India is one of the most fascinating and mysterious countries in the whole world. One of the most striking aspects is the red dot on the forehead of Hindu women.

Originally, the classic mole or red dot on the forehead –– called tilaka in hindi –– men wore it and it had a religious meaning: it designated the marks that the Hinduists drew with ash or dust to indicate the sect to which they belonged.

The color varied according to whether they were worshipers of Shiva, Vishnu, or other divinity. They were applied by the temple’s bramman over the exact center of the forehead of the faithful, in the place occupied by the wisdom chakra, and they were attributed a protective power.

Both the priest, the ascetic or the servant carry it with pride as a reference to its Hindu origin.
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Red dot in Hindu women

First of all we must differentiate between India and Hindu: the term “India” refers to the person born in the country of India while “Hindu” refers to one of the many religions of India, Hinduism.

HindiFinally, it is the name of the majority language of India.

The red dot of Hindu women is the heritage of this belief, although some men have also come to wear it, as we mentioned. This mole receives different names: tilaka, bindi (point in Sanskrit language), or kumkum, and is made up of materials such as sandalwood or coal.

In the case of women, tilaka has a very different meaning from that of men: if the dot is red, it indicates that they are married.

The story tells that, centuries ago, the previous marriage bond was made by the man, marking with his own blood the forehead of the woman, as a symbol of the marriage commitment (like the ring in the West).

Currently, the blood has been replaced by some dye or even a kind of decal, but the custom has persisted. When the husband dies, the regulations mandate that the tilaka or bindi must be withdrawn.

Also this Red point occupies the position of the so-called Ajna Chakra, one of the 7 Indian chakras (those considered most important, although there are countless of them) and represents the third eye.

Many people wear bindis of different colors, which have different meanings.

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