian film star and a former Miss World, for following this tradition and marrying a tree. Apparently, her astrological sign was incompatible with that of her fiancÚ, Abhishek Bachchan, a Bollywood star.

Marriage with trees, plants and inanimate objects are quite common instances in the ancient Hindu society. Tulsi and Pipal tree are the most common bridegrooms in Hindu culture.

According to H.A. Rose, from his book of Religious Life of Indian People, when a wealthy Hindu do not have a son, he will get a Brahmin married to a Tulsi plant for the fulfillment of his wishes. This is regarded as a fairy metamorphosed by Lord Krisna. The ceremonies are honored in full and are quite expensive. The Tulsi is then formally given to the Brahmin, who is thought to be the donor's son in law for the rest of his life, because he has traditionally married his bride by his fictitious father in law.

In the Bhagvad Gita, a famous quote by Krisna is: "I am Asvattha (Pipal) among the trees. It is believed that spirits delight to sit on the branches of these trees and listen to the rustling of the leaves." This tree is sometimes adorned with a sacred thread, and thought as to be Lord Brahma, most of the Hindus ceremonies and rituals of investiture are performed over it. The mysterious rustling of the quavering leaves, resembles those of the poplar tree and is one cause of the superstitious wonder, due to which the tree is respected.

Proxy marriages are also performed with the trees sometimes. The Holkar of Indore send his sword tied with a handkerchief to the bride's house, in the hands of a shepherd. The marriage was made official with the maharaja. The Hindu texts show too many instances of marriages being held with the tree. One instance shows that a bridegroom, who was very ugly, but in love with a girl and vice versa, send across his Sitar or a string instrument to the bride's house, which she accepted and came to him as a bride. These unusual types of marriages were very common in the past, but are no longer in practice.

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