Marrying a tree, making a round of several temples and sitting on Abhishek Bachchan's left while performing rituals at the Sankat Mochan Mandir in Varanasi are just some of the things that were supposed to have helped overcome the cosmic hurdles which Aishwarya Rai's manglik status put on the marriage. But who exactly is a manglik?
Simply, it refers to the presence of Mars in certain houses of the birth chart. Rai, born on November 1, 1973, is reportedly a manglik, a fact that acted as a speedbreaker to the wedding plans of Bollywood's most glamorous couple.
Since her sun sign is Scorpio, the presence of Mars in her birth chart is believed to have an adverse effect. Abhishek was born on February 5, 1976.
Celebrated astrologer Jajgit Uppal explained: "If Mars appears in any one of six positions in a person's chart, they are considered manglik. This indicates a propensity towards danger to life, unhappiness at home (with the mother-in-law, for instance), divorce or separation, sickness, loss of business or hot-headness."
One of the most common beliefs is that if a manglik person marries a non-manglik, the non-manglik spouse might die.
Uppal refutes this outright. "No single statement is applicable in astrology. Religion brings in rituals and pujaris scare people and suggest these remedies. Couples fulfill these for peace of mind. But classical astrologers believe you cannot be the arbiter of destiny," he said.
He added that being manglik was fairly common and was not a status that can be reversed. "It depends on your time of birth and the position of Mars. But if a manglik marries another manglik, it's fine," he said.
Mars is considered one of the most important planets in Indian astrology. It signifies energy, passion, aggression, activity, marital affairs, honour, fame, physical prowess, stamina and health.
In Hindi, Mars is variously known as Mangal. It takes 45 days to traverse 30 degrees arc of the zodiac, or one zodiac sign.