What is a Bindi?
If you've ever seen a traditional woman from East India, then you've probably been exposed to a Bindi. It's the dot that is worn in the center of the forehead. Today we wanted to share the significance of the Bindi.
Despite popular belief, the Bindi isn't just worn by women. Men also wear them where it's more popularly denoted as a Tilak. It's meaning and origin precedes it's reputation as a beautiful piece of decorative facial costume - rather it was a sign of spiritual and societal identification.
India's historical origins carries deep significance and parallels tradition. The Bindi is a perfect example of this. In ancient times during the caste system the Bindi was used to identify peoples role in society. The intention to label individuals in this way was to keep order as everyones role was important to a fully functioning community.
White Bindi - Brahmins, priests and other spiritual advisors of the esoteric wore white bindi's to exemplify purity and divinity. India has deep roots in spirituality. It's not uncommon for people to have three parental figures. The third being reserved for a Guru because it is believed that earthly duties are just a small portion of an eternal existence and having a spiritual teacher helps guide people through the trials and tribulations of existence, without forgetting life's true purpose and meaning.
Raajputs - Warriors, nobility, politicians and other administrators that served and kept order in communities wore a red bindi. It's color signifies bravery, courage, service to community and heroism.
Vaishya - for any society to run, economic input and output is a necessity. This is where the merchants, businessmen and traders come in. They wore yellow bindi's. It represents prosperity, wealth, commerce and practicality.
Shudra Varna - The working class or peasant class wore a black bindi. They performed the remedial jobs in society that were not only important but also necessary for communities to flourish. The black bindi was often made from ash or inexpensive sandalwood.
Love and Matrimony
Red is the color of love and for women in particular, a red bindi represents married woman. Even today in India, a red bindi represents matrimony. If a woman is unmarried she will wear a black bindi or nothing at all. If she is widowed she will wear a black bindi or a white sandalwood bindi.
As of late, the bindi has gained popularity in mainstream culture. While there is nothing wrong with expressing your individuality, it's great to understand the moral, traditional, cultural, and spiritual significances of why certain practices were adopted.
Come by our Bharat Bazar locations for Bindi's and more!
Check out our past posts on Indian health, wellness and culture.
- 8 Benefits of Neem
- Is the Cow Sacred
- Why you need more Turmeric in your Life
- Get more Coconut in your Diet!
- 5 Quotes from the Bhagavad Gita to help your day
- 7 health practices to adopt from the East
- Why you should walk barefoot
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