Traditions

The Importance and History of Torans

The word Toran is derived from the Sanskrit word Torana that means “to pass”. Although the Buddhist architecture first portrayed the use of torans, they have a major reference in Hindu puranas as well. While torans or bandhanwars can be hung over any door in the building, they are majorly hung over the main entrance door to attract and please Goddess Lakshmi, the consort of Lord Vishnu and the goddess of wealth. Torans are widely found not at the entrance to religious places like temples but also in front of the main doors of many houses.

There are several reasons why Hindus consider using torans at the entrance to their houses important. Read on to know some of them and how you can benefit from hanging one in your home.

Relief from Stress and Anxiety

Torans are believed to induce a calming effect in their surroundings. They help to keep stress, anxiety and other negative feelings or emotions at bay and is especially true of green coloured torans. This is why mango leaves are hung as torans in many houses. These leaves have the additional property of being able to purify the air in the surroundings around the home.

Keep Away Evil Eye

Traditional torans like the ones made from orange-coloured marigolds can ward off an evil eye. They save the inhabitants of the house where the toran is hung from a distressing effect. This distressing effect can be due to the raja-tama vibrations produced from vices like hatred and jealousy.

Make Desires Come True

Torans are believed to have the power to help one have his/her desires fulfilled. It is a common belief that torans hung at the main entrance of the home help in making the desires and wishes of the houseowner come true.

Spread Radiance and Happiness

Torans are said to spread radiance and happiness around them. Hence, torans at the entrance of a home help the guests coming home experience a cordial and warm welcome when they visit the house inmates. They are also the first signs of greeting visitors with friendly vibes.

Today, torans are readily available to buy in various sizes, designs and colours and are made from various materials. The most common colours used for torans today are red, yellow, saffron and green. Each colour has its own significance. Red symbolises marital bliss and power while yellow is associated with wisdom, growth, harmony and the onset of spring. Saffron represents auspiciousness and symbolises purity and generosity. Green is a sign of peace, happiness, prosperity and fertility. This colour is also related to stability of emotional imbalances and good fortune.

Before the modern decorative torans became popular, it was a common practice to use torans made from natural sources. Garlands made from marigold flowers were used as torans in North India. These flowers have the ability to keep bad odour and mosquitoes away. On the other hand, people from South India preferred to use mango leaves tied on a string. These leaves represent fertility along with the ability to release oxygen and absorb carbon dioxide. The practice is still followed at times during special and auspicious occasions.

 

Written by – Deepthi K

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