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Article: Bindi (decoration)

Bindi (decoration)

Religious Significance and Symbolism

  • The bindi is associated with the ajna chakra and represents the third eye.
  • It is worn by Hindus, Jains, Buddhists, and Sikhs from the Indian subcontinent.
  • The bindi retains energy and strengthens concentration.
  • The Nasadiya Sukta of the Rig Veda mentions the word 'Bindu.'
  • It symbolizes the creation of the universe.
  • The ajna chakra is the sixth chakra located between the eyebrows.
  • It is associated with concealed wisdom and intuition.
  • The bindu is the point around which the mandala representing the universe is created.
  • The pineal gland, linked to the ajna chakra, produces the hormone melatonin.
  • Ajna deals with balancing the higher and lower selves and accessing inner guidance.
  • Bhrumadhya is the point in the center of the forehead, also known as the third eye.
  • It helps with concentration and focus.
  • In Hinduism, Buddhism, and Jainism, divinities are depicted with their gaze focused between the eyebrows.
  • It is associated with the Ajna Chakra and Bindu.
  • The traditional bindi represents and preserves symbolic significance in Indian mythology.
  • The red bindi is a cosmetic mark used to enhance beauty.
  • It represents honor, love, and prosperity in Hinduism.
  • It is worn to help concentration during meditation.
  • The point between the eyebrows is where one focuses sight for concentration.
  • Swami Muktananda describes it as the Gurus seat and the command center for spiritual practice.

Traditional Application and Materials

  • A traditional bindi is red or maroon in color.
  • Vermilion powder is applied with a ring finger to create the dot.
  • Various materials like lac, sandal, aguru, mica, and kumkum color the bindi.
  • Ornamental bindis were made and sold by lac workers.
  • In Hinduism, the bindi is part of the lucky trousseau at marriages and is worn by married women.

Types of Bindis

  • Felt or thin metal adhesive bindis are simple to apply and disposable substitutes for older lac tikli bindis.
  • Sticker bindis come in various colors, designs, materials, and sizes.
  • In Maharashtra, a large crescent moon-shaped bindi is worn with a smaller black dot underneath or above, known as Chandrakor.
  • In Bengal, a large round red bindi is worn, often accompanied by Alpana designs on the forehead and cheeks.
  • In southern India, a smaller red bindi is worn with a white tilak at the bottom, and a red tilak-shaped bindi is also common.

Regional Variations of the Bindi

  • In Maharashtra, the large crescent moon-shaped bindi is associated with Chandrabindu and Bindu chakra.
  • In Bengal, a large round red bindi is popular.
  • In southern India, a smaller red bindi is worn with a white tilak at the bottom.
  • In Rajasthan, round and long tilak-shaped bindis are common.
  • Decorative bindis have become popular among women in South Asia, regardless of religious background.

Bindis in Other Asian Regions and Bengali Culture

  • Bindis are worn by Balinese, Javanese, and Sundanese people in Indonesia.
  • The practice of wearing bindis in Indonesia originated from the influence of Indianized Hindu kingdoms.
  • Other Indianized kingdoms in Southeast Asia also adopted the practice of wearing bindis.
  • Bindis are worn by brides and grooms in Java and other parts of Indonesia, irrespective of their religious beliefs.
  • Bindis are part of Bengali culture, and women in West Bengal, India, and Bangladesh adorn themselves with teeps.
  • Teeps, similar to bindis, are part of Bengali culture in West Bengal, India, and Bangladesh.
  • Teeps are worn irrespective of religious affiliation and are popular in various celebrations and occasions.
  • The colors of teeps vary depending on the occasion, such as red and white for Pohela Boishakh and green, orange, and yellow for Pohela Falgun.
  • Bengali brides traditionally wear Kolka Tip on their forehead in Bangladesh.
  • Muslim Sindhi women in Sindh, Pakistan, traditionally apply black dots or lines called Tikro or Tilk for beautification and tradition.

Modern Use of Bindis

  • Bindis and other religious markings are worn by recent Hindu converts like Hare Krishnas.
  • Bindis are sometimes worn purely for decorative purposes or as a style statement without any religious or cultural affiliation.
  • Decorative and ornamental bindis have been introduced to other parts of the world by immigrants from the Indian subcontinent.
  • International celebrities such as Gwen Stefani, Julia Roberts, Madonna, and Selena Gomez have been seen wearing bindis.
  • The appropriateness of wearing bindis as a fashion accessory has been disputed, with some Hindu leaders emphasizing their religious significance.

Bindi (decoration) Data Sources

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