The term “bindi” stems from the Sanskrit word Bindu, which means drop or particle. A bindi is a bright and colourful dot applied in the centre of the forehead. It is put on by Hindu women. Bindi in Hinduism is associated with Ajna Chakra, which is known as the third eye chakra. Bindu is considered the point at which creation begins. It is also described as a sacred symbol of the cosmos in its unmanifested state.
Bindi is the point or dot on forehead, around which the Mandala is created, representing the universe. The two physical eyes are used for seeing the external world, while the third focuses towards God. As such, the red dot signifies reverence as well as serving as a constant reminder to keep God at the centre of one’s thoughts.
A traditional bindi is red or maroon in colour. A pinch of vermilion powder is applied skillfully with a ring-finger to make a perfect round dot. Once put on as a red dot on a woman’s forehead, the Indian bindi has evolved into many shapes, colours and designs. Bindis now come in all shapes, sizes and colours, and are largely used as beauty accessories. The traditional red bindi, Marathi bindi, Geometric bindi, Tribal bindi, Vertical bindi, Bridal bindi are a few types of bindis.
Is there a Religious Significance of wearing a Bindi?
The colour red symbolizes 'shakti', the goddess of strength. Kumkum is marked on the foreheads of the girls after marriage, denoting strength and wishing for peace. This dot marks her as married and grants her a certain societal standing.
A newly married woman wears the bindi as she steps over the threshold of her new home, bringing prosperity, good fortune and auspiciousness. From Vedic times, the bindi was created as a means to worship one's intellect. A strong intellect can help one to make noble decisions in life, be able to stand up to challenges in life with courage, and recognize and welcome good thoughts in life.
The belief is that on this, a strong individual, a strong family and strong society can be formed. Red represents honour, love and prosperity; hence, it is worn to symbolize these aspects. One often observes that a widow either stops wearing a bindi or opts for a black one, as she is said to have got disconnected with marital bliss.
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What are the health benefits availed by putting a bindi?
1. Reduce headaches
2. Clears up your sinus problems
3. Improves vision
4. Prevents depression
5. Improves hearing
6. Relieves stress, eye strain, fatigue and insomnia
From a married woman to a college girl, the bindi is considered a popular accessory to complete their ethnic look. Women wear ornamental bindis, with different colours and designs to match their daily outfits or fancy ones for their fancy dresses.
It is the most feasible accessory to make one appear more beautiful. However, at the end of the day, it is a part of our culture, and we wear it with that significance.