Is applying sindoor after marriage mandatory or just a choice? Do Hindu scripture say anything about applying sindoor after marriage?
The book Dharma Bindu quotes Veda Vyasa as follows:
Vyasa Maharshi gave the instructions as follows:
Haridraamkumkumamchaiva sindhuram kajjalam tathaa,
Kurpaanakam cha taambolam mangalaabharanam shubham|
Kesha samskaara kabari kara karnaad bhushanam,
Bhartur aayushyami -cchanti dooshayenna Pativrataa|
Praatah kaaletu yaa naari dadyaadarghyam vivasvate,
Sapta janmaani vaidhavyaam saa naari naiva pashyati|
Those women who are interested in the longevity of their husbands should not to ignore the high significance of turmeric powder, kumkuma, eyetex, vastra, jewellery like ear studs, bangles, necklaces etc. As at the early mornings, women offering Arghya or water for worshipping Surya Deva would avoiod widow hood for seven births ahead!
So, scriptures definitely talk about the importance that Sindhoor or Kumkuma has in a married Hindu woman's life.