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ŪRDHVAPUṆḌRA - ऊर्ध्वपुण्ड्र

A mark worn on the forehead with yellow ochre. This mark should be made by earth or ochre, which should be taken from the top of a mountain peak, banks of rivers, seashore, Śaivite temple serpent-hill or from under a holy basil. The fruits of wearing the mark will vary according to the colour of the ochre. Black ochre will afford peace, red soil will procure docility, yellow soil will get prosperity, and white ochre will give duty or righteousness. As the fruits vary according to the colour, so also it will vary according to the finger used to put the sign. If the mark is made with the thumb the man will become stout. If it is done with the middle finger he will have long life. If it is done with the fourth finger (anāmikā), he will get food and if it is made with the index finger (tarjanī) he will get salvation. The form of the mark also could be changed. The mark may be made in the form of a flame, the leaf of bamboo reed, a lotus-bud, a fish, a turtle or a conch. If the mark is as large as ten fingerbreadths it is superfine. If of nine finger-breadths, it is medium super-fine; and if it is eight and a half fingerbreadths, it is lower superfine. In the same way if the finger-breadth of the mark is seven, six or five they will be super medium, medium medium and lower medium. If it is four, three and two they will be of the low, medium low and lowest. It is also ordered that when one wears the Ūrdhvapuṇḍra in a particular spot of the body one will have to think of a particular name of Viṣṇu. “Keśava in the forehead, Nārāyaṇa in the stomach, Mādhava in the heart, Govinda in the neck, Viṣṇu on the right side of the stomach, Madhusūdana on the middle of right hand, Trivikrama on the left ear, Vāmana on the left side of stomach, Śrīdhara on the left hand, Hṛṣīkeśa on the right ear. Padmanābha on the hinder Part, Dāmodara on the nape and Vāsudeva on the head, should be meditated upon.” [Devī Bhāgavata, Skandha 11].

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Category : Hindu - Traditions
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