Question and Answer

Q. Why do many Hindus wear a dot (Tilaka) near the middle of their forehead?

A.  Tilaka is the mark worn on the forehead. It represents divine sight and shows that one is a Hindu. In the spiritual sense it signifies third eye, the spiritual eye, while the other two eyes being the physical eyes. By wearing this tilaka as a symbol of third eye the wearer hopes to awaken the spiritual eye. The shape is mostly a round dot and the material used may be Vermillion, Turmeric or simply ash from a yajna. It may also be shaped in a certain way to denote devotion to a certain deity: A 'V' shaped denoting Vishnu while three horizontal lines denoting Shiva. A combination of the two denoting Hari-Hara (Vishnu and Shiva)