Tag Archives: Sandalwood

Wednesday Words – Bindi – What does Color Of Bindi Signifies?

Color Of Bindi
Color Of Bindi

In my post of last Wednesday, “Bindi – More than Just A Red Dot” I wrote about importance of putting a Bindi on the forehead, and significance of the place where we put our Bindi. A simple tradition which started with roots so deep in spirituality, has now taken an altogether different aspect and is presently worn to express more of our fashionable quotient.

Color Of Bindi
Fashionable Bindi Design

 

In today’s post I want to write about relevance of color associated with Bindi.

 

 

 

 

 

Firstly, Bindi is not associated with women only, but men too used to put a Bindi on their forehead, more popularly known as Tilak. Hindu men put Tilak on their foreheads on auspicious occasions or while praying to God.

Color Of Bindi
Men with a Bindi/Tilak

In ancient times, Bindi of varying colors were used for categorizing men with regard to their place and role in Varna/caste system. Point to note here is that, this Varna System has nothing to do with the caste politics that is preached or executed today. Infact it was based on the roles of a person in the society and not merely on birth.

Color Of Bindi
A Brahmin with White Tilak

 

So Brahmins, who at that time were considered as teachers and priests, used to wear a White Sandalwood Tilak on their forehead. White being the color of purity and of divinity, suited this categorization.

Color Of Bindi
Abhishek Singh in Red Tilak

 

 

 

 

Kshatriya or Raajputs, used to wear a Red Tilak on their forehead, as they belong to the class of Kings, warriors, ministers and administrators. Red being the color of passion, courage and of heroism, deserve nothing less than belonging to Kshatriya Varna.

 

Color Of Bindi
A Boy in Yellow Tilak

A Yellow Tilak was used by the Vaishya Varna of the society, as they were the businessmen, traders and man of the markets, in the society. Yellow being the color of practicality and prosperity was chosen for Vaishya Varna.

 

Color Of Bindi
Man with Black Tilak

 

 

 

Shudra Varna of society, which was the service class of society, adorned Black Tilak on their forehead. This tilak has more to do with availability and inexpensiveness of color black, as ashes to peasant class, with respect to expensive sandalwood and kumkum. Black color was used to denote service class.

These four Varna used four different colors of Bindis/Tilak, in earlier times. When it comes to women, they usually wore a Red Kumkum Bindi, if they are married. An unmarried girl usually wore no Bindi, but if she does, she used a black one. A widow or a women who never wished to get married, used the sandalwood white bindi.

Bindi – More than Just A Red Dot
Woman Praying

This distinction also has its reasons. Red is color of Love, and a married woman while wearing a Red Bindi, represents and proclaims her love towards her husband. When she is unmarried, she is thought to be as in, not in love with anyone, and ash which was used as black color Bindi earlier, denotes no worldly love. A sandalwood white Bindi was adorned by widowed and priestesses, to show their love towards divinity, the God. Interchangeably they have used Black Bindi too.

 

Color Of Bindi
Red Bindi over Black Ashes

 

In south of India, a different combination of color is used to worn a Bindi on Forehead, wherein a black horizontal line is drawn along with a Red Bindi, on a forehead. 

 

 

 

 

Black again is the color taken from ashes, which represents Shiva. Shiva himself is depicted covered in ashes all the time, as he is beyond the worldly desires. While Red Bindi, here signifies Shakti, the ultimate energy. This kind of Bindi denotes the super fusion of both Shiva and Shakti into Aadidev Ardhnaarishwar. Shiva Shakti

Now that I have written almost everything about the grandness of color in a Bindi, I must tell you that all that I have written was practiced before. At present, Bindi is more of an accessory. We chose color of Bindi to match as per our outfit and nothing more. Unmarried girls happily adorn a Red Bindi, and so does Married women don’t flutter their eyes while wearing a black or white Bindi.

469110105Only difference being, no more kumkum, sandalwood or ashes are used to make a Bindi, rather a glue or some cheap material is used today to make a modern Bindi. But who is complaining? Not me. 🙂

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Wednesday Words – Bindi – More than Just A Red Dot

 

Bindi – More than Just A Red Dot
Bindi – More than Just A Red Dot

If you ask someone to draw a sketch of an Indian Girl, most probably they will draw any girly face and then draw a Bindi (sort of a red dot), on her forehead. 😀 In reality, if you go to any Indian city, you will be disappointed to see, that not every girl, wears this red dot on her forehead. 🙂

I couldn’t find out, who started this tradition of wearing Bindi? But, I do found out why it started, and what is it’s actual significance?

Bindi – More than Just A Red Dot
A Girl From Indian Village

Now a days, mostly north Indians women wear Bindi as a symbol of their marital status. A Red Bindi is mostly worn by married women on their forehead. Widowed and unmarried women don’t wear Bindi. Even if they do, they wear a Black Bindi or Sandalwood Bindi. But, these customs are not followed religiously everywhere, and I think it’s for the best, because Bindi is not supposed to show your marital status or your fashion statement, but rather your spiritual self.

Bindi – More than Just A Red Dot
Woman wearing Bindi on her forehead

Before we go about exploring Bindi, lets first see the importance of place where we apply it. Bindi is applied at the center of the forehead just between the eyebrows. Why this place is important?

Bindi – More than Just A Red Dot
Place where we apply Bindi

The position directly behind the center of forehead is of Ajna Chakra, the Sixth Chakra. This is also known as the position for the Third eye. Sixth Chakra is the highest chakra in our physical body. If you remember my several posts on Chakras, the highest Chakra, Seventh Chakra is rather placed in our outer body, also called as our spiritual body, just above our head. Thus our Sixth Chakra, Ajna Chakra, is the highest center of Spirituality in our physical body.

Bindi – More than Just A Red Dot
Sixth Chakra position wrt Seventh Chakra

Sixth Chakra is for command, intuition, intelligence, as it represents mind, knowledge, and also connection between our physical self to spiritual self. Sometimes it is also referred as the gateway to attaining spiritual energy and Moksha.

Bindi – More than Just A Red Dot
Spiritual Awakening

In earlier times, when people used to pray, they used to awaken this Ajna Chakra, through their Kundalini Shakti. In a very simple term, during praying or more specifically Meditation, this place being the gateway for energy, becomes active, and as Kundalini passes through it, it becomes hot. Focusing on your Sixth Chakra also create headaches for some time. To calm this effect, and cool it, people started putting Kumkum and Sandalwood on their forehead, in the form of a Bindi or Tilak. Both of these have a cooling effect.

Bindi – More than Just A Red Dot
Woman Praying

Now a days, it would be very rare if anyone has this capability to awaken their Kundalini Shakti to such a level as to took it to Ajna Chakra. But this practice of putting Kumkum and sandalwood Bindi, just before praying started based on this basic notion. Also, to show importance of this super dynamic place filled with heightened spirituality, we place a mark of respect and devotion. It is also a representation for the Third eye.

Bindi – More than Just A Red Dot
Me with a Bindi

So more than Bindi, it’s the place where we apply Bindi, is of utmost importance. More power to our Ajna Chakra.

 

Bindi – More than Just A Red Dot
Ajna Chakra or Sixth Chakra

Keep watching this space because soon we will talk about significance of color in Bindi. Till then Happy Reading, Happy Learning. 🙂