Bindi

Definition - What does Bindi mean?

A bindi is a mark of protection worn by many Hindus in the center of the forehead. The word is derived from the Sanskrit, bindu, which means “point” or “dot.” Bindu refers to the point from which creation begins and the bindi symbolizes this point.

Traditionally, the bindi is red, yellow or white. They are usually made from the paste of aromatic sandalwood, turmeric or sindoor. Depending on the region or religious tradition, a bindi can come in a variety of shapes. The most common is a red circular dot; however, half moons, parallel stripes and "U" shapes are worn and carry different meanings. A bindi can also be called tika, sindoor, pottu, kumkum, tilak and tilakam.

Yogapedia explains Bindi

The location of the bindi is considered a major nerve point to which Hindus place great significance. It is the spot where the ajna (third eye) chakra is located. This chakra is the center of intuitive knowledge. Yogic practices, such as meditation and pranayama, can activate this chakra's energy. To Hindus who attach religious significance to the bindi, it is believed to retain this energy and control levels of concentration. It is also a reminder to keep God foremost in one's life.

The bindi is traditionally worn by married Hindu women, but in some regions of India, men and unmarried girls also wear them. In many areas, the bindi no longer signifies marital status, age or religious background and has become purely decorative in function available in a variety of colors and shapes. Self-adhesive bindis in various designs – made of felt or thin metal – are also common.

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