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April 13, 2007

Bindi / Tilak - Significant part of Indian culture


Tika or Bindi applied between eyebrows on the forehead by Hindu women is believed to be a symbol of Parvati -- the Shakti(Power) and signifies female energy that can protect them and their spouse from every evil.

It is also believed that pressing the point between the eyebrows (Bhrumadhya) keeps away cold, cough headache, fatigue. Hence while applying Bindi, ladies would press Bhrumadhya to be physically fit. However, these days women use sticker bindis instead of kumkum powder that doesn’t give the above benefit.

Tilak that the hindu men apply on their forehead represents auspiciousness. It can be made of sandal paste (chandan), sacred ashes (Vibhuti) or red tumeric (kumkum). The devotees of Shiva apply sacred ashes on the forehead, the devotees of Vishnu apply sandal paste (Chandan), and the worshippers of Devi or Shakti apply Kumkum, a red tumeric powder.

In ancient India, Tilak was applied according to the occupation of the person; Brahman applied Chandan (sandal paste), Kshatriya Kumkum, Vaishya yellow kesar or turmeric and Shudra black bhasma, kasturi or charcoal powder Tilak.

The space between the two eyebrows is the Ajna Chakra, Sandal paste comes with great medicinal value, apart from acting as a cooling agent it is spiritually beneficial. Chandan reduces body heat when applied at the Bhrumadhya.

Lord Siva's third eye is located at his Brumadhya and it is believed when open it can destroy the whole universe. Similarly, when the third eye of the soul opens it is capable of destroying physical, mental and spiritual (Adhyatmika, Adhidaivika and Adhibhautika) sufferings.

Our endless sins alongwith our three Karmas Sanchita (accumulated works), Prarabdha (Productive works) Agami (current works) are destroyed after concentrating on Bhrumadhya after applying tilak. While applying Tilak and beginning to meditate, one should pray this exercise will help them come closer to the unknown, unseen truth.