signs & miracles
Why we put *Tilak on the forehead?
*This is the dot most of the Hindus have at the eye-brow junction. This
could be of sandal or red kumkum or a mix of both, sacred Ash or Vibhuti . This junction is one of
the very significant chakra, called in spiritual terms AGYA chakra. This
is a very sensitive point. So the tilaka is kept at this point.
Without the worship of Sri Ganesh no work in Sanatan Dharma should begin.
Likewise,no religious work should begin without a Tilak on the forehead.
Chandan or sandalpaste,Roli,Kumkum,Sindoor and Sacred Ash or Vibhuti can
also be used as Tilak.
Tilak is a mark of auspiciousness. It is put on the forehead with sandal
paste, sacred ashes or kumkum (red tumeric). The devotees of Siva apply
sacred ashes (Bhasma) on the forehead, the devotees of Vishnu apply sandal
paste (Chandan), and the worshippers of Devi or Shakti apply Kumkum, a red
The scriptures say: "A forehead without a Tilak, a woman without a
husband, a Mantra the meaning of which is not known while doing Japa
(recitation), the head that does not bend before holy personages, a heart
without mercy, a house without a well, a village without a temple, a
country without a river, a society without a leader, wealth that is not
given away in charity, a preceptor without a disciple, a country without
justice, a king without an able minister, a woman not obedient to her
husband, a well without water, a flower without smell, a soul devoid of
holiness, a field without rains, an intellect without clearness, a
disciple who does not consider his preceptor as a form of God, a body
devoid of health, a custom (Achar) without purity, austerity devoid of
fellow-feeling, speech in which truth is not the basis, a country without
good people, work without wages, Sannyasa without renunciation, legs that
have not performed pilgrimages, determination unaided by Viveka or
discrimination, a knife which is blunt, a cow that does not give milk, a
spear without a point- all these are worthy of condemnation. They exist
for name´s sake only."
From this you can imagine the importance of Tilak or the sacred mark.
Tilak is applied at the Ajna Chakra, the space between the two eyebrows.
It has a very cooling effect. Application of sandal paste has great
medicinal value, apart from the spiritual influence. Application of sandal
paste will nullify the heating effect when you concentrate and meditate at
the Bhrumadhya. Tilak indicates the point at which the spiritual eye
opens. Lord Siva has a third eye at the Brumadhya. When he opens the third
eye, the three worlds are destroyed.
So also, when the third eye of the Jiva is opened, the three kinds of
afflictions - Adhyatmika, Adhidaivika and Adhibhautika- are burnt to
ashes. The three Karmas- Sanchita, Prarabdha and Agami,- and also all the
sins committed in the countless previous births, are burnt. When you apply
the Tilak, you mentally imagine: "I am the one non-dual Brahman free from
all duality. May my eye of intuition open soon." You should remember this
every time you apply a Tilak.
There are various methods of applying Tilak. Saivas apply three horizontal
lines with the sacred ashes. The vaishnavas apply three vertical lines (Tripundra)
on the forehead. When they apply Tilak, they say: "O Lord, protect me from
the evil effects of the Trigunatmika Maya which has Sattwa, Rajas and
Tamas as its binding cords."
Some Vaishnavas apply only one vertical line. Only the method of
application differs, but the significance is the same in both the
Vaishnavas and the Saivas.
The Tilak is used in various ways for different reasons.
Without the Tilak,Sandhya,Pooja,Deva Darshan,Tarpan and other religious
activities should not be performed.
There are thirteen places on the human body where Tilak can be
placed.However it is only on the forehead that it is noble.The head is the
summit of the body with the brain being the axis of the entire body.
According to Hindu Astrology,Mesh Rasi or the House of Aries is on the
forehead.The Lord of Mesh is Mars and His colour is Red.This is why Red
Chandan and Sindoor is placed as Tilak on the forehead.
The fingers used for applying Tilak are as follows:
At the base of the little finger is Mecury,at the base of the ring-finger
is Sun,at the base of the middle finger is Saturn,at the base of the index
finger is Jupiter and at the base of the thumb is Venus.
Perfect peace is experienced at Sunrise,Saturn is the protector of
lifespan,Jupiter represents immortality and Venus represents health.Tilak
applied with the ring-finger and the thumb is very benifical.
In addition to this,the Sun represents firmness,brilliance,honour,respect
and faith.These are the blessings achieved by applying Tilak with the
ring-finger.Venus gives lifeforce,health,is the creator of new life,the
bestower of gentility and politeness.This is achieved by applying Tilak
with the thumb.
Women should use the ring-finger for applying Bindie with unbroken rice
grains. Men should also use unbroken rice grains(Akshat)mixed in red
chandan and apply the Tilak with the thumb.
The unbroken rice grains symbolises steadfastness and firmness of the
brain and is also a symbol of peace.
It is reffered to as Deva Dhanya----grains of the Gods.