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Re: significance of men wearing srichuvarnam]

From: Madhavakkannan (
Date: Tue Jul 17 2001 - 20:31:49 PDT

SrImathE rAmAnujAya namah:

Dear Sri Vinod,

You wrote:

I gather from ancient scriptures that both men and women used to wear the
kumkum as a portrayal of the third eye that could be awakened by Spiritual
convcentration and devotion. I would be extremely interested in knowing the
actual significance and meaning of men wearing the srichuvarnam. Being a
resident of the United States, i would be extremely curious to know its
significance as it would help me explain my wearing it to fellow workers.
Thank you for your patience to read the question. Forgive my ignorance.


Sri vaishnavas wear only vertical sacred marks (Urdhva puNdram) on their
Urdhva- vertical; puNdram - mark.

There are two white vertical lines (ThirumaN) connected at the nose bridge
between the two eyes.
And there is a red or yellow vertical line (SrI ChoorNam) at the centre
between the two vertical lines.
All Srivaishnavas need to wear (or adorn their foreheads with) this. It is
to protect (kaappu) us like the Lord's

It is also supposed to signify the Lord's Lotus Feet on our foreheads.
(You may immediately ask as to why the Lord's archavaatars are adorned with
this ThirumaN kappu?
The response that I get is: it is to show His ThirumaN as yet another
weapon to us and to protect us with
our darshan of His thirumaN (like His Sanghu, ChakrA)

The pundras are also worn by the Srivaishnavas (orthodox ones) on 11 other places on the body after the Pancha samskaram.
{Read the excellent article on SamasrayaNam by SrI Anand Karalapakkam ( ) }

This is an expression of dedication of our body to the Lord's service.

Women also should wear (I have seen some women at Srirangam wearing) the urdhva pundram.
(ThirumaN is generally a crescent shaped one with edges pointing upwards in stead of two long vertical lines)

We need to have sufficent gap between the lines as Sriman Narayanan and Lakshmi reside there as if it is a
temple constructed for Divya Dampathi by us on our body. So, it should naturally not be congested or cramped.
Make it look beautifully built.

One (Srivaishnavas) should always wear only Urdhva puNdram  and should not
wear any pottu (round mark)
or kumkum just beacuse someone is mocking or teasing them. Even if we wear
kumkum those who tease
will always do.

Why should we be conspicuous of others and feel shy to wear ThirumaN and
declare to the world of our
belongingness to the Lord as our Dear Father. Why should we be scared to
announce that we are His sons ?
Why are we worried that people will laugh looking at our foreheads? Did
they admire you when the forehead
was with kumkum or any other material?

Do not say that there is no time in the morning. We have all the time for
having a shave, drinking coffee.. But no time for wearing ThirumaN.

So from today onwards let us start wearing Urdhva puNdram on all days
without fail. First day, people will ask in your
work place as to what is that. Simply reply, saying "I wear this every
moring when I pray." No person will interfere further.
You can even add that this is special pryaer for the economic recession to
recede. He will feel happy.

Sometime, it may even start a good conversation on our religion with
others. You will try to study and learn from their queries.

Thus,   Urdhva-puNdram   elevates   the   person   who  wears  it  and  The
Urdhva-puNdram is not only applicable for men
but also applicable for women.

When  the  Urdhva-puNdram  is applied as per vidhi in the body, then SrIman
NArAyaNn has his divine presence (sAnnidhyam)
in the Urdhva-puNdram, protecting us, blessing us and purifying us.

Narayana Narayana
aDiyEn Narayana Dasan madhavakkannan

The infinite greatness of the Urdhva-puNdram is declaredin SAstras.

           - SrImate rAmAnujAya namaH -
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