The Tilakam, a mark on the forehead, is a sacred symbol in Hinduism.
It is often made with a paste of sandalwood, rice flour, turmeric, or kumkum (vermilion). The tilak is said to have a number of spiritual significances, including:
- It is a reminder of the wearer’s religious identity.
- It is a sign of devotion to a particular deity or guru.
- It is a way of warding off evil spirits.
- It is a way of receiving blessings from the gods.
- It is a way of showing respect for others.
Tilakam is also said to have a number of physical benefits, such as:
- It can help to cool the forehead and prevent headaches.
- It can help to improve concentration and focus.
- It can help to boost the immune system.
- It can help to promote good health and well-being.
Tilakam is a versatile symbol that can be worn in a variety of ways. It can be a simple dot, a complex design, or even a combination of different symbols. The tilak is a popular way to express one’s religious faith and cultural identity.
Most common types of tilaks and their meanings:
- Srivatsa tilaka: This is a three-pronged mark that is said to represent the three gunas (qualities) of sattva, rajas, and tamas. It is often worn by followers of Vishnu.
- Uttarakhand tilaka: This is a horizontal mark that is said to represent the Ganges River. It is often worn by followers of Shiva.
- Tripundra tilak: This is a three-horizontal mark that is said to represent the three worlds: heaven, earth, and the underworld. It is often worn by followers of Shaivism.
- Chandan tilak: This is a mark made with sandalwood paste. It is often worn by followers of Vishnu and Lakshmi.
- Kumkum tilak: This is a mark made with vermilion powder. It is often worn by married women.
Tilakam is a beautiful and meaningful symbol that has been worn by Hindus for centuries. It is a reminder of one’s religious faith, cultural identity, and spiritual journey.
Here below a short video on different types of Tilakam.
Image credit松岡明芳, CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons