Hindus wear a mark on their foreheads, between the eyebrows. This point, known
by various names such as Ajna Chakra, Third Eye, and Eye of Wisdom, is
the most important psychic location
human body. According to ancient
Hindu sages, red lead powder (sindoor) and sandalwood paste have cooling
properties, and therefore using these substances on the forehead between the
eyebrows cools the nerve center associated with this location, and
consequently the mind becomes calm and quiet.
This central spot therefore is of tremendous importance and the putting of the
coloured mark symbolizes the quest for the 'opening' of the third eye. It is
the aim of yogis and devout Hindus to 'open' this third eye by
meditation. The 'opening' of the third eye means the unification of the
conscious and subconscious minds, the point where all elements of duality
merge into one universal entity.
A tilak applied on this area is meant to invoke religious feelings and
emotions of deep concentration
focus. This is recognized as a religious mark. All rites and ceremonies of
the Hindus begin with a vermilion mark (tilak)
topped with a few grains of rice placed on this spot with the index finger or
the thumb. The same custom is followed in welcoming or bidding farewell to
guests or relations.
The mark does not have any standard shape and form and is applied
differently by members of different Hindu sects and sub-sects.
applied as a red, yellow, or saffron 'U' by worshippers of Lord Vishnu. Worshippers of Lord
Shiva apply it as three horizontal lines of ash (Bhasma), and the worshippers
of Devi (Shakti) apply Kumkum - a red turmeric powder. When they apply Tilak,
they say: "O Lord, protect me from the evil effects of the Trigunatmika Maya
which has Satwa, Rajas and Tamas as its binding cords".
Men wear an elongated dot or tilak, while women wear a round dot or Bindi.
Bindis are worn by women as a symbol of their wedding vows. Myth is that it
wearer from the
The custom has evolved now and both married and unmarried girls wear
more as a fashion statement than for any pious reasons. These ready-made Bindis can be of any imaginable shape and
to match the occasion!