NAMASKAR or NAMASTE
It is the sign of greeting to welcome someone and also say goodbye to them. When doing Namaskar or Namaste, the two palms of the hands are joined and placed on the face.
The belief is that the two hands symbolize the spirit or the Self meets the Self.
On the mythological level, the cow is of great importance.
You will see her accompanying Krishna and Shiva, the two most revered deities of India.
She is worshiped all over India by Hindus, providing sacred products
such as milk and its derivatives, "lassi" (fermented milk), "ghee or ghî" (clarified butter) offered to the deities, urine and dung (also used as fuel). They mix everything together and then absorb it to purify soul and body.
During ceremonies, Hindus brush statues with "ghee" and throw it into the sacred fire to accompany prayers.
If a pious Hindu walks past a cow in the street (they roam free), he does not hesitate to touch it and then raise his hand to his forehead as a token of homage.
All Hindu rites and pudjas begin with the application of Tilak, a ritual mark applied between the two eyes, as a sign of blessing, of wish, of good auspices. For religious practice, applying Tilak to this place is very important, considering that it is the point where the spiritual eye opens (the third eye), the seat of mental focus and wisdom, also assuming that all our thoughts and actions are directed here.
Composition of Tilak
- Red vermilion paste (Kumbum or Kungan) which is a mixture of saffron, iodine, camphor
- Can also be made from sandalwood (chandan).
Tilak is applied with the index or ring finger using grains of rice.
The term Bindi comes from Bindu, Sanskrit word, meaning a point.
The Bindi (symbol of the goddess Parvati) is a red dot that is put on today by unmarried women and girls on the forehead between the two eyes. Previously it was the symbol of marriage but to this day it has become a decorative element.
Meaning: Female energy.
According to belief, it would serve to protect women and their husbands.
For religious ceremonies, Bindis are made with vermilion powder. When used as decorative elements, they are made of small mirrors, glitters or felt. They come in various bright colors as well as various designs.