Across South Asia, it’s not uncommon to see women sporting a small dot on their foreheads between their eyebrows. What is this red dot? Why do women wear it? What is the significance of this dot? Let’s find out in our today’s video.
A bindi is a bright dot of some color applied in the center of the forehead close to the eyebrows or in the middle of the forehead, worn in the Indian subcontinent and SouthEast Asia.
Significance of Bindi
Traditionally, according to Hinduism, the region between the eyebrows is considered to be the sixth chakra, Ajna, the seat of “concealed wisdom.” The Bindi is said to strengthen concentration and retain energy. The Bindi also represents the third eye. The Nasadiya Sukta of the Rig Veda, the earliest known Sanskrit text, mentions the word Bindu.
The Ajna is symbolized by a sacred lotus with two petals and corresponds to the colors indigo, violet, or deep blue, though it is traditionally described as white. It is at this point that the two sides Nadi Ida (yoga) and Pingala, are said to terminate and merge with the central channel Sushumna, signifying the end of duality, the characteristic of being dual (e.g., light and dark, or male and female). The seed syllable for this chakra is the syllable OM, and the presiding deity is Shiva and Shakti.
The Shakti goddess of Ajna is called Hakini. In metaphysics, Bindu is considered the dot or point at which creation begins and may become unity. It is also described as “the sacred symbol of the cosmos in its unmanifested state.” Bindu or Bindi is the point around which the mandala is created, representing the universe.
In Hinduism and other Dharmic faiths, Bindi is associated with Ajna Chakra and Bindu. Divinities in these faiths are typically depicted with Bhrumadhya Bindu, in meditative pose with their eyes nearly closed, showing the gaze focused between eyebrows. The other spot is the tip of the nose—Naasikagra. The very spot between the eyebrows, known as Bhrumadhya, is where one focuses his or her sight so that it helps concentration. In South Asia, Bindi is worn by women of all religious dispositions and is not restricted to region or religion.
The red Bindi has multiple meanings:
- Archaeology has yielded female clay figurines from the Indus Valley with red pigment on the forehead and hair parting. It is unclear whether this held any religious or cultural significance.
- One simple interpretation is that it is a cosmetic mark used to enhance beauty.
- In Hinduism, the color red represents honor, love, and prosperity; hence it was worn to symbolize these aspects.
- In meditation, the point between the eyebrows (Bhrumadhya) is where one focuses his/her sight to help concentration. Most images of Hindu, Jain, or Buddhist divinities in meditative poses with their eyes nearly closed show the gaze focused between the eyebrows.
Thank you. I hope you now know why precisely women wear these red dots in India. I am Nikhil Chandwani, and thank you for watching this video.