Significance of Wearing Metti
Metti or the toe ring is worn by women in India as an indicator / symbol of their married status. It is referred to in Hindi as ‘bichiya’ , ‘jodav’ in Marathi, ‘mettelu’ in Telugu & ‘kaalungura’ in Kannada. The significance of wearing metti is elaborated.
It is believed that wearing Metti on the second toe exerts pressure on certain nerves in the body that relate to good health and the reproductive system, thus enhancing chances of pro creation. In India we firmly believe in the importance of nerve endings in our toes and it is referred to as ‘prana’ or life force. In other words it also refers to the concept of acupressure points in the toes.
Generally toe rings are made of Silver only since Gold is considered to be ‘ pure’ and hence forbidden from being worn below the waist.
Silver is also said to be a good conductor that is capable of absorbing energy from Mother Earth and passing along the energy to rejuvenate the entire system.
In ancient times it was men who wore mettis as a symbol of their marital status but the practice was discontinued by them for varied reasons. In fact even today in some weddings you will find the groom wearing the metti during the wedding ceremony. In fact there are episodes in ancient Hindu tenets to support this theory.
It is believed that Lord Vishnu with his consort Thayaar decided to teach a lesson to Thirumangai Azhwar who was waylaying and looting newly married couples of their ornaments in the Thirunagari area. He appeared with Thaayaar [ bedecked in gold ornaments] as a couple and was waylaid and looted.
The significance of wearing metti according to Vaishnavas is: Azhwar was unable to remove Lord Vishnu’s metti and is said to have bit it with his strong teeth and removed it. But as the Lord willed otherwise Azhwar was unable to lift the booty and so goes the story of what followed. Even today there are historic & religious references to these episodes in temples in those areas.
It is clearly obvious, not just significance of wearing metti, from this that any practice proposed in the Hindu Dharma is based on science and it is not a religion made of rituals and superstitions but one on strong scientific theories on how to live life.