You are here: Sri Vaishnava Home Page : Bhakti List : Archives : November 2001

Urdhva puNdram- (reply to : Significance of Naamam)
Date: Thu Nov 22 2001 - 19:59:05 PST

SrImathE Gopaladesika mahadesikaya namah:
Dearest Srivaishnavas,

There was a query on Signififcance of Naamam (ThirumaN kappu) on forheads:
ThirumaN kappu- is called "Urdhva puNdram-Urdhva - vertical; puNdram-
It has been widely discussed and can be found in archives.

Swamy Desikan explains the saasthra pramANam of the same in crystal clear
terms in His
Saccharitharaksha, which is divided into three parts with the titles:

UrdhvapuNdra dhAraNa vidhi
BhagavannivEdhithOpAyOga vidhi

Swamy Desikan starts the Sacharitharaksha which establishes the absolute
and prime need of Pancha samskaram:

(meaning of 1st sloka): Let us carry the people on our head who bear the
mark of Sudharsana and Paanchajanya;
who wear the UrdhvapuNdra (ThirumaN kaappu) on forheads; who consume only
the food offered to the Lord and by virtue of the
above who are saluted even by NithyasUris.

All of us have these doubts as to where the saasthRAs says that one should
wear Thiruman kappu. Swamy Desikan has beautifully explained it in this

Vedic authority of Urdhva puNdram dhAraNam is:

GruthOdhvapuNdra: paramESithAram nArAyaNam saankhya yOgAdhi gagyam |
vimuchyEtha nara: samasthai: samsaara paaSairiha chaiva vishNu: ||

MahOpanishad statement above sys: One who wears Urdhva puNdra and meditates
on Lord Sriman Narayanan and realizes Him through his mind gets liberated
from the bondage of samsaara.

In Paancharaathra samhitha it is said:

yagnO dhAnam thapou hOma: bhOjanam pithru tharpaNam
sarvE bhavanthi viphalaa: Urdhva puNdram vinAkruthA:

Yaga, charity, penance, daily sacrifice, taking food, offering of
water to manes (argyam?)  etc., is all null and void if one does without
wearing Urdhva pUndram. Libations means pouring of water in honour of God.
Manes means spirit of the dead (deceased Father, Mother. Grand father,
mother, Great grand father, Great grand mother et al).

pithru tharpaNam means offering water with sesame seeds to those twelve
Pithru dEvathAs. Hence, wearing Urdhva pUndram is essential. The shape of
Urdhva pUndra should be in the shape of HaripAdakruthi (in the shape of the
Lotus Feet of Sriman Narayanan). In Varaaha pUrAna Lord says:

yEkAnthina: mahAbhAgA: math swarUpa vidha: amalA:
sAntharAlAn prakurvIran puNdrAn *mama padhaa kruthin*

As per Brahmaanandha purAna, in the middle of every Urdhva puNdra, which is
wide and good looking, Lord Sriman Narayanan stays with His Consort Goddess
Mahalakshmi. The symbol of Mahalakshmi is Sri choorNam which may be either
in red or yellow colour.

Thus, Swamy Desikan in the three chapters, establishes by his beautiful and
inimitable style and power of arguments based strictly on scriptures, the
three important customs and rituals of Srivaishnavas which are Pancha
samskaram, UrdhvapuNdradhAraNam and partaking of the food offered to the
Lord Sriman Narayanan in archa form.

(The above article is based on write up of Sri U Ve Anantha
Naarasihmachariar Swamin of Srirangam)

In this connection, a fervent appeal is made to every Srivaishnava to
adhere to the above customs and eschew any contact or worship of any
other than Lord VishNu. More important: DO NOT WIPE OFF when you step out
of the house.
The sikhs do not remove their turbans; the arabs not their head ring.. But
why should we?
That is as bad as not wearing it, if not worse.

AzhwAr Emperumaanaar Desikan thiruvadigaLE SaraNam
Namo Narayana
aDiyEn Narayana dAsan madhavakkannan

           - SrImate rAmAnujAya namaH -
To Post a message, send it to:

Your use of Yahoo! Groups is subject to