Q.: The Tilak, the mark on the
forehead is said to be Urdhva Pundra. What is the meaning of Urdhva
A.: Pundra means a lotus. Here it means the lotus-feet
of Shree Hari. Urdhva means upward. The lotus- feet of Shree Hari
looked from the heel looks like a lotus with five petals. The Tilak
mark is therefore the symbol or the imprint of the lotus-feet of Shree
Q.: Why is the Urdhva Pundra Tilak
applied primarily on the forehead?
A.: Because it is the place of Agnya Chakra, the commanding center
of spiritual power.
Q.: Should we have this Tilak mark
for the whole day and everyday?
A.: Certainly, but if not possible due to adverse circumstances,
you should have Tilak mark every morning during ceremonial worship
or when you go to a holy meeting or when you go to the temple or
when there is a religious program or when you go to pay your respects
to H. H. The Acharya Shree.
When the saints were harassed and tortured by adversaries,
Shree Hari had Himself ordered the saints not to have Tilak
mark for the time being.
Q.: Who shouldn't have complete
A.: Those who are "Sachchhudra" and do jobs such as carrying
the excreta, cleaning native toilets or skinning dead animals should
have only the red mark on the forehead. (Shikshapatri Slok No. 45)
Q.: What happens if Tilak mark
is completely omitted?
A.: The scriptures declare that without Tilak mark japa, homa, charities,
study of religious books are sheer waste of time.
Q.: What is the significance of
the shape of Tilak?
A.: The vertical lines pointing upwards show that
Tilak mark leads upward finally to Akshardham. In this U-shape
Shree Hari live so it is the Symbol of Akshardham. The red
mark is the symbol of Lakshmiji (spiritual prosperity) living in
the heart of Shree Hari.
Q.: Why should we use sandal-paste
and saffron for Tilak mark?
A.: Sandal-paste is created from the fragrant
perspiration of Shree Hari, while saffron is created by His red
lips-according to Shree Lakshmi-Narayan Samhita.
Q.: What are the benefits of having
this Tilak mark?
A.: It protects you from worldly bondage, leads to external
spiritual liberation, the body remains as holy as the temple of
God. It burns off the mountains of sins. The bearer gets the merits
of Puja at all the holy places, of constructing wells, gardens,
dharmashalas etc. for public welfare of having done great charities,
of performing all yoga techniques.
Q.: Who has standardized out Tilak
A.: Shree Hari Himself has standardized the Tilak mark. The saints
and the followers of Shree Hari formerly belonged to different sects.
Each of these ten sects had their own specific design of the Tilak
mark. The thickness and length of the lines varied and the location,
dimension and shape of the circular Chandraka inside also varied.
To bring uniformity Shree Hari Himself made a standard Tilak mark
on the forehead of Nityanand Swami and asked all the followers to
follow this specification. Since then the uniformity of Tilak mark
Q.: If the Tilak mark is rubbed
out during the day, should we do it again?
A.: Not necessarily, but you may if you so desire and if it's convenient.
Q.: Why Gopichandan (a particular
yellowish mud) may be used?
A.: It is sanctified by the Gopies. It is the
cheapest material easily available near Dwarika.
Swaminarayan Sampraday - Tilak Chandalo