Why do we wear Tilak and Bindi (September 2005)

Most Hindus wear a Tilak or Bindi (kumkum) on the forehead – particularly on religious or special ceremonies. The Tilak is applied on saints and the Lord as a form of worship. The Tilak is also applied to welcome people, or to honor a guest or when bidding farewell to a son/daughter/relatives. It invokes a feeling of sanctity in the wearer and others.

The chandan/kumkum or bhasma, which is offered to the Lord, is taken back as Prasad and applied on our foreheads. “May I remember the Lord. May this pious feeling pervade all my activities. May I be righteous in my deeds.”

The tilak covers the spot between the eyebrows which is the seat of memory and thinking. It is known as Gyan Chakra. The entire body emanates energy in the form of electromagnetic waves – the forehead and the subtle spot between the eyebrows. That is why worry generates heat and causes a headache. The tilak cools the forehead, protects us and prevents energy loss. This is also the spot which is recommended to concentrate for achieving meditative state. The red color of tilak denotes action whereas white chandan tilak denotes peace.

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