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What is the significance of "bindi" in Indian Culture?
Bindis is various shapes and sizes have remained an integral part of an Indian face especially for the followers of Sanatana Dharma and Jaina religion. Since the ancient times, Bindi has remained a very powerful segment of the Indian Culture. The significance of the Bindi is two-fold and can be understood as follows:
Chakras of the Body
Sanatana Dharma elaborates on the existence of different energy centers in various parts of the body. These Chakras are Muladhara (placed at the base of spine), Svadishthana (in the pelvic area), Manipura (between the navel and plexus), Vishuddha (between the neck and the shoulders), Agya (the forehead) and Sahasrara (tip of the head).
It is the Agya Chakra that is placed on the forehead. Thus, it serves as the center for wisdom and knowledge. It is connected to the mind and can be made powerful through practice and meditation. Thus, the Bindi is considered important to collect and concentrate focus on the brain to facilitate better learning.
Cultural and Traditional Values
For any important occasion like weddings, Pooja, festivals like Diwali, Bindi plays a very important role. Generally, the Red Bindi is also a sign of a married woman highlighting success, prosperity, love, and compassion. Decorative Bindis adore the face of brides during marriage ceremonies. Thus, Bindi is associated with the spirit of womanhood.
Its location between the eyebrows makes the face eye-catching and appealing. In some rituals, it is also associated with the custom of blood sacrifice. The Bindi of Chandan symbolizes that the mind has to be kept cool. The Bindi of Bhasma/Vibhuti is a sign that at the end of our lives we all will be converted to ashes.
Vaishnavites in South India wear a naamam ( V shaped symbol) highlighting that they are worshippers of 'Shakachakragada Padme Maha Vishnu' while the Shaiva tradition followers put three horizontal line of ashes highlighting that they are followers of Lord Shiva.
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