Kumkum – An Indian Tradition, a Modern-day Cosmetic or a Spiritual Aid?

The age old tradition of applying kumkum on the forehead has a lot of emphasis in Hindu traditions. Kumkum falls under one of the selected few tilaks that are recommended as per the scriptures to be applied on the forehead. Other choicest tilaks apart from kumkumn include chandan, haldi and vibhuti (sacred ash). Each and every tilak has its individual significance in keeping with the particular deity they are associated with.

Among all the four tilaks, kumkum is the only one that is not only applied on the forehead but also in the hair partition of married women. It is considered to be a mark of good fortune (soubhagya) of a married woman that is supposed to influence her as well as her family’s wellbeing in the times to come. There are several myths about kumkum being an essential part of a married woman’s daily ‘sringaar.’ But going by the significance and essence of tilaks, kumkum must be having a deeper significance or role than just the apparent cosmetic purpose.

And Thus Explained the Spiritual Gurus of India

Believe it or debate it, this is what they have to say about it. The place in between the two eyebrows is where the ‘agya chakra’ is situated in a human body. This is one pressure point that is extremely important for spiritual realization. It is at this point that the sages of India have been concentrating for meditation for centuries. Applying a tilak is just a very simple yet essential way to boost this spiritual process.

Each and every tilak is linked to a particular Indian deity for example chandan is a mark for Lord Vishnu’s devotees, vibhuti is for the followers of Lord Shiva, Kumkum is the symbol of Shakti and are applied by the devotees of Goddess Durga. Haldi stands for wealth and wellbeing. The reason for applying kumkum in the hair partition is said to be stimulating certain nerves of the brain that helps married women to stay calm through thick and thin in their in-laws house. Though these claims have never been proven scientifically, one cannot deny the refinement and strength of character of the ancient Indian practices that had led the country to be called a golden bird at some point of time in history.

Source it Right

If you have faith in this claim, you might want to source the authentic product for a trust worthy source. Among very few authentic suppliers who bring absolutely unadulterated kumkums in the market, are few of the Kumkum exporters in Rajasthan who are catering to the domestic as well as the international market. There are several Kumkum powder suppliers in India, but you need to identify between authentic and fake ones. Getting the authentic product is important not just to stimulate the nerves where it is being applied but also avoid uncalled for skin irritation and allergies that might be caused by a fake kumkum.

Modern Women’s Dilema

In the contemporary society, many women shy away from applying kumkum on their forehead and hair partition. Indeed, it does not go with the modern look that women like to sport these days. Hence, gradually they are moving away from the tradition. Their opinion about these customs is that these are old school customs that has no practical significance in our life. Many argue that it is a symbol that the woman is taken.

Many women sport it at the time of some religious occasions only. But no matter how much you push it back as a old school concept, it is really difficult to let the tradition die out. No matter how much modern a girl may be, the most cherished snap of herself that she shows off the most on her bedroom as well as social media wall is the moment captured during the ‘sindoor daan’ ritual of her wedding. I bet there is not a single exception in all of India as well as among Indians based out of the country.

Even one of the latest trends noticed in the recent celebrity weddings in India, cine stars like Anouska Sharma, Bipasha Basu and the most recent Priyanka Chopra were seen sporting kumkum instead of any other stylish headgear for their reception parties. So debate as much as you want, kumkum may be re-invoked even as a style statement in the days to come. You never know!

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