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That's the 'Bindi' - a fascinating form of body decoration. Hindus attach great importance to this ornamental mark on the forehead, often between the two eyebrows -- a spot considered a major nerve point in human body since ancient times. 'Bindi' is derived from the Sanskrit word 'bindu' or a drop, and suggests the mystic third eye of a person. It is also known as 'tika', 'pottu', 'sindoor', 'tilak', 'tilakam', and 'kumkum'.

The bindi is one of the most visually fascinating of all forms of body decoration. In southern India, girls choose to wear a bindi, while in other parts of India it is the prerogative of the married woman. A red dot on the forehead is an auspicious sign of marriage and guarantees the social status and sanctity of the institution of marriage.

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March 4, 2008 at 9:32 am
(1) Chander S Celly says:

I think one of the major reasons why a dot (bindi or tilak) is worn on the forehead (of both males and females) is to symbolize a mark of worship of our intellect. Same logic is true for those who apply a tilak on their throat, the seat for voice box. Both the intellect and what you say with your voice-box, are very important for one’s development in both material and spiritual arenas. One wrong word from your voicebox and you are thrown out of wherever you are. So, by applying tilaks, we are worshipping two of our major faculties, intellect and vaaani. At same time, we are symbolically praying to Almighty to grant us powers for an appropriate usage of these two faculties.

March 4, 2008 at 12:19 pm
(2) hinduism says:

This is so very true! Thanks for sharing your perspective, Chander

March 5, 2008 at 11:22 am
(3) rachel says:

isn’t it normally worn only by women who are married?

March 5, 2008 at 1:59 pm
(4) hinduism says:

Yes Rachel, you’re right. But there are various other types of dots that are not confined to just women.

April 9, 2013 at 11:21 pm
(5) insanity workout says:
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