It has been suggested that Sindoor be merged into this article or section. (Discuss) See also: Kumkum (TV series) and Vermilion Kum Kum powder from Mysore, India. Kumkum (Sanskrit कुङ्कुमम् kuṅkumam, Bengali কুমকুম kumkum Tamil குங்குமம் http://www.kungumam.co.in, Telugu కుంకుమ kumkuma, Kannada ಕುಂಕುಮ Kumkuma), is a powder used for social and religious markings in Hinduism. It is either made from turmeric or saffron. The turmeric is dried and powdered with a bit of slaked lime, which turns the rich yellow powder into a red color. Contents 1 Application of Kumkum 2 Common Forehead Marks Using Kumkum 3 Significance of Kumkum 4 Kumkum and Women 5 Making Kumkum 6 Other Usages 7 See also 8 References Application of Kumkum Kumkum is most often applied by Hindus to the forehead. The reason for this particular location has to do with the ancient Hindu belief that “the human body is divided into seven vortices of energy, called chakras, beginning at the base of the spine and ending at the top of the head. The sixth chakra, also known as the third eye, is centered in the forehead directly between the eyebrows and is believed to be the channel through which humankind opens spiritually to the Divine”.1 Thus the kumkum is placed at the location of the body which is believed by Hindus to be the most holy. Common Forehead Marks Using Kumkum Saivites- Followers of Siva usually apply three white horizontal lines with a dot of kumkum at the center.1 Vaisnavs- Followers of Visnu make use of “white clay to apply two vertical lines joined at the base and intersected by a bright red streak.” Many times the white clay is applied in a U-shape.1 Swaminarayan- Followers of the Swaminarayan movement apply kumkum at the center of the forehead and in between a U-shaped tilaka. The tilaka is normally yellow in hue and made from sandalwood.2 Significance of Kumkum In the Vaisnav tradition, the “white lines represent the footprint of their God, while the red refers to his consort, Lakshmi”.1 The Swaminarayan tradition holds that the tilaka (yellow U-shaped mark) “is a symbol of the lotus feet of Paramatma” and the kumkum “represents the bhakta” (devotee).2 In both of these traditions, the forehead mark serves as a reminder that a devotee of God should always remain as a servant at the feet of God. Kumkum and Women When a girl or a married woman visits a house, it is a sign of respect (in case of an elderly lady) or blessings (in case of a young girl) to offer kumkum to them when they leave. However, it is not offered to widows. When visiting a Hindu temple, married women from southern India usually dip their ring finger in yellow turmeric powder, and apply a dot on their neck. Men, women, girls, and boys apply a dot on their forehead of red turmeric powder, also when visiting a temple or during a pooja. In most of India, everyday, married women apply red kumkum in front of their parting on their forehead as a symbol of marriage. This is called vermilion, or in Hindi, sindoor. Kumkum in temples is found in heaps. People dip their thumb into the heap and apply it on the forehead or between the eyebrows. Making Kumkum Saffron for kumkum is made from the flower Crocus sativus, in the family Iridaceae. The plant has many names in Sanskrit: Ghusrun, Rakta, Kashmir, Balhik, Kesar, Kashmiraj, Kumkum, Agneeshekhar, Asrugvar, Shatha, Shonit, Pitaka, or Rudhir. The saffron contains a dye consisting of 8 to 13.4% of the volatile oils crocin and picrococin. Other Usages Kumkum is also widely used for worshiping the Hindu goddesses, especially Shakti and Lakshmi, and a kumkum powder is thrown (along with other mixtures) into the air during Holi (the Festival of Colours), a popular Hindu spring festival. See also Bindi (decoration) Bindu Tilaka References ^ a b c d Huyler, Steven. “The Experience: Approaching God”. In The Life of Hinduism, ed. Vasudha Narayanan and John Stratton Hawley. Los Angeles: University of California Press, 2006. ^ a b Sadhu Mukundcharandas. "Hindu Rites and Rituals".1st Edition. Amdavad: Swaminarayan Aksharpith, 2007 Kumkum 2008 A kumkum recall in the U.S., Jan. 16, 2008 This Hinduism-related article is a stub. You can help Wikipedia by expanding it.v · d · e
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