ublished: 28 Dec 2020 7 PM Updated: 28 Dec 2020 7 PM  Sakthi Vikatan

Question and Answer: 'Should you put kumkum (pottu) on your forehead?'

Shanmuga Sivachariar

The machine translation was edited by Veeraswamy Krishnaraj, M.D.


1. It has been a long time since I left my hometown and came to Vellore. We do not know the family deity, our ancestors worshipped. Which deity can be worshipped by those who do not know their family deity? - C. Kanchana, Vellore
2. The worship of the family deity, which protects our clan, is particularly important. The worship of the family deity is as crucial in our rituals as the foundation of the house. Whenever you start anything, it is necessary to begin only after worshipping the family deity. Then that thing will succeed.
3. Most often, the village deities are the family deities. Therefore, those who do not know the family deity should go to their native place and inquire. You must get to know the deities there and identify your family deity among those deities. If you do not know that, go to the elders of your clan, seeking the identity of your Family Deity. There is a possibility to know the details of the family deity through them.
4. If that does not yield results, then you can accept as the family deity, the deity whom you love and worship, the deity who offers excitement and ecstasy within you at the mere sight of it.
5. If your attitude is that you worship all gods, and there is attraction and devotion to all gods, and you feel that it is not possible to assume that a particular deity is the family deity, do not worry. Do your prayers as usual. It is enough to say 'Om Kuladevadāya Namah' every day in your worship. No matter who your family deity is, and even if you do not know that deity, the undiscovered and anonymous family deity will protect you. In the course of time, the deity will identify himself or herself to you.

We put Nāmam, Vibhūti, and kumkum on our foreheads.
1. Women put a variety of marks on their foreheads instead of kumkum. Is this correct? What do the shastras say? - M. Pavithra, Chengalpattu
2. We apply Nāmam, Vibhūti, and Kumkum on our foreheads. Our shastras have beautifully laid out guidelines on how, when, and what to place on the forehead.
3. You are asking if you can substitute kumkum with a different mark. The doctor prescribes a specific pill to cure your disease, and you would take only that pill, not anything else.
4. This is how our shastras provide meaningful and evidentiary guidelines for all actions. The shastras declare that by following these guidelines, one can attain moksha (liberation). It is beneficial for us to adhere to the shastras’ instructions.
5. To apply Kumkum with respect, use the ring finger and place it on the Ajna chakra between the eyebrows. Spirituality suggests that the Tilak-induced stimulation of the Ajna chakra, where all energies converge, generates immense energy that spreads throughout the body.
6. It is advisable to place the Tilak in the middle of the eyebrow for enhanced yogic strength and knowledge. Alternatively, it can be placed slightly above the Ajna Chakra, using only Kumkum.
7. Kumkum's primary ingredient is turmeric, known for its natural ability to ward off evil spirits and instantly paralyze the direct onslaught of evil vibrations. The red vermillion carries its own vibrations, countering the negative thoughts of those in the presence of the red Kumkum wearer. Therefore, it is recommended to always wear the kumkum tilak for its associated benefits.