The literal meaning of mauli is 'above all'. It is customary to tie a red thread-commonly called a mauli or kalava-on the wrist at the beginning of a religious ceremony. The thread is tied on the right wrist of men and left wrist of women. A person often puts on the red thread on one's wrist when doing a ceremony, ritual or puja, or for certain blessings. The thread helps preserve or imbibe those blessings when it is tied around one's wrist during the ceremony.