Auspicious history of Sindoor along with interesting facts

Published: 06th March 2012
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Sindoor is being applied by Indian women since Vedic era in their hair parting and on the forhead.

Sindoor is being used by the Indian women in their hair-parting (maang) and as a dot on the forehead. Sindoor is one of the 16 adornments (solah shringar) in Hinduism. Aside from this, it's also being applied by the men in from of “Tilak” on their forehead.

Indian Sindoor is a red color powder. It's also called as “Kumkum”, when it's mixed with turmeric. It has also been called in ancient Indian scripture as “Kasturi” after the mix with other material. It's called “Vermillion” in English.

Why Indian women put Sindoor in their maang?

* Kumkum or turmeric based sindoor is scientifically and spiritually beneficial for the ladies. It absorbs the bad water in forehead region and enhances the power of concentration. The sixth chakra (third eye) is centered on forehead between the eyebrows. It’s considered the channel through which mental power and spirituality can be enhanced.

* Sindoor enhances the feminine grace to a large extent lending a divine beauty. Red is the color of love and passion and hence it is applied by Indian women to win the heart of their husbands.

* Sindoor signifies that the women with it is married, under the protection of her husband and hence no one should make mistake to cast an evil eye on her.

* Red is the color of fire, blood and strength. It indicates that tender looking Indian women can also assume the form of Shakti (goddess of strength) for the annihilation of wickedness. She can become the spark of fire from a soft flower for her own protection as well as her security of motherland.

Origin of Sindoor

Let's cast a glance on the history of sindoor in ancient India-

* Female figurines of Harappa period found during the archeological excavation in Mehrgarh (Baluchistan) show them with the use of sindoor in hair partition.

* Sindoor was also applied by Parvati, consort of Lord Shiva, in her hair parting. Parvati, the crown-jewel of all women, bestows grace and power upon the married ladies putting vermillion on their parting.

* As per Ramayana, Sita used to apply sindoor in her hair parting to please her husband Lord Rama. Seeing her, Hanumana also started to smear sindoor on his body to please Rama. Even now also, devotees offer sindoor on Hanuman idols.

* According to Mahabharata, Draupadi, the wife of Pandavas wiped off her sindoor disgustingly, after the episode, when Dushshan striven to strip her saree in the Hastinapur court.

* As per a legend, Radha, the lover of Lord Krishna turned kumkum sindoor into a flame-like design on her forehead.

* Sindoor has also been mentioned in several Puranas, Lalitha Sahasranama and Adi Shankaracharya 's Soundarya Lahari.

* Sindoor is also offered to Lord Ganesha. “Sindoor Lal Chadhayo Gajamukha Ko”, popular Ganesh Aarti in Marathi language was also included in Bollywood movie Vaastav (1999).

* Sindoor is used for worshiping Hindu goddesses like Shakti and Lakshmi.

* Sindoor is applied by Saivites, Vaisnavs and Swaminarayan on their forehead.

Use of Sindoor in modern days

* Jain women also apply sindoor, but Jain nuns are prohibited from it.

* Sufi leader Sharafuddin Maneri inspired Muslim ladies of Bangladesh to apply sindoor, but this endeavor was condemned by reformist movements of 19th century.

* Sindoor is thrown along with other mixtures into the air during popular festival Holi.

* The popularity of sindoor has increased with the release of bollywood movie Sindoor (1987) and serial Sindoor Tere Naam Ka (2005- 2007)

* ‘Sindoor-Dan' also called 'Haldi-Kumkum' is popular wedding ritual, in which husband decorates the hair-parting of his bride.

* Sindoor is applied by ladies in whole hair line or its spot is applied at the end of hair line and forehead by women.

* Sindoor is also a popular pooja item, which is offered to Hindu gods as well as Hindu goddess. Hindu devotees including male and female apply sindoor powder on their forehead while visiting a temple or attending a religious ceremony.

* Earlier women used to prepare Kumkum sindoor at home. But, now, readymade Sindoor is available in the market at most reasonable rates.

Satyajit Banerjee is an expert writer in handicraft arena and writes for Craffts.com, an eCommerce portal for handcrafted and Handmade products. It offers wide range of products across various categories ranging from Makeup Products, Buy Sindoor, Sindoor Products, Indian Sindoor, Sindoor Online, Beauty Products much more.



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