One of the most well-recognized body adornments worn by the Hindu women in the Indian sub-continent, the Bindi Symbol is a bright colored dot applied near the eyebrows on the forehead. Typically, this dot is red in color, though it can be in other colors too. The word ‘Bindi’ has been derived from the Sanskrit ‘Bindu‘ that means a dot or a drop.
The application of this mark is a tradition that goes centuries back when red turmeric powder (Kumkum) was applied in a round shape on the forehead by a married woman to reflect her marital status. The red color is believed to represent true love, honor prosperity and strength. The Bindi has strong spiritual significance and it symbolizes good fortune and feminine power that protects a married woman and her husband the ancient India, it was considered to be a very essential element of feminine personal grooming and at times, even decorative leaves were cut into attractive shapes and pasted on the forehead.
The Bindi’s positioning between the eyebrows has important implications. This region is believed to be the seat of wisdom and latent knowledge. The mystics call it ‘Ajna Chakra’, the place that controls the levels of concentration one reaches through meditation. It is said that meditation awakens the dormant energy lying at the base of spine and raises it to the brain. The place between the eyebrows is seen as a potential outlet for this strong energy and applying the Bindi is believed to help retain this energy within the body and enhance one,s intellect.
With time, the Bindi has lost much of its religious connotation and become more of a style statement and a decorative accessory. Non-Hindu and unmarried women also use it freely and it is no longer restricted in shape, design or color.
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