Why Do We Apply Kumkum – Significance & Benefits
Sadhguru answers a series of questions on the significance of kumkum, from its composition and benefits, to its symbolism in the society and culture.
Q: In the temple and places we worship, they give kumkum, sandal and vibhuti. Is there any scientific reason behind this?
Sadhguru: There are certain substances which gather energy much more quickly than others. Let’s say a steel rod, some vibhuti and a person are next to me right now. How much energy they gather from me is very different. All of them have the same opportunity, but all of them do not absorb and retain energy to the same extent.
Certain substances have been identified as substances that can easily gather and retain energy.
Certain substances have been identified as substances that can easily gather and retain energy. Vibhuti is one which is very highly sensitive. You can easily energize it and give it to someone. Kumkum is also like that. Sandal paste, is also like that to some extent, but I would definitely put vibhuti on top of the list in terms of conductivity.
In many temples, very powerful pranic vibrations are still there, so this substance is kept there for a while so it gathers a certain amount of energy in it. The idea is to share it, so it is given to people who come there. If you are sensitive, just by being there you gather this energy yourself. If you are not so sensitive, something must be given to you.
How is Kumkum Made?
With kumkum, do not be distracted by the color. Kumkum is made with turmeric and lime. That is, if it is properly made, such as the kumkum from Linga Bhairavi. Unfortunately, in many places, it is just chemical powder. Turmeric has phenomenal benefits. It is treated as auspicious in this culture because it has a certain quality that can be used for our wellbeing.
How our life happens is based on how our energy, body, and mind function, not on what is around you. In this culture, we created this technology as to what can be used to assist our energies towards a certain direction. But now, most women have replaced kumkum with plastic. You can apply vibhuti or kumkum or turmeric, or nothing if you do not want. It is okay if you do not apply anything, but do not apply plastic. Applying plastic is like you closed your third eye and you do not want it to open!
Why Do Women Wear Kumkum?
Q: Why are married women supposed to wear kumkum on the upper forehead also? What is the significance?
Sadhguru: The important thing is that it is turmeric. Applying it has certain health and other benefits. Another thing is it is used as a symbolism in the society. If a woman is wearing kumkum, she is married – that means she is not approachable. This is just an indication, so that you do not have to tell everyone. In the western world, if someone is wearing a ring, you know they are married. Here, the symbolism was that if a woman is wearing toe rings and sindhoor, that means she is a married woman. She has other responsibilities. Socially, this is a way of organizing a situation where there is a clear marking, a social way of discerning who is who in the society.
Editor’s Note: Linga Bhairavi kumkum, with its rich vermillion red and natural ingredients, makes one more receptive to Devi’s Grace. Order now.