View Full Version : Hindu Head Marks
19 August 2009, 06:40 PM
I am not Hindu but I did visit a Hindu shrine two weeks ago. A group of six people met a Hindu monk and he places white dots of ash on each of our heads. He came over to me separately and places a red dot on my head also. I was the only person who he gave a second red dot too. He said I was a good person before giving me the second red dot.
An hour later I was crossing the street and a man who i assume was Hindu honked his car horn and waved to me as I walked past his car. He was giving me the thumbs up and was very nice.
Does this second red dot mean something?
19 August 2009, 07:09 PM
Hello: I would guess that the priest felt something different about you, via his intuition. The red dot at the temples usually indicate a marking of the third eye location, or just a mark that indicates that you came to temple. It would vary from locale to locale. Regardless, it does seem like a bit of a curious incident to single you out like that.
19 August 2009, 07:38 PM
I want one!
21 August 2009, 08:09 PM
These marks are referred to as tilak. The mark differs according to the sect that one belongs to. Vaishnavas use chandan paste to mark a "U" shape (although Sri Vaishnava tilak differs slighly). Madhva followers place a red dot and a line of ash from the sacrificial fire in the middle. Gaudiya Vaishnavas mark a tulsi leaf at the bottom of the tilak. I know the Gaudiya Vaishnavas apply the tilak to eleven other places of the body in addition to the forehead - I'm not sure about the other Vaishnava Sampradayas.
Shaivites will often wear one or three horizontal lines of sacred ash (vibhuti). They may also place a dot of sandalwood paste on the forehead and then put a dot of red kumkum powder on top. Some just apply a short line of red kumkum. This is what I myself do, although I discovered kumkum paste a couple of weeks ago which is much easier - it doesn't run with sweat the way kumkum powder does and it's much easier to apply.
Visit my Facebook page here (http://www.facebook.com/people/Scott-Michael-Inglis/1132174535) to see a picture of what the mark looks like.
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