What is the holy dot on forehead?

What is the holy dot on forehead

The bindi, a distinctive dot worn on the forehead, is a popular adornment in South Asia, particularly in countries like India, Bangladesh, Nepal, Sri Lanka, and Mauritius. Rooted in ancient Hindu tradition, the bindi holds deep significance and is known as a symbol of spirituality and mysticism. The word "bindi" is derived from the Sanskrit term "Bindu," which translates to "a drop," "small particle," or "dot."

Traditionally, the bindi is a bright red dot applied to the center of the forehead, close to the eyebrows. However, bindis can come in various colors and may include decorative signs or pieces of jewelry. In ancient times, the red bindi was associated with the ritual practice of offering blood sacrifices to appease the Gods.

Interestingly, in ancient Aryan society, a bridegroom would mark the bride's forehead with a long vertical mark called a "tilaka" as a sign of wedlock. The present-day tradition of wearing the bindi could be seen as an extension of this ancient practice. It is noteworthy that when an Indian woman becomes a widow, she ceases to wear the bindi and other decorations associated with married women.

The area between the eyebrows, where the bindi is placed, is believed to be the sixth chakra known as the Ajna, meaning "command." It is considered the seat of hidden wisdom. According to Tantric cults, during meditation, dormant energy rises from the base of the spine to the head, and the Ajna acts as the outlet for this powerful energy. The red dot between the eyebrows is believed to retain energy within the body and help control levels of concentration. It is also seen as the central point of creation itself, symbolizing auspiciousness and good fortune.

In Hindu tradition, it is believed that every individual possesses a third inner eye. While the two physical eyes perceive the external world, the third eye is focused inward toward God. Therefore, the red dot signifies piety and serves as a constant reminder to keep God at the center of one's thoughts.

Over time, the significance of the bindi has evolved. Today, it is not strictly adhered to its traditional symbolism and has become more of a beauty accessory and a fashion statement for many. Traditionally, the red dot was made using cow blood and dirt, but now many Hindu women prefer to wear jewel-based bindis.

The bindi is no longer limited to women; men also wear it on auspicious occasions such as rituals, weddings, and festivals, or before embarking on a journey or campaign. However, the practice of men wearing tilaka has diminished in recent times, and more women than men now sport this decoration.

The bindi, with its rich history and cultural significance, continues to captivate as a visually striking form of body decoration. It remains an important symbol in Hindu culture, representing marriage, social status, and the role of a guardian in the family's well-being and lineage.

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